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Over the years the Institute has been involved in a wide range of projects designed to promote an understanding of Labrador life and society.

One such project resulted in a report entitled the Labrador Boundary Dispute. This was a research project sponsored by the Labrador Institute. It investigated the history of the Labrador boundary and is an extremely interesting read.

In addition to this we have attached an inventory of LI projects for the period 1979 to 1997.

Additional projects from 1997 to 2007 are listed below and include:

  • Labrador West Research Initiative
  • Labrador Boundary Dispute
  • Lecture series
  • Book Launches
  • Southern Labrador Research Initiative (SOLARI)
  • Faces of Aboriginality National Art Conference
  • Mug-ups
  • Moravian Literacy Project
  • Atlantic Provinces Transportation in Labrador West Conference

Labrador West Research Initiative

Memorial’s active research record in the province is well documented in its regular research reports. As part of a Labrador Institute initiative to identify, acquire and house research results and findings from Labrador projects, it has been decided to give further attention to Labrador West research needs.

Over the past several months Labrador Institute staff have been engaged in discussions on regional research needs with the Hyron Regional Economic Development Zonal Board, Labrador West Tourism and Heritage interests associated with the Labrador West Gateway project, municipal economic development staff and officials of the College of the North Atlantic. Cold weather engineering related to mining equipment, the history and archeology of the region, mineral exploration opportunities and ecology are among areas of interest.

The Labrador Institute continues to work with local interests on planning and sponsorship of a 2004 Labrador West Research symposium/roundtable that will include several prominent Memorial researchers.

Lecture series

In the spring of 2003 the Labrador Institute sponsored a lecture series featuring the candidates for the Chair of Aboriginal Studies, and the interest shown in Happy Valley-Goose Bay and North West River in these talks encouraged us to offer a series of lectures that fall.

These were held at the North Star Building in Happy Valley-Goose Bay and when possible at the Labrador Interpretation Centre in North West River. Speakers included Inuit writer Michael Kusugak, who entranced children and adults with his stories and string games and Dr. Nils Oskal of Sami University College in Norway, who delivered lectures on Sami self-determination and also on Sami traditional music.

Book Launches

We also sponsored three book launches as part of the series: local writer Michael Johansen introduced his mystery novel focused on Russia and Dr. Ron Rompkey read from his biography of Dr. Harry Paddon, while Senator Bill Rompkey opened the Labrador Creative Arts Festival by reading from his historical work, The Story of Labrador.

Southern Labrador Research Initiative (SOLARI)

The Southern Labrador Research Initiative (SOLARI) came into being as a result of a southern Labrador research workshop held in Battle Harbour in June 2002.

The workshop was funded by ACOA, Parks Canada, the Battle Harbour Historic Trust, Memorial University, the Newfoundland and Labrador Museum, the Department of Fisheries and Oceans and the Labrador Institute. Attending were Zonal Boards, community members and invited researchers.

SOLARI’s principal objective is to help communities between L’Anse au Clair and Cartwright identify opportunities where research might perform a significant role in shaping the economic base and economic diversity of the region.

Communities have identified priority areas for research and researchers have developed proposals in the fields of biology, biopsychology, forestry, history, medicine, sociology, and oceanography. Many researchers have brought grants and other resources to specific projects and the Labrador Institute has been active in preparing proposals for top up funding that will enable projects to be fully funded.

Research focusing on the further study of whales, the region’s rich archaeological history, effective management of wildlife and natural resources, transportation and the rich natural history are areas identified as important to the region.

Faces of Aboriginality National Art Conference

The Labrador Institute has been asked to organize a national arts educators conference on October 7 & 8, 2004 as part of the Canadian Society for Educators in Art annual conference programme.

In the last issue of their teachers’ magazine, artist Di Dabinett and her work at the Amos Comenius Memorial School in Hopedale appears as the centre fold. This will be an exciting opportunity for the Institute as it will bring educators of aboriginal art from across Canada to meet aboriginal artists in this region. It is hoped that the faculty of the Fine Arts Faculty at Grenfell College will also provide their expertise. For further information please contact Tim Borlase.


After a series of lunchtime meetings with seniors and others in 13 Labrador communities, the Institute is preparing the "Mug-up" issue of Them Days Magazine. Topics discussed at the mug-ups ranged from gardening to dogteam travel to the early settlement days in western Labrador.

Publication has been delayed due to break-ins at the Institute office resulting in the loss of recording equipment and tapes, but the issue is expected to appear in early spring.

Moravian Literacy Project

Dr. Hans Rollmann and Institute employee Martha MacDonald completed a project under an SSHRC-NLS grant, examining literacy in the lives of Labrador Inuit.

This involved the compilation of a bibliography of works published in Inuttitut and investigation of the Moravian records and other archival sources to develop a complete picture of literacy in Inuttitut in northern Labrador.

The companion research was a study based on oral history interviews with Labradorians who attended Moravian schools, particularly pre-Confederation.

Book Publications

"The Polar Bear in the Rock: Two Windows on the World – Nanuk Ujagammi: Unikkausikkut Kaujimajunullu Kaujisautinga" was published in 2010 and launched in Nain, Hopedale, Happy Valley-Goose Bay, and St. John's in March.

This book 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 has distributed to school children in Labrador.