56th Annual Meeting of the Canadian Archaeological Association

2024 Conference Sessions

All times listed in Central Standard Time (UTC-6).

Thursday May 2, 2024

Date/Time: 
May 2, 2024 - 10:20am to 11:40am
(CST)
Room: 
Florence
Session Hosting Format: 
in-person session
Organizer(s): 
  • Jodi Howe, Confederacy of Mainland Mi'kmaq
  • Michelle A. Lelièvre, William and Mary
  • Sara Beanlands, Boreas Heritage

Session Abstract

The proposed session builds on the experiences of Indigenous archaeologists from across Canada shared during the “Supporting Well-Being in Indigenous Archaeology: Enacting Trauma-Informed Practices,” session held at the 2023 CAA's on the Membertou First Nation. In that session, we learned of the pain and trauma that many Indigenous archaeologists experience when archaeological practices ignore or dishonour their communities' values, including cultural and spiritual practices.

For the 2024 CAA's, we propose to take the next step toward supporting well-being in Indigenous archaeology by convening a roundtable of practitioners to share the practices they have enacted to respect Indigenous values, knowledge, practices, and interpretive frameworks. We seek contributions that describe the specific ways practitioners have incorporated local Indigenous worldviews, teachings, and experiences in the planning, fieldwork, analysis, and dissemination of results. We are also seeking contributions from archaeologists who have prioritized making their field sites, labs, and classrooms safe for members of marginalized and under-represented communities in a trauma-informed way.

We aim to foster a supportive environment that facilitates cross-cultural learning and training through dialogue around best practices and lessons learned between roundtable participants and CAA attendees. We hope the roundtable will result in recommendations to archaeologists—especially project directors and principal investigators—for how to enact culturally-sensitive and trauma-informed approaches to field- and lab-work, teaching, mentoring, and community collaborations.

 

Presentations

10:20 AM to 10:40 AM: Reflections on a Decade of Practice in Indigenous Archaeology: In Decolonizing, Are We Simply Recolonizing?
Presentation format: In-Person
Author(s):
  • Lindsay Amundsen-Meyer - Department of Anthropology and Archaeology, University of Calgary

In 2014, I successfully defended my dissertation titled “Nested Landscapes: Ecological and Spiritual Use of Plains Landscape During the Late Prehistoric Period”, my first attempt at applying a perspective grounded in Indigenous archaeology to the study of cultural landscapes. In this study and the years following, I firmly subscribed to the goal of braiding Indigenous and Western knowledge and using an approach based in two-eyed seeing as the way forward to decolonize the discipline. Since 2019, I have had the privilege of working with, for and on the Siksika First Nation and of learning from many Elders and Knowledge Keepers in the community. Reflecting on these experiences, I have begun to wonder if braiding knowledge to decolonize archaeology is simply another form of colonization. Here, I will pose questions and put forward suggestions for future collaborative work for myself and my colleagues to consider as we work to come to terms with the longstanding colonial history of our discipline.

 

10:40 AM to 11:00 AM: Practices and Principles for Supporting Indigenous Well-Being at the Institute of Prairie and Indigenous Archaeology
Presentation format: In-Person
Author(s):
  • Kisha Supernant - University of Alberta

While there are a growing number of Indigenous archaeologists, the discpline can be lonely, isolating, and hostile to Indigenous students, leading some to leave the field before their careers have fully begun. One important way to support Indigenous students is to foster a sense of community in their undergraduate and graduate programs. In this paper, I will share some of the ways we create and maintian our community of scholars at the Insititue of Prairie and Indigenous Archaeology, a group that includes both Indigenous and non-Indigenous students and staff. I will discuss some of the pratical strategies we use both on campus and in the field, while also recognizing some of the challenges of the past few years in maintaining a strong sense of connection. 

11:00 AM to 11:20 AM: Developing Indigenous-informed Values, Ethics and Principles in Archaeology: Learnings from Applied Practice working for the Stó:lō
Presentation format: In-Person
Author(s):
  • David Schaepe - Sto:lo Research and Resource Management Centre

The field of anthropological archaeology is governed by ethics statements of many western-based Societies of professional practitioners (e.g., SAA, CAA, AAA).  These statements are intended to guide our practice as archaeologists.  I recount learnings from my experiences of applied practice in which it was necessary to explore, identify and apply Indigenous approaches to challenges linked to heritage stewardship, within the context of my work for the Stó:lō in southwestern British Columbia.  The necessary inclusion of Stó:lō values, principles, protocols, practices and worldview in many cases provided a necessary expansion of conventional ethical guidelines which failed to account for Stó:lō community-based needs when addressing the community’s heritage and considerations of well-being.

11:20 AM to 11:40 AM: Using Archaeology as a tool for Truth and Reconciliation as a nôsisim of Indian Residential School Survivors
Presentation format: In-Person
Author(s):
  • Honey Constant-Inglis - University of Saskatchewan

My Masters thesis titled, “Archaeological Interpretive Design for Wanuskewin Heritage Park From The Indigenous Perspective: ‘astam api: Stories of Indigenous Archaeology’”  is a personal telling of my experince working to reconcile Archaeology and Education. I explored my research question through the telling of my experience growing up as closeted-queer Indigenous person in Saskatchewan, and how this oppourtunity can contribute to a better learning environment for future Indigenous communities, especially regarding access to archaeological records. When completed, my thesis included a final interpretive product exploring the archaeological record of Wanuskewin Heritage Park, but also highlight the deeply rooted colonialism within Education and Archaeology. The success of my research comes from the implementation of my Indigenous worldview, emphasis on kinship ties with land and stories, and the power of visiting. In the end, archaeology with Indigenous ways of being can encourage all of us to be better relations moving forward. 

Date/Time: 
May 2, 2024 - 10:20am to 4:00pm
(CST)
Room: 
Michelangelo B
Session Hosting Format: 
in-person session
Organizer(s): 
  • Kim Cloutier, Heritage Conservation Branch – Government of Saskatchewan
  • Denise Huynh, Department of Anthropology – University of Saskatchewan
Contact Email: 

Session Abstract

European trade goods began appearing in Saskatchewan by the mid 1500s via Indigenous trade networks. By the mid 1700s European traders had established a permanent presence in the west, which is considered the start of the Historic Period in Saskatchewan. By the late 19th century, the human and natural landscape in Saskatchewan had changed dramatically. The near extinction of the bison by the 1870s and the subsequent treaties forever altered the lifestyles of Indigenous and Métis peoples. Government policies and land surveys changed the prairie landscape as settlers began taking up homesteads, with industrial development and urban development accompanying European-focused settlement.

Much of the early research into historic period archaeology in Saskatchewan focused on fur trade posts and notable military places or events such as North-West Mounted Police posts and the Northwest Resistance. Over the decades historic period archaeological research has expanded to include the stories of Indigenous and Métis peoples’ experiences during this period and their adaptation to the influx of missionaries, settlers and material goods, as well as the stories of the settlers of various backgrounds – Ukrainian, French, Russian, English, African American, Finnish, Mennonite, Doukhobor and others – who arrived to seek a new life and helped to shape the communities and urban centres in which they lived.

This session is dedicated to Dr. Margaret Kennedy who inspired a generation of archaeologists to learn about and research the changing prairie landscape and the historic period during her tenure in the Archaeology department at the University of Saskatchewan where she was on faculty for 25 years until her retirement in 2018. Many of her students have remained in the heritage sector and have found roles as consultants, academics, and regulators.

Presentations

10:20 AM to 10:40 AM: The Value of Historical Archaeology Education and Training: Introduction to Dr. Margaret Kennedy
Presentation format: In-Person
Author(s):
  • Thanh Tam  Huynh - Stantec Consulting Ltd
  • Kim  Cloutier - Heritage Conservation Branch - Government of Saskatchewan
  • Denise Huynh - University of Saskatchewan

In her 25 years at the University of Saskatchewan, Dr. Kennedy was responsible for training a generation of archaeologists.  Today, many of these archaeologists will come together to speak about the work they undertook at the University of Saskatchewan and/or their work done as regulators, professional archaeologists, avocational archaeologists, or heritage professionals; work that could not have happened without the training and guidance given by Dr. Kennedy.  Tam Huynh, the current president of the Saskatchewan Association of Professional Archaeologists, will introduce the session.  He will also provide some background on Dr. Kennedy, which will include teaching, field schools, and her professional and academic works. 

 

10:40 AM to 11:00 AM: Insects Unearthed: Archaeoentomological Insights from Fort Carlton Provincial Park (FfNp-1)
Presentation format: In-Person
Author(s):
  • Alyshia Reesor

Archaeoentomologists study insect remains in archaeological contexts to derive information about past environments, human behaviour, and cultural practices. Analyzing insects provides insights into hygiene, sanitation, health, funerary customs, and ecological conditions as human activities influence insect presence. Environments that inhibit the decomposition of organic materials allow for the preservation of insects, particularly those with chitinous exoskeletons like beetles. The 2021 excavation at Fort Carlton Provincial Park (FfNp-1) revealed well-preserved organic materials, including seeds, wood, birch bark objects, and leather, alongside portions of a floor highlighting the site’s potential for archaeoentomological research. The excavation of unit 32 in Block C in 2022 exposed additional sections of the preserved floor uncovered in 2021 and facilitated the collection of soil samples for subsequent analysis. The analysis of these samples resulted in the successful retrieval of insect remains. These remains, along with the discovery of delousing combs in the 2023 season, further attest to this site’s potential for detailed archaeoentomological research.

11:00 AM to 11:20 AM: What the Fort? An Overview of the 2021-2023 Field Seasons at Fort Carlton
Presentation format: In-Person
Author(s):
  • Sarah Pocha-Tait - University of Saskatchewan and Saskatchewan Archaeological Society

Fort Carlton was a fur trade post which operated from 1810-1885. Its original location at the forks of the two Saskatchewan Rivers opened in 1795, but in 1810 it moved further southwest to a prime location along the North Saskatchewan River. This area holds the Cree name Pehonanik meaning “the waiting place”. The fort underwent five separate building phases during its time at this second location. Excavations in the 1960s and 70s by Ian Dyck and Anthony Ranere revealed the fourth and fifth building phases, which is where the reconstructed fort stands today at Fort Carlton Provincial Park. Further excavations ensued from 2021-2023 to the west of the reconstructed fort in search of the previous building phases and other features. The artifact assemblage currently sits at approximately 50,000, with about 80% consisting of faunal remains. This presentation will highlight some of the artifacts such as birch bark and bone tools. It will also touch on current thesis research being done with the ceramic assemblage through a Métis lens.

11:20 AM to 11:40 AM: Fishing during the Fur Trade at Fort Carlton, SK (FfNp-1)
Presentation format: In-Person
Author(s):
  • Alexis Hunter

Fort Carlton is a fur-trade site located approximately 100 km north of Saskatoon, SK on the southern bank of the North Saskatchewan River. Established in 1810, it operated until 1885 as a provision center, mail hub, and trading post owned by the Hudson’s Bay Company (HBC). This site was excavated from 2021-2023 by the USask Department of Anthropology undergraduate field school and Saskatchewan Archaeological Society public volunteer programs. Analysis of faunal remains suggests that large artiodactyls were a major focus of subsistence activities undertaken at this location. However, remains of fish, birds, and other species were also recovered. The focus of this presentation is to discuss the role of fishing at this fort by using both zooarchaeological data and information available in the HBC journals. It will include information on quantities of fish remains recovered at the site, species present, their locations within the excavation units, and a summary of all fishing-related artifacts that were recovered. This data will be compared to the information about fishing mentioned in the historical records. Overall, this presentation will demonstrate a need in further research on roles of fishing at fur-trade era sites on the Canadian Plains.

11:40 AM to 12:00 PM: Old Trails, new directions: Relocation of historic trails to understand past settlement.
Presentation format: In-Person
Author(s):
  • Scott Hamilton - Lakehead University
  • Keegan Tremblay - Lakehead University

As part of research at Fort Ellice and the old Métis settlement of Ste Madeline, historic and modern maps have been used to identify elements of the cultural geography reflected in historic trail systems. This involves integration of modern cartography with Dominion Land Survey Township plans and other archival maps. While such historic information has long been available in various archives, it and other digital data has become available for free download. This has permitted integration with GIS to enable experimentation how best to extract information to further analysis.

01:20 PM to 01:40 PM: Tracking Down South Branch House II: An Archaeological Investigation Using Ground Penetrating Radar
Presentation format: In-Person
Author(s):
  • Mike Markowski - Atlheritage Services

In 1942, Arthur S. Morton visited and recorded the Hudson’s Bay Company’s (HBC) Carlton House II and the North West Company’s (NWC) South Branch House II (1805 to 1810).  No post journals exist for either post, a situation that makes the identification of this site rather difficult. 

A preliminary archaeological investigation of the assumed location of the trading posts was completed in 2018.  Based on the location and artifacts discovered, the site was formally recorded and provided with Borden number designation FeNm-208.

In 2022, Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) surveys were completed at FeNm-208.  Several features (i.e., building foundations, buried features) were identified along with portions of a well-defined stockade wall.  The GPR survey at FeNm-208 resulted in the collection of exceptional interpretive data.

A stockade wall has been identified along with several additional insights as to how the site area was used.  GPR data suggests various building stages, with buildings located outside of the stockade wall and overlapping with the stockade wall, which may suggest that these features are the remains of the original buildings (prior to the construction of the stockade wall), or most likely the re-use of the former trading post site area by early Métis settlers.  

01:40 PM to 02:00 PM: Clark's Crossing: A 19th Century Source of Fake News
Presentation format: In-Person
Author(s):
  • Kim Weinbender - Heritage Conservation Branch (Government of Saskatchewan)

Using the telegraph, it was possible to send information around the world within a matter of hours, instead of weeks or months. During the 1885 Riel Resistance, the telegraph station at Clark’s Crossing (located northwest of Saskatoon) was used by the media to send reports on the events of 1885. Public demand for information on their beloved Canadian troops resulted in a media reporting frenzy where accuracy was less important than having a best-selling headline. Fake news influenced political opinions and demands, which in turn impacted the military decisions. General Middleton was besieged for information by reporters, the public, and even the Prime Minister – all demanding justification of his actions. Clark's Crossing is an early Saskatchewan example of how false news caused political intervention in a military operation and exacerbated the vilification of the Metis and First Nation peoples. The media publications are a small sample of the diverse 1885 documents that exist for Clark’s Crossing. Dr. Kennedy, who conducted archaeological field school excavations at the site between 2002 to 2005, had to sift through the fake news, reconciling the historical record with the archaeological reality.

02:00 PM to 02:20 PM: Learning from Moose Hill Ranch: a case study of consulting archaeology at a homestead site
Presentation format: In-Person
Author(s):
  • Meg Porter - Stantec Consulting Ltd.

When consulting archaeologists undertake areal studies, it provides an opportunity to investigate land use in a way that we typically don’t see with linear projects. While working on a large areal project west of the City of Calgary, Stantec archaeologists have had the opportunity to investigate several Euro-Canadian settlement period sites in the area. In some cases, descendants of these people were still actively ranching, offering a unique perspective on the sites and their rural community. This presentation will highlight interviews, the historic sites found during the multi-year project, and results from those that required mitigative excavation. Specific attention will be given to the Moose Hill Ranch, a homestead site where 3D scanning was conducted in partnership with the University of Calgary.

