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date: 12 April 2021

Abstract and Keywords

Early European accounts document the presence of Labrador Inuit in northern Newfoundland, the Strait of Belle Isle, and the northeastern Gulf of St. Lawrence in the late sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. Controversy over the interpretation of the historical record and the extent and nature of Southern Inuit presence has been clarified by recent archaeological research on the Quebec Lower North shore, which demonstrates a series of seventeenth- and eighteenth-century winter sod-house villages in every major region from Brador to Petit Mécatina. House types are similar to those found on the Central Labrador coast, and all contain much Basque and other European material culture, indicating extensive trade contacts rather than the spoils of sporadic raids. The Hare Harbor Inuit settlement at Petit Mécatina is found at a Basque/European whaling and fishing station and appears to have been a European-Inuit enterprise facilitated by the Little Ice Age expansion of Arctic marine mammals.

Keywords: Southern Inuit, Basque, culture contact, whaling, Little Ice Age, climate change

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