Moccasin Fragment Reveals Precolonial Connection Between Subarctic and Southwest
April 16, 2021
THUNDER BAY, Canada - New research by anthropologist Dr. Jessica Metcalfe at Lakehead University in Thunder Bay, Ontario and other researchers provides direct evidence of long-distance connections among precolonial Dene peoples from northern Canada to the southern United States.
About 800 years ago a group of highly successful hunter-gatherers spent several decades living on the north shore of Great Salt Lake, Utah. Archaeological evidence suggests that these "Promontory people" were Dene ancestors whose moccasin styles indicate an origin in the Canadian Subarctic, more than 932 miles to the north.
Dr. Metcalfe's research shows the Promontory people also made at least one journey even farther into the south and/or east, bringing back a scrap of leather that they incorporated into one of their distinctive moccasins.