First Peoples > An Ancient Bond with the Land > Arctic Whalers > Thule Inuit Migration
An Ancient Bond with the Land
Thule Inuit Migration
The ancestors of today's Inuit moved east into Arctic Canada and Greenland from their northwest Alaskan homeland in a series of migrations beginning about 800 or 1,000 years ago. This early Inuit culture is called Thule ("tooley"), after the place in Greenland where archaeologists first identified it.
Archaeological evidence indicates that Thule Inuit were accomplished whale hunters. As they moved east into the treeless Canadian Arctic, Thule Inuit built houses framed with the bones of their largest prey species, the bowhead whale (Balaena mysticetus), instead of the wood-framed winter houses of their Alaskan homeland.