02:20 PM to 02:40 PM: Lost in the Gold Mines: Uncovering the Company Town of Wadhope, Manitoba
Presentation format: In-Person
Author(s):
  • Kristian Sullivan - KGS Group
  • Graeme Revering - KGS Group

Manitoba’s Department of Environment and Climate oversees the Orphaned and Abandoned Site Rehabilitation Program, the purpose of which is to address health and safety concerns relating to inactive mines in the province. Many of these mines were in operation in the early 1900s, and the documentation this era of early mining history is a large component of this project. One such site is Central Mine, a gold mine located in Nopiming Provincial Park that operated between 1926-1937. Due to reliability of the ore being extracted from the mine shaft, a company town sprung up around it. At its peak operation, the company town of Wadhope contained 125 employees and their families including a general store, post office, pool room, cookhouse, barber shop, laundry, confectionary, butcher shop, recreation hall (which housed a one‐room school), several bunkhouses, and a three‐bed hospital. A preliminary archaeological investigation of Wadhope was conducted in 2023. This paper will discuss the documentary, archival, and archaeological evidence related to the town and explore its nature as an entity of the company. This paper will also discuss how Wadhope fits into the larger context of gold mining in the Bissett, Manitoba area in the early to mid-twentieth century.

02:40 PM to 03:00 PM: Athabasca Hydro: Early 20th Century Industrial Development in Saskatchewan's Far North.
Presentation format: In-Person
Author(s):
  • Riel Cloutier - SaskPower

The Wellington Power Station was built in the late 1930’s to provide power to the Cominco Box Mine located southwest of Uranium City, Saskatchewan.  For two years, dozens of workers lived and worked in remote work camps building the dam, earthworks, and power station. Given the remote and inaccessible nature of the camps, some camp features have remained undisturbed since the camps were abandoned in 1939. Combining archaeological investigations with archival research allows us to reconstruct a snapshot of daily life at these late Depression Era work camps.

03:20 PM to 03:40 PM: A History of Historic Period Archaeology in Saskatchewan: Perspectives from the Inventory
Presentation format: In-Person
Author(s):
  • Kim Cloutier - Heritage Conservation Branch, Government of Saskatchewan

From EfNo-1 to FaNo-19, over 2,300 historic period archaeological sites have been recorded in Saskatchewan during the last eight decades. Many of these sites can be further identified as Historic First Nations, Métis and Euro-Canadian and include a variety of interpretations such as trading or police posts, settlements, homesteads, cabins, campsites, industrial areas, and battlefields. Valuable insights and perspectives learned from the provincial inventory are presented regarding the recording of Saskatchewan’s historic period archaeological sites, in addition to how the management of these sites has changed over time.

03:40 PM to 04:00 PM: A Prairie Shipwreck - The Wreck of the S.S. City of Medicine Hat
Presentation format: In-Person
Author(s):
  • Kara Wolfe - Canada North Environmental Services

In 2016, Canada North Environmental Services’ (CanNorth) archaeologists were presented with a unique opportunity, the chance to excavate a shipwreck in the prairies. On June 7th, 1908, a steamboat, the S.S. City of Medicine Hat, hit the new Traffic Bridge in Saskatoon and sank. The bridge served the City of Saskatoon for over a century after the wreck, having been constructed for horse and buggy and pedestrians, its replacement was inevitable. It was recognized that the replacement of the iconic bridge would impact the unlikeliest archaeological site in the city.  The wreckage, which had been buried by both natural and anthropogenic processes, required innovative methodologies to effectively document the remains of the S.S. City of Medicine Hat which allowed CanNorth to help document and preserve a key fixture of the city’s history.

Date/Time: 
May 2, 2024 - 10:20am to 4:20pm
(CST)
Room: 
Michelangelo C
Session Hosting Format: 
in-person session
Organizer(s): 
  • Krista Gilliland, Western Heritage

Session Abstract

Curiosity and the desire to learn are some of the most engaging and exciting qualities of being human, and are essential qualities for those working in the heritage disciplines. 

How do we know what we think we know about the past? Approaches to building understandings of the past are varied and include science-based methods, experimental archaeology, and traditional knowledge. These approaches may be framed as representing opposing views or truths. However, a multi- or interdisciplinary approach integrating a diverse range of methods can provide unique and complementary insights and build holistic, inclusive understandings of the past. 

The purpose of this session is to bring together heritage researchers that employ a variety of methods in studying artifacts, features, archaeological sites, landscapes, or palaeoenvironments, and to promote inter- and intra-disciplinary discussions and learning.

Academic and consulting professionals, and community-based and student heritage researchers are encouraged to submit abstracts as part of this session, with the intention to share results of studies that address questions about the past using one or more methods that range from science-based, to traditional knowledge and oral histories, to archival research, and beyond. Presenters are encouraged to follow a format that begins with a problem or question that they have addressed in their work.

Presentations

10:20 AM to 10:40 AM: Beyond Similarity: Evidence of Scottsbluff Point Cloning in Central Alberta
Presentation format: In-Person
Author(s):
  • Bob Dawe - Royal Alberta Museum
  • Karen Giering - Royal Alberta Museum

In central Alberta, a variety of the Scottsbluff projectile point type has been identified that is so similar that it must have been made by a common group, and possibly the same person. The sample size of this peculiar type is quite small but the conformity to exacting dimensions in this group warrants the assignation of a common type name which we propose to be the Redwater variant of the Scottsbluff projectile point type. The Redwater type points that have been identified are almost exclusively Knife River Flint, the closest source of which is more than 1100 kilometres from where these artifacts were recovered.  What remains to be understood is the mechanism by which such artifact clones came to light so far from the source of the stone the majority of these were made from. It is hypothesized that these artifacts were manufactured by a craft specialist, but whether the manufacture occurred in the toolstone source area, or near the location of recovery, remains an enigma.

Keywords: Scottsbluff, projectile point, Knife River Flint, craft specialization

10:40 AM to 11:00 AM: How to Interpret First Nations Maps using their Perceptions of the World
Presentation format: In-Person
Author(s):
  • Gerald Oetelaar - University of Calgary

A number of archivists, historians and archaeologists have made important contributions to our understanding of maps produced by members of First Nations and Inuit communities. Perhaps none of these cartographic representations has received as much attention as that produced by Ac ko mok ki for Peter Fidler at Chesterfield House in 1801 and 1802. One of the greatest challenges in deciphering these historical documents is the identification of landmarks depicted and labelled on these Blackfoot maps. Of particular interest is the identification of the named peaks depicted and labelled within the double lines representing the Rocky Mountains. Earlier attempts have focussed primarily on relating the Blackfoot names to mountains with similar modern names or in terms of their location relative to other peaks. However, none of the researchers have tried to incorporate the Blackfoot understanding of the world in their approaches to the interpretation of the maps. In this presentation, I propose to illustrate the benefits of adopting the Blackfoot worldview in combination with our Western understanding of modern cartographic conventions to outline a process for the identification of specific peaks on one of Ac Ko Mok ki’s map.

11:00 AM to 11:20 AM: Testing, Critiquing, and Falsifying Social Evolutionary Models About Hunter-Gatherer Sites Through Lenses of Scientific Reasoning, Archaeological Evidence, and Indigenous Knowledge: How We Know What We Know About Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump
Presentation format: In-Person
Author(s):
  • Kevin McGeough - University of Lethbridge
  • Shawn Bubel - University of Lethbridge

Archaeological studies of hunter-gatherer sites over the past seventy years have shown that there is widespread dissatisfaction with this as a social evolutionary category, and yet researchers continue to use this nomenclature. The term “hunter-gatherer” has come to be seen as limiting, especially since more diversity is attested in the archaeological evidence for these cultural groups than posited in older socio-taxonomic models. Using Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump as an example, we show how traditional, social evolutionary interpretations of the site can be limiting, especially with their focus on utilitarian, subsistence, and economic readings. However, by thinking about how the site does not fit the expectations generated through the category of “hunter-gatherer”, multi-vocalic interpretations of the past can be produced. Ironically, by falsifying different postulates of these older taxonomic categories, it becomes apparent that they are working as scientific models are intended. We argue that strong, though oversimplistic, models help us know what we know, and how the application of those models in tandem with more recent anthropological theory and Indigenous knowledge can promote new means of thinking about the past and present.  

11:20 AM to 11:40 AM: An Optically Stimulated Luminescence (OSL) application in Cultural Resource Management – Case Study
Presentation format: Online - pre-recorded
Author(s):
  • Courtney Cameron - Cameron Heritage

During the course of a CRM project on Cotnam Island in the Ottawa River, at Pembroke, Ontario; two stone features were recorded. Feature 1 is a circular feature approximately 3 m in diameter comprised a ring of rocks. Feature 2 is located approximately 19 m to the west of Feature 1. This feature is comprised of two roughly parallel low dry-stone walls approximately 2 m apart and 2 m long. Shovel testing was conducted around the features but no artifacts were recovered. The circular feature is definitely an indigenous shelter of some kind, probably from the Woodland Period; but what about feature 2? It is a puzzle. What is it? How old is it? Is it associated with Feature 1? How are we to know if it is even archaeological? Given its proximity to feature 1, the general size of the stones, and how overgrown the feature is, it seems likely to be archaeological. But how do we prove it? And how do we determine its Cultural Heritage Value and Interest for the purposes of CRM? To answer these questions, I turned to OSL to provide a path forward for development.

11:40 AM to 12:00 PM: An experimental inquiry into shell tempering choices: Implications of open-air firing in shell temper microstructures
Presentation format: In-Person
Author(s):
  • Duygu Ertemin - McMaster University Anthropology Department

Shell-tempered pottery (STP) is a specific category named after its tempering choice, a focus in archaeological science. While scholars have studied its functional properties, few have explored variations in shell tempering and its structural characteristics. This paper investigates the relationship between shell temper processing and resulting internal structural changes during firing, using experimental methods and SEM-EDS analysis. Clay pots with varied mussel shell volumes and processing styles are crafted and fired in an open-air environment. Results, monitored using thermocouples, reveal diverse outcomes, from thermal shock-induced explosions to spalling and cracking. SEM imaging reveals internal structures of the clay matrix and shell tempers, and elemental analysis via EDS investigates compositional variations. This study highlights the significance of open-air firing dynamics on shell temper's structural changes, influencing its physical properties. By investigating these relationships, the study offers insights into ancient technological choices. 

01:20 PM to 01:40 PM: Aerial Remote Sensing, Archives and Geomatics: Integrating and evaluating diverse spatial data.
Presentation format: In-Person
Author(s):
  • Scott Hamilton - Lakehead University
  • Nick Kuncewicz - Lakehead University

Integration of map information to support archaeological inference is often a frustrating process of grappling with issues of precision, accuracy, scale and data resolution. Over the past decade the nature and availability of map data has rapidly transformed, affecting how we collect, integrate and analyze it. Particularly important for our analysis are Manitoba provincial ‘data liberation’ policies whereby high quality geomatic data is readily available for download.  The Fort Ellice investigations have involved integration of precisely georeferenced aerial data with that collected using Unmapped Aerial Vehicles (UAVs). These latter data feature output from diverse sensors beyond conventional ‘visible light’ cameras.  These modern baseline data are then evaluated utilizing archival information to further non-invasive archaeological prospection.

01:40 PM to 02:00 PM: Prospects for Resilience Thinking in Canadian Archaeology
Presentation format: In-Person
Author(s):
  • Matthew Munro - Stantec Consulting Ltd.

Resilience is an increasingly common concept used in archaeological interpretation. Its reliance on complexity science and heuristic modelling provides archaeologists a robust suite of interpretive tools to help analyse social change. The most valuable are provided through panarchic analysis and the use of the adaptive cycle metaphor. However, important critiques and some misunderstandings threaten to undermine the utility of resilience thinking. Its inability to account for systemic inequalities is problematic, whereas its reliance on systemic change is often misunderstood. This paper will provide a brief introduction to the concept and utility of resilience in archaeology followed by a review of its main weaknesses and misunderstandings. To conclude, some prospects for enhancing the profile of resilience through Canadian archaeological research topics are presented.

02:00 PM to 02:20 PM: Quarries, Questions, and Quantum Physics: Archaeological and optical studies at quarry Site EgPn-797
Presentation format: In-Person
Author(s):
  • Brian Vivian - Lifeways of Canada Ltd.
  • Krista Gilliland - Western Heritage

Representing the first recorded Precontact-era cobblestone quarry in Calgary, EgPn-797 recently provided an opportunity to revisit the question of how to date these enigmatic sites. Cobblestone quarries have received considerable attention since the 1960s, particularly regarding temporal use and cultural association. However, the typical absence of datable organic materials or time-diagnostic artifacts has thwarted these studies.

At about 15 to 20 cm below the surface, artifact-bearing sediments at Site EgPn-797 had the potential to address this longstanding issue. Soil monoliths were collected, screened using optical profiling, and submitted to the University of St Andrews for laboratory and formal optical measurements.

Optical profiling demonstrated that three luminescence ‘units’ could be defined within the stratigraphy. Laboratory characterization validated the profiling results and further demonstrated that the sediments were suitable for formal analysis. Formal dating was conducted on four samples and indicated that the artifact-bearing sediments at Site EgPn-797 accumulated between about 9.25 ± 0.74 ka and 5.27 ± 0.67 ka. 

Our work demonstrates the effectiveness of using optical methods in investigating cobblestone quarries and other stratigraphically shallow sites and underlines the importance of a staged approach which increases the interpretability of the data and makes the method accessible within most research contexts. 

 

02:20 PM to 02:40 PM: A small-scale team with big ideas: testing digital technologies and field strategies to expedite research
Presentation format: In-Person
Author(s):
  • Cara Tremain - Langara College
  • Alec McLellan - University of Toronto

Faced with a small window of time to collect data, and an equally small research team with which to do it, we went into our 2023 investigations of an ancient Maya site in Belize with tools and techniques that had the potential to help answer our research questions in an accelerated timeframe. We implemented a digital recording strategy using iPads, a drone, and 3D modelling software based on LiDAR and photogrammetry. We also excavated a series of small-scale units across a systematically placed grid, following a consistent strategy and methodology. This paper will present an overview of the successes and challenges we faced, to shed light on how our small team were able to investigate our ‘big’ research ideas about the past.

02:40 PM to 03:00 PM: A Multiproxy Investigation at Tatichek Lake: preliminary findings and future plans
Presentation format: In-Person
Author(s):
  • Keli Watson - Pathfinder Endeavours Ltd.
  • Dana Evaschuk - Pathfinder Endeavours Ltd.
  • Tatyanna Ewald - Atlatl Archaeology Ltd.
  • Kali Wade - Atlatl Archaeology Ltd.
  • Samantha Kondor - Atlatl Archaeology Ltd.
  • Kathleen Forste - Atlatl Archaeology Ltd.
  • Rachel  Lindemann - Atlatl Archaeology Ltd.

Tatichek Lake’s archaeological sites have and continue to be the ancestral homelands of the Cheslatta Carrier Nation and an important place of cultural interest for the community. The lake is located in the “Coast and Mountains” Eco province of British Columbia (Ecoregion Classification System) and thousands of artefacts, lithic debitage and tools, including projectile points have been recovered from just one surface exposure of a 100m section of beach surface. The site is being investigated by a team of First Nations and archaeologically-trained individuals, considering many research questions pertaining to the relationship between people and plants, paleoenvironmental conditions, and lithic uses in the contexts in question. Using a multidisciplinary approach to assess research questions overall, macrobotanical analysis, including seeds and wood charcoal, phytolith analysis, faunal remains, and blood protein residue analysis were employed through Atlatl Archaeology Ltd in conjunction with the ongoing archaeological mitigations. Working together and utilizing specialist techniques, analysts and project archaeologists build a picture that is fuller, higher resolution, and more encompassing than ever before.

