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History and scenery in Rigolet


AngajukKak Jack Shiwak said when he was a boy all the buildings belonging to the Hudson Bay Company in Rigolet were connected by boardwalks.

During the years they were torn down and replaced by roads but now visitors to the town can walk along about a nine kilometre boardwalk the town has built, one of the longest in the world.
Shiwak said the idea for the boardwalk came from the sense of the past that it evoked for the town and for visitors it’s also a beautiful walk.
“There’s a lot to see along the way,” he said. “You can see the whales and seals and seabirds, the things that, being from here, you don’t notice. But for the tourists the animals and the flowers and such are great.”
At the end of the trek there is an archeological site at Double Mer Point, where three 18th century Inuit sod homes. The site has been excavated by Dr. Lisa Ranking of Memorial University and her team of graduate students. Rankin, who has been doing research in Labrador since 2001, said the offer to excavate the site couldn’t have come at a better time. She had just finished a large project with NunatuKavut between excavating sites in the south. She was thinking she needed more data further north when her phone rang.
“I knew there had been a lot of Inuit sites recorded in Hamilton Inlet so I was thinking I was going to do some work around Rigolet next if they would have me,” she said. “When I was thinking about this they called. They had been working on their boardwalk for a couple of years and they were going to excavate an Inuit destination site they knew about at the end of this boardwalk and they were going to reconstruct it.”
By doing the excavation for the town it both met Rankin’s research objectives and saved the town money, so it was a win-win, Rankin said. Rankin was awarded a Tradition and Transition research partnership with Nunatsiavut, which funded the project’s two remaining years of excavation. In addition to the 18th century artifacts they have also found items believed to belong to the Dorset Paleo-Eskimo. Rankin said those items are estimated to be 1,000 years old.
In addition to its potential as a tourist draw there are many other advantages to the boardwalk, Rankin said.
“It gives people a place to walk. In those tiny little communities in the north the towns themselves are really small,” she said. “So when you’re trying to get people active and doing stuff there really aren’t many places to go so this walk is actually really lovely. It gives the community the chance to get out and walk and see nice things.”
The boardwalk is just one of the ways the town hopes to draw in tourists if the Mealy Mountain National Park becomes a reality. The park was initially announced in 2010 by the Conservative government and was recently mentioned by the current Liberal government as a commitment.
“We hope to bring people in and we want to give them as much as we can within the community as well as the park,” Shiwak said. “I’m quite sure the boardwalk will be one of the draws of that.”

Evan.careen@tc.tc

During the years they were torn down and replaced by roads but now visitors to the town can walk along about a nine kilometre boardwalk the town has built, one of the longest in the world.
Shiwak said the idea for the boardwalk came from the sense of the past that it evoked for the town and for visitors it’s also a beautiful walk.
“There’s a lot to see along the way,” he said. “You can see the whales and seals and seabirds, the things that, being from here, you don’t notice. But for the tourists the animals and the flowers and such are great.”
At the end of the trek there is an archeological site at Double Mer Point, where three 18th century Inuit sod homes. The site has been excavated by Dr. Lisa Ranking of Memorial University and her team of graduate students. Rankin, who has been doing research in Labrador since 2001, said the offer to excavate the site couldn’t have come at a better time. She had just finished a large project with NunatuKavut between excavating sites in the south. She was thinking she needed more data further north when her phone rang.
“I knew there had been a lot of Inuit sites recorded in Hamilton Inlet so I was thinking I was going to do some work around Rigolet next if they would have me,” she said. “When I was thinking about this they called. They had been working on their boardwalk for a couple of years and they were going to excavate an Inuit destination site they knew about at the end of this boardwalk and they were going to reconstruct it.”
By doing the excavation for the town it both met Rankin’s research objectives and saved the town money, so it was a win-win, Rankin said. Rankin was awarded a Tradition and Transition research partnership with Nunatsiavut, which funded the project’s two remaining years of excavation. In addition to the 18th century artifacts they have also found items believed to belong to the Dorset Paleo-Eskimo. Rankin said those items are estimated to be 1,000 years old.
In addition to its potential as a tourist draw there are many other advantages to the boardwalk, Rankin said.
“It gives people a place to walk. In those tiny little communities in the north the towns themselves are really small,” she said. “So when you’re trying to get people active and doing stuff there really aren’t many places to go so this walk is actually really lovely. It gives the community the chance to get out and walk and see nice things.”
The boardwalk is just one of the ways the town hopes to draw in tourists if the Mealy Mountain National Park becomes a reality. The park was initially announced in 2010 by the Conservative government and was recently mentioned by the current Liberal government as a commitment.
“We hope to bring people in and we want to give them as much as we can within the community as well as the park,” Shiwak said. “I’m quite sure the boardwalk will be one of the draws of that.”

Evan.careen@tc.tc

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