Close Encounters: Continued Investigations into 19th-20th Century Copper Inuit and European Intersocietal Interaction
Principal Investigator: Johnson, Donald S. (4)
Licence Number: 14007
Organization: Dept. Anthropology, University of Manitoba, Lakehead University
Licenced Year(s): 2007 2006 2005 2004 2003
Issued: Jun 27, 2006
Project Team: Jack Kataoyak (Research asst., driver, facilitator, Olokhaktomiut HTC), Alice Kimiksana (Translator, Holman NT)

Project Description: The aim of this research project is to examine the processes of long-term Copper Inuit-European inter-societal interaction during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. More specifically, the project will examine the effects and attempt to answer questions about inter-societal interaction and its effects on material trade networks, intra-group social relations, material culture and seasonality and subsistence harvesting emanating from two critical mid-19th century (1851-1853) contact scenarios involving the Royal Navy vessels H.M.S. Investigator and H.M.S. Enterprise, and Copper Inuit groups such as the Kanghiryuatjagmiut and Kanghiryuarmiut. This year’s work will continue with recognizing, recording and interpreting sites of cultural significance with the eventual goal of designing and developing a comprehensive database of cultural sites that can readily be accessed by the people of Holman.

Interviews with elders will take place in the Hamlet of Holman to verify previous Copper Inuit oral testimony. All interviews will be tape-recorded. Another component to this year’s work is the carrying out of an archaeological survey and excavation at previously surveyed sites connected with the long-term contact episode between Copper Inuit groups and the Royal Navy vessel H.M.S. Enterprise at Winter Cove in order to test a series of hypotheses related to possible changes in Copper Inuit material culture and trade systems. The findings of the study will be shared with the community through presentations, reports, articles and papers.


The study will be conducted within the municipal bounds of the Hamlet of Holman and Winter Cove (near Walker Bay, Prince Albert Peninsula, Victoria Island) from July 5 to August 25, 2006.