03:20 PM to 03:40 PM: FROM A BIRD’S EYE VIEW. DETECTING AND RECOGNIZING GROUND DISTURBANCES USING UNMANNED AERIAL VEHICLES IN HISTORICAL RESOURCES IMPACT ASSESSMENTS.
Presentation format: In-Person
Author(s):
  • Petr Kurzybov - Western Heritage Services Inc.
  • Michael Ma - Western Heritage Services Inc.
  • Carmen Finnigan - Western Heritage Services Inc.

Historic resources (i.e. buried archaeological sites) are often subject to impacts created by various industrial developments. These impacts may lead to damage and eventual loss of the resource. Recognizing, describing, and classifying these impacts are complex tasks usually addressed during traditional in-field historic resource impact assessment (HRIA). The use of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) technologies has the potential to change and improve the detection of ground disturbances and mitigate impacts to previously unrecorded archaeological sites. UAVs help to acquire inexpensive fine-resolution imagery on demand. Their affordability, versatility, and flexibility give them an advantage over other means of acquiring remote-sensing data (e.g., ortho or satellite imagery). Advancements in software for processing and analyzing imagery (i.e., machine learning) have also opened many new opportunities.

Western Heritage developed a methodology of using UAVs in the boreal zone of Northwestern Alberta designed to acquire and analyze landscape imagery to identify and classify land disturbances created during forest harvest. Obtained data is intended to be used to narrow down the search area for potentially impacted archaeological sites. The implementation of this methodology demonstrated its potential benefits and clarified its advantages and challenges. Results of this study will help to inform and potentially define HRIA strategies.

03:40 PM to 04:00 PM: Interpreting Anomalies: The Convergence of Geophysics and Archaeology at the Regina General Hospital
Presentation format: In-Person
Author(s):
  • Jennifer Rychlo - Stantec
  • James  Hulsebosch - Stantec

In 2022, Stantec completed a geophysical assessment on behalf of Saskatchewan’s Ministry of SaskBuilds and Procurement to investigate the probability of unmarked and undocumented historical graves at the Regina General Hospital site. The assessment was completed using a combination of Electromagnetic and Ground Penetrating Radar data collection techniques, which resulted in the detection of several anomalies. Following the geophysical survey, a Heritage Resource Impact Assessment was conducted at the site, allowing for the anomalies to be investigated and identified. This presentation will discuss the challenges of geophysical interpretations and the importance of combining these technologies with archaeological investigation techniques to positively identify sub-surface anomalies.

04:00 PM to 04:20 PM: Exploring Archaeology Through Thermal Imaging
Presentation format: In-Person
Author(s):
  • Tammi Mills - University of Lethbridge
  • Craig Coburn - University of Lethbridge

Aerial thermography is a technique that can be used to reveal archaeological features in the landscape. Advancements in remotely piloted aircraft system (RPAS) remote sensing technology has expanded to include visible to thermal infrared is available for archaeologists to use in image analysis that produces high-quality results at lower costs than traditional methods. Utilizing an archaeological site in Southern Alberta as a study area, a remotely piloted aircraft system (RPAS) was used as a reconnaissance tool for thermal data collection. The results from RGB and thermal orthomosaics show that careful consideration should be given to the acquisition parameters, such as optimal temporal and spatial resolution. Understanding these critical imaging parameters enhances methods available for archaeologists to use while targeting smaller areas for more intensive pedestrian surveys. Additionally, remote sensing in archaeology uses non-invasive methods for the delineation and analysis of subsurface archaeological and cultural features. With the increased popularity and lower costs of the technology, the use of remote sensing in archaeology will make the overall project more robust in coverage and data collection and offer a way to cover large areas over a shorter timeframe.

Date/Time: 
May 2, 2024 - 10:20am to 5:20pm
(CST)
Room: 
Venice
Session Hosting Format: 
in-person session
Organizer(s): 
  • Lisa Hodgetts, Department of Anthropology, The University of Western Ontario
  • Natasha Lyons, Ursus Heritage Consulting
Contact Email: 

Session Abstract

Indigenous Peoples and organizations have long histories of battling Western colonial institutions to re-establish their rights to self-determination. As affirmed by UNDRIP and other human rights instruments, Indigenous self-determination extends to the relations with and care of Ancestors and their belongings, and includes the right to self-government of internal affairs. In this session, we ask contributors what it means for the discipline of archaeology to take Indigenous sovereignty seriously. In Canada, we operate in a piecemeal system of local, regional and national policy and legislation that establishes archaeologists and other heritage practitioners as the de facto stewards of Indigenous Ancestors and belongings. How would fully respecting Indigenous sovereignty confront the status quo in Canada and elsewhere and reshape our understandings of archaeological ethics? How would it change the role of archaeologists and heritage professionals in the ‘management’, care and curation of Ancestors and belongings? What legal and policy avenues are being or could be pursued to effect the self-determination that communities demand? We invite contributors to weigh in on these and related questions from their respective standpoints, and to share case studies that are working to dismantle the colonial instruments of archaeology and restore Indigenous rights to and care of Indigenous cultural heritages.

Presentations

10:20 AM to 10:40 AM: Archaeologists in Support of Inuvialuit Cultural Heritage Engagement, Self-determination and Sovereignty: preliminary findings
Presentation format: In-Person
Author(s):
  • Ashley Piskor - Western University

Inuvialuit are working toward Indigenous sovereignty and self-determination over their cultural heritage in response to and as resistance to the colonial systems that have and continue to impact their communities. Many archaeologists working with Inuvialuit are incorporating decolonizing theory and method into their research projects to amplify Indigenous voices and worldviews, and to deconstruct harmful colonial values and practices that alienate Inuvialuit from their cultural heritage.

My PhD research examines how Inuvialuit are engaging in their cultural heritage through education, social and digital media, community events, and on-the-land experiences. It discusses the challenges they are facing in this endeavour and how archaeologists and archaeological research can actively and practically support Inuvialuit cultural heritage engagement, sovereignty, and self-determination in culturally relevant and meaningful ways. In this paper, I will explore some of my preliminary findings and will discuss how this might reshape what archaeological research looks like in the Inuvialuit settlement region.

10:40 AM to 11:00 AM: Beaver, but not Dane-zaa: Supporting cultural resurgence of the Tsattine (Tsa-Dene) River People
Presentation format: In-Person
Author(s):
  • Jessica Z. Metcalfe - Lakehead University

The name ‘Beaver’ was used by Europeans to describe those Dene people whose traditional territory centres on the Peace River of modern NE British Columbia and NW Alberta. A rich body of anthropological research has been conducted with and for the Beaver (Dane-zaa) of British Columbia, yet the existence of different, distinct groups of Beaver people in Alberta is rarely (if ever) mentioned. This work centres the descendants of the Tsattine (Tsa-Dene) group formerly known as the ‘Beaver Indians of Dunvegan’ or ‘the River People,’ whose traditional territory includes (but is not limited to) areas around Dunvegan, Fairview, Peace River, and Grande Prairie, Alberta. Tsattine River People had their early-20th century reserves illegally ‘surrendered’ to the government and/or occupied by outsiders, leaving their descendants with no reserve or First Nation representation, and therefore no voice within settler-Canadian systems of government. In this paper, I explain my current understanding of the post-Treaty 8 history of the Tsattine River People’s band and reserves, and how names have been used to both define and obfuscate Tsattine identities. I reflect on my role, as a settler archaeologist, in supporting the cultural resurgence of Tsattine River People.

11:00 AM to 11:20 AM: Cartographic Resurgence of Traditional Indigenous Knowledge: Re-Mapping Historical Tsattine Trails
Presentation format: In-Person
Author(s):
  • Lauryn Eady-Sitar - Lakehead University
  • Victoria Wanihadie - Tsattine Resurgence Society
  • Jessica Metcalfe - Lakehead University

Long before Europeans arrived, the Alberta landscape featured networks of ancient trails utilized by Indigenous peoples and animals since time immemorial. Despite archival documentation, little is remembered about these trails today. The Tsattine (Beaver River People), of the Peace Region, encounter unique challenges from ongoing colonialism including territorial displacement from both invading Europeans and incoming communities moving westward during the fur trade. This complex colonial history has nearly erased Tsattine presence and collective memory in their communities today. Our community-based project works to revitalize traditional Tsattine knowledge. ‘Counter-mapping’ is a collective approach that can incorporate Tsattine lived experiences and help visually emphasize their presence on the land, while incorporating traditionally-important Indigenous name-places, archaeological data, and narratives. This cartographic research will help to decolonize the settler-dominated perspectives inscribed on Albertan maps utilized today and is a crucial step for the revitalization of traditional Indigenous knowledge. Our collaborative, landscape-based approaches will support Tsattine in making cultural connections to memory, identity, and history of the past. Making data produced from this study readily available for the Tsattine, especially their youth, will contribute to community healing, empowerment, and help to support Indigenous sovereignty within their traditional lands. 

 

11:20 AM to 11:40 AM: Teaching Archaeology in the Settler Colonial Context: Unpacking ongoing systemic racism within archaeology and heritage protection frameworks
Presentation format: In-Person
Author(s):
  • Sarah Proulx - University of Toronto
  • Griffin Assance-Goulais - University of Toronto
  • Alicia Hawkins - University of Toronto

Most archaeological practice in Canada is undertaken in the context of cultural resource management. Universities play a significant role in preparing archaeologists for employment within this sector. Archaeological curriculum that focuses on field methods and cultural historical frameworks are not preparing archaeologists with the type of knowledge required to successfully work alongside Indigenous Peoples in the field, particularly in the context of compliance driven archaeology. We discuss findings of a research project that asked Indigenous archaeological monitors in Ontario what field archaeologists should be educated in before undertaking archaeology on Indigenous territories and ancestral lands. Interviews illuminated the need for archaeologists to have an academic background in broader subjects that concern contemporary Indigenous Peoples, including settler colonialism; Indigenous histories and worldviews; stewardship responsibilities; Indigenous research methodology; and the implications of settler colonial heritage management frameworks. Of particular importance within this field of applied archaeology, is how archaeological protection legislation, mandated and regulated by the province, undermines Indigenous sovereignty. Professionals entering the archaeological consulting industry must come to the field with both the background knowledge and willingness to challenge ongoing systemic racism and oppression within the planning and development sector.  

11:40 AM to 12:00 PM: Heritage in Their Hands: Navigating Power and Possibilities for Inuvialuit Data Sovereignty in the Northwest Territories
Presentation format: In-Person
Author(s):
  • Emily Henry - Western University

In archaeological work, it can be said that those who control the remains of cultural heritage in the present and how it is defined, preserved, accessed, and presented have a hand of power over the past, and, thus, over the future. For decades, Indigenous communities have asserted their rights to govern themselves. More recently, attention has increasingly focused on Indigenous sovereign rights to control and manage their knowledges, cultures, and histories. To move towards Indigenous data sovereignty, my research critically analyzes Inuvialuit heritage data governance structures by examining the existing approaches to managing Inuvialuit heritage data and the perspectives of diverse actors involved in this process. This paper explores intersections of legislation, policy, and practice within the Northwest Territories as they relate to Inuvialuit heritage. How do governance frameworks support or undermine Inuvialuit data sovereignty? What opportunities and challenges exist for implementing changes to support Inuvialuit data sovereignty? Specifically, I will outline how the staff at the Prince of Wales Northern Heritage Center work creatively within the bounds of their legal responsibilities to the colonial government in an attempt to fulfil their ethical obligations to the NWT’s Indigenous populations, including the Inuvialuit, as they wait for more transformative change.

01:20 PM to 01:40 PM: Enacting Indigenous Data Sovereignty: Pathways to Implementing UNDRIP in Canadian Archaeology
Presentation format: In-Person
Author(s):
  • Lindsay Montgomery - University of Toronto

In 2020, the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) received Royal Assent within Canada’s parliament, compelling the Trudeau government to address systemic racism and historic injustices in consultation with First Nations, Métis, and Inuit peoples. UNDRIP, and particularly Article 13 (the right to control, protect, and develop cultural heritage including biocultural remains) has important implications for the practice of cultural heritage management across the country. Article 13, position Indigenous peoples as the primary rights holders over archaeological sites and cultural landscapes as well as the traditional knowledge associated with these places. Despite growing discourse around data sovereignty and Indigenous human rights, there remains a significant gap between the spirit of UNDRIP and the operationalization of these principles within ongoing settler colonial contexts, like Canada. Through an examination of archaeological database structures and licensing practices in Ontario, this paper considers how institutional practices within cultural heritage management currently constrain the implementation of UNDRIP and associated principles of Indigenous data sovereignty. In drawing attention to current archival protocols and ministerial policies, I hope to identify pathways through which archaeologists working in Canada as well as more globally might actualize the principles of UNDRIP both in spirit and in practice.   

01:40 PM to 02:00 PM: Understanding Indigenous Data Governance through First Nations Research Governance Strategies for Archaeology and Digital Heritage in the Canadian Context
Presentation format: In-Person
Author(s):
  • Rebecca Bourgeois - University of Alberta
  • Neha Gupta - University of British Columbia Okanagan

Principles of Indigenous data governance such as OCAPⓇ and CARE center the rights of Indigenous Peoples in terms of controlling their data and cultural heritage. In this context, Indigenous nations have developed research governance laws and policies regarding the management, sharing, and curation of Indigenous data and cultural heritage. However, these structures have not been implemented in professional action, creating a practical disconnect between the expectations of Indigenous Peoples and heritage professionals. In this presentation, we will show this disconnection through a critical examination of Indigenous cultural heritage policy documents that outline and describe Indigenous expectations when it comes to research data and Canadian heritage legislation. We discuss current mechanisms such as co-management in light of Indigenous Peoples’ rights to fully control their heritage as affirmed in UNDRIP (2007). Specifically, we build on the work of Carroll et al. (2019), which sets out specific actions for Indigenous communities as well as western institutions to activate Indigenous data sovereignty and governance, to evaluate how Canadian institutions are responding to these calls for action. We argue that while mechanisms such as co-management in archaeology encourage conversations about Indigenous data, they do not explicitly facilitate Indigenous data sovereignty and governance of heritage.

02:00 PM to 02:20 PM: Inuvialuit Sivuniksait Kappiangaqiyuaq. The Urgent Question of Inuvialuit Futures and its relation to the care of ancestors and their belongings
Presentation format: In-Person
Author(s):
  • Natasha Lyons - Ursus Heritage Consulting
  • Lisa Hodgetts - University of Western Ontario
  • Letitia  Pokiak - Inuvialuit scholar and beneficiary

The Inuvialuit of the Canadian Western Arctic signed a land claim with the Government of Canada in 1984 as a coordinated community response to the threat of mounting social and environmental pressures to their/our territory, and particularly oil and gas exploration. The Inuvialuit Final Agreement (IFA), considered then as now a living document, focused on the need to ensure continuing sustenance and food security through provisions for the viability of wildlife, plants, lands and waters. A heritage, culture and language chapter was not part of the original agreement; its development is part of ongoing self-government negotiations. Forty years after the signing of the IFA, and within the context of rampant effects of the climate crisis, this paper explores aspects of Inuvialuit Sivuniksait Kappiangaqiyuaq, the urgent question of Inuvialuit futures in relation to the care of ancestors and their/our artifacts/belongings. Drawing on Inuvialuit leadership’s guiding principles and heritage priorities, we offer a model of heritage policy development based on customary principles of governance and caretaking shared by Inuvialuit Elders and knowledge-holders of the past and present. This work seeks to support the efforts of Inuvialuit to reclaim sovereignty over all aspects of their/our cultural heritage.

