Career-long interest in Inuit history
Memorial University archaeologist Peter Whitbridge became interested in the Inuit archaeological record as an undergraduate student at the University of Toronto more than 30 years ago.
His masters from McGill University in Montreal dealt with Thule subsistence and diet. His 1999 University of Arizona Ph.D. dissertation was titled, “The construction of social difference in a prehistoric Inuit whaling community.”
“I investigated Inuit sites in Nunavut for a number of years, especially ones related to central Arctic bowhead whalers dating to between about AD 1200 and 1500, and in 2002 was hired at Memorial (University) and decided to shift my focus to northern Labrador, where I’ve been working ever since,” he said.
And he loves it.
“Northern Labrador is extremely beautiful, and the record of past Inuit settlement there relatively understudied, so it is rewarding to do this kind of research,” he said. “I love Inuit culture and history, and the northern landscape and its wildlife are spectacular.”
Whitbridge hopes through his research to raise awareness and inspire.
“I hope this work brings attention and interest to Nunatsiavut history, and inspires young people to pursue studies and careers in archaeology or other fields that bring them into the country.”