The Denbigh, also known as the Small Tool culture, began some 5000 years ago, and over the course of the next millennia it spread westward though Arctic Alaska and Canada.
Occupying lands that stretch 12,000 miles from parts of Siberia, along the Alaskan coast, across Canada, and on to Greenland, the Inuit are one of the most widely dispersed people in the world, but number only about 60,000 in population.
Between 25,000 and 35,000 reside in Alaska, with other smaller groups in Canada, Greenland, and Siberia.
Some classify the Inuit into two main groups, the inland people or Nuunamiut, and the coastal people, the Tagiugmiut. Burch, Jr., however, in his book The Inupiaq Eskimo Nations of Northwestern Alaska, divides the heartland, or original southerly Inupiat, who settled around Kotzebue Sound and the Chukchi Sea, into 12 distinct tribes or nations.
This early "homeland" of the Inupiat, around Kotzebue Sound, was extended as the tribes eventually moved farther north.
The major language family for Arctic peoples is Eskaleut.