What sources of energy do the Inuits use?

We often wonder what the Inuits, who live in the Far North of Canada, do to sustain their life and what forms of energy they use. After all, the Inuits are totally dependent on the environment in which they live. They don't have vegetable gardens and they mainly eat meat from seals, whales and polar bears. Fat from seals in particular, found in great quantities just beneath the skin of the animal and protecting them from the cold, used to be the principal source of energy for communities in these remote areas. Oil lamps were used everywhere then. When you use an oil lamp, everything gets blackened, because the smoke leaves deposits everywhere. But in the old days, the Inuits had to make do with what they had. Nowadays, seal fat is no longer used as a fuel. Up in the Far North, people are mainly grouped in villages in which they now have more or less the same level of comfort as we have in our western societies. They have oil available which provides their energy supply.

The Inuits had an absolutely incredible ability to survive in an environment where it is apparently impossible to do so. It is cold all year round there, there is no earth and everything is frozen solid. The people of the Far North have adapted to their polar environment in a unique way. Today, they are finding it difficult to adapt to a different way of living than that which used to be made up of hunting and fishing. Climate change will certainly bring additional hardships for the Inuits. The day will come when the sea ice really will have disappeared in the Polar Regions, destroying thereby the entire life and survival system established by these people.


All videos, quizzes, animations and photos are copyrighted to the IPF or to their authors. Please contact us before using them.

Latest Pictures

All picture galleries

Focus on

COP22 – time to act on climate change!

COP22 – time to act on climate change!

The International Polar Foundation (IPF) participated in the recent United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Conference of Parties…

Stay up to date

Subscribe to Mailing List

Subscribe to our mailing list to get updates about our educational projects and free educational resources.

This is a low trafic mailing list. We usually send no more than 10 mails a year and only for targetted communication.



RSS Feeds

Subscribe to our RSS feeds to be warned in real time when the website is updated.

Here is a list of all available feeds:

Support the IPF

Support us

All donations to the IPF are tax deductible.

Donations can be made by various means, depending if they are made by a company or by individuals.

Support Us