Inuit understandings of space: an oral historical and GIS approach to toponyms with knowledge holders in Hopedale, Nunatsiavut

Robinson, Sarah Laureen (2022) Inuit understandings of space: an oral historical and GIS approach to toponyms with knowledge holders in Hopedale, Nunatsiavut. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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The objective of this research is to provide resources for culturally meaningful, placebased communication of toponyms surrounding Hopedale, Nunatsiavut, including Traditional Knowledge and Oral History regarding these places. By interviewing Elders and Knowledge Holders in Hopedale and on the land, information and memories about toponyms were shared that helped contribute to the creation of an interactive website and an accessible book summarizing the interviews for the community. By looking beyond place names as a dot on a map, a thorough and relational exploration of the history behind toponyms honours the validity of Indigenous ways of understanding past landscapes and encourages local archaeological learning. These different understandings of place are important for the formation of Inuit identity and community connections in Nunatsiavut, fostering understanding that Inuit identity is intrinsically connected to the idea of being and becoming within a geography. A fundamental part of this research is to step away from Western ontologies of landscape in order to understand Inuit history and place in a culturally relevant way.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Item ID: 15622
Additional Information: Includes bibliographical references (pages 138-150)
Keywords: Inuit, oral history, toponyms, interview, Nunatsiavut, landscape archaeology
Department(s): Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of > Archaeology
Date: July 2022
Date Type: Submission
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Inuit--Newfoundland and Labrador--Hopedale; Inuit--Newfoundland and Labrador--Nunatsiavut; Oral history--Newfoundland and Labrador--Hopedale; Oral history--Newfoundland and Labrador--Nunatsiavut; Names, Geographical--Newfoundland and Labrador--Hopedale; Names, Geographical--Newfoundland and Labrador--Nunatsiavut; Landscape archaeology--Newfoundland and Labrador--Hopedale; Landscape archaeology--Newfoundland and Labrador--Nunatsiavut

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