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The Arctic circumpolar region of North America stretches from Greenland to Siberia, with a population of little more than 100,000. Canada's share of this region extends from Labrador to the Beaufort Sea. The small Inuit population (about 45,000) inhabiting this vast territory is like an extended family, with some members who are related, while others have adopted children from other communities.
Major changes took place in the 1930s with the advent of government policies intending to "civilize" the Inuit, gathering them into villages, radically disrupting their traditional ways of life and converting them to Christianity.
The changes were devastating, causing widespread hardship and the loss of much traditional culture.