Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts




Dr. Lisa Hodgetts


The Thule Inuit, ancestors of modern Inuit, were hunter-gatherers who colonized much of Arctic North America in the 13th century AD, but their migration remains poorly understood. Hunter-gatherer subsistence practices reflect their knowledge of local landscapes, knowledge colonizers would lack. This thesis attempts to assess the impact colonization had on Thule Inuit subsistence practices by examining the faunal assemblage from House 5 at Tiktalik (NkRi-3), a pioneering Thule Inuit site on Amundsen Gulf, NWT. Ringed seals dominate the faunal assemblage, suggesting that the site’s occupants were subsisting almost entirely on this species. Detailed analyses of the Ringed seal bones showed that breathing-hole sealing might have been the main hunting activity conducted at the site, and that seals were brought back as entire carcasses. Comparisons between Tiktalik and nearby sites suggested that Thule colonizers practiced diverse subsistence strategies, and that shifts in subsistence in later periods might reflect increased landscape knowledge.



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