Artifacts found in the Churchill area, including
tools and weapons of bone, rock and wood, tell
a story of nomadic hunters camping along the
shores of Hudson Bay almost 4,000 years ago.
During the summer, the Pre-Dorset people would
establish base camps from which to hunt caribou.
In winter, they went out onto the sea ice to
hunt ringed seal.
Around 600 BC, their descendants,
the Dorset people, began to use the Churchill
area. They differed from their ancestors in
their use of tools, preferring harpoons to bows,
and using kayaks to hunt seal, whale and walrus.
The Thule culture took over
about 1000 AD and somehow eliminated the Dorset
people. These are the ancestors of today's
Inuit. They arrived from the north-west and
brought with them distinctive styles of architecture
and tool making. They used a particular type
of boat called a Umiak.
Occupation patterns are determined
by height above sea level, with the oldest sites
of the Pre-Dorset cultures found on hilltops.
These hills would have been islands when the
Tyrell Sea still covered much of the land. Further
down are the remains of Dorset houses, then
The aboriginal inhabitants
of the region today are Inuit, Dene and Cree,
three nations who were trading together at this
gathering place long before the white man discovered
the riches of the New World.