Umiat (boat’s)

Umiat (boat’s) or known as whale boats, introduced by the early whaler’s of the Euro-American whalers or the Hudson’s Bay Company post in the area during the early fur pelt trade industry in the region between the Inuit.

The Inuit were employed as harpooners and oarsmen in smaller whaleboats and some Inuit were paid with boats of their own. The whaling crews stayed on board the mother ship, or rendered the whale blubber on land. George Comer recorded that Chesterfield Inlet was one of the locations where Inuit gathered to trade and seek employment. Guns and sturdy whaleboats were probably the most significant trade items.

The Hudson’s Bay Company post in Chesterfield Inlet provided much of the supplies to smaller H.B.C. posts in Repulse Bay and Baker Lake; by 1929, the Inuit ran the supply ship that delivered trade goods to smaller H.B.C. posts in the region. The Inuit learned their seafaring skills from the whalers and continue to have excellent boat handling and navigational skills.

  • X3Nw>p5 - Parnaijiit – Chesterfield Inlet Elder’s Group Committee
  • Chesterfield Inlet, Nunavut
  • Canada X0C 0B0