Although store-bought food is readily available in great variety, many Inuvialuit continue to eat more nutritious and less costly country foods and to hunt and fish for a good part of their diet.
Consuming country foods is important to Inuvialuit identity, and the culmination of a series of cooperative activities - harvesting, processing, distributing, and preparing - that require behaving in ways that emphasize Inuvialuit values of cooperation, sharing, and generosity.
Traditional country foods include caribou, muskox, arctic hare, muskrat, seal, duck, goose, beluga and bowhead whale, fish (whitefish, herring, inconnu, arctic char, and trout), and berries (akpiks, blueberries, crowberries, currants, and cranberries):
- Akutuq or Eskimo ice-cream: A mixture of caribou meat, caribou fat or marrow and broth, stirred by hand until light and fluffy, then frozen.
- Caribou stew or soup: Diced caribou meat, vegetables, rice, and stock.
- Dry fish: De-boned fish hung to dry in the sun or smoked in a smokehouse. Either way, it tastes great.
- Mipku or dry meat: Thin strips of whale or caribou meat which have been hung to dry.
- Muktuk: Skin of a whale (beluga or bowhead), which can be cooked or eaten raw after aging.
- Muqpauraq or bannock: Made of flour, sugar, baking powder, lard and milk or water, then fried over an open fire or baked in the oven.
- Putuligaaq or Eskimo donuts: Deep fried donuts with 6 to 8 holes.
- Quak: Meat that is frozen raw and then eaten.
- Suvaq: Fish eggs that may be eaten frozen or cooked.
- Uksuk: Oil of the whale.
- Tea water: Many Inuvialuit believe that fresh water from lakes or blocks of ice should be used in the making of tea for that extra essence.