CBC Digital Archives CBC butterfly logo

CBC Archives has a new look: Please go to cbc.ca/archives to access the new site.

The page you are looking at will not be updated.

Polar bear hunt boosts Inuit income

The Story

While not a staple of the Inuit diet, the polar bear has long provided food and clothing to the inhabitants of Victoria Island in the Northwest Territories. By 1981, the great white bear is mainly providing them with an income. Sport hunters from the south will pay top dollar for a chance to bag a bear, so the community of Holman has allotted its entire yearly quota of 20 bears to outsiders. In this CBC News report, a local Inuk man says the sport hunt employs many people and a wildlife biologist says limited hunting poses no threat to polar bear populations.

Medium: Television
Program: CBC News
Broadcast Date: April 18, 1981
Reporter: Terry Matte
Duration: 4:23

Did You know?

• To ensure the stability of polar bear populations across the North, the Canadian Wildlife Service recommended a quota system in the 1960s. Using information from the CWS, each province or territory placed limits on how many bears could be killed and where.

• The hunting of polar bears in Canada was limited to native people in 1976 under an international agreement among the five countries with polar bear populations. But those communities were allowed to keep their quota of polar bears for their own use or sell them to sport hunters.

• According to the Canadian Wildlife Service, sport hunting and the trade in polar bear hides is worth about $1 million annually.





Polar Bears: On Thin Ice more