The recipient of the 2013 Pioneers Scholarship honouring Dr. Ralph Pastore, valued at $1600, was Jeralyn Bohms. Jeralyn is an MA candidate in the Department of Archaeology at Memorial University of Newfoundland.
Jeralyn’s research, under the supervision of Dr. Lisa Rankin, is regarding the early historic Inuit of southern Labrador. For her master’s thesis, she will be excavating an 18th-century Inuit communal winter house at the Double Mer Point site in the Narrows of Hamilton Inlet, near the town of Rigolet, Labrador. Although one of the sites has been used to develop a timeline of Inuit occupation of Hamilton Inlet, only minimal excavations have been carried out at Double Mer Point.
In addition, Jeralyn will explore the relationship between the Inuit of Double Mer Point and the growing European population of traders and fishers in the area, including how this relationship may have impacted the development of the communal winter house form. She will compare Double Mer Point to other Inuit settlements in Labrador to see if the communal winter house is used in a manner similar to houses in northern Labrador, with their long-term occupation, or if it is more like an apparent southern Labrador variation, where communal houses may have only been occupied for a short time. In this way, Double Mer Point will provide some much-needed context for understanding the development of the communal winter house, particularly in southern Labrador.
An important aspect of this project is the involvement of the Inuit community of Rigolet. The town of Rigolet has requested that the archaeological excavation of the site be carried out. Community members would like to know more about how and why their ancestors chose to live in this area, and would like to incorporate a reconstruction of the site into their growing tourism industry by extending a well-known boardwalk trail to the site. Members of the community will be involved in both field and lab work related to the excavation. Dr. Rankin and her students will continue research at the Double Mer Point site for the next several years.
This $1600 scholarship was made possible by the generous contributions of Ralph’s brother John, and sisters Kathleen Miller and Mary Ann McClain, as well as Tom Campbell and Mary Mogford of Newcastle, Ontario, Ingeborg Marshall, AARA and Adventure Canada.