02:20 PM to 02:40 PM: A Case Study of Stó:lō Indigenous Rights and Regulatory Processes in the Field of Heritage Stewardship: the Trans Mountain Expansion Project in S’ólh Téméxw
Presentation format: In-Person
Author(s):
  • David Schaepe - Sto:lo Research and Resource Management Centre

The Trans Mountain Expansion Project (TMEP) is a major pipeline project that runs from Edmonton, Alberta to Burnaby, British Columbia with a route that traverses S’ólh Téméxw (Stó:lō Traditional Lands) – the lower Fraser River Watershed in southwestern B.C. Prior to the introduction of UNDRIP, the Stó:lō Nation leadership adopted the Stó:lō Heritage Policy and associated Heritage Investigation Permitting system which applies within S’ólh Téméxw and has been implemented in its current form since 2003. In this presentation I focus on the impact of this Indigenous regulatory system as it was applied to the heritage and archaeological processes of TMEP’s planning and construction.  I focus particularly on the impact of the Stó:lō Heritage Policy during the final three years of pipeline construction as administered through a collective of Stó:lō rights holders – the 17 First Nation members of the S’ólh Téméxw Stewardship Alliance.  This occupation of the field of heritage stewardship lead to the avoidance of dozens of heritage sites and the establishment of archaeological standards, cultural protocols, spiritual guidance, mitigation measures, curation procedures and redress for sites that were unavoidably impacted by this major pipeline project – through the assertion of Indigenous right-holders as heritage stewards and regulators.

02:40 PM to 03:00 PM: Epekwitnewaq Mi’kmaq Archaeology on Prince Edward Island
Presentation format: In-Person
Author(s):
  • Helen Kristmanson - Senior Archaeologist, L'nuey

As the indigenous people of Epekwitk, or Prince Edward Island, the Epekwitnewaq Mi’kmaq have an inherent interest in archaeology. For decades they have initiated or participated in local archaeological activities and provided support to various archaeological projects. With the recent establishment of an archaeology division in L’nuey, the Mi’kmaw rights initiative under the Epekwitk Assembly of Councils, the Epekwitnewaq Mi’kmaq have considerably strengthened their own archaeological capacity. This development is part of a much broader journey and represents decades of hard work and commitment by the Mi’kmaq Epekwitnewaq Kapmntemuow (Mi’kmaw Nation Government of PEI), the Mi’kmaq Confederacy of PEI, and most recently, L’nuey. This paper traces that journey and shows how the Epekwitnewaq Mi’kmaq are, through formal mechanisms with the federal and provincial governments, taking an incremental and cooperative approach to the management of their archaeological affairs.

03:20 PM to 03:40 PM: How Chipewyan Prairie First Nation’s Archeological Excavation at Doltu´chogh led to the Creation of their Cultural Heritage Policy
Presentation format: In-Person
Author(s):
  • Ave Dersch - Chipewyan Prairie Industry Relations
  • Shaun Janvier - Chipewyan Prairie Industry Relations
  • William Wadsworth - Institute of Prairie and Indigenous Archaeology Department of Anthropology, University of Alberta
  • Kurtis  Blaikie - Ember Archaeology

Chipewyan Prairie First Nation’s territory has witnessed the large-scale removal and destruction of cultural heritage sites in the face of rapid oil sands development. This has occurred within a regulatory context that excludes First Nations people and their knowledge from historical resources management, fails to conduct adequate monitoring of historical resources, and lacks regional heritage management plans. In this presentation we share the results of our two field seasons of archaeological excavation on Chipewyan Prairie reserve lands at Doltu´chogh. Using this as a case study, we explore the deficiencies of Alberta’s regulatory system for including First Nations in the management of historic resources and present Chipewyan Prairie’s Cultural Heritage Policy as a path forward. 

03:40 PM to 04:00 PM: Inuit Self-Determination and Nunavut’s Cultural Heritage
Presentation format: In-Person
Author(s):
  • Lesley R Howse - Inuit Heritage Trust
  • Aasivak Arnaquq-Baril - Inuit Heritage Trust Inc.
  • Robert Comeau - Inuit Heritage Trust

While the Government of Nunavut (GN) regulates Nunavut’s cultural heritage, Inuit Heritage Trust Inc. (IHT)., established by the Nunavut Agreement (NA) to represent Inuit interests, shares governance responsibilities. IHT’s mandate includes coordinating the community review of archaeology permit applications and reviewing Nunavut Collection research requests. However, the historical arm's length distance between IHT and researchers, along with top-down approaches and a lack of transparency, has limited Inuit oversight and contributed to misunderstandings.

To address this, IHT is actively working to reassert Inuit rights and dismantle the remnants of colonial practices ingrained in Nunavut’s heritage management. This work puts the NA in action, which states that IHT is to assume increasing responsibilities (Article 33.4.3) and is to balance the responsibilities of the GN (Article 33.2.3). This paper details our progress in implementing IHT’s Archaeology Guidelines and introduces the Digitization Strategy for the Nunavut Collection. The strategy focuses on increasing Inuit access to archaeological collections and data. It includes capacity-building opportunities for Inuit at every stage and enables the development of policies at a community level regarding the care of Inuit cultural belongings.

04:00 PM to 04:20 PM: Parallel Paths within Ontario Archaeology
Presentation format: In-Person
Author(s):
  • Tanya Hill-Montour - Six Nations of the Grand River

Archaeology and research in Ontario is largely carried out by cultural heritage contractors known as Consulting Archaeologists (CRM Cultural Resource Management) who fulfil the government requirements to assess archaeological resources prior to development. Indigenous community involvement in Ontario Archaeology has many challenges under current legislation and policies. Current approaches are non-collaborative, colonial, and destructive. Indigenous communities’ involvement in Archaeology is minimal and generally through roles as monitors during on-site fieldwork. Minimal engagement creates harm to Heritage resources, Indigenous knowledge and the care and control of significant sites. Archaeology must decolonize past practice by promoting collaborative Indigenous approaches that support social justice. Archaeology must go beyond seeking the permission of Indigenous communities when conducting exertion on ancestral objects and archaeology fieldwork. Creating a collaborative approach would foster a positive relationship in the development of a systematic and continuous practice that would address reconciliation. This would create autonomy, guiding a parallel path of decision making for best practices in the care and control of Ancestors and Heritage overall. Indigenous engagement during the planning stages contributes to the understanding of an archaeology project beyond the process of notification. This inclusion would promote equal justice, equal opportunity, and equal dignity for repatriation and rematriation.

04:20 PM to 04:40 PM: The After Times: Thinking About Archaeology Beyond Provincial Regulation
Presentation format: In-Person
Author(s):
  • Matthew A. Beaudoin - TMHC Inc.
  • Joshua Dent - TMHC Inc.
  • Holly Martelle - TMHC Inc.

The current state of CRM archaeology in Ontario offers a glimpse into what the next generation of our “industry” could become. This is a timely case study to consider the value and appropriateness of government dictated standards and guidelines, or ad hoc versions thereof, for almost every aspect of archaeological projects. We are increasingly seeing Indigenous directions and expectations being proactively incorporated into planning approval authority processes to address systemic deficiencies in the conventional provincial regulation of archaeology. Similar situations have been unfolding across the province where municipalities, Indigenous and Descendant communities are having more say in how archaeology is done, where, and why. These decisions are also happening as part of larger planning discussions between Indigenous communities, municipalities and developers. One wonders what role, if any, remains for standardized provincial oversight of archaeology, now a regulatory body that appears more disconnected than ever from the participants and practices in an archaeological endeavor increasingly driven by the intersection of Indigenous sovereignty with municipal planning.

04:40 PM to 05:00 PM: Who Has the Right to Control the Past – Genocidal Policy
Presentation format: In-Person
Author(s):
  • Scott Robertson - Nahwageahbow & Courbiere Genoodmagejig/Barristers & Solicitors
  • Laura Arndt - Survivors' Secretariat

Canadian and Provincial laws don’t protect and preserve remains of Indigenous ancestors, which perpetuates assimilation policy. For a century and half, Crown policies have erased sacred Indigenous ceremonies, governance structures and legal traditions.  By doing so the Crown is attempting to erase the very evidentiary basis on which Indigenous communities are required to prove their legal title to land and water. 

The survival of Indigenous nations and protection of their distinct cultures is tied to their ability to protect, preserve, and honour their past.  The Supreme Court of Canada, in Haida Nation v. British Columbia (Minister of Forests) [2004] ruled Aboriginal peoples were here when Europeans arrived and were never conquered.  In defining Aboriginal and Treaty rights and resolving the many outstanding claims the Crown must act honourably in preserving the evidence and proof of Indigenous people’s existence and occupancy of the lands on which they have traveled, lived and buried their ancestors since time immemorial.

Does the Crown’s assertion of the “best interest” doctrine or the “common good” supersede constitutionally protected Aboriginal and Treaty rights? How can Indigenous peoples prevent archeology and “Western science” being used to assimilate and invalidate Indigenous people’s history?

05:00 PM to 05:20 PM: Working Together to Protect Ancestors
Presentation format: In-Person
Author(s):
  • Katherine Nichols - Simon Fraser University and Sioux Valley Dakota Nation
  • Maegan Courchene - Manitoba Keewatinowi Okimakanak Inc.

The repatriation and protection of Ancestors, their belongings and sacred sites is a critical issue for Indigenous communities. Currently, a patchwork of provincial guidelines, policies and legislation exist that do not fully recognize Indigenous sovereignty. Through a partnership between Wipazoka Wakpa (Sioux Valley Dakota Nation) and Manitoba Keewatinowi Okimakanak Inc. (MKO) to locate missing children at the Brandon Residential School, an urgent need was identified to safeguard sacred sites and unmarked graves located on private lands. To address this ongoing issue, Wipazoka Wakpa and MKO hosted the Protecting Our Ancestors Conference which brought together Indigenous voices from Canada, USA, and New Zealand, as well as museum, policy, and law experts. The aim of this conference was to begin discussing the development of an Indigenous-led law similar to the USA Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA). This presentation will share the complex challenges related to repatriation and protection of Ancestors in Manitoba, navigate the legal and cultural landscape surrounding NAGPRA and highlight community perspectives on these issues. Through sharing knowledge and innovative approaches, this conference was a pivotal moment, serving as a call to action to continue preserving the memory of the Ancestors, ensuring their stories are never forgotten.

Date/Time: 
May 2, 2024 - 1:20pm to 4:20pm
(CST)
Room: 
Florence
Session Hosting Format: 
in-person session
Organizer(s): 
  • Session Chair: Michael K. Lewis
Contact Email: 

Presentations

01:20 PM to 01:40 PM: Deepening Archaeology’s Engagement with Canadian Slavery Studies: Black Enslaved Women and their Living Quarters in Loyalist New Brunswick
Presentation format: In-Person
Author(s):
  • Emily Draicchio - Montreal Museum of Archaeology and History (Pointe-à-Callière)

Although there have been significant contributions to the study of Canadian slavery in the past several decades, there has been a lack of archaeological studies on the topic. This paper expands archaeological research on slavery beyond tropical and semi-tropical plantation sites by locating, documenting, and examining sites used as living quarters by Black enslaved women in Loyalist New Brunswick (1783-1834). By combining the analysis of archival records with the (story)mapping and surveying of these sites, this research reveals important insights into the labour skills, experiences of abuse, forced dislocations, familial bonds, acts of resistance, and working and living conditions of enslaved women and particularly mothers in this temperate region. Furthermore, this paper demonstrates that working comparatively with excavated sites of enslavement in similar temperate regions, like Massachusetts where there was also an enslaved minority population, helps contextualize how the archaeological record can provide insights into the nature of slavery in New Brunswick and Canada at large. In focusing on this under-researched area of archaeological study, this research opens a small window into the lived realities of Black enslaved women in New Brunswick and implores archaeologists to deepen their engagement with both Canadian slavery studies and community archaeology.

01:40 PM to 02:00 PM: Climate Adaptation and Archaeology in Nova Scotia
Presentation format: In-Person
Author(s):
  • Andrea Richardson - Cape Sable Historical Society

Climate change is a significant threat to archaeology and heritage in Nova Scotia. We see the direct impacts of sea level rise, intense storms, flooding, erosion, and wildfires on archaeological sites across the province. As these effects intensify, more and more archaeological sites—and the stories they hold–may be damaged or lost.

We can find hope in collaboration and action. Archaeologists are working together to respond to the impacts of climate change on archaeology in Nova Scotia. Between 2019 and 2022, the archaeology sector in Nova Scotia (including representatives from consulting archaeology, academia, government, community organizations, and Mi’kmaq rights holders) worked together to create a climate adaptation strategy for the sector. It’s now being implemented through adaptation projects led by a dedicated team of volunteers from the archaeology sector, coordinated by a Climate Adaptation Coordinator for the archaeology sector and funded by the provincial Climate Plan.

The archaeology adaptation strategy aims to bridge the past, present and future by working with communities to identify, record and preserve sites and resources that are significant to the community and tell our collective story, even in the face of an uncertain climate future.

02:00 PM to 02:20 PM: Time and event in settlement histories on the central coast of British Columbia.
Presentation format: In-Person
Author(s):
  • Aubrey Cannon - McMaster University

Dated sites in Heiltsuk and Oweekeno traditional territories represent continua in size, occupational intensity, and dates of initial occupation. Although fully acknowledging variability and change, this perception of settlement patterning is also strangely ahistorical. Only two sites from among 40 tested through core and auger sampling show any indication of change in occupational intensity or subsistence activity. An alternative perspective shows variation in patterns of site establishment and development that differentiates between historically uneventful incremental growth, evident at most sites, less common examples of site expansion, contraction and possible abandonment, and rare examples of sites initiated as spatially complete settlements. This approach highlights eventful histories at the local and regional level that define a basis for further investigation.

02:20 PM to 02:40 PM: Collaborative Archaeology in Nova Scotia Paper 1 of 3 - It's Always a Bridge to Somewhere: transforming research through Mi'kmaw-Parks Canada Collaborative Archaeology Model
Presentation format: In-Person
Author(s):
  • Rebecca Dunham - Parks Canada Agency
  • Heather MacLeod-Leslie - Kwilmu'kw Maw-Klusuaqn Negotiation Office
  • Keith Mercer - Parks Canada Agency
  • Emily Pudden - Kwilmu'kw Maw-Klusuaqn Negotiation Office

Kwilmu’kw-Maw-klusuaqn Negotiations Office (KMKNO) and Parks Canada’s Nova Scotia-based field units enjoy a progressive and productive way to make decisions about archaeology, with research, knowledge advancement and community inclusion weighted as at least equal to project completion goals.  Called the Collaborative Archaeology Technical Team, it has improved the flow of formal consultations between the Mi’kmaq of Nova Scotia and the Crown and has yielded exciting results in the field and lab.  New sites are being found where previous approaches would not have tested, new methods are being used and a special surprise we’d only dreamed of finding showed up.  None of these results would have happened without a willingness to share decision-making power and try new methods.  The latest projects bridge rivers, time, oceans and the distance between historical injustice, exclusionary archaeological practice and reconciliation. This paper will discuss the transformative research scope and results that a Collaborative Archaeology Technical Team model can have when willing parties work together to build bridges.

