1. View the photos in this module for geographical context. See the map in Module One for geograpica


1. View the photos in this module for geographical context. See the map in Module One for geograpical context. 2. Read the Articles, Interlude at Winter Cove by Donald S. Johnson, Beattie and Savelle, and Amy, et al. 3. View the film on H.M.S. Investigator. https://youtu.be/UMGazNWWfbs 4. Write a three-and-a-half-page essay on the articles and film. The essay should be Double-space, use 12-point text, margins should be standard. Cite in-text all articles and page numbers from which one’s information is drawn, thus: (author: page number).In responding to criteria in essay assignments use ONLY the course readings and any other assigned materials. DO NOT use other sources of information.I attached the three articles and the instructions


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Founding Organization:
Inuksiutiit Katimajiit Inc. is a non-profit Canadian corporation founded in 1974, whose objective is to
promote and disseminate knowledge about Inuit language, culture and society. Apart from various
research and publishing projects, it publishes Etudes/Inuit/Studies, an international scholarly journal now
in its 28th year, and sees to the organization of the Inuit Studies Conferences, held every two years since
Cover pictures
Background: A 1940s settlement of caribou-skin tents on the Barren Grounds. Photo by Canon
James Harold Webster. Photographic Archives of the Arctic Institute of North America.
Left inset: Sixteen-year-old Jane Kogliak at Itchen Lake, Coppermine region, in 1944. Photo by
Canon James Harold Webster. Photographic Archives of the Arctic Institute of North America.
Right inset: Kukilugak splitting a salmon for drying at Coppermine. Photo by Canon James Harold
Webster. Photographic Archives of the Arctic Institute of North America.
© 2005 The Arctic Instutute of North America ISBN 1-894788-02-8
Interlude at Winter Cove: Mid-19th Century
Copper Inuit – European Intersocietal Interaction,
Walker Bay, Victoria Island
Donald S. Johnson
University of Manitoba
ABSTRACT. This paper discusses ongoing archaeological and sociocultural investigations into the
nature and effects of Copper Inuit-European intersocietal interaction during the first half of the nineteenth
century. More specifically, the long-term direct contact episode in 1851-1852 between northern Copper
Inuit groups and the officers and crew of the Royal Navy vessel H.M.S Enterprise in the Walker Bay and
Minto Inlet areas of Victoria Island, Northwest Territories, is examined. Archaeological surveys were
initiated in 2003 in the Winter Cove area, Walker Bay, which focused on an assessment of intersocietal
interaction. This ongoing collaborative project seeks to systematically examine possible changes in
Copper Inuit material culture, intra- and inter-group material trade systems and social relations resulting
from direct and indirect contact with elements of the Royal Navy. Preliminary results of field surveys, in
conjunction with sociocultural investigations in the Hamlet of Holman, museum investigations, and, a
review of relevant ethnographic and ethnohistorical literature, suggest that Northern Copper Inuit groups
interacting with the crew of H.M.S. Enterprise in the Walker Bay and Minto Inlet areas in 1851-1852
acquired significant amounts of exotic materials and manufactured items. Many of these items were
modified and seem to have been introduced into the material culture of these groups and “filtered” into
intra- and intergroup trade systems of the Minto Inlet area and beyond, thereby contributing to possible
changes in Copper Inuit material culture and traditional social interaction.
It has been demonstrated that it is important to fully understand the effects of the penetration of
European societies and economic systems on indigenous societies (e.g. Trigger 1985; Sahlins 1987;
Wallerstein 1989). Similarly, studies examining the possible impact of European explorers as agents of
imperial and economic systems on indigenous societies are integral to the broader understanding of
intersocietal interaction (e.g. Savelle 1985, 1987; Dening 1980; Pálsson 2004). This paper discusses
continuing archaeological and sociocultural investigations into the nature and effects of Copper Inuit European intersocietal interaction during the first half of the nineteenth century. More specifically, the
long- term direct contact episode in 1851-1852 between northern Copper Inuit groups and the officers and
crew of the Royal Navy vessel H.M.S Enterprise in the Walker Bay and Minto Inlet areas of Victoria
Island, Northwest Territories, Canada, is examined. These investigations are part of a broader
collaborative research framework which incorporates archaeological survey, ethnographic studies, the
review and interpretation of relevant ethnohistorical sources, and museum research. The entire research
project is informed by a perspective that does not view the impact of European imperial and economic
power as
Proceedings of the 14 Inuit Studies Conference, Calgary, August 2004
represented by explorers as an entirely transformative process in which all changes within an indigenous
society emanate solely from the influences of external forces. Rather, indigenous societies such as the
Copper Inuit are seen to possess the complex sociocultural capabilities through which to mediate and
harness all interaction for the welfare and “creative transformation” of the cultural order (e.g. Ortner
The Historic Copper Inuit are the westernmost of the groups living within the traditional ranges of
the central Canadian Inuit (Figure 1.), (e.g. Stefansson 1913, 1914, 1919, 1922; Jenness 1922, 1946, 1991;
Rasmussen 1932; Damas 1969, 1971, 1984a, 1984b, 1988; Condon 1996). The geographical area
traditionally inhabited by the Copper Inuit extended from what is now southern Banks Island, eastward
through western, southern and southeastern Victoria Island, along Dolphin and Union Strait and the
southern Coronation Gulf littoral and thence, south, to Great Bear and Contwoyto Lakes and their
respective environs (Damas 1984a; Riewe 1986; Stevenson 1993; Condon 1996).
