Lisa Hodgetts

Associate Professor

Jean Harry
Inuvialuit elder Jean Harry studies a worked piece of caribou antler


Research Projects


Finding their footprints: Long-term history of the cultural landscape
of northern Banks Island, N.W.T.Muskox skull

This project, which had its first field season of survey in 2008, views the landscape as an ongoing process of interaction between people and their surroundings; an integration of time, space and experience.  It aims to understand the historical development of the landscape of Banks Island’s northern interior, exploring the interactions between human hunters, their prey, and the physical environment from the earliest human occupation to the present.  The project will also gather archaeological data that can eventually be used to reconstruct long-term trends in the population size and distribution of muskox and Peary caribou.  This will provide a better sense of the “normal” range of variation in their populations, which will help to inform modern management decisions.

Churchill Archaeology Project: Arctic Hunter-Gatherers in the Sub-ArcticMap of Inuit Dwelling
Archaeological investigations on the Churchill West Peninsula in the summer of 2005 focused on the hunter-gatherer land use history of South-Western Hudson Bay.  This region is of interest because it represents the intersection of a number of ecological zones (boreal forest, tundra and the marine environment of Hudson Bay) and archaeological cultures (Pre-Dorset, Dorset, Thule and historic Inuit, Dene, Cree and European.)

The project has two main goals:
1) To study long-term trends in the adaptation of a series of Arctic-adapted hunter-gatherers (Pre-Dorset, Dorset, Thule and Historic Inuit) to this sub-Arctic environment at the extreme south of their geographic range.

2) To examine, during the historic period, the impact of interaction between Arctic (Inuit) and Sub-Arctic (Dene and Cree) Aboriginal groups and Europeans.

Dynamic Inuit Social Strategies in Changing Environments: A Long-Term Perspective
Principal Investigator: Max Friesen, University of Toronto
Collaborators: Peter Dawson (University of Calgary), Sarah Finkelstein (University of Toronto), Daniel Gendron (Avataq Cultural Institute), Lisa Hodgetts (University of Western Ontario), Julie Ross (Government of Nunavut), Jim Savelle (McGill University), Peter Whitridge (Memorial University), James Woollett (Université Laval)

Archaeologists and other scientists from across Canada are collaborating with InuitGeophysical Survey at Meguse Lake community and heritage organizations to better understand how Inuit culture developed and changed over the past 1,000 years.  Research teams bring together Inuit traditional knowledge, excavation of important archaeological sites, and information about changing Arctic environments.  The ultimate goal of the project is to understand how outside forces, such as climate change and interaction with Europeans, were combined with complex and dynamic Inuit cultural patterns, to produce the diverse and successful societies which exist across the Canadian Arctic today.  The research takes place across the Canadian Arctic, with activities in Nunavut near the communities of Cambridge Bay, Arviat, Spence Bay, and Hall Beach; in Nunavik (northern Québec) near Inukjuak and Ivujivik; and in Labrador near Nain.

Dawson and Hodgetts are contributing to the project through their work in the Southern Keewatin region of Nunavut, where they are trying to understand changing patterns of land use and occupancy over time and the origins of the Caribou Inuit cultural pattern.  Dawson leads the oral history and archaeology components of the research and Hodgetts leads the magnetometer survey and zooarchaeological analysis.




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