02:40 PM to 03:00 PM: Collaborative Archaeology in Nova Scotia Paper 2 of 3: A Bridge to the Allerød - Riverbed Coring at Kejimkujik National Park and National Historic Site
Presentation format: In-Person
Author(s):
  • Rebecca Dunham - Parks Canada Agency
  • Heather MacLeod-Leslie - Kwilmu'kw Maw-Klusuaqn Negotiation Office
  • Emily Pudden - Kwilmu'kw Maw-Klusuaqn Negotiation Office
  • Elena Ponomarenko - University of Ottawa and Ecosystem Archaeology Services
  • Ekaterina Ershova - University of Wisconsin-Madison
  • Svetlana Kuzmina - Ecosystem Archaeology Services
  • Craig Hodder - Kwilmu'kw Maw-Klusuaqn Negotiation Office

Geotechnical borehole testing for the replacement of a pedestrian bridge across Oqomkikiaq (the Mersey River), in Kejimkujik NPNHS, presented the Parks Canada - Kwilmu’kw Maw-klusuaqn Negotiation Office (PCA-KMKNO) Collaborative Archaeology Team with the opportunity to obtain a continuous sediment core sample from the riverbed. The intent was to document the depositional history of the waterway and, potentially, identify past periods of human activity. What emerged was an 8-metre-deep “bridge”, stretching back 14,000 years, and the most-detailed pollen diagram yet produced for Nova Scotia. The core also appears to contain 9000-year-old microlithic debitage from this submerged and ancient place.

Kejimkujik has a profound ecological and cultural significance to the Mi’kmaq, who have maintained their connection to the lands and waters here since time immemorial. This paper traces the evolution of this significant Mi’kmaw cultural landscape from the Pleistocene to the present through a preliminary analysis of the sediments, pollen data, macrofossils, and evidence of micro-debitage recovered from the core sample. Through the guiding principle of Etuaptmumk (two-eyed seeing), we are beginning the job of weaving together a western scientific approach with Mi’kmaw cultural knowledge and Mi’kmaw historical records to better understand this place, and its history, as witnessed by Mi’kmaw ancestors.

03:20 PM to 03:40 PM: Collaborative Archaeology in Nova Scotia Paper 3 of 3: Sable Island National Park Reserve Paleosols - Finding the Dirt on Sable Island
Presentation format: In-Person
Author(s):
  • Rebecca Dunham - Parks Canada Agency
  • Heather MacLeod-Leslie - Kwilmu'kw Maw-Klusuaqn Negotiation Office
  • Emily Pudden - Kwilmu'kw Maw-Klusuaqn Negotiation Office
  • Elena Ponomarenko - University of Ottawa and Ecosystem Archaeology Services
  • Ekaterina Ershova - University of Wisconsin-Madison
  • Svetlana Kuzmina - Ecosystem Archaeology Services
  • Craig Hodder - Kwilmu'kw Maw-Klusuaqn Negotiation Office

The windswept sand dunes and grassy plains of Sable Island National Park Reserve appear to be a wild natural landscape but the island has been greatly impacted by centuries of human activity. What was the island landscape before European fishermen and explorers arrived on its shores in the 16th Century and could this island have been visited by Indigenous peoples long before? How has the island changed over time whether due to climate change or human presence? Archaeologists at Parks Canada and Kwilmu'kw Maw-Klusuaqn Negotiation Office are asking these questions to better understand the islands’ cultural history and to help predict the islands’ future. In collaboration with soil scientists at the University of Ottawa, archaeological and paleoecological analyses of the island’s intermittently-exposed paleosols and associated strata are beginning to answer these questions. While this interdisciplinary research is still underway, this paper will present recent findings that shed light on the island landscape before and after European arrival and have identified key stratigraphic markers to facilitate current and future landscape research across the island.

03:40 PM to 04:00 PM: Wooden Ferry Construction and Propulsion: a 1916 Ferry at Frenchman’s Butte, Saskatchewan
Presentation format: In-Person
Author(s):
  • Michael Lewis - Conservation of Archaeological Materials Laboratory

Prior to the construction of bridges, the most common and safest method to cross the rivers in the Canadian prairies was to be ferried across, due to the severe and dangerous currents within the rivers.  These ferries were locally manufactured to no standard plan, with the knowledge that the ferries would have a limited useful life span before being discarded.

This paper, using as a case study of the 1916 wooden ferry at Frenchmen’s Butte, Saskatchewan; describes the geographic region of their service, their construction methods, unique propulsion, and the recreation of working drawings and a 3D model based upon a preserved ferry.  Thus, providing an archaeological record of these important, but easily overlooked, watercraft in the Canadian Prairies.  

04:00 PM to 04:20 PM: Recently excavated Tshiash Innu mitakuapa in Sheshatshiu and Natuashish, Labrador and the implications for Archaic period archaeological history and cultural resources management in the Atlantic Northeast
Presentation format: In-Person
Author(s):
  • Scott Neilsen - School of Arctic and Subarctic Studies, Labrador Campus of Memorial University
  • Anthony  Jenkinson - Independent Researcher

Cultural Resources Management based archaeological research in Sheshatshiu and Natuashish, Labrador in the 21st century has identified archaeological sites dating to the latter half of the Tshiash Innu (i.e., Maritime Archaic) period. This paper summarizes the investigation results from archaeological sites FjCa-60, FjCa-71, and FjCa-79 in Sheshatshiu, and GlCh-04 in Natuashish. We also use this opportunity to critically reflect on Tshiash Innu archaeological history in the Quebec-Labrador peninsula and Cultural Resources Management practices in Labrador.

Friday, May 3, 2024

Date/Time: 
May 3, 2024 - 8:00am to 10:00am
(CST)
Room: 
Naples
Session Hosting Format: 
in-person session
Organizer(s): 
  • CAA 2024
Contact Email: 

Presentations

08:00 AM to 08:20 AM: How Western in northwestern Ontario? Excavations at Dogrib Rapids, Berens Lake Ontario
Presentation format: In-Person
Author(s):
  • David  Norris - Woodland Heritage Northwest

Excavations at the Dogrib Rapids, at the north end of Berens Lake have been the result of a proposed development of an all-weather road and bridge at the north end of Berens Lake in northwestern Ontario. During the summer of 2023, approximately 1500 units were excavated on the western side of the rapids, while approximately 650 units were excavated during the summer of 2022. Recoveries from the western side were a completely lithic dominated assemblage, with small amounts of copper but no pottery. The absence of pottery is a mystery as some of the projectile points appear to be Plains/Prairie side-notched, with affiliations to groups that would have utilized such technology.  The eastern side of the rapids saw recoveries of pottery, stone tools, and copper. Perhaps the distinction between the two sides of the rapids, regarding artifact assemblage is a matter of site use rather than occupancy? The goal of this presentation is to provide a brief overview of the project, provide some archaeological context to the excavations and highlight stylistic attributes of the projectile points that might indicate ties between northwestern Ontario and the western Plains.

08:20 AM to 08:40 AM: Lost (?) civilizations: Archaeologies of resurgence from beneath the rubble of dead massively multiplayer online games
Presentation format: In-Person
Author(s):
  • Madelyn  Hertz - Western University

While videogame preservation is challenging as we transition from brick-and-mortar stores to virtual storefronts, massively multiplayer online (MMO) games are at a heightened risk of being completely lost to time when they are no longer supported by their creators. MMOs, unlike many game genres, are completely reliant on online servers outside of players’ control. Unsupported, or dead MMOs, as meeting places and points of connection alongside their (digital) material culture, represent entire virtual landscapes, cultures, and perhaps civilizations that have been left without so much as ruins to visit; when servers go down, these virtual worlds are near impossible to access by a regular user. While many MMOs have been lost to time, some have been subject to grassroots revitalization efforts, largely through the creation of private servers and the reconstruction of game files scattered across the internet. These labors of love are often unappreciated by their games’ original creators, who regularly approach private server organizers with lawsuits or cease and desist letters. This presentation navigates the relationship between ‘grey area’ games revitalization efforts and the games industry regarding approaches to heritage preservation and ownership, as gaming corporations litigate against those trying to bring these worlds back to life.

08:40 AM to 09:00 AM: Ethnoarchaeology needs a mulligan.
Presentation format: In-Person
Author(s):
  • Jerimy Cunningham - University of Lethbridge

The notion of a “mulligan” is believed to originate in the tendency of a Canadian golfer, David B. Mulligan, to hit a second ball after mishitting his tee-shot. The term thus refers to a do-over in its broadest sense – a restart to address a mistake. In this presentation, I argue that ethnoarchaeology needs a mulligan.The aspirations behind the development of ethnoarchaeology are laudable: ethnoarchaeology was designed to address interpretive limitations in archaeology by consulting with people who possess perspectives unrepresented in the discipline. Its mistake – one shared with archaeology, anthropology, and modernity at large – has been to believe human societies sort into the rational and irrational, the developed and undeveloped, and the modern and traditional. Consequently, archaeologists tend to believe their positioning within “modernity” is what creates their primary interpretive challenge, and they expand their interpretive lenses by consulting with those believed to follow coeval-but-traditional lifeways. I seek to disentangle archaeology and ethnoarchaeology from these temporal tropes. I call for a mulligan explicitly to repurpose ethnoarchaeology for a post-positivist epistemology as a form of standpoint critique that addresses the way intersectional identities impact the making of archaeological histories.

09:00 AM to 09:20 AM: Recherche et développement en archéologie : première phase du projet Innovation
Presentation format: In-Person
Author(s):
  • Marie-Anne Paradis - Artéfact urbain inc.
  • Joey Leblanc - Artéfact urbain inc.
  • Simon Paquin - Artéfact urbain inc.

Présentation du projet financé par Investissement Québec et Artéfact urbain dans le cadre du programme de Soutien aux projets d’innovation. Ce projet vise tout d'abord à une acquisition numérique sur le terrain, puis à une intégration des données brutes dans un environnement de réalité mixte (RM). Le projet consiste à expérimenter cette approche pour la compréhension et l'analyse d’un site archéologique. L'objectif principal est d'améliorer la recherche scientifique grâce à l'intégration de ces technologies, tout en développant des outils de médiation grand public immersifs.

Ce projet ambitieux prévoit également une collaboration étroite avec la Première Nation Wolastoqiyik Wahsipekuk et le parc national du Lac-Témiscouata (SÉPAQ). Une fouille archéologique sera menée à la fin mai 2024 dans le parc national pour récolter les données brutes nécessaires. Cette collaboration permettra de développer un référentiel nécessaire à l'analyse spécialisée des artefacts, tout en testant l'efficacité des procédés de RM dans ce contexte.

Ce projet de trois ans vise à repousser les limites de la recherche professionnelle en intégrant des technologies de pointe et en favorisant la collaboration avec les communautés autochtones, tout en assurant une approche durable et éthique de la découverte et de la préservation du patrimoine.

(Présentatrice : Marie-Anne Paradis)

 

09:20 AM to 09:40 AM: “I am Doing Two Things at Once”: the Struggles of Conducting Community-Based Research within a PhD Program
Presentation format: In-Person
Author(s):
  • Caylee Dzurka

Over the past 20 years, archaeology has shifted towards community-based research with an increasing number of graduate students partnering with communities for their research projects. However, funding constraints, program requirements, and expected project outputs present challenges for community work at the graduate level. As a PhD student, I have been navigating the conflicting priorities of academic institutions and local communities as I work with 2SLGBTQ+ Inuit to build an archaeological archive of diverse gender identities and relationships in the Inuit past. To build trust with my community partners and meet the requirements of my PhD program, I have found myself trying to accomplish very different goals. Over the past three years, I have been completing my course work, comprehensive exams, and proposal defense while also building relationships and collaborating with my community partners; objectives which are not considered essential for a graduate program but are vital for a community archaeology project. Based on my experience, I will argue that Canadian institutions need to re-evaluate aspects of the PhD candidacy process to meet the needs of the communities’ graduate students are partnering with; such as increased funding opportunities, workshops on partnership building, and flexibility in program timelines and outputs.

09:40 AM to 10:00 AM: Archaeology and Ganaanaagajitoowad Aki: observing and studying the land, learning the past, present and future
Presentation format: In-Person
Author(s):
  • Kristian Sullivan - KGS Group
  • Bert Cantin - Wabigoon Lake Ojibway Nation

Since 2018, Wabigoon Lake Ojibway Nation (WLON) and KGS Group have developed a strong working relationship built on trust and mutual respect. Together, we have designed, implemented, and performed community information and consultation sessions, traditional knowledge studies, scientific youth camps, field environmental monitoring, data collection programs, and emergency environmental response plans. In 2023 we established Ganaanaagajitoowad Aki, a joint venture that formalizes this arrangement in the field of environmental consulting. We are committed to listening, learning, and merging the traditional and technical such that traditional knowledge is honored and respected, and that all scientific and technical requirements are fulfilled. 

This presentation will focus specifically on Ganaanaagajitoowad Aki’s participation in the Stage 2 Archaeological Assessment of Hydro One’s Waasigan Transmission Line, a proposed double-circuit 230 kV transmission line between Thunder Bay and Dryden, Ontario. Portions of this project are situated within WLON tradition territory. Ganaanaagajitoowad Aki is fortunate to be involved in the archaeological fieldwork for the project in 2023 and 2024. This presentation will illustrate how the joint venture is designed and managed, and how the archaeological workplan and fieldwork was organized and developed through a collaborative approach.

Date/Time: 
May 3, 2024 - 8:00am to 10:00am
(CST)
Room: 
Venice
Session Hosting Format: 
in-person session
Organizer(s): 
  • Shalen Prado, University of Saskatchewan
  • Garth Sutton, University of Manitoba
Contact Email: 

Session Abstract

Collaborative archaeological projects in recent years have made efforts decolonize the field by pursuing more respectful and inclusive archaeological research across Turtle Island. However, many aspects of archaeological education and research protocols require further critical review. In this session we will discuss such aspects including: problematizing access to archaeological collections (private, museum, and university), figuring out consent (i.e., who to ask?), how and when should archaeologists connect with collaborators, respect with belongings (i.e., artifacts), and giving back to community. Through a series of collaboratively structured questions, panelists will discuss these topics in an open dialogue to help orient archaeologists and other heritage professionals toward more respectful and de-colonial ways of doing archaeology in the field, the museum, and the classroom.

*This is an invited and structure panel session.*

Date/Time: 
May 3, 2024 - 8:20am to 11:00am
(CST)
Room: 
Michelangelo B
Session Hosting Format: 
in-person session
Organizer(s): 
  • Butch Amundson, Stantec Consulting Ltd.
  • Kathleen Willie, University of Saskatchewan
  • Eliann Guinan, Government of Saskatchewan, Heritage Conservation Branch
Contact Email: 

Session Abstract

The career of Dr. Ernest Walker has touched many lives and places. His research as a Plains archaeologist led to the formation of Wanuskewin Heritage Park and his career as a University of Saskatchewan professor allowed him to mentor many students. Combined, they have substantially increased our knowledge of the discipline, Northern Plains archaeology in particular, and fostered the development of a Park worthy of the UNESCO World Heritage Designation that it seeks. Ernie has mentored many of us, and his work shaped the work we do today. In honour of his accomplishments and work as an archaeologist, we organized this session in his honour. A chance to share stories, speak of his work, impact, memories, and time spent working with him. Ernie retired from teaching in 2020, but maintains a strong relationship with USask, and is still continuing to supervise graduate students, and maintains relationships with many of his former students. We look forward to hearing from many of his former students and colleagues in this session as a means to show our appreciation for him and his stellar career. 

