Living in a cold climate requires skill and ingenuity, particularly for people living on the land. Severe temperatures, little or no daylight and scarce game are just some of the challenges they face.
Deep snow and unpredictable ice can make winter travel difficult. Over the years, people have found many ways to get around during the winter — some more practical than others — including caribou-skin toboggans, skis, dog sleds, snowshoes, sleighs, airplanes, snowmobiles, cars and even motorcycles.
The skills and stamina necessary for survival were well suited to athletic competition, and endeavours like dog-sledding, snowshoeing and shooting eventually developed into organised sports. Dog-sled races continue to be a lively component of winter sports throughout the territory.
In early winters, First Nations hunters trapped lynx, fox, wolf and wolverine, both for their fur and for food. With the growth of the fur trade in the 19th century, trapping became a source of income for First Nations and non-First Nations people.