‘Knowledge and tradition were passed onto us as young people … Our parents taught us how to respect the land, the animals and our culture. We do not want our youth to lose what is within us.’ – Lena Ayalik Kamoayok

Indigenous peoples have lived in the Arctic for thousands of years. They have survived through understanding their environment and by using resources sustainably. In the past knowledge about hunting, carving, sewing and the land was passed down through the generations. Today elders continue to pass down these skills but also recognise the need to adapt to a changing world. Work by contemporary Arctic artists reflects both tradition and change.

Inuit Elders from the Torngasok Cultural Centre in Nain, Labrador and the Kitikmeot Heritage Society in Cambridge Bay, Nunavut gave personal responses to images of objects from Canada in the museum collection. Some of these appear on object labels in the gallery.


Students from Patcham High School in Brighton created an animation about hunting and living on the land inspired by Arctic objects in Brighton Museum.

How would you survive if you had to make everything you needed from local, natural materials?