Presentations

08:20 AM to 08:40 AM: Shaping Northern Great Plains Archaeology: Dr. Walker's influence on Cultural Resource Management in Saskatchewan
Presentation format: In-Person
Author(s):
  • Brent Kevinsen - Heritage Conservation Branch - Government of Saskatchewan
  • Heather Frary - Heritage Conservation Branch - Government of Saskatchewan

From his earlier work in cultural resources management, to research projects with the U of S, to inspiring and mentoring the following generations of students and consultants, Dr. Walker’s impacts on the field of heritage resource management cannot be understated. Dr. Walker’s many contributions include taking the initiative to protect heritage resources in and around the quickly expanding City of Saskatoon including Wanuskewin Heritage Park, and inventory surveys throughout the Saskatchewan plains.

Ernie’s studies and projects have helped to develop baselines and add to the province’s data in the early days of The Heritage Property Act. With his expertise, Ernie continues to assist the Heritage Conservation Branch. Since his early days at the U of S and throughout his long career, Ernie has been busy influencing the next generations of consultants, and has played a pivotal role to many of those in the CRM field.

08:40 AM to 09:00 AM: Lithic Resource Utilization and Cultural Assemblage at the Wolf Willow (FbNp-26) Site
Presentation format: In-Person
Author(s):
  • Bailey Pelletier - CanNorth

There is a small valley that sits right outside of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, known as the Opimihaw Valley. This valley is home to twenty-one archaeological sites that were identified in the early 1980’s through surveys. A heritage park, known today as Wanuskewin Heritage Park, was built in this Valley to preserve the sites and their rich history. The Wolf Willow site (FbNp-26) is one of the 21 identified sites and is a multi-component Precontact campsite located within the Opimihaw Valley. Excavations of the site began in 2010 and continued for another 10 years ending in the field season of 2020. This presentation will focus on the cultural assemblage from the 2015 to 2020 excavations.

09:00 AM to 09:20 AM: Ernie and the SAS: Over 50 Years of Contributions to Saskatchewan Archaeology
Presentation format: In-Person
Author(s):
  • Tomasin Playford - Saskatchewan Archaeological Society
  • Belinda Riehl-Fitzsimmons - Saskatchewan Archaeological Society
  • Karin Steuber - Saskatchewan Archaeological Society

When people think of Dr. Walker, different aspects of his multifaceted archaeological career might come to mind. Perhaps it is his enduring connection to Wanuskewin Heritage Park, his long tenure as an archaeology professor at the University of Saskatchewan, his forensics work, or maybe even his early CRM career. People often do not realize Ernie has also been a life-long advocate and supporter of the Saskatchewan Archaeological Society (SAS). Starting with his membership in 1973, he has contributed to the organization by presenting at numerous SAS and Chapter meetings, assisting with field or collections work, submitting articles to SAS publications, and collaborating on workshops, fieldschools, or otther public events. Join us as we take a retrospective look at these activities to highlight the enduring relationship between Ernie and the SAS.

09:20 AM to 09:40 AM: It’s a Long Way to Tipperary: From Wanuskewin to Big Muddy and Beyond
Presentation format: In-Person
Author(s):
  • Chuck Ramsay - AtkinsRealis

As a second year Chem Major I took my first Archaeology class from Dr. Ernest (Ernie) G. Walker in 1984. I was ‘hooked’ and enrolled as an Archaeology Major in Ernie’s Physical Anthropology courses and Archaeology field school at Tipperary Creek Park (now Wanuskewin). Eventually, as one of his Grad Students, I completed my Master’s Thesis on the Redtail Site (FbNp-16) at Wanuskewin in 1988 & 1989. Ernie set a high bar for archaeologists through his actions and engagement with the Indigenous partnership at Wanuskewin. Many of us learned by observation the respect and trust he developed with the Indigenous communities. Subsequently, I became involved in workshops in (SAS, SAPA) 1990-1993 with the archaeology and Indigenous communities that initiated the CAA’s Aboriginal Policy. Following Ernie's example, as a consulting archaeologist, I continued to apply Indigenous engagement and involvement in projects and Traditional Knowledge studies. I also actively support the Indigenous ReconciliAction Plan at AtkinsRealis that follows the Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business’ Progressive Aboriginal Relations’ (PAR) pillars of Leadership Actions, Employment, Business Development, and Community Relations.

09:40 AM to 10:00 AM: How to get a tan in Southern Saskatchewan: A Case Study from the Roan Mare Coulee Archaeological Project
Presentation format: In-Person
Author(s):
  • Eliann Guinan - Heritage Conservation Branch - Government of Saskatchewan

In 1988 and 89 a large-scale archaeological assessment of the Roan Mare Coulee was undertaken by Dr. Walker following the assessment of the Sabin Bison Jump (DhNe-1).  The study area encompassed a total of nine square-miles along the coulee system and resulted in the identification of 120 precontact archaeological sites which indicate a vast network of predominantly drive lines, kill sites and habitation sites.  Tests were excavated at a select few of the identified sites to determine the presence of buried occupations and potential diagnostic artifacts.  Subsequent studies showed the nuances between the landscape of Roan Mare coulee system and associated drive lines and kill sites.  The recording of these archaeological sites has provided a broad understanding of bison procurement strategies and the utilization of the natural landscape of the Big Muddy region. 

10:20 AM to 10:40 AM: Wanuskewin, Bison, and UNESCO – Where are we, and what’s Ernie been up to lately?
Presentation format: In-Person
Author(s):
  • Kathleen Willie - University of Saskatchewan

Wanuskewin Heritage Park started back in the early 1980s under Dr. Ernie Walker’s direction with archaeology happening throughout the valley for the last 40 years. Recently, Wanuskewin and Dr. Walker are working towards a UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) World Heritage Site designation for the park. One thought on how this could be done? Bison, past and present. Nearly every aspect of the park and its history comes back to bison in one way or another. Using archaeology, the contemporary bison herd at the park, and a vision held for decades, creating a statement of Outstanding Universal Value for Wanuskewin is challenging and complex. In honour of his continuing work at the park, this paper will present the current thoughts on UNESCO, World Heritage Designation, bison, and an update on Ernie and Wanuskewin today.

10:40 AM to 11:00 AM: Ernie Walker: Why I am an archaeologist but forgive him anyway
Presentation format: In-Person
Author(s):
  • Leslie Amundson - Stantec Consulting

Ernie Walker began teaching at the University of Saskatchewan when I was a 3rd year undergraduate in archaeology. I went on to be among his first of about 80 graduate students. I accompanied Ernie on the initial surveys of Wanuskewin Heritage Park, Beaver Creek, and much of what is now suburban Saskatoon. In that time I learned many lessons that I have carried with me in a consulting career of over 38 years. The most important take away from my time working with Ernie was his infectious enthusiasm and love for archaeology that inspired me to make archaeology my life's work. As I am soon to retire myself, I look back on a life well spent with gratitude for Ernie's pivotal role in my career's path. Many of my colleagues can say the same of Ernie as a third generation of his students enters the working world to make the world safe for archaeological sites. I will share some anecdotes and examples to illustrate my point.

Date/Time: 
May 3, 2024 - 8:20am to 4:00pm
(CST)
Room: 
Michelangelo C
Session Hosting Format: 
in-person session
Organizer(s): 
  • Robert Losey, Department of Anthropology, University of Alberta
Contact Email: 

Session Abstract

Indigenous peoples of the Canadian prairies and parklands have remarkably diverse long-term histories. Archaeological efforts to understand these histories have been reinvigorated through a variety of new collaborations, methodological advances, and increasingly larger datasets. Community-based archaeology, sourcing studies, residue analyses, zooarchaeology, radiocarbon dating, and a suite of other approaches all have contributed to these developments. This session explores these efforts and approaches through a series of papers spanning the Canadian prairie provinces. Contributions addressing topics spanning from the Early Holocene through to the colonial period will be provided.

Presentations

08:20 AM to 08:40 AM: Ageing archaeological dog and wolf remains on the Canadian Plains
Presentation format: In-Person
Author(s):
  • Megan Bieraugle - University of Alberta
  • Robert Losey - University of Alberta
  • Lei Ding - University of Alberta

Relationships between Indigenous people, dogs, and wolves are complex and have a long history on the Canadian Plains. Understanding canid age at death could shed important light on these relationships, including how people cared for their dogs or interacted with wild wolves encountered at kill sites. Existing canid ageing methods are subjective, rely on teeth not commonly recovered, and have undocumented margins of error. This study uses known age modern wolves from Alberta, Yellowstone National Park, and the Northwest Territories to examine how tooth wear rates correlate with age. Wolves from these regions are used because they should have far less dietary variation than past dogs, meaning that the relationship between age and wear should be less convoluted. Dog tooth wear is likely to be far more complicated due to their variable dietary dependence on people but also their self-provisioning through hunting and scavenging. Our results show that tooth wear has a positive but poor correlation to age, and that statistically significant differences in wear rates occur between each wolf population. Further research is required to fully understand the nuances of canid tooth wear and its relationships to age, diet, trauma, and a suite of other factors.

08:40 AM to 09:00 AM: Tackling the Enigma of Late Precontact Southwest Manitoba: Insights from the Pierson Wildlife Management Area Archaeological Project and Beyond
Presentation format: In-Person
Author(s):
  • Mary E Malainey - Anthropology-Brandon University and Manitoba Archaeological Society

Five years of archaeological research south of Melita by Brandon University and the Manitoba Archaeological Society have provided a greater understanding of the complex pre-European contact past of this region. Prompted by the discovery of two complete bison scapula hoes in 2018, excavations indicate that an intense occupation of the area by Indigenous horticulturalists began in the late 1400s or early 1500s CE. Evidence of an earlier occupation along Gainsborough Creek includes Besant/Sonota points, features, earthworks, and radiocarbon age estimates. Early Woodland (Adena, Kramer and Waubseau) points have been found nearby and at sites to the north. The timing of these occupations coincides with the two distinct use episodes of pipestone reported elsewhere, the first approximately 2000 years ago and the second beginning in the 14th century CE. The presence of worked red dolomite and availability of raw material along Pipestone Creek may in part explain the concentration of habitation sites and earthworks in the southwest corner of Manitoba. A similar re-occupation and re-use of previously constructed burial mounds by later horticulturalists was reported in the Lockport area along the Red River north of Winnipeg. These results lend additional support for a re-consideration of the Devils Lake-Sourisford Burial Complex.

09:00 AM to 09:20 AM: The Buried Pot Feature and Preliminary Results of Palaeobotanical Analyses of Artifacts and Soil in and around the Pierson Wildlife Management Area, Southwest Manitoba
Presentation format: In-Person
Author(s):
  • Mary E Malainey - Anthropology-Brandon University and Manitoba Archaeological Society
  • Sara Halwas - Sessional lecturer, Department of Anthropology, University of Manitoba
  • Clarence Surette - Department of Anthropology, Lakehead University
  • Matt Boyd - Department of Anthropology, Lakehead University

Evidence of pre-European contact Indigenous farming activities has been recovered from sites in and around the Gainsborough Creek valley in the southwest corner of Manitoba. Fragments of an intentionally buried pot were recovered near a hearth at site DgMg-168, on the adjacent prairie. The significance of this vessel, which dates to the beginning of the horticultural occupation, is considered. Recent results from the palaeobotanical analysis of associated carbonized vessel residues and soil core samples from the Olson site (DgMg-167) on the valley floor will be presented. This information, combined with distribution of sites, features and artifacts in and around the Pierson Wildlife Management Area, is providing a more complete understanding of how Late Precontact Indigenous farmers used the area.

09:20 AM to 09:40 AM: Revisiting Archaeological Understandings of Métis Identity Using Foodways
Presentation format: In-Person
Author(s):
  • Solène Mallet Gauthier - University of Alberta

The archaeology of the Métis, a post-contact Indigenous people whose homeland encompasses much of western Canada and parts of the northwestern United States, has not received the same amount of attention from archaeologists as the histories of other Indigenous groups. While a few papers have been published throughout the 1970s to the 2000s, it can generally be said that the research done on Métis archaeological sites and materials has remained very sparse until the creation of the EMITA (Exploring Métis Identity Through Archaeology) project, led by Dr. Kisha Supernant. As part of this project, research undertaken by graduate students have all either involved re-examining previous interpretations and understandings of Métis material culture, or included the use of methods never used before in such contexts. Using the example of work currently being done on materials collected at Chimney Coulee (DjOe-6), this presentation will focus on the application of methods from environmental archaeology and the concept of foodways to revisit traditional archaeological understandings of Métis identity.

09:40 AM to 10:00 AM: Infrequency as a Measure of Importance: Pottery Use and Maize Consumption by Mobile Hunter-Gatherers of the Northern Great Plains (2000 to 1150 BP)
Presentation format: In-Person
Author(s):
  • Andrew Lints

What we now label Besant and Sonota material culture originates from a time and places where ‘new’ activities and technologies appeared in northern Great Plains settings. The use of pottery marked an alternative to culinary practices that previously required the heating of stones to boil foods. Recent examination of these vessels allowed for the opportunity to address how ‘new’ materials and foods were adopted. Analyses of pottery from 24 sites across the northern Great Plains, revealed how infrequent pottery was within the overall material culture during this time. Likewise, microbotanical evidence of maize (Zea mays spp. mays) was limited to only pottery vessels from the Stelzer (39DW242) and Arpan Mound (39DW252) sites, in northern South Dakota. While these numbers may seem anomalous, the context of the Stelzer and Arpan Mound sites suggests otherwise. The Stelzer and Arpan mound sites represent two locations where significant multi-community gatherings occurred. Although both items were rare within the material culture of this time, pottery and maize were central to the ritual activities conducted at these sites. Further, the use of pottery and maize may have been reserved for significant events.

10:20 AM to 10:40 AM: The Excavation of a Stone Cairn Cache in Southern Saskatchewan
Presentation format: In-Person
Author(s):
  • Eliann Guinan
  • Mike Markowski - AtlHeritage Services Corp.

In 2018, a stone cairn was discovered on a prominent hilltop in the Missouri Coteau in southern Saskatchewan, not an uncommon discovery. Due to potential impacts from development, a salvage excavation commenced which included the excavation of the entire stone cairn structure and additional subsurface testing in the immediate area. A preliminary interpretation for the stone cairn was its functional use as a navigational marker; however, the initial interpretation was retracted upon the discovery of a cache cavity within the unexpectedly large structure of the stone cairn. Had the excavation not occurred, the stone cairn may have been misinterpreted; this is a common issue at stone cairn sites across the northern Plains.

10:40 AM to 11:00 AM: What’s that doing there!?: 2022 Excavations at GfOx-59 and GfOx-61 in Sir Winston Churchill Provincial Park.
Presentation format: In-Person
Author(s):
  • Taylor Graham - Bison Historical Servioces Ltd.

In the fall of 2022, on behalf of Alberta Parks, a Historical Resources Impact Mitigation of two archaeological sites (GfOx-59 and GfOx-61) was conducted on the Big Island of Sir Winston Churchill Provincial Park in Lac La Biche Alberta.  These sites contained two different ceramic assemblages, with GfOx-59 producing Narrows Fabric Impressed Ware, first identified in the Buffalo Narrows region of Northwestern Saskatchewan, and the ceramic ware most common in the region.  While GfOx-61 produced Avery Horizontal Corded Ware, first identified in southeastern Manitoba, and never before observed in northeastern Alberta.  Both wares are discussed and their distributions across western Canada examined.  It is posited that with the newly confirmed presence of Avery Corded ware within northeastern Alberta, past ceramic sherd identifications may have combined the relatively similar morphology of body sherds due to a superficial or untrained inspection, and that some previously collected assemblages could potentially contain unrecognized Avery Horizontal Corded Ware.  If confirmed the presence of this ware across the region could then indicate a previously undiscovered cultural expression in the region, or a long distance trade and influence network stretching from southeastern Manitoba to northeastern Alberta.

