Discover the mysteries and remarkable ingenuity of four ancient cultures that once inhabited Port au Choix. In the Visitor Centre, see original artifacts including spearheads, bone needles and religious artifacts from the Maritime Archaic Indians, Groswater Paleoeskimo, Dorset Paleoeskimo, and Recent Indian groups. Tour interactive exhibits, and see a life-size, replica Dorset dwelling. Hike limestone barrens and coastlines to view sacred burial grounds, ancient settlements, and rare arctic wildflowers.

Beauty and the Barren: Discover the Limestone Barrens

As you venture through the wild and windy limestone barrens of Newfoundland’s Great Northern Peninsula, see the area’s rare and colourful arctic alpine plants. Limestone bedrock is formed by the compaction of coral plant and animal remains on the bottom of the ocean. In this extreme and exposed environment, some 114 hundred rare plants thrive, including the elegant yellow lady slipper orchid. Keep a look out for three rare plants, endemic only to Newfoundland: barrens willow (a woody shrub with reddish-brown stems), and the Fernald's braya (small white flower clusters with fleshy basal leaves), as well as the taller Long’s braya. Admire the plants, but be sure to take nothing but photos. In this wild and windy landscape you’ll also find rare fossils along the shoreline.

Seal for All Seasons

For close to 3,000 years, seals from this bountiful coast have provided residents with the necessities of life. Discover why the coast’s rich marine resources were so important to the early Paleoeskimo cultures and why seals remain such an important part of the local culture today. In ancient times, seals were used not only for meat and fat, but the sealskins were processed for use as clothes, boots and other items critical to living in a harsh climate. Some evidence suggests that even the walls of the subterranean Dorset shelters may have been made of sealskin. In this hands-on program, you will use ancient tools (from scrapers to stretchers, endblades and microblades), learn the process used to prepare seal skins and discover the different ways past and present cultures have used seals to sustain their livelihoods through the seasons.