Interaction between Copper Inuit and Europeans was initiated in 1771 when Samuel Hearne, an
agent of the Hudson’s Bay Company, reached the mouth of the Coppermine River at its joining with
Coronation Gulf (Hearne 1958; Stefansson 1914:3; Jenness 1921:541; Smith and Burch 1979:82;
Morrison 1987:4). A half-century would pass before contact was reinitiated in 1821, six years after Great
Britain’s penultimate victory over the forces of Napoleonic France in 1815, when the territory of the
Copper Inuit came into the orbit of several Royal Navy and Hudson’s Bay Company expeditions (e.g.
Franklin 1823:85).
These expeditions were primarily employed in operations either directly related to, or ancillary
(such as search operations for the last Franklin Expedition) to attempts ordered by the Parliament of Great
Britain and the British Admiralty to chart and traverse the Northwest Passage through what is now the
Canadian Arctic, from Baffin Bay in the east to the Beaufort Sea in the west (e.g. Neatby 1958, 1970,
1984; Fleming 1998; Delgado 1999; Savours 1999). Great Britain’s growing interest in this exploratory
endeavour was based on long-standing historical interests, the pressing need to find employment for much
of its large, wartime Navy, and burgeoning nationalistic impulses (e.g. Fitzhugh and Olin 1993). Perhaps
more importantly, the exploration of the Northwest Passage (or, to be more precise, finding one route
among several ice-filled Northwest passages that exist within the myriad islands that form the Arctic
archipelago), was a direct manifestation of Great Britain’s growing confidence as an imperial and
economic power on the world stage (e.g. Hobsbawm 1968; Savours 1990:33).
Figure 1. “Esquimaux Woman of Prince Albert’s Land in Dancing Cap,” Ca. 1851- 1852. Artist: Edward
Adams. Adams served as Assistant Surgeon (and Naturalist), aboard HMS Enterprise, 1850-1855. This
black and white drawing of a Northern Copper Inuit woman in a loon dancing hat was executed by
Adams during the wintering of HMS Enterprise, at Winter Cove, Walker Bay, Victoria Island. SPRI
83/11/29. [Licensed with permission of the Scott Polar Research Institute, University of Cambridge].
During the years 1821-1853, six expeditions entered and conducted exploratory investigations
within traditional Copper Inuit territory. The first, A Royal Navy effort under the command of John
Franklin, traversed and mapped an area of the continental coastline by birchbark canoe from the outfall of
Coppermine river into Coronation Gulf to Point Turnagain on the Kent Peninsula (Franklin 1823; e.g.
Neatby 1970; Hood 1975; Richardson 1984; Back 1994). Franklin and his ill-equipped party were then
forced to retreat as cold weather approached. The expedition subsequently came perilously close to total
disaster; as it was, eleven men perished. Forewarned and equipped with shallow-draft wooden boats,
Franklin then led a second Royal Navy expedition in 1825-1827. After establishing a base on Great Bear
Lake, the expedition descended the Mackenzie River to its estuary, where Franklin led a western division
charting the coastline to Return Island off the coast of Alaska. Dr. John Richardson, commanding an
Eastern Division in the boats Dolphin and Union, journeyed through Copper Inuit areas to the
Coppermine River. At that point, the Dolphin and Union and a cache of supplies were abandoned and
Richardson’s party made its way to winter quarters on Great Bear Lake (Franklin 1826).
In the mid-1830s, Peter Warren Dease and Thomas Simpson of the Hudson’s Bay Company
spent three highly successful seasons engaged in cartographic work, much of it within Copper Inuit
territory (Dease and Simpson 1839; Simpson 1843; MacLaren 1994; Dease 2002). In 1839 alone,
favorable ice conditions enabled Dease and Simpson’s party to coast the continental shoreline in their
boats Castor and Pollux from the Coppermine River east to the Boothia Peninsula, and thence return
with a brief investigation of the Cambridge Bay area of Victoria Island en route. On arrival at the
Coppermine River, this expedition also cached one of their boats and supplies and then returned to their
base of operations on Great Bear Lake.
