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Canadian archeology loses a champion

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Thursday, April 17, 2014

Nicola Katz, Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences

Canada has lost a gem of an archeologist this month with the passing of Dr. Priscilla Renouf. A pioneer in her field for over thirty years, she conducted research in Labrador, Arctic Norway and Greenland, with a particular focus Port au Choix in northwestern Newfoundland. Holding a BA and MA from Memorial University, and a PhD from Cambridge University, she was Canada Research Chair in North Atlantic Archaeology at Memorial University, where she has taught since 1981.  Among her many achievements, she was a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada and 1992-1993 recipient of the President's Award for Outstanding Research.

Dr. Renouf was exemplary in her interdisciplinary, holistic and innovative approach to her work. Her talent lay in the anthropological approach to research and in her ability to interpret and understand social behaviours of the two Amerindian and two Arctic-based aboriginal groups she studied. Dr. Renouf was known to champion, inspire and challenge her students, always holding them to her own high standards.

Generous with her time and energy, she shared her work not only with the academic community but also with Canadian public through her work on videos, exhibits, publications and public speaking engagements. She truly understood the value of connecting Canadians with their history and conveying to them the deeply human nature of archeological research. Her body of work is vast and has enormous value to the fields of archeology, anthropology and the humanities at large.

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