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Brian Pritchard

The Labrador Inuit were intimately familiar with the landscape, waterways and
resources around the Narrows region through centuries of use and experience and many of them made this area home towards the end of the 18th century where they could live thier lives with relatively minimal influence from
foreigners such as the Moravian missions to the north and substantial seasonal
and settler operations to the south. My dissertation research aims to better
understand the varied and geographically-situated responses of the Inuit to
colonialism by focusing on an area and time period that has barely been
researched, and on a group of Inuit that had a degree of autonomy and
self-control over thier livelihoods not found among Inuit that were living with
and near settlers elsewhere in Labrador.

One outcome of the settlement history of Labrador was that settlers, Inuit and
Metis alike all built and lived in semi-subterranean sod-houses towards the end
of the 18th and into the 19th centuries. Given this conflation between group
identity and building practices, one of the biggest problems facing
archaeologists working on post-18th century habitation sites in Central and
Southern Labrador is determining who lived there. Located on the north side of
the Narrows, Snook's Cove was home to several Inuit families throughout the
19th century, and fieldwork at this site seeks to better understand how the
Inuit specifically built, used and maintained their sod-houses. The results of
my research will be combined with other research on settler and Metis
sod-houses to develop a typology of sod-house architecture relating to the
ethnicity, or group identity, of the inhabitants.
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