Ph.D. Memorial University of Newfoundland, 2015
M.A. Memorial University of Newfoundland, 2006
B.A. St. Thomas University, 2000
Phone: 709-497-3630, ext. 225
Office: Labrador Institute Research Station
Mail: 219 Hamilton River Road
P.O. Box 490, Stn. B
Happy Valley-Goose Bay, NL A0P 1E0
My primary focus is on the long-term history of indigenous people in eastern Quebec and Labrador, and their relations with one-another, settlers, visitors, government, and the environment. More generally, I am curious about the culture and history of small-scale societies from around the world, and the impact of climate, environment and policy on their immediate adaptations and long-term transformations. I am also interested in cultural resource management and archaeological and anthropological theory, and the history and role of these disciplines within society.
My research focuses on a survey of Lake Ashuanipi in western Labrador. The project itself is entitled Archaeology Beyond the Horizon, which refers to a problem I see in the archaeological history of the Labrador Peninsula; that we often make assumptions about what went on in the interior without looking to see what is actually there. For this reason I chose to focus on Lake Ashuanipi for my Ph.D. research, to see what was actually there. From historical documents I knew going in that Lake Ashuanipi was part of an Innu travel route between the Quebec North Shore and the Lake Plateau, but I didn’t know if it had been used prior to European settlement on the coast or to what degree the Lake had been inhabited. Overall we spent three summers surveying portions of the lake (it is huge so we couldn’t cover the entire area). We identified recent enthnographic sites, and pre- and post-contact archaeology sites. And in some cases, these components were stratified within the same site. For more information, please visit Scott Nielsen's interview on Elfshot.
Since 2009, I have also been heavily involved in the Sheshatshiu Archaeology Project; a multi-year research and salvage project partnership between Sheshatshiu Innu First Nation and the Labrador Institute. As a community archaeology project, one of the aims of this work was to engage community members as field crew; and include outreach programs with SIFN grade 4, 5, 6 and high school students in the laboratory, classroom, and field. The project has been featured in media, including: local CBC radio, CBC and NTV provincial newscasts, CBC National News, and The Labradorian. For more information, please visit the Archaeology in Sheshatshiu Facebook page.
I have also been a part of a multi-year research project partnership between Sivunivut Inuit Community Corporation and the Labrador Institute entitled "Traditional Knowledge: A Blueprint for Change". From 2009 to 2013, this project engaged community members as researchers, guides, and expert informants. To date the project has established a TEK GIS database and a Radarsat Ice Monitoring System for North West River. The project has been featured in media, including: APTN national news, the Labradorian, and local CBC radio; and, in 2013 will be highlighted by Memorial University as an exemplar of community engagement. For more information, please visit the Tapping into Traditional Knowledge webpage.
Brenan, Julia (in progress): Research topic: Legacies of colonial waste in Labrador and the implications for community archaeology. (Co-supervised with Dr. Meghan Burchell).
Suttie, Brent (in progress). Research topic: tbd.
Cameron, Ashley (in progress). Research topic: tbd.
Miller, Natasha (in progress). Research topic: Beyond the Boats: Innu at Red Bay, Labrador. (Co-supervised with Dr. Mario Blaser)
Wolfrum, Allan (in progress). Research topic: Sensing the Unseen: Archaeo-Geophysical Survey on the Ushpitun Landform.
Brenan, Julia (in progress). Research topic: Community archaeology and memories on Birch Island.
2013. The River Runs Through It. Them Days. Invited article, special issue: Churchill River.
2012. Stage I HRIA Draft Overview Report Conducted on Behalf of CBCL for the Town of Happy Valley-Goose Bay. Permit 11.40. Report on File with Provincial Archaeology Office, NL.
2011. Excavations in Sheshatshiu. In Provincial Archaeology Office Review, Volume 9.
2011. Archaeological Mitigation in Sheshatshiu. 2010 Fieldwork. Permit 10.14. Report on File with Provincial Archaeology Office, NL.
2010. Archaeological Mitigation in Sheshatshiu. 2009 Fieldwork.Permit 09.14. Report on File with Provincial Archaeology Office, NL.
2010. A Story Told in Stone: Unearthing Ancient Artifacts near Sheshatshiu, Labrador. Labrador Life 4(1): 14-18.
2009. A Critical review of the Relationship Between Innu and Inuit in Southern Labrador ca. 1500 to 1900 CE. Report on File with NunatuKavut Community Council, Labrador.
2009. Sheshatshiu Innu First Nation: test mitigation at FjCa-51. Permit 08.52. Report on File with Provincial Archaeology Office, NL.
2009. Archaeology Beyond the Horizon: Survey Data Report. Permits 05.10, 06.09, & 08.02. Report on File with Provincial Archaeology Office, NL.
2009. Bloom Lake Railway Project: Stage 2 Archaeology Assessment. Final Report. Report on File with Provincial Archaeology Office, NL.
Josephs, and Scott Neilsen
2009. Geoarchaeological Investigations at Two Intermediate Indian Sites near Happy Valley-Goose Bay, Labrador: Implications for Late Holocene Paleoshoreline Reconstruction and Settlement Patterning in Western Hamilton Inlet. Canadian Journal of Archaeology 33: 92–114.
2012 Neilsen. “Regrettably, still implicit…”. Paper presented at the 45th annual conference of the Canadian Archaeological Association. Montreal, Québec.
2010 Neilsen. Knowing your Place. Paper presented at the 43rd annual
conference of the Canadian Archaeology Association, Calgary, AB.
2010 Neilsen and Andersen. Traditional Knowledge: A Blueprint for Change, Phase I. Poster presented at Health Canada’s Climate Change and Health Adaptation Project Conference, Ottawa.
2008 Neilsen. Over the Hills and Far Away: Accounting for Nutshimit in the archaeology of Coastal Labrador. Paper presented at the 74th Annual Society for American Archaeology Conference, Vancouver, B.C.
2007 Neilsen. Two Worlds, One Life: straddling the line between Innu
Knowledge and Archaeology. Paper presented at the 40th annual
conference of the Canadian Archaeology Association. St. John’s, NL.
2012 Health Canada’s Climate Change and Health Adaptation Program for Northern First Nations and Inuit Communities. Traditional Knowledge: A Blueprint for Change, Phase II. Project Funding.
2010 Health Canada’s Climate Change and Health Adaptation Program for Northern First Nations and Inuit Communities. Traditional Knowledge: A Blueprint for Change, Phase I. Project Funding.
2010 Internship, MITACS Accelerate Program, Sivunivut Inuit Community Corporation and Labrador Institute of Memorial University.
2008 Robert McGhee Award, Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development.
2008, 2006-2005 JR Smallwood Foundation, Archaeology Beyond the Horizon, fieldwork grant (PhD).
2008, 2006-2005 Northern Scientific Training Program, Archaeology Beyond the Horizon, fieldwork grant (PhD).