The site of the Moravian Mission community at Hebron (established in 1830–1831) on the north Labrador coast is arguably one of the premier historic properties in Atlantic Canada. Its standing architecture testifies to an impressive social experiment that inextricably linked the history of the Moravian Church with the indigenous Inuit of Labrador. Hebron's stunning landscape and prolific natural resources have provided spiritual and economic sustenance for Inuit, Paleoeskimo, and Indian peoples for millennia preceding the arrival of European mercantile and proselytizing interests. In this paper, we use the archaeological data from Inuit houses and middens collected during a 1990 reconnaissance at Hebron in conjunction with Moravian written sources to offer a more nuanced interpretation of Inuit-Moravian interaction. Historical archaeology has a powerful potential to affirm “traditional” and core community values and instill an awareness and pride in community identity. Conducted as part of a growing suite of archaeological projects in Labrador that seek to provide opportunities for community participation and involvement, the research at Hebron dramatically affirms an Inuit voice and perspective in deconstructing the narrative of the historical period which, too date, has primarily been shaped by the voluminous records and accounts of the Moravian missionaries.
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Vol. 2 • No. sp1