Caribou Inuit Traders of the Kivalliq Nunavut, Canada


Walls M

Published by: British Archaeological Reports, 2009
ISBN 9781407303772

This study explores the relationship between the Caribou Inuit and the Fur Trade in the Kivalliq Barrens of Nunavut, Canada, between the years 1717-1900 A.D. It has previously been posited that with the introduction of European technologies during this period, the Caribou Inuit were drawn out of a traditional pattern of subsistence and into a larger world-scale economic. Arctic anthropologists have often used historical data, exclusively, to examine this transition – an approach which necessarily biases the examination of development to a colonial point of view, therefore removing the agency of the Inuit in the process. In general, a common element of such studies is that it is assumed that the Caribou Inuit pursued the new and highly functional technologies introduced by the Hudson Bay Company, such as metal implements and firearms, and by doing so were drawn into an economy of trade. However, the actual process of how European goods and technologies were integrated into Caribou Inuit society, by the Caribou Inuit themselves, has received little attention, and more rarely has this process been studied beyond historical documentation through the use of archaeology. This study seeks to rectify the situation by specifically examining Caribou Inuit individuals of the period, who were independent traders that acted as middlemen between the bulk of the Caribou Inuit population and the Hudson Bay Company.

Keywords: Caribou Eskimos, Antiquities, Commerce, History, Social life and customs, Nunavut, Excavations (Archaeology)
Categories: Arctic, Social Science