Iqaluit — The Fishes

Fish make up an important part of the diet of many northern communities. Not all fish, however, are of equal importance to the Inuit. Among the key species are cod, sculpins, and arctic charr. Until recently, in fact, there was no word for "fish" – each species had to be referred to by its own particular name. The word that is now used as a group term for all fish is iqaluit – the name originally belonging to the arctic charr. The importance of the charr to the Inuit is demonstrated by the fact that they have several different names for it, depending on its location and its life stage. In East Greenland, Inuit grouped and named fish depending on how they were caught – kapurniakat, for fish caught by spear, which generally meant fish of the salmon family; and aalisakkat, for those caught with a spear, principally cod.