Eskimos (or Esquimaux) or Inuitâ€“Yupik (for Alaska: Inupiatâ€“Yupik) peoples are indigenous peoples who have traditionally inhabited the circumpolar region from eastern Siberia (Russia), across Alaska (United States), Canada, and Greenland (Denmark).
There are two main groups that are referred to as Eskimo: Yupik and Inupiat. A third group, the Aleut, is related. The Yupik language dialects and cultures in Alaska and eastern Siberia have evolved in place beginning with the original (pre-Dorset) Eskimo culture that developed in Alaska. Approximately 4,000 years ago the Unangan (also known as Aleut) culture became distinctly separate, and evolved into a non-Eskimo culture. Approximately 1,500â€“2,000 years ago, apparently in Northwestern Alaska, two other distinct variations appeared. The Inuit language branch became distinct and in only several hundred years spread across northern Alaska, Canada and into Greenland. At about the same time, the technology of the Thule people developed in northwestern Alaska and very quickly spread over the entire area occupied by Eskimo people, though it was not necessarily adopted by all of them.