Max Friesen, anthropologist from the University of Toronto, discusses how archaeologists see history as a series of big events” — such as extinctions, migrations, and changes in ways that people make a living” — which tend to demarcate change-over in human population. In that sense, the strong cultural break between Paleo-Inuit and Inuit in the Arctic demonstrate how different peoples have contended with changed environmental conditions. Looking back, we see that warming results in higher terrestrial productivity and more open water, increasing opportunities for the pursuit of large marine mammals. Earlier Dorset culture contended with increased sea ice, and other challenging conditions that resulted in a general contraction of population. On a more hopeful note, he added that during such times of stress, populations also got more creative, in time for first contact with Europeans and adoption of new technology which abetted further cultural evolution.
Culture and Arctic Climate Change: A Scoping Workshop to Explore Integrative Frameworks