Resolute is a hamlet located in Canada’s High Arctic. It lies on the western shore of Resolute Bay and on the southern coast of Cornwallis Island, one of thousands of islands that make up the Arctic Archipelago. Resolute has a polar climate characterized by very long, cold winters and very short, cool summers. Temperatures remain below freezing well into spring. Because of its high latitude, Resolute also experiences polar days and polar nights. This means that for a period each summer there is twenty-four hours of daylight, while in the winter there is a period with twenty-four hours of darkness.
The ground of Resolute is covered in permafrost. Trees do not grow in this area, but moss, lichens and low shrubs do. The surrounding waters are characterized by sea ice that occurs as a result of long periods of below freezing temperatures that cause parts of the Arctic Ocean to freeze over. This sea ice isolates the region and makes it inaccessible by ship until the summer months. The ice that forms over the course of one season is known as annual or first year ice and can thicken to about 2 metres. Second year ice may be approximately 3.6 metres thick. All ice older than 2 years, known as multi-year ice, becomes indistinguishable in age.
In spring, sea ice in the channels is quite stable, but the ice in the ocean moves more frequently and will at times open up. More recently, global climate change has caused demonstrable changes in familiar patterns of arctic sea ice. Higher temperatures leading to longer summers and shorter winters are causing faster and more significant thaws in ice. These climate changes make it difficult for the Inuit of the region to predict weather patterns and it can create dangerous conditions to hunt and travel as the sea ice becomes weaker. The Inuit have been observing these climatic changes since the 1980s and as a result they have been at the forefront in demanding action on climate change.
Resolute and its surrounding areas are rich in wildlife. Polar bears are among the most dangerous of the northern animals, but they are hunted in the fall and spring when the climatic conditions are ideal. Char can be fished throughout Cornwallis Island. Narwhals and white whales enter the waters when sea ice breaks up, but among maritime wildlife, seals are the most important natural resource. Seals are present in the region year round. The Inuit hunt seals from the stable sea ice in the winter, while in the spring seals congregate around cracks in the sea ice and gather in the open water July through September. Seals sustain the Inuit diet while also providing material for clothing and trade. Caribou are second to seals in their importance as a natural resource, however since 1968 the caribou hunt has slowed as a result of a noticeable decrease in the caribou population of Resolute. Other animals found in the area of Resolute but hunted only incidentally are: ptarmigans, geese, eider ducks, arctic hares, wolves, muskoxen and walruses.
The hunting patterns of the Inuit people are largely determined by climate. Late winter and early spring represent the best time for hunting expeditions. In the early winter the lack of sunlight and extreme temperatures make hunting prohibitive while in the summer months weak sea ice makes travel difficult and dangerous. In more recent years, the skidoo has shaped the hunting patterns of the Inuit allowing them to cover greater areas or make quicker trips than was capable with dog sleds. Today, the Inuit continue to hunt although in more recent history the food supply has been threatened with the presence of a number of contaminants, including PCBs and DDT that travel through the air and water from more industrialized locations and settle in the arctic food chain. First discovered in the 1970s, the Inuit continue to work with the federal government today in an effort to monitor toxin levels in their food chain.
 Ronald I. Verrall, A Guide to Arctic Field Trips, Defence Research Establishment Atlantic, Technical Report, DREA TR 2000-094, January 2001) 6.
 Sarah Bonesteel for Public History Inc., Canada’s Relationship with the Inuit: A History of Policy and Program Development (Indian and Northern Affairs Canada, June 2006) 115.
 Roderick Riewe, Inuit Land Use in the Canadian High Arctic, 176.
 Riewe, 174.
 Don Bissett, Resolute: An Area Economic Survey (Industrial Division, Northern Administration Branch, Department of Indian Affairs and Northern Development, 1967) 11.
 Bonesteel, 114.