The Northern Copper Inuit: A History

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In Canada's far north, on the western coast of Victoria Island, the Copper Inuit people of Holman (the Ulukhaktokmiut) have experienced a rate of social and economic change rarely matched in human history. Owing to their isolated, inaccessible location, three hundred miles north of the Arctic Circle, they were one of the last Inuit groups to be contacted by Western explorers, missionaries, and fur traders. Since contact, however, they have been transformed from a nomadic and independent, hunting-based society to ...

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Overview

In Canada's far north, on the western coast of Victoria Island, the Copper Inuit people of Holman (the Ulukhaktokmiut) have experienced a rate of social and economic change rarely matched in human history. Owing to their isolated, inaccessible location, three hundred miles north of the Arctic Circle, they were one of the last Inuit groups to be contacted by Western explorers, missionaries, and fur traders. Since contact, however, they have been transformed from a nomadic and independent, hunting-based society to one dependent upon southern material goods such as televisions, radios, snowmobiles, ATVs, and permanent residential housing provided by the Government of the Northwest Territories.

Anthropologist Richard G. Condon witnessed many of these social, economic, and material changes during his eighteen years of research in the Holman community. With translator/research associate Julia Ogina and the elders of Holman, Condon vividly chronicles the history of the Holman region by combining observations of community change with extensive archival research and oral history interviews with community elders. This chronicle begins with a discussion of the prehistory of the Holman region, moves to the early and late contact periods, and concludes with a description of modern community life.

The dramatic transformation of the Northern Copper Inuit is also reflected through nearly one hundred photographs and drawings that complement the text. Each chapter opens with a reproduction of one of the striking Holman prints, depicting scenes from traditional Copper Inuit life.

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Editorial Reviews

Polar Record - George Wenzel

'This is a book that should find a place in the libraries of every student of Inuit culture and can also serve as an excellent undergraduate text.'

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Product Details

Meet the Author

The late Richard G. Condon was associate professor of Anthropology at the University of Arkansas and the author of Inuit Behavior and Seasonal Change and Inuit Youth: Growth and Change in the Canadian Arctic.
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Table of Contents

List of Illustrations
List of Maps
Foreword
Nellie Cournoyea
Preface
1 Prehistory of the Holman Region: The Origin of the Ulukhaktokmiut 3
2 Early Contact History in the Holman Region 22
3 Interlude: Traditional Copper Inuit Culture, 1850 to 1910 66
4 Trappers, Traders, and Transitional Copper Inuit Culture 91
5 Growth of the Holman (Ulukhaktok) Settlement: The King's Bay Site, 1939 to 1966 123
6 Modernization and Change in a Northern Community: The Queen's Bay Site, 1966 to the Present 159
Epilogue 199
References Cited 201
Index 205
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