Over 40 percent of Alaskan Inuit now reside in urban areas, with Anchorage having the highest population, and Nome on the south of the Seward Peninsula also having a large group of Inupiat as well as Yup'ik.Within Inupiat territory, the main population centers are Barrow and Kotzebue. Anthropologists have discerned several different cultural epochs that began around the Bering Sea.Some classify the Inuit into two main groups, the inland people or Nuunamiut, and the coastal people, the Tagiugmiut. Burch, Jr., however, in his book The Inupiaq Eskimo Nations of Northwestern Alaska, divides the heartland, or original southerly Inupiat, who settled around Kotzebue Sound and the Chukchi Sea, into 12 distinct tribes or nations.This early "homeland" of the Inupiat, around Kotzebue Sound, was extended as the tribes eventually moved farther north.Yup'ik includes several languages, while Inuit is a separate tongue with several local dialects, including Inupiaq (Alaska), Inuktitut (Eastern Canada), and Kalaallisut (Greenland).Throughout their long history and vast migrations, the Inuit have not been greatly influenced by other Indian cultures.
Anywhere from a dozen to fifty people traveled in a hunting group.
They spread westward through Canada and ultimately on to Greenland.
However, it appears that some of the Thule backtracked, returning to set up permanent villages in both Alaska and Siberia.
Occupying lands that stretch 12,000 miles from parts of Siberia, along the Alaskan coast, across Canada, and on to Greenland, the Inuit are one of the most widely dispersed people in the world, but number only about 60,000 in population.
Between 25,000 and 35,000 reside in Alaska, with other smaller groups in Canada, Greenland, and Siberia.
The name Eskimo was given to these people by neighboring Abnaki Indians and means "eaters of raw flesh." The name they call themselves is Inuit, or "the people." Culturally and linguistically distinct from Native Americans of the lower 48 states, as well as from the Athabaskan people of Alaska, the Inuit are closely related to the Mongoloid peoples of eastern Asia.