11:00 AM to 11:20 AM: Location, Location, and Location: The role of Sand Dunes in Intensive Bison Hunting on the Northern Plains
Presentation format: In-Person
Author(s):
  • Tim Panas - Museums Association of Saskatchewan

In examining the roles that ecology and landscape have played in Northern Plains bison behaviour and subsequent human settlement patterns, one region that has not been fully recognized is sand dunes. Far from being anomalous features within the larger prairie grasslands, dunes are readily found within the region. Further, while commonly perceived as being desolate landscapes, the unique physical properties of sand dunes have allowed them to act as vital resource areas that were extensively exploited by both Indigenous and Settler populations over the past 2,000 years. This paper will examine, through the archaeological, ethnographic, and documentary/oral histories of the region, how dunes played a key role in bison acquisition activities that fuelled not only the industrialization of pounding activities during the Besant period, but also the spatial organization of Fur Trade centres during the 18th and 19th Century.

11:20 AM to 11:40 AM: Stone Circles Revisited: Comparing Archaeological Assumptions with Blackfoot Practice
Presentation format: In-Person
Author(s):
  • Lindsay Amundsen-Meyer - Department of Anthropology and Archaeology, University of Calgary
  • Kent Ayoungman - Independent Scholar, Siksika First Nation

While scholars have continued to debate the research value of excavating stone circles, few have questioned the assumptions we use to interpret them. This despite the fact these assumptions originate in or before the era of Processual archaeology and were likely formed without input from descendant communities. Yet, pick up an archaeological report detailing a survey of stone feature sites and you will almost certainly see reference to whether each circle is a double or single ring of stones (the former assumed to result from cold season occupation, the latter from warm season occupation), whether there are any gaps (particularly to the east) consistent with a door, and whether or not any cobbles representative of an interior hearth are present. This paper will demonstrate that these assumptions are overly simplistic, and that any interpretation of archaeological sites based on them is fundamentally flawed. It is time that Plains archaeologists work with descendant communities such as the Blackfoot to understand from a culturally specific perspective how tipis are designed and erected and apply these understandings to our interpretation of the archaeological record.

11:40 AM to 12:00 PM: Addressing the Finer Issues with Burned-Rock Feature Analysis on the Northwestern Plains
Presentation format: In-Person
Author(s):
  • Allie Bradford - University of Calgary

Stone features described as burned-rock features (BRF) by archaeologists represent essential practices in the lifeways of past peoples as they served as cooking elements, heated homes, and were used for ceremonial purposes. Yet, meaningful interpretation of BRFs has been limited on the Northwestern Plains due to morphological variability, inconsistent terminology, as well as the perceived lack of interpretive value of fire-broken rock (FBR). This lack of meaningful engagement with BRF has resulted in the misidentification and misinterpretation of BRF, leading individuals to overlook the cultural significance of these features to Plains Indigenous peoples. Therefore, in this discussion, I will address the finer issues associated with BRF analysis. I will include an in-depth review of known BRF in the Northwestern Plains to highlight these issues. Finally, I will emphasize the importance of BRF studies to demonstrate that BRFs present critical data which can be utilized to better understand the lifeways of past peoples.

01:20 PM to 01:40 PM: New Collaborative Efforts Towards A Better Understanding of Lake Midden, a Gathering Place
Presentation format: In-Person
Author(s):
  • Robert Losey - University of Alberta

This presentation provides an introduction to the renewed efforts being made to better understand the Lake Midden (EfNg-1) site near Last Mountain Lake, Saskatchewan. This work is a collaborative effort by members of the University of Alberta, the University of Saskatchewan, and the Touchwood Agency Tribal Council Elders. We are working together to comprehensively examine the massive collections recovered from this Mortlach phase site over its decades-long history of excavation. In the presentation, new radiocarbon dating of the site to better understand its chronology and use as a winter gathering area are outlined. Our initial steps toward developing educational materials for Touchwood Agency communities also are described. Finally, we present potential evidence for the falsification of some artifacts at the site, likely related to attempts made decades ago to increase artifacts’ value when being sold to museums. 

01:40 PM to 02:00 PM: Microbotanical residues of past Indigenous foodways: insights from Lake Midden pot sherds
Presentation format: In-Person
Author(s):
  • Shalen Prado - University of Saskatchewan
  • Hailey Kennedy - University of Saskatchewan

Archaeological investigations of ceramics in Saskatchewan have historically focused on typological analysis – an approach that classifies ceramic artifacts based on observable physical attributes such as shape, decoration, paste type, and temper. However, the application of residue analyses offers novel avenues for testing and refining these typologies by extracting adhering food residues and other substances trapped in ceramic surfaces. Such approaches can enhance our understanding of past function and use of ceramic material culture. This paper presents findings from non-destructive microbotanical sampling of 15 pot sherds from the Lake Midden site (EfNg-1). Through the examination of these results, which include starch grain residues, we delve into pre-contact Indigenous culinary practices in Saskatchewan. This study was conducted in collaboration with the Royal Saskatchewan Museum and with consent from the Touchwood Hills Tribal Council.

02:00 PM to 02:20 PM: The Zooarchaeology of Lake Midden (EfNg-1)
Presentation format: In-Person
Author(s):
  • Faith Boser - University of Alberta

Lake Midden (EfNg-1) is a Morlach phase, Pericolonial period site with occupations ranging from the 16th to 17th centuries. The site is located in a coulee near Last Mountain Lake in southern Saskatchewan. An extensive collection of materials was retrieved from the site through both looting and systematic excavations between the 1940s and the 1990s. The collection includes Mortlach pottery, lithics, trade goods, bone tools, ice-gliders and other modified objects, but most are fragmented faunal remains. Despite the intermittent work on the site over many decades, the faunal collection has not been comprehensively and systematically analyzed. Taxonomic identifications conducted so far indicate that most remains are bison, followed by Canid sp. (wolves, dogs, coyotes, and fox) remains. Smaller amounts of other taxons have been identified, including deer (Odocoileus sp.), mustelids (Mustelidae sp.), bear (Ursus sp.), beaver (Castor canadensis), rabbit (Leporidae sp.), and most surprisingly, horse (Equus sp.). Fetal bison remains are present in the collection, which have been used to determine the seasonality of the site. This paper discusses the ongoing analyses of the Lake Midden faunal remains, including preliminary results.

02:20 PM to 02:40 PM: Saskatchewan Obsidian Project
Presentation format: In-Person
Author(s):
  • Gary Wowchuk - Swan Valley Historical Museum
  • Tim  Allan - Ember Archaeology
  • Cindy  Scheer - Royal Saskatchewan Museum
  • Evelyn  Siegfried - Royal Saskatchewan Museum (Retired)
  • Jack  Trusty - Regina Archaeological Society
  • Nathaniel  Wowchuk - University of Saskatchewan

This paper summarizes the results of geochemical analysis of a large sample of obsidian artifacts from Saskatchewan that are being curated at the Royal Saskatchewan Museum, Saskatchewan Archaeological Society and in private collections. Using pXRF, two hundred obsidian artifacts from fifty-five Saskatchewan archaeological sites and private collections were analyzed with the results indicating that the Obsidian Cliff, Wyoming, and Bear Gulch, Idaho being the most common sources of obsidian found in archaeological sites within Saskatchewan. Glass Buttes, Oregon, Browns Bench, Idaho, and other unknown sources were also detected in a small number of samples. A geochemical match of an artifact to an obsidian source indicates that Indigenous peoples have transported or traded volcanic glass from those sources, a confirmation of widespread trade networks across the continent. While the preliminary results are still being analyzed, this study will give future researchers a comprehensive baseline of data to build upon and use as a reference.

02:40 PM to 03:00 PM: Erosion of History: Confronting the Loss of Archaeological Resources at Lake Diefenbaker
Presentation format: In-Person
Author(s):
  • Jennifer Rychlo - Stantec

The Lake Diefenbaker region of south-central Saskatchewan is an archaeologically significant area of the Northern Plains. It contains over 500 recorded archaeological sites that span the entirety of the Precontact period and range from multicomponent habitation sites to sacred ceremonial sites. The importance of this region to the Precontact Peoples of North America is clear. However, since the establishment of the Lake Diefenbaker reservoir in the 1960s, shoreline erosion and unauthorized artifact collection has significantly harmed these valuable archaeological resources. This presentation will explore the history of Lake Diefenbaker, its impact on the archaeological sites of the region, and discuss strategies to mitigate further damage to these valuable cultural resources. 

03:20 PM to 03:40 PM: Lessons from the Mountains: Five Years of Archaeology, Collaboration, and Public Engagement in Paahtómahksikimi, Waterton Lakes National Park
Presentation format: In-Person
Author(s):
  • Jennifer Ayles - Parks Canada

In 2017 a Wildfire ripped through Waterton Lakes NP, burning ~40% of the park, and heavily impacting irreplaceable archaeological vestiges as well as a living cultural landscape. A team of archaeologists was formed to conduct a 5-year project, seeking to record and research the unprecedented degree of new archaeological finds, and the unparalleled visibility afforded by vegetation and soil removal.

The project has now been complete for a year, and we have been able to look back on all of the lessons learned during our days in the field. Pedestrian surveys, excavations, and sampling have afforded us the opportunity to add to our quantitative knowledge of a regional human history. However, a multi focus approach grounded in teachings beyond strict ‘academic’ confines provided us with infinitely more.

A blending of perspectives saw us diving into archaeology, environmental change, past fire history, engagement with the surrounding indigenous nations, communities, landowners, and interested public, and even a few ponds. Here, we hope to share with you some of the discoveries made, lessons learned, and questions raised by the Post-Kenow Wildfire Archaeology Project.

03:40 PM to 04:00 PM: Phytoliths at Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump: Plants as Human Use and Environmental Indicators
Presentation format: In-Person
Author(s):
  • Kali Wade - Atlatl Archaeology Ltd.
  • Shawn Bubel - University of Lethbridge
  • Robert Dawe - Royal Alberta Museum
  • Kevin McGeough - University of Lethbridge
  • Natalia Vanzo Jais - University of Lethbridge
  • Tanner Straat - University of Lethbridge
  • Samantha Kondor - University of Lethbridge, Atlatl Archaeology Ltd.
  • Rachel  Lindemann - Atlatl Archaeology Ltd.

Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump is an internationally recognized bison kill site and, in the words of the late Jack Brink, is known as “the mother of all buffalo jumps”. Beginning (at minimum) 6,500 years ago and used until the Contact period, this location provided ideal conditions for the communal hunting of large game. Indigenous ingenuity and knowledge of these animals are showcased at the site. The repeated success of the hunt resulted in an extraordinarily densely packed archaeological site composed of millions of bison bones, amongst other remains. One of the questions that remains is if there were extended gaps in site use during the Altithermal or other periods of climatic decline. Our study addresses this question by examining phytoliths from column samples and employing aridity indices from subfamilies of grasses. We hypothesize that measures of aridity, paired with the absence or presence of water microremains and riparian plants, could provide proxies for paleoenvironmental conditions. This would constitute evidence for environmental fluctuations that occurred at Head-Smashed-In over time. Establishing higher resolution environmental contexts for the stratified cultural remains is important, whether significant climatic changes impacted site use or not.

Date/Time: 
May 3, 2024 - 10:20am to 11:40am
(CST)
Room: 
Venice
Session Hosting Format: 
in-person session
Organizer(s): 
  • CAA 2024
Contact Email: 

Presentations

10:20 AM to 10:40 AM: The Chornobyl Exclusion Zone is a palimpsest of early medieval sites: the impact of the war in Ukraine on scientific and rescue excavations
Presentation format: In-Person
Author(s):
  • Alla Kurzenkova - Ukrainian Affiliate Researcher, Department of Archaeology, University of Glasgow, School of Humanities, under the British Academy’s Researchers-at-Risk scheme.

The Chornobyl settlement is written into the landscape, intertwined with human history from the end of the 10th - 11th centuries to man-made crises such as the Chornobyl disaster (1986), which led to the creation of the Chornobyl Exclusion Zone (CEZ), and the full-scale war in Ukraine (24 February 2024), which prevented any further archaeological excavations there.

The Chornobyl settlement is a palimpsest of its past, showing the continuity of its function from the late 10th century until the Chornobyl disaster, cataloguing ‘memories’ of perception and experience of the landscape.

It is crucial to reflect on how the memory of an ‘abandoned landscape’ has been enveloped by academic interest in the archaeological potential of the ancient settlement of Chornobyl.

This discussion brings the review up to date:

- General archaeological research in the CEZ before the full-scale war in Ukraine.

- Surviving archaeological sites: the impact of the war on the monitoring of areas in the CEZ and access to archaeological sites.

- Challenges for further excavation: de-mining, surface survey methods, human potential of qualified archaeologists.

This is important to reflect on what has been done and what needs to be done in the future.

10:40 AM to 11:00 AM: Unveiling the Secrets of Pseudo Mummies: MicroCT Scanning Reveals Insights into Two Ibis Mummies from Ancient Egypt.
Presentation format: In-Person
Author(s):
  • Maris Schneider - Western University
  • Shumeng Jia - McGill University
  • Salah Brika - École de technologie supérieure
  • Vladimir Brailovski - École de technologie supérieure
  • Natalie Reznikov - McGill University
  • Andrew Nelson - Western University

Animal mummies are among the most enigmatic and captivating artifacts from the ancient world, offering a fascinating window into ancient Egypt’s beliefs, culture, and rituals. The practice of mummifying animals in ancient Egypt dates back over 4,000 years and is deeply rooted in religious beliefs that view animals not merely as creatures of the physical world but as manifestations of divine forces. Two conical bundles (suspected mummified ibises) were loaned from the Redpath Museum in Montreal for three-dimensional imaging and species identification. MicroCT scans of the two ibis mummies were acquired on a Comet Yxlon FF35 CT scanner. Scans of Ibis 2727.01 were acquired at 70kV, 200uA at 90µm voxel and again at 27µm (focusing on the head end of the bundle). A scan of Ibis 2727.02 was acquired at 80kV, 380uA at 94µm. The three microCT volumetric images were processed in Dragonfly software (v.2022.2-1409, Comet Technologies Canada Inc.). One bundle contained a small ibis hatchling, no larger than 5cm, and the other contained solely textiles and clay. Pseudo mummies were prevalent during the animal mummy industry in ancient Egypt, owing to one of the most common truths in history – humans over-exploit their resources.

11:00 AM to 11:20 AM: Investigation and Analysis of Hypogeum Burial Patterns in The Near East (Continuity or Change)
Presentation format: In-Person
Author(s):
  • Shahrzad Parsaei

Burial is one of the most significant manifestations of human life since it represents not only the people's religion and culture but also their thoughts and beliefs about death and the world after life. Burial patterns in any society are a function of the religious and ideological beliefs of that region. Climate, social status, gender, age, and the continuation of cultural patterns in the region's traditions all have an impact on the burial pattern. Burial patterns alter with the entrance of new faiths, although these changes are minor, and we witness the persistence of burial practices. The hypogeum burial custom, which dates back to the third millennium BC, has persisted in a variety of geographical and cultural regions despite the passage of time and changes in faith and philosophy.

