In 2013, an Arctic-based organization known as the Inuit Heritage Trust spearheaded a new
campaign to increase archaeological awareness in the Canadian territory of Nunavut. While Nunavut remains
an Inuit-centered territory—founded on the knowledge and values that have long sustained its predominantly
Inuit population—the rules and regulations surrounding archaeological resources are largely grounded in
more scientific, and distinctly non-Inuit, valuations of the past. For multiple reasons, Inuit and non-Inuit
traditions for understanding and preserving heritage resources have proved difficult to reconcile, despite
numerous attempts at community outreach programs and the regular hosting of archaeological fieldschools.
For many Inuit, the methodological and impersonal approach to history endorsed by incoming archaeologists
remains a foreign concept. This paper will present a series of community resources developed as part of the
Inuit Heritage Trust’s new archaeological awareness campaign, produced in partnership with archaeologists
Brendan Griebel and Tim Rast. These resources seek to address the question of how to educate about Nunavut’s
past through a framework that aligns with the interests and realities of both professional archaeologists and
Inuit populations. To date, this campaign has produced two unique resources: the first, a guidebook series
that explores archaeology’s relevance to community members, students and heritage workers in Nunavut, and
the second, a portable excavation and experimental archaeology kit. While the campaign does not intend to
change the way that either Inuit or archaeologists value the past, it does attempt to create a mutual awareness
of differing worldview so that both groups might better navigate the complex landscape of regulation and
interaction ascribed to Nunavut’s heritage resources.
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