Research, Library and Archives


Sources of information

This project began with a series of interviews conducted in Inukjuak. The eldest member of each family was asked to provide a list of their entire family tree, to the best of their ability. This was the first set of regional genealogical data to be processed by computer. The second set of data entered was sourced from anthropological diagrams produced in the field. The tabulation of these data continues, as most families in Nunavik were last surveyed by researchers from Université Laval in the 1960s. Other sources of information are found in anthropologists’ publications and oral history interviews stored at the Avataq Cultural Institute.
The genealogies still lack certain details, particularly dates of birth. To compensate, other sources of information have been consulted, including:
- old federal license-plate registration listings,
- government census information,
- birth and death registries maintained by local clinics,
- birth and death registries maintained by the Hudson Bay Company.
Contemporary sources of additional information include:
- population lists compiled by municipalities
- beneficiary lists from the ministère de la Santé et des Services sociaux du Québec.
Additionally, specific information furnished by families themselves is then verified against our toponymic inventories, which assists in further substantiating dates of birth and death.
Challenges facing this project include the duplication of names listed, as many people are known by several alternate names. Families living in different regions may remember a single individual under different names. For example, a woman named Mary in one community was known to her family members in a different community by her Inuit name, Nasaq. Name duplication is therefore a topic that requires extra scrutiny.
For these reasons, it is important to consult a variety of sources in order to avoid duplicate listings.
All sources are always cited in our notes.
Note for interviewers: In order to obtain complementary data, it is preferable to interview both members of each couple (men and women) simultaneously. Make sure that you ask the person you are interviewing to provide the first names of (and their relationship to) the persons they mention, for example: “my grandmother Mary” or “my sister Lucy.”


According to traditional northern custom, children were given to adoptive parents without documentation or other records. Because many adoptive children may one day wish to know more about their biological forebears, we have listed them under two family names: their biological family name (accompanied by the symbol “&”) and their adoptive family name (accompanied by the symbol “@”). If searching names for an adopted person, the appropriate symbol must follow the family name. Customarily, adopted Inuit know the names of their biological siblings. They are normally listed according to usual Inuktitut designations for such family members: nukait (younger brother), najait (sister), angajuit (older brother), etc., although this is not always the case.

Along with their consanguineous family ties, the Inuit traditionally adopted the names of their ancestors or elders (namesakes), known as “sauniq,” though this custom is now less frequently observed.


Family trees are confidential and can only be consulted by family members or with their permission.

Data entry

The Personal Ancestral File (PAF) program was carried out by the Church of Jesus Christ and Latter Day Saints (Mormons) in Salt Lake City, Utah, USA. Developed for the church’s internal needs, the data are of only partial use in the establishment of northern genealogical files.
The relevant fields are:
- Date and place of birth
- Date and place of baptism (field used for recording identity numbers)
- Date and place of marriage
- Date and place of death
Whether legally married or not, persons on the list are linked to their domestic partners. This constitutes a family, which generates a family identification number (MRIN). Children are then added to the family using RIN numbers, and can be linked to their own partners and offspring, and so on.

Charts and listings

There are several ways to obtain information from our database:
- The DESCENDANTS CHART lists the children, grandchildren, etc. of an individual, along with their birthdates;
- The FAMILY GROUP RECORD lists information available on a nuclear family (father, mother, children);
- The PEDIGREE CHART provides a visual display of an individual’s ancestry, showing parents, grandparents, etc.
Some of these charts have been published in Tumivut magazine.