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 Definition A group of culturally similar indigenous peoples inhabiting the Arctic regions of Alaska, Greenland, the Canadian territories of Northwest Territories and Nunavut, the province of Quebec and the northern part of Labrador. [d] [e]
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 Workgroup categories Anthropology and Geography [Editors asked to check categories]
 Talk Archive none  English language variant Not specified
Attention niels epting.png
Attention niels epting.png

Important Media Assets Workgroup notice!
Do not archive.
Permission has been obtained to use Image:FranzBoas-Eskimo.jpg, a unique 1883 photo of Franz Boas posing dressed as an Eskimo, which was subject to proprietary rights. As a condition of use, CZ must forward a copy of all articles in which the photo appears to the The American Philosophical Society Library, see for contact information.

Because of this, this image should not be added to this or any other article until is has been nominated for approval.

After the Approval template has been placed, a copy or link to the article must be sent to The American Philosophical Society Library and a statement that this was done must be made below this post and on the image page at Image:FranzBoas-Eskimo.jpg by the person who forwarded the article.

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For further info, see Image_talk:FranzBoas-Eskimo.jpg/Permission.

Stephen Ewen 04:26, 20 June 2007 (CDT)


These terms required by the APS are remarkably precise! Sounds to me as though their paradigms are still stuck in the "print era" gear!

I wanted to mention, though, assuming this talk page is meant to be liked with a yet-to-be-written entry for "Eskimo" -- this is a prejorative term to many groups of northern peoples -- in the Eastern Canadian Arctic, it's considreed outmoded and insulting. In Greenland, however, the term is view more neutrally. The preferred term in Canada is Inuit -- which, like most peoples' terms for themselves, translates to "People." There are many distinct groups; in Alaska, you have the Iñupiat, the Yup'ik, and the Aleut; in Greenland you have East and West Greenlandic Eskimo, and in norrthwest Greenland you have the Inighuit (who used to be known as the "Polar Eskimos." So I think we should be careful not to end up with "Eskimo" as our main entry term: I think "Inuit" would be much preferable. Russell Potter 08:04, 20 June 2007 (CDT)

Thanks for the page move -- at work now on the entry. Russell Potter 18:54, 20 June 2007 (CDT)

Actually, according to this page, some 29K of the 60K Eskimos live in Alaska, and generally have no trouble with the word "Eskimo." If the article does not live at Eskimo, then there should be a short article at that URL saying what it means, explaining a little about where and how the term is used, and referring people to Inuit for further information.

As a general rule, we should name articles based on the most common correct word for the thing. This makes the articles most easily findable. People looking for information about Eskimos will in many cases not know that they are called "Inuit" as well. I would leave it to actual anthropologists to make a ruling on whether "Eskimo" really is pejorative. I won't take a position on the question myself--I just wanted to contribute the above information. --Larry Sanger 19:41, 20 June 2007 (CDT) (of Alaska)

Larry, we can always have a redirect for that. If the common name for a people or group of people is known to be prejorative to those people, to my mind it should not be used in a reference work. I don't know how native folks you knew in Alaksa felt about "Eskimo" as a term -- there you have several different peoples, as you know, who get lumped under that term (Iñupiat, Yup'ik, and Aleut), but in the eastern Arctic in Canada it's a term regarded with universal disdain by Inuit there. In Greenland, "Eskimo" is regarded more neutrally, though "Kalaallit" is increasingly preferred. Lastly, I'm not sure the anthropologists are necessarily the best people to rule on such a thing -- the people themselves, and/or countries such as Canada which recognize official names of First Nations groups, are the real authorities -- maybe the Geography workgroup would be more applicable. Russell Potter 21:05, 20 June 2007 (CDT)

"Eskimo" is in very common use in Alaska. I agree that the people themselves are the ones to say, but the relevant anthropologists (and others very familiar with the Inuit) will be able to say definitively how widespread the attitude is. Note, it's also pretty common knowledge in Alaska that there is a significant difference between eskimos, on the one hand, and Aleuts and Athabaskans (neither of which are Eskimos properly speaking).

Please note this which seems to be the (uncredited!!!) source for a bit of our (Wikipedia-sourced) text! Ugh. --Larry Sanger 22:34, 20 June 2007 (CDT)

Aiyyee! Looks as though I'll have to rewrite this section, or get a permission from Lawrence Kaplan! But I am also adding references now from more reliable sources. My own acquaintance is only with the Inuit of the eastern Arctic, and you will get an earfull from anyone there if you were to use "Eskimo". As the Smithsonian source cited notes, the "raw fish eaters" etymology may in fact be inaccurate, but it's sure gotten around Nunavut. Anyway, I have many contacts up North and I'm sure between them and my reference library I can support a broad consensus for neutral nomenclature .... Russell Potter 22:42, 20 June 2007 (CDT)

I always thought that the term "Eskimo" was used to refer to non-Inuit groups as well. Is that not true? --Joe Quick (Talk) 04:01, 21 June 2007 (CDT)

It has been used in the past as a catch-all phrase to refer to all Arctic peoples from the Aleut to the East Greenlanders, but that usage has been changing for some time, particularly because the Inuit of eastern Canada have rejected it, and all the peoples so grouped have expressed the concern that it washes over significant differences between them. It's a changing situation, but the direction of the change seems to be constant. Russell Potter 07:36, 21 June 2007 (CDT)

Image talk

  • Inuit language exposition at the 2006 Winter Universiade Games.jpg