TIL until 1971, the Government of Canada assigned all Inuit people a number in lieu of a surname, and issued each a leather disc with the number that had to be carried at all times or sewn into clothing

Read more: https://thediscoverblog.com/2016/06/22/the-inuit-disc-numbers-and-project-surname/

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  1. Relevant text:

    > Finally, in 1941, the federal government chose to register each Inuk with a unique numeric identifier, which was stamped on a disc or printed on a card. These identifiers were often called “Eskimo disc numbers” or ujamiit (ujamik) in Inuktitut. Inuit were required to carry these numbers on their person, so they were often sewn onto clothing or hung from laces around the neck. These numbers were used until 1972 except in Quebec where the practice continued for a few more years.

    (I know the title says 1971, different parts of the law were repealed at different times)

    This website is maintained by Library and Archives Canada, “a federal institution tasked with acquiring, preserving, and providing accessibility to the documentary heritage of Canada.”

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