Neufeld, David

Landscapes and Dreamscapes:
Human Perspectives on Caribou

Saturday, October 29th, 4 PM in the KIAC Ballroom


For his N&M lecture and slideshow, Neufeld presents current research into the relationship between the Yukon’s endemic caribou herds and the people who have hunted and lived with these creatures for millennia. Focusing largely on a collection of 200-year-old hunting tools and historic depictions of caribou housed in The British Museum in London, Neufeld looks to the trans-national intersection of arctic animals and curated artefacts as a means of exploring both Western and Yukon Aboriginal conceptions of the Natural and the Manufactured. As Neufeld’s lecture will show, these objects—such as a selection of ivory drill bows and snow knives incised with delicate and sensitive renderings of caribou and marine mammals—provide a rich indigenous iconographic record remarkable for their refined sense of perspective, artistic complexity, and regional historical importance.

DAVID NEUFELD is the Yukon & Western Arctic Historian for Parks Canada. Since 1986 he has worked with Yukon peoples on understanding their relationships to the past and the roles of cultural identity in the present. His work with Aboriginal peoples includes research on Gwich’in caribou hunting, an oral history project with the North Slope Inuvialuit and many years of community-based work with the Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in and their life on the Yukon River. He is currently working on a book chapter describing the Yukon counterculture and its effect on governance and cultural relations since the 1960s. More info: