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Tourism, Culture and Recreation
April 7, 2014

The following statement was given today in the House of Assembly by the Honourable Terry French, Minister of Tourism, Culture and Recreation:

Renowned Archaeologist Remembered for her Outstanding Contributions

Mr. Speaker, I rise in this Honourable House to pay tribute to Dr. Priscilla Renouf, an internationally-celebrated archaeologist who passed away last Friday. I know I echo the sentiments of the archaeology community in our province, and indeed the world, when I say that her passing is both a great personal and professional loss.

While Dr. Renouf made groundbreaking discoveries in southern Labrador, much of her life's work was conducted on the Northern Peninsula, particularly in Port au Choix. At this location, she uncovered and reconstructed human presence in the area, dating back 5,500 years. Her work unearthed evidence of four Aboriginal cultures, occupation of the area in the 18th and 19th centuries by Europeans, as well as the current settlement. Through her work in this region of our province, Mr. Speaker, she brought global attention to her discoveries, and helped explain the significance of these finds in the context of similar work around the world.

Mr. Speaker, Dr. Renouf was a renowned scholar who served as the Canada Research Chair of North Atlantic Archaeology. In 2010, she received the highest academic honour in Canada by being elected as a fellow of the Royal Society of Canada. She was also the recipient of the President's Award for Outstanding Research; member of the Canadian Museum of Civilization Board of Trustees; co-founder of LINK, an international program of interdisciplinary research; executive member of the North Atlantic Biocultural Organization; author of many academic papers; and also the first Board Chair of The Rooms. Her expertise was regularly sought for national and international speaking opportunities.

There is a deep connection to our own Provincial Archaeology Office, Mr. Speaker, as all of our provincial archaeologists were taught and mentored by Dr. Renouf. Undoubtedly, her legacy will live on in these many individuals who strive to tell the story of our beginnings on a daily basis.

Mr. Speaker, I ask all Honourable colleagues to join me in offering heartfelt condolences to Dr. Renouf's family, her co-workers at Memorial University, and all colleagues in the archaeology community. She will be remembered as a major influence in the archaeology world, and her work in our province will remain a monumental contribution in understanding our own history in Newfoundland and Labrador.

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

2014 04 07                                        2:00 p.m.

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