Pjila'si Welcome Bienvenue CAA/ACA 2023 Membertou, NS/NE 3–6 May/mai

55th Annual Meeting of the Canadian Archaeological Association

Cultural Comfort / Decompression Spaces

The annual meeting of the Canadian Archaeological Association (CAA) typically brings together professional archaeologists from Canada and the United States, practicing in various sectors, from the archaeological consulting world to academia, museums and research institutes. The annual conference is a highlight for these researchers where advances are shared, debated and colleagues can connect and re-connect.

Archaeology, as a discipline, deals with the history and cultural changes of peoples, relationships, technologies and the interactions of those who now intersect with them—either through projects, politics or personal connections. This discipline is heavily involved AND affected by the Truth & Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action, the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP), Every Child Matters movement, and the finding of children lost through the Indian Residential School System. – Archaeologists MUST deal with these situations head-on, everyday. Imagine being a descendant in these situations, living these realities for longer than the duration of a project.

There will be Cultural Comfort / Decompression Spaces available for conference attendees. As we seek to open the doors to this conference-wide to welcome descendant community members for whom archaeological work has been and is personal heritage, including for BIPOC archaeologists, there may be exposure to emotionally-engaging discussions or presentations or a general feeling of overwhelm, and this deserves extra consideration in the planning of this conference. This is something new for the CAA, but an important part of the structure of the spaces being created. As well as a separate space for cultural comfort and “re-charging,” onsite smudging always available on the lower floor of the venue, outside of the Community Commons. This “smudging station” will be available throughout the entire conference.