Archeology project to dig into Kitikmeot Inuit history

148

The Kitikmeot Heritage Society and the University of Toronto have partnered on a new five-year archeological project.

Eleven days of field work took place this summer to identify locations south of Bathurst Inlet where excavation will take place in coming summers, said Pam Gross, executive director of the Kitikmeot Heritage Society. The area in question spans a few hours of travel by boat.

“There are two gaps in history (of local Inuit), one is really old sites – archeology sites that are about 5,000 years old – and modern sites, ones that are about 50 to 100 years old. Those sites are ones we’re hoping to do research on in coming years,” Gross said.

This summer’s field team comprised 11 people, including three youth.

“In the future we hope that we can train more youth to become influenced by doing this type of work and be inspired to work in the heritage field,” said Gross.

The heritage society and the U of T worked together previously on a 10-year initiative, studying a location near the Ekaluk River – about four hours from Cape Dorset by all-terrain vehicle – where Dorset, Thule and Inuit previously lived and travelled.

“Today they still catch a lot of the char from there for the fish plant,” Gross said. “So it still continues to be one of the greatest place for those types of resources.”