After the disappearance of Sir John Franklin’s last expedition in 1848, several search expeditions,
coordinated by both the Admiralty and the Hudson’s Bay Company, entered Copper Inuit territory
looking for Franklin and his ships, HMS Erebus and HMS Terror (e.g. Neatby 1970). In 1848, a party
commanded by Dr. John Richardson and Dr. John Rae, searched by boat from the mouth of the
Mackenzie River eastward into the Coronation Gulf area. At Cape Krusenstern, ice conditions forced this
group to abandon its boats and stores, and their investigations continued by land to the Coppermine River
and thence through the Dismal Lakes area back to their base on Great Bear Lake (Richardson 1851a;
Richardson 1851b). After wintering, Rae returned alone to the Coronation Gulf area in 1849 and, although
ice conditions again precluded a planned journey by boat, he did conduct a reconnaissance from the
Coppermine River to Cape Krusenstern (Rae 1953). Ever the indefatigable traveler, Rae would return to
Copper Inuit territory yet again on the elusive search for Franklin, examining much of the southern and
southwestern shoreline of Victoria Island in 1851 (e.g. Rae 1953). Finally, between the years 1850-1853,
two Royal Navy vessels, HMS Investigator and HMS Enterprise, tasked by the Admiralty with search and
cartographic duties, became the first ships to initiate investigations in Copper Inuit territory. The activities
of both ships, and especially the ultimate abandonment of Investigator in Mercy Bay, northern Banks
Island, in 1853, and the two seasons Enterprise wintered among Copper Inuit groups – at Winter Cove,
Walker Bay, northwestern Victoria Island in 1851-52, and, at Cambridge Bay, southeastern Victoria
Island in 1852-1853 – may have had significant effects on traditional Copper Inuit culture (e.g. M’Clure
1857; Collinson 1889).
The nature and extent of interaction between Copper Inuit groups and the above expeditions
varied. Fundamentally, and more broadly, the contact episodes outlined above can be defined as those
involving; 1) indirect contact (including post-abandonment utilization of expedition materials), 2) shortterm direct contact, and, 3) long-term direct contact (e.g. Savelle 1985). As one might suspect, within the
Copper Inuit-European contact continuum during the first half of the nineteen-century, there are instances
of contact of a transitory nature, while in others, contact of a more extensive or longer duration is evident,
and in many of these cases evidence suggests that the effects of these encounters possibly influenced
Copper Inuit cultural change (e.g. Hickey 1984; Johnson 2004).
Indirect contact between Copper Inuit and expeditions often led to an infusion of exotic and
manufactured materials such as woods, metals and glass, entering well established Copper Inuit trade
systems (e.g. Stefansson 1914; Morrison 1987, 1991). These materials possessed great utilitarian value for
the Inuit, especially in the fabrication of tools and weapons. This process occurred in two ways. First,
when expedition personnel encountered unoccupied Copper Inuit habitation or food harvesting sites, such
as fishing, caribou and basking seal hunting camps and cache sites, often times expedition members
would deposit materials such as “ironwork” (files, hatchets, awls, knives, axes, chisels etc.), needles,
beads, kettles. etc., with the expectation these articles would be found and utilized by Inuit (e.g. Franklin
1823:199, 226, 240, 245-247; Simpson 1843:305, 384; Richardson 1851a:300, 309-310). Implicit in the
rationale motivating these actions was the need to promote reciprocity. Gift giving was ordered by the
British Admiralty and the Hudson’s Bay Company to illustrate the expedition’s peaceful intentions, and to
facilitate future cooperation in many forms, including obtaining geographical intelligence, food
procurement, and assistance in ethnological and natural history studies (e.g. Herschel 1849; Idiens 1993).
Secondly, indirect contact also occurred through post-abandonment utilization of abandoned expedition
materials by Inuit. These exotic materials ranged from wooden boats spars, tools and ship’s stores, to a
plethora of manufactured and personal items. Most notably, given the relative paucity of wood within
Copper Inuit territory, it is clear that the Inuit obtained large amounts of valuable, exotic wood (as well as
ironwork and other items), from the two boats abandoned by Richardson in 1826, one of Dease and
Simpson’s boats in 1839, and Richardson and Rae’s boats in 1848 (e.g. Dease and Simpson 1839:326,
326; Simpson 1843: 262263, 272-273; Richardson 1851a:40-42; Richardson 1851b:124). More
significantly, in the case of the
abandonment of HMS Investigator at Mercy Bay, northern Banks Island, in 1854, oral testimony,
ethnographic studies, and archaeological investigations point to long-term post- abandonment utilization
of materials from the ship and an associated storage depot by Copper Inuit (e.g. Stefansson 1913, 1914,
1919; Jenness 1921, 1922, 1946; Hickey 1981, 1984; Condon 1996).
