Slideshow of the 2006 Hunt
(Photos courtesy Richard Binder)
Slideshow of the 2009 Hunt
(Photos courtesy Richard Binder)

Hunting and Processing Belugas

Whale hunting for us is essential! It is preparation for the winter, family gathering, hard work and most of all fun!
- Jacob Pokiak

As recalled by Inuvialuit Elders, beluga hunting has been an integral part of the Inuvialuit livelihood strategy and culture for hundreds of years. Each summer, Inuvialuit families harvest about 1 to 2 belugas. Besides the famous Maktak (or Muktuk as it is commonly spelled outside of the circumpolar Inuit community), beluga provides food throughout the winter. It is also traded for waterfowl and fish.

Read about the Inuvialuit's year-long process of hunting and processing beluga whales in the flip book below:

Today, Inuvialuit hunters use modern boats and motors. Hunters can travel to the hunt from their homes in places like Tuktoyaktuk, although many people still prefer to camp out ‘on the land’.