Modern increases in mercury levels in Arctic marine mammals have important implications for people who consume these resources as part of a traditional diet. This paper establishes estimates of dietary exposure to mercury from the consumption of beluga whales for the historic (pre-Euroamerican contact) and modern Mackenzie Delta Inuit populations. For the historic populations, beluga intake was estimated from reconstructions of the pre-Euroamerican traditional diet, using archaeological and ethnographic data, while mercury levels in consumed flesh were estimated from beluga teeth recovered from archaeological sites. For modern populations, beluga consumption was estimated from recent dietary surveys, while mercury levels in consumed flesh were measured directly in harvested whales. Despite higher mercury levels in modern beluga, the estimated average exposure to mercury from the consumption of beluga is 15–73 µg Hg/person/day for historic Inuit populations compared to only 2–12 µg Hg/person/day for modern Inuit populations. This result is due to the higher average daily consumption of beluga whale flesh among historic Inuit populations and may have placed these populations at greater risk for toxic mercury exposure than modern populations. Nevertheless, as a result of the recent increases in environmental mercury levels, mercury exposure remains a significant health issue for modern community members with diets particularly rich in marine mammals.