Inuit Sled Dog International
Copyright ISDI, 1997, 2012, 2016
Preserving the pure Inuit dog

Tree of life  

The Inuit have classified their world. At the top of the tree is the Inuit, the People, and immediately under is the Inuit Dog. The qimmiq is not included in the animal kingdom but rather with the people as it was fundamental to the existence of the people.

Then comes things that grow out of the earth or on the land - Piruqtuit or Nunarait (Nuna is land) Those things are the plants.

After the things that don't move are the things that do. Every thing in the animal kingdom, whether mammals, birds, fish, insects, though qimmiq is not included -

Because breathing is essential to life, Inuit culture includes this category to include all animals except fish, and the people in the things that breathe -

The next essential thing to life is food. Things that can be eaten are

The marine mammals spend time under water but have to surfaced to breathe. They are the things that come up to the surface to breathe: 

The walkers - Pisuktiit - are the land mammals that prey on smaller animals.

Things that fly are, of course, birds - Tingmiat - but do not include insects. A sub-category of the Tingmiat is the Angunasuktiit which means the hunters, that is the birds that prey on other birds or small animals. Niqituqtiit means meat eaters but they actually are birds that eat fish.

The Nunatuqtiit are the birds that feed on the plants and aquatic plants.

The birds that stay in the Arctic in winter are the Ukiuqtait or Ukiuliit. Not many species do.

The ptarmigan, the raven, the snowny owl and the black guillemot are those that over winter in the Arctic.

Fish is a staple of the diet in many northern settlements. It is called Iqaluit. The capital of Nunavut is Iqaluit.

Then there are all the small creatures, bugs, etc., which are grouped loosely as Qupiqruit.

                                                                The Tree

                                                        Inuit - the People
                                                       Qimmiq - the Dog
                                             Piruqtuit or Nunarait - the Plants

                                                Uumajuit - Things that move
                                              Anirniliit - Things that breathe

                                            Nirjutiit - Things that can be eaten
                                        Puijiit - Animals that surface to breathe
                                                      Pisuktiit - the Walkers
                                                     Tingmiat - Those that fly
                                                  Angunasuktiit - the Hunters
                                                      Niqituqtiit - fish eaters
                                                    Nunatuqtiit - plant eaters
                                             Ukiuqtait - birds that stay in winter
                                                                Iqaluit - fish
                                                 Qupiqruit - bugs and all others

Kira, photo Ludovic Pirani
Taiga, photo Ludovic Pirani