This past summer Penny Wells found an unusual copper artifact during excavations at June’s Cove on Red Indian Lake. The item has been identified as a snowshoe needle identical to those used by Labrador Innu and other northeastern Indians. This is the first reported amak, the Innu word for snowshoe needle, at a Beothuk site.
Obviously they used snowshoes in the interior, but maybe they didn’t use amaks when they made them or used ones made from bone. It is also possible they obtained this object directly or indirectly from Montagnais visiting Newfoundland. Such visits were not unusual during the 1700s. Cormack met a Montagnais man, James John, and his Mi’kmaq wife while they were camped on Meelpaeg Lake in 1822.
Submitted by: Laurie McLean, Consulting Archaeologist