Short-term direct contact occurred when expeditions encountered Copper Inuit either individually,
in family and kin-oriented groups or in larger aggregations. Within the period under discussion, these
meetings could be brief and transitory, sometimes lasting only hours, although, it may be said, the
encounters were often fruitful – materially and otherwise – in a number of ways for both Copper Inuit and
expedition members, especially when the services of an interpreter were at hand (e.g. Miertsching 1967).
Lastly, long-term direct contact occurred through regular interaction between Copper Inuit and the
wintering expedition of HMS Enterprise over the course of many months at both Winter Cove, Walker
Bay, in 1851-1852, and at Cambridge Bay, 1852-1853. These examples of long-term direct contact
fostered various forms of reciprocity, idea exchange, and a high degree of inter-cultural interaction as well
as engendering a large infusion of exotic materials into Copper Inuit trade systems (Collinson 1889;
Skead 1849-1852; e.g. Mackinnon 1985).
Of all the expeditions engaged in exploratory endeavors in Copper Inuit territory, none had a
greater impact on probable changes in Copper Inuit culture than the eventful voyages of HMS
Investigator and HMS Enterprise. Under orders from the Admiralty to act in consort in a search and
cartographic mission in the western Arctic, the ships departed England in 1850, but were separated in the
Pacific en route to the Bering Strait. Captain Robert M’Clure, who commanded the Investigator,
essentially ignored orders for a planned rendezvous in Alaska with Enterprise, (which was commanded by
the expedition’s senior officer, Captain Richard Collinson), and sailed eastward through the Beaufort Sea
and into Prince of Wales Strait (e.g. O’Byrne 1849:218; Neatby 1958; Holland 1982). Encountering
impenetrable ice opposite Barrow Strait, M’Clure and the Investigator wintered in a precarious position at
the Princess Royal Islands. From this position, M’Clure dispatched sledging parties in the spring,
including a southern party commanded by Lieutenant Haswell, which made contact in late May of 1851
with a group of Copper Inuit on the north coast of Prince Albert Sound (M’Clure 1853, 1857). This
encounter – the first between the Copper Inuit of Victoria Island and Europeans – was followed in early
June of 1851 by another, also in the Prince Albert Sound area, during which M’Clure and Investigator’s
interpreter, Johann August Miertsching, noted the complete absence of materials of European manufacture
within Inuit tool kits and other material possessions (M’Clure 1857:185-186; Armstrong 1857:338-341;
Collinson 1889:172; Miertsching 1967:114-117; Condon 1996:22-28). After being freed from the ice in
the summer of 1851, the Investigator sailed a torturous, ice-filled passage around the west and north
coasts of Banks Island before finding succor of a kind in Mercy Bay. Here, the Investigator spent nearly
two-years trapped in the ice before being abandoned; the exhausted ship’s officers and crew ultimately
reaching other search units of the Royal Navy situated near Melville Island, and later, in the Barrow Strait
(e.g. M’Clure 1853,1857: Barr 1999; Delgado 1999:130-133).
It seems clear that Northern Copper Inuit groups such as the Kanghiryuatjagmiut of Minto Inlet,
and the Kanghiryuarmiut, of Prince Albert Sound were profoundly affected by the Investigator’s
presence, more especially by their long-term post-abandonment utilization of exotic materials from the
ship and depot left by Investigator’s crew at Mercy Bay. Vilhjalmur Stefansson’s Inuit informants
confirmed the “mining” of the ship and depot had taken place, possibly from 1855 to1890 (Stefansson
1914). How large was the depot and what was left on board Investigator ? An examination of the “List of
Provisions, Slops, Stores, & c.” landed by the crew and remaining on board, (and a similar list compiled
later by a visiting sledge party from H.M.S. Resolute commanded by Frederick J. Krabbé), reveals a
cornucopia of metals, wood and other materials including ships’s boats, masts, spars, tools, etc. (Great
Britain Parliament, 1854-1855:996-998 ). One is able to further comprehend the size of the depot through
the words of Krabbé, who reported: “I saw the ship [Investigator] from Point Back, and when within four
or five miles could plainly see with the naked eye the stacked spars on the beach, but the cairn I could not
see so quickly; the former, however, will always be efficient marks for the depôt.” (GBP 1854-1855:998999). Further, Hickey’s studies also confirm significant material evidence of Copper Inuit in situ
modification of metals and woods at the depot site and at habitation sites along the route leading to and
from the depot at Mercy Bay (Hickey 1981, 1984:22). Similarly, Stefansson’s informants reported that
metals and soft woods were the most desirable items available at Mercy Bay. Hard woods (such as the oak
used to make barrel s …
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