Spring 2010

Spring has sprung! In keeping with the season of new life, the LI would like to welcome new and upcoming faces to the Labrador Institute!

In January 2010, the LI welcomed Mr. Mark Turner to the Happy Valley-Goose Bay office. Mark is a PhD candidate at the Graduate Centre for Study of Drama at the University of Toronto where he is completing his dissertation on the history of film production on the island of Newfoundland. His research interests are rooted in Newfoundland and Labrador performance practices and their relationship to ethnography, politics, culture and archival practice. Mark is the second Program Coordinator in Happy Valley-Goose Bay and has a variety of duties including the digitization and cataloging of the LI’s film and photo collection, as well as numerous outreach and collaboration projects. Mark is also a per-course instructor for English 1080 in the Nunatsiavut Government-MUN Bachelor of Social Work program being offered on site in Happy Valley-Goose Bay. Mark is a great addition to the office atmosphere and we look forward to his continued presence in the office and the community.

Dr. Mario Blaser, Canada Research Chair in Aboriginal Studies at Memorial University is a new face in town. Mario and his family have been visiting Labrador as part of Mario’s research. While in Happy Valley-Goose Bay, Mario is working out of the LI’s main offices. However, his face will be familiar to residents of North West River and Sheshashiu as his research takes him into those communities. We’re excited to have Mario working in the area and we look forward to seeing him around more often.

Dr. Johanna Wolf will be joining the Labrador Institute in April to take on a one-year stint as a Post-Doctoral Fellow. Johanna is a human geographer with degrees in both applied and social science. Her research interests concern societal responses to climate change and its impacts, including both adaptation and mitigation. We look forward to Johanna’s arrival at LI!

Martha is currently working with the Nunatsiavut Government and Memorial's School of Social Work to offer a pilot undergraduate program. NG and MUN are currently offering a Bachelor of Social Work degree, on-site, in Happy Valley-Goose Bay. Learners are enrolled in several classes and will be registering soon for the summer semester.

The Polar Bear in the Rock: Two Windows on the World – Nanuk Ujagammi: Unikkausikkut Kaujimajunullu Kaujisautinga has finally arrived from the printers! Martha MacDonald and others will be traveling to various communities in Newfoundland and Labrador to promote the launch of the children’s book that was funded by IPY. The final product is a beautiful union of both English and Labrador Inuttut, and legend and science. Co-authored by Dr. Derek Wilton and LI, and illustrated by Cynthia Colosimo, Nanuk Ujagammi is an educational and fun read that the LI will distribute to school children in Labrador. For information on when and where book launches are occurring, please click here to download the poster.

Very Rough Country: Proceedings of the Labrador Exploration Symposium is almost complete. Jennifer and Martha have been working diligently to get the manuscript to the printers in time for a summer launch. Dates have not been confirmed, but final editing is drawing to a close. Stay tuned for more details.

Keith, Carolina, and Damián are continuing their work on an interdisciplinary research project titled: “Interactions Between Traditional Knowledge and Science in Labrador." The project compares how Aboriginal Ecological Knowledge has been used to influence scientific research and natural management in Labrador. The researchers will be using case studies from the Innu, Inuit, and Metis. Keith also co-authored a book chapter with Andrea Proctor which focuses on Inuit Land Use.

Martha was once again been heavily involved in the Labrador Creative Arts Festival. This is Canada’s longest-running children’s festival! Students from all over Labrador and visiting artists from around the world gathered in Goose Bay in February to showcase their artistic talents in acting, singing, and the visual arts.

Dr. Evan Simpson and the Aboriginal Initiatives Task Force have recently released their report “A Special Obligation.” The report outlines 22 recommendations that fall under four themes. The report can be downloaded by clicking here.

Our renovation projects to upgrade infrastructure and facilities in North West River and Happy Valley-Goose Bay are in various stages of their completion. We are excited to finally have the work moving and we look forward to offering these new facilities to researchers interested in studying in Labrador.

The LI was recently involved in a proposal development with the Sivunivut Community Corporation of North West River. We are pleased to announce that Sivunivut’s proposal was accepted and funded in full! Congratulations to them and we look forward to advancing this initiatives and bringing it full circle. Certainly, the outcomes will be to the benefit of all Northern communities.