Person, Place, Memory, Thing: How Inuit Elders are Informing Archaeological Practice in the Canadian North

Peer Reviewed

Lyons N, Dawson P, Walls M, Uluadluak D, Angalik L, Kalluak M, Kigusiutuak P, Kiniksi L, Karetak J, & Suluk L

Canadian Journal of Archaeology 34, Issue 1, pages 1-31, 2010

Inuit Elders from the West Coast of Hudson Bay, Canada remember the past to serve the present. This paper describes a mapping and oral history project that is gathering Elders’ knowledge of the people, places, sites, and resources that populated their vast traditional territory. We discuss the Elders’ conception of this work within the framework of Inuit Qaujimajatuqangiit (Inuit knowledge) and how these understandings are actively contributing to the form and direction of the project. We explore how the Elders’ knowledge is used to inform and animate the archaeological findings of the project. These broader discussions are focused around an examination of the tentative links between an historic Inuit trader named Ullebuk (Ouligbuk) and archaeological features uncovered at a site located near Arviat, Nunavut. Finally, we discuss how the Elders’ work is trained on the goal of serving their people, particularly the rapidly expanding population of Inuit youth.

Keywords: Inuit, Canada, Elders, Nunavut
Categories: Arctic, Social Science