Tuesday, July 20, 2010

NG Archeologist Paints a Picture of Zoar

It was recently announced that Inuit remains would be repatriated to Zoar.

OK Radio decided to do a little research and find out more about the former community.

Jamie Brake is the Nunatsiavut Government Archeologist.

He has been carrying out research into the former community during his time with Nunatsiavut.

He says Zoar was settled in 1865 as a Moravian mission station.

The area is located approximately 50 km south of Nain.

Brake says that in the mid-nineteenth century several Inuit families resided between Nain and Hopedale.

Those families were encouraged to settle in the Moravian mission at Zoar.

According to a census taken in 1884, there were 139 people living at the mission site.

Brake says Zoar wasn’t the best place to try to establish a community.

The area didn’t have much access to fresh water, wasn’t known as a good hunting area and was bad for flies.

These factors contributed to the desertion of the community.

As the 1880s progressed, many people continued to move away from the area.

Following the closure of the Mission store in 1888, the population continued its rapid decline.

In 1894 the Moravians could no longer justify having a mission site in that location and the area was deserted.

The Nunatsiavut Government, in Partnership with the Field Museum of Natural History, plans to repatriate the remains of 22 Inuit that were removed from the former community in the late 1920s.

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