Testing the Waters: Fathoming the Archaeology of Lake Systems in the Canadian Boreal Forest

Friday, May 4, 2018 - 1:30pm to 3:30pm
Ambassador B
Indigenous peoples have inhabited the Canadian boreal forest since plants and animals first spread into the ecozone following deglaciation. It is this landscape where people adapted through time to become the diverse groups that are present today. One of the most striking and significant characteristics of this hinterland is the thousands of large freshwater lakes that have often been overlooked from a cultural perspective. Archaeology, ethnohistory, and oral history demonstrate that along with the other waterways that connect them, these lakes were, and still are, an essential part of Indigenous peoples’ transportation networks. Even more importantly, lakes continue to be places that people inhabit for longer periods of time and repeatedly (i.e., representing their homes, ceremonial centres, grocery stores, banks, and other important locales). In this session, presenters will celebrate these significant Canadian subarctic geographic features and the landscape, cultures, and history associated with them.
  • Scott Neilsen, Department of Archaeology, Labrador Institute, Grenfell, Memorial University
  • Jill Taylor-Hollings, Department of Anthropology, Lakehead University