While the phrase "pre-Columbian era" literally refers only to the time preceding Christopher Columbus's voyages of 1492, in practice the phrase usually is used to denote the entire history of American indigenous cultures until those cultures were conquered or significantly influenced by Europeans, even if this happened decades or even centuries after Columbus's initial landing. For this reason the alternative terms of Pre-Colonial Americas or Prehistoric Americas are also in use.
Peter Pitseolak (1902—1973) was an Inuit photographer, artist and historian. He lived most of his life in traditional Inuit camps near Cape Dorset, on the southwest coast of Baffin Island, now in the Canadian territory of Nunavut. This was a time of great social and technological change among the Inuit, from nomadic life to permanent settlements, from spears to rifles, from dogteams to snowmobiles. Pitseolak dedicated himself to preserving knowledge of the old ways, by writing, sketching, and especially photography.