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Northern Exposure – Part 1

Summer fieldwork has begun, which means many of us Curators are out and about conducting our research.  My fieldwork has me working in Northern Manitoba, for the first time!  I spent some time in the evenings writing up blog posts so I could post when I returned from the field, here’s the first installment.

My first trip north was mid-June with Kevin Brownlee (Curator of Archaeology) as we are working on a joint project that will have us partnering up with Parks Canada and heading out to York Factory National Historic Site this August.  We wanted to connect with communities that used to reside at York Factory to talk about their connection to the coast, York Factory, and ask them how they’d like to see their part of Manitoba represented in our museum.

You can't prevent an archaeologist from looking down on a rocky beach!

You can’t prevent an archaeologist from looking down on a rocky beach!

With the help of a very passionate local historian Flora Beardy*, we made an appointment with Chief and Council for York Factory First Nation in York Landing to start the discussion.  They were receptive to the project and encouraged us to connect with folks working in the Implementation Office who were already compiling stories and information.  They also informed us that many of their band members live in Churchill so it looks like I’ll finally get to go there too!

There are other communities we still need to meet with, but we’ve got the ball rolling and I’m excited to see how this all unfolds.

*Flora compiled and edited a number of oral histories with Robert Coutts and published ‘Voices from Hudson Bay: Cree Stories from York Factory‘, a book I highly recommend.

Split Lake and the Boreal Forest.

Split Lake and the Boreal Forest.

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Amelia Fay

Curator of HBC Collection

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Amelia Fay joined The Manitoba Museum in September 2013. She received her BA in Anthropology from the University of Manitoba, an MA in Archaeology from Memorial University of Newfoundland (MUN), and is currently finishing her Doctoral degree from MUN. Amelia’s research has focused on Inuit-European contact along the Labrador coast, and her interests are continually expanding to explore Aboriginal-European contact throughout Canada during the fur trade era.

Amelia’s job as Curator of the Hudson’s Bay Company Museum Collection involves building the collection, responding to public inquiries, preparing exhibits, and conducting her own research. Her research interests centre on the interactions between Europeans (including HBC employees) and Aboriginal peoples as they negotiated space, material culture, and their daily activities. Amelia’s goal is to showcase this amazing collection, and highlight the important role that Aboriginal people played in the establishment of the Hudson’s Bay Company.