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  • A map rendering showing the regions of the Canadian Arctic frequented by the Mackenzie Delta Inuvialuit Inuit Community.
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Land use of the Mackenzie Delta Inuvialuit

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  • Aerial landscape photograph of the Mackenzie Delta area and its river, home to the Mackenzie Delta Inuvialuit Inuit.
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Aerial view of the Mackenzie Delta with its river channels and ponds. The Richardson Mountains lie to the west of the delta.
April 1978
Photograph by Rick Riewe

Mackenzie Delta Inuvialuit

The Mackenzie Delta Inuvialuit live in the mainland region of the Yukon and the Northwest Territories in communities such as Aklavik, Inuvik and Tuktoyaktuk and Paulatuk, some of the residents of Holman on Victoria Island also consider themselves Inuvialuit. In the 1860s, missionaries established settlements in the area and the whalers who arrived from the 1880s onwards brought influenza and other diseases that decimated the population. Alaskan Inupiat moved into the area, intermarrying with the few remaining Inuvialuit. Their influence is visible in all aspects of Inuvialuit life.

The Mackenzie River Delta is a massive area that extends inland from the Beaufort Sea with more than half of its terrain covered by water. To the south there is a heavy forest of spruce, alder, poplar and willow, while the north consists of low alluvial islands carpeted with shrubs and grasses. The geography and climate are ideal for many species of animals to flourish, such as moose, beaver, muskrat, foxes, hares, ducks and geese. The fresh and salt water are home to many species of fish.