Diarrhea among neonates and their siblings was studied in 98 families living in Winnipeg, Manitoba, and in 31 native Indian families and in 15 Inuit (Eskimo) families living in isolated settlements in northern Canada. The rate of infection due to rotavirus in neonates was significantly higher and infection occurred more often in the first six months of life in the northern communities (range, 0.36 in Winnipeg to 1.07 in Eskimo Point). No protective effect of breast-feeding was discerned, since infection due to rotavirus occurred more frequently and earliest in neonatal life in Eskimo Point, the community with the highest rate of breast-feeding. In contrast, infection due to Norwalk virus was most common among the neonates of Berens River (0.15 infections per child per year), the only community with relatively unsafe water supplies. Infection due to rotavirus appears to be more frequent in the far North, whereas infection due to Norwalk virus appears to be related more to inadequate sanitation.