The Beothuk extinction

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  • The Canadian Indigenous group, the Beothuk, is known for their extinction sometime during the 19th century. Despite the Beothuk’s extinction becoming popular amongst researchers during the 20th century, the Beothuk narrative is still plagued with misconceptions. In my research paper entitled “Avoidance and Exhaustion,” I address misconceptions about the interactions between various Indigenous groups and Europeans that interacted with the Beothuk. The research paper was created as a final project for Tolly Bradford at Concordia University and will be the basis of my oral presentation. The Beothuk chose to avoid interaction with European fishermen or explorers unless necessary. As a result, it is a challenge to make any conclusive arguments for the causation of the Beothuk extinction or their cultural practices. Researchers agree that documented interactions between the Beothuk and Europeans are faulty. However, they implement the supposed interactions due to the lack of available sources. Publications about the Beothuk have slowed down since the turn of the century. However, recent excavations have provided new evidence. A more accurate portrayal of the Beothuk's extinction is achievable by relying on archaeological evidence over personal testimonials that resulted from folklore. By utilizing archaeological evidence, it is possible to determine the migration patterns of the Beothuk and their attempt to survive on the Newfoundland Islands’ resource-poor interior. I plan to incorporate the migration patterns, Beothuk’s pattern of avoidance, and harsh living conditions into a PowerPoint presentation. The presentation will comprise slides with bullet points, maps, and pictures. The maps will demonstrate the gradual withdrawal of the Beothuk to the Newfoundland island’s interior. The bullet point slides will take up most of my presentation and be used to defend my arguments. I intend to utilize my PowerPoint and talking points to support my thesis: “Their extinction is a combination of the Beothuk practice of avoidance, the environment of the Newfoundland Island interior, and Europeans exhausting the land of its resources and animal population.”

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  • Type of Item
    Conference/Workshop Presentation
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  • License
    Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International