The purpose of this research is to investigate archaeological evidence of hypogeum tombs in Near Eastern geography. Investigating the geographical regions where the earliest examples were discovered, the cultures and ethnic groups they belonged to, the religious practices and worldviews these people held over time, during various eras, and eventually looking into the factors that have influenced the persistence and evolution of the hypogeum burial tradition.

11:20 AM to 11:40 AM: How does archaeology keep us from getting lost in history?
Presentation format: In-Person
Author(s):
  • GORAN ABDULLA HAMA ALI - UNIVERSITY LECTURER

Archaeology plays an important role in helping us better understand human past and present by studying artifacts left and material remains by past civilizations. It provides beneficial insights into social culture, human history, technological advancements, culture and the development of societies over time. Throughout history, archeology has played a crucial role in preserving people and human activities through archaeological excavations. This means that archaeology is not only a science that interpreting the past, but we can also gain insight into present and future life through archeology. The purpose of this primarily theoretical work is to make these assumptions more evident and visible. In this research, I will also focus on a number of ways that shows the important role of archaeology as a connector between the past and the present such as preserving cultural heritage, Tracing human migrations and interactions, filling gaps in historical records, material culture and Uncovering historical knowledge. 

Date/Time: 
May 3, 2024 - 10:20am to 12:00pm
(CST)
Room: 
Florence
Session Hosting Format: 
in-person session
Organizer(s): 
  • Tommy Yukon Ng, Bison Historical Services Ltd.
  • John Somogyi-Csizmazia, North Island College
  • Neha Gupta, University of British Columbia, Okanagan

Session Abstract

The participation of descendant communities is central to the design of research, in meaningful analysis and interpretation of archaeology, and in the appropriate preservation of heritage. In this session, we invite presenters to share projects that engage Black and racialized descendant
communities with archaeology and heritage, and discuss how they participate in, and contribute to these projects. Projects can be in any stage of development, including those that have been completed, or that are in the initial stages of conceptualization. We especially encourage students and early career scholars to submit a paper.

Presentations

10:20 AM to 10:40 AM: Stirring Up Memories: Engaging with Descendants of Calgary’s Chinese Market Gardens – A City Project Perspective
Presentation format: In-Person
Author(s):
  • Laureen Bryant - City of Calgary

From approximately 1929 to 1952, lands within the Colonel Walker Homestead (and Inglewood Bird Sanctuary) were leased to Chinese families who developed what became known as market gardens. Each family had 5 acres upon which to live and work. However, the role of the Chinese Market Gardens in the City’s development during the early 20th century is poorly understood. Calgary Parks and Open Spaces hopes to shift that with the implementation of the Chinese Market Gardens Interpretive Program Project. A serendipitous encounter connected Calgary parks staff with a member of the Koo family, a descendant of one of the original market gardeners. Since then, the City has worked closely with the family through project development and plans for future engagement are continuing; these will be discussed in this paper. Dale E. Boland will be presenting more on the details of the archaeological work completed and the family’s role in the next paper of this session.

10:40 AM to 11:00 AM: Stirring Up Memories: Engaging with Descendants of Calgary’s Chinese Market Gardens – An Archaeologist’s Perspective
Presentation format: In-Person
Author(s):
  • Dale E Boland - Stantec Consulting Ltd.

The City of Calgary is planning to develop the Chinese Market Gardens Interpretive Program within the Inglewood Bird Sanctuary. Between approximately 1929 and 1952, retired NWMP officer Colonel James Walker and his son, Selby Walker, leased plots of the homestead to Chinese families. The family plots included greenhouses, root cellars, raised beds, and small bungalows. Crops such as cabbages, carrots, and bedding plants were raised, harvested, and sold to local greengrocers and restaurants. Recent archaeological investigations supporting the development recovered over 5,000 artifacts and faunal materials from an excavation block centred on one of the root cellars. This paper will discuss some of the finds, the memories invoked by their recovery, and the interesting conversations and memory-sparking meetings held between the City, the archaeologists, and living descendants.

11:00 AM to 11:20 AM: Planting the Seed: Thinking about an Archaeology of Nikkei Food in Canada
Presentation format: In-Person
Author(s):
  • Emma Yasui - York University

Food has always been an important part of the Japanese Canadian experience, whether home-cooked meals or community events. Getting the right ingredients often meant relying on imported products, but also kitchen gardens and market farmers who brought Japanese plants to Canada. As a paleoethnobotanist who has focused on ancient starch grain analysis of Jomon Period Japan, I have been intrigued by the overlap in the collection of plants used by the past Japanese cultures I study and the Nikkei cuisine that I grew up with. In this presentation, I will explore the potential for expanding on Nikkei foodways by applying paleoethnobotanical methods and considering the human-plant communities that would have formed before, during, and after dispossession and imprisonment. I will also reflect on how archaeological research on foodways could be used to promote meaningful engagement with Canadian Nikkei, and bring the past to life for a wide audience.

11:20 AM to 11:40 AM: Seeking Justice in Black Spaces: The Geography, Memory, and Legacy of the Tulsa Race Massacre
Presentation format: In-Person
Author(s):
  • nkem ike - University of Toronto

The early 20th century was a period ripe with racial and anti-Black violence that impacted every corner of the United States. Recent archaeological studies have been undertaken to understand these sites of violence; however, more work needs to be done. Using the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre and the 2021 centennial, this presentation shines a light on how survivors, descendants, and stakeholders shape these events using memory, the landscape, and materiality as tools to craft stories of the past that impact the present.

11:40 AM to 12:00 PM: The Old Negro Cemetery- Desecration of Graves and Erasure of Black Life in New Brunswick
Presentation format: In-Person
Author(s):
  • Mary McCarthy - Community / PhD

This presentation tells the story of the “Old Negro Cemetery” that was swallowed by the building of the Mactacquac Dam. The dam built in the mid 1960s in Kingsclear Parish in central New Brunswick runs along the mighty Wolastoq (Saint John River), which was for time immemorial settled by Indigenous Peoples. The Wolastoq continues to support many people and communities who live and thrive along it. It was also along the Wolastoq that the first generation of African New Brunswickers established communities, where they buried their ancestors. In the 1960s, when plans were drawn to widen the river bed for the Mactacquac Dam, New Brunswick Hydro engineers marked locations of graves of white New Brunswickers and moved them away from the areas that were to be flooded. They marked the “Old Negro Cemetery” which was estimated to have the graves of 60 Black ancestors. Yet, unlike the graves of white residents, graves of Black residents were deliberately left in place, such that when the dam was completed and the waters of the mighty Wolastoq flowed again, the river swallowed the graves. Narrating this presentation is a 6th generation woman of African descent, whose ancestors are buried under the river.  

 

Date/Time: 
May 3, 2024 - 11:20am to 5:20pm
(CST)
Room: 
Michelangelo B
Session Hosting Format: 
in-person session
Organizer(s): 
  • Andrew Martindale, University of British Columbia
  • Bryn Letham, Coast Mountain College
  • Trevor Orchard, University of Toronto Mississauga
  • Terence Clark, University of Saskatchewan
  • Katherine Patton, University of Toronto

Session Abstract

During a career in archaeology spanning more than four decades, Professor Gary Coupland had a profound influence on the understanding of Northwest Coast archaeology, on the practice of household archaeology, and on countless students and colleagues. Over the course of his field career Gary worked at a number of very prominent sites in various regions of coastal British Columbia. With his PhD supervisor and collaborator, RG Matson, Gary quite literally wrote the book on Northwest Coast archaeology. In addition, his decades-long interest in household archaeology led to international influence in that area of research. Several years after his retirement from the University of Toronto, this session brings together some of Gary’s colleagues and past students to reflect on his influence on their own research and academic histories, or to just share a good yarn about the Dude.

Presentations

11:20 AM to 11:40 AM: More Lessons on NWC Houses from the Shingle Point site, BC
Presentation format: In-Person
Author(s):
  • R.G. Matson - UBC

In 2007 I had a chapter in Emerging from the Mist entitled The Coast Salish House; Lessons from Shingle Point, Valdes Island, B.C. Here I return to this subject, summarizing the earlier work, and then putting it into a larger context, NWC houses in general, focussing on the transformation from small, one family winter dwellings, to multifamily houses.  When Gary Coupland and I wrote the Prehistory of the Northwest Coast, I certainly expected that once they were present, they would continue up to contact times. The archaeological record present in the early 1990s certainly did not appear to show that pattern. Instead it appeared to show variability in houses within the NWC and through time. From this perspective the Paul Mason site appears to be critical in understanding the nature of this important but little understood transformation.  Thus it is evaluated here in some detail.

11:40 AM to 12:00 PM: “One of the Most Enduring Images…”: Visualizing Houses and Households in the Archaeological Record.
Presentation format: In-Person
Author(s):
  • Peter Dawson - University of Calgary

In 1997, Gary Coupland organized a session on Households at the CAAs in Saskatoon. He opened his presentation with one of the best one-liners I've ever heard. At the time I had no idea how much his quip would come to define much of my research in future years. Gary’s interest in the evolution of Northwest Coast households has made a significant contribution to our understanding of social inequality and resource intensification among complex hunter-gatherers. Many of these processes played out within immense communal houses constructed from timbers and planks. Historic illustrations by artists such as John Webber (1778) allow us to visualize how the interiors of these houses appeared to European settlers. A more objective understanding of what they “actually” looked like might enable archaeologists to better understand the elusive relationship between house-form and culture. Much of my work has focused on using digital technology to visualize dwellings that no longer exist. The resulting models have served as laboratories for exploring how architecture both constrains and enables the operation of households. In this presentation, I use examples from my work in the Canadian Arctic to illustrate these ideas, as well as pay tribute to Gary’s many scholarly contributions.

01:20 PM to 01:40 PM: A Taxonomy of Humor and Villages: Gary Coupland’s Legacy in the Northern NWC.
Presentation format: In-Person
Author(s):
  • Andrew Martindale - University of British Columbia

As part of this session to honour the remarkable Dr. Gary Coupland’s illustrious career, we’ve been asked to relate amusing anecdotes while commenting on his considerable influence in archaeology. To advance this effort, I employ a robust taxonomic analysis of two key legacies of Dr. Coupland: humor and settlement patterns.  For the first, I create an inventory of Potentially Humorous Events of Gary (PHEGs) and, eschewing the laborious classificatory/hierarchical typologies favoured by comedians, deploy a paradigmatic taxonomic assessment based on the axes of surrealism and absurdity to test the hypothesis that Gary is a funny man. True to science, I attempt to disprove this, my null hypothesis being that he is in fact a sourpuss. Results tentatively suggest a failure, giving us some confidence that the colleague and friend we know and love is indeed warm and funny. I apply a surprisingly similar method, developed with a team of colleagues, to assess village typologies of the Tsimshian landscapes of the northern coast of British Columbia, a landscape where Dr. Coupland’s intellectual contribution is immense.

01:40 PM to 02:00 PM: Social Change and the Construction of Landscapes in the Central Salish Sea
Presentation format: In-Person
Author(s):
  • Colin Grier - Washington State University

This paper examines the role of landscape construction in shaping the long term history of peoples of the Salish Sea in coastal southwestern British Columbia, Canada. I argue that major construction investments evident at several long-standing village sites following 1000 BP reflect a period of broad buy-in to collective projects by diverse segments of Coast Salish society. These landscape-focused efforts contrast with prior constructions, particularly burial cairns and mounds, which derived from the pursuit of social differentiation by elite in the preceding Marpole period. The key conclusion is that the period between 1000 and 500 cal BP involved a renewed effort in landscape investment focused primarily on the construction of places and the remaking of communities, realizing forms of collective action not evident (or perhaps possible) in prior times.

02:00 PM to 02:20 PM: Three summers in Prince Rupert with Gary Coupland: Thoughts on Friendships, Surviving the Storm of the Century, and Archaeology Too
Presentation format: In-Person
Author(s):
  • Trevor Orchard - University of Toronto Mississauga

In the Fall of 2001 I left the familiar confines of life on Vancouver Island, British Columbia, to begin a PhD under Dr. Gary Coupland’s supervision at the University of Toronto. Timing could not have been better, as Gary was set to begin a three-year SSHRC-funded field research project in Prince Rupert Harbour the following summer. As a result, less than a year after my move to Toronto, I found myself driving back across the country to my home province, in a van full of field gear, on the first of three consecutive summers spent doing archaeology on the Northwest Coast (NWC). This provided an opportunity both to work on classic NWC village sites with Gary in Prince Rupert, and to facilitate my own PhD field research in southern Haida Gwaii, in collaboration with other influential mentors from UVic and Parks Canada. In this paper, I reflect on some of the adventures that ensued and the friendships that developed. I also consider how these concurrent field projects on either side of Hecate Straight influenced my understanding of variability in NWC archaeological sites.

02:20 PM to 02:40 PM: Shell middens, terraces, and heaps: What I learned from Gary Coupland about shell-bearing archaeological sites and how I came to love them.
Presentation format: In-Person
Author(s):
  • Katherine Patton - University of Toronto

While examining the relationship between people and the sea through archaeological remains has been at the centre of my research career since its beginning, shell-bearing sites became a particular focus of mine during my doctoral studies with Gary Coupland. Under Gary’s supervision in Prince Rupert Harbour, BC, part of the Ts’msyen homeland, I learned how to sample these sites, quantify their constituents, and think about them in terms of building and architecture; I also came to appreciate how stratigraphically variable and complex they can be. These days, I work more often in the Wabanaki homeland (Maine-Maritimes region) also on shell-bearing sites, or shell heaps. In this paper, I consider what it is that I learned from Gary and observe some key differences between west and east coast shell-bearing sites. I also reflect on why I can’t stop reading and writing about these amazing archaeological sites.

02:40 PM to 03:00 PM: Reflecting on the Dude: Collected Anecdotes on Life and Archaeology with Gary Coupland – Part 1
Presentation format: In-Person
Author(s):
  • Trevor Orchard - University of Toronto Mississauga
  • Andrew Martindale - University of British Columbia
  • Bryn Letham - Coast Mountain College

This paper brings together collected shorter contributions or anecdotes on experiences, archaeological or otherwise, with Dr. Gary Coupland. Contributors to this collection of anecdotes include past students and colleagues.

03:20 PM to 03:40 PM: The Question of Complexity: What does it Mean? and is it Relevant in Northwest Coast Archaeology?
Presentation format: In-Person
Author(s):
  • Terence Clark - University of Saskatchewan
  • Joshua  Murphy - Simon Fraser University
  • Angela Burant - University of Saskatchewan

Searching for the roots of and defining “cultural complexity” has been the raison d’être of Northwest Archaeology since the 1980s and after decades of debate and critique, are these still worthwhile pursuits? This paper looks at archaeological examples of how and when social and economic processes blend to create something archaeologists would recognize as complexity. Can agency and historical contingency be witnessed in the archaeological record? And can they add meaningfully to the debate?

03:40 PM to 04:00 PM: A Lot of Strands: the untold ins, outs, and what-have-yous of archaeology on the Sunshine Coast
Presentation format: In-Person
Author(s):
  • David Bilton
  • Bryn Letham - Coast Mountain College

After exploring the relationship between the organization of households and the emergence of pronounced social inequality through archaeology in Prince Rupert Harbour, Gary Coupland - clearly with a lot of strands in his head - moved south to the Sunshine Coast. Research there identified evidence for an early system of wealth-based inequality in the form of strands of hundreds of thousands of stone disc beads. Systems such as these developed and declined through time, and were contingent on both historical processes and long-term, deep-time engagements with the landscape, not simply the harnessing of abundant specific subsistence resources (i.e., salmon). This presentation explores these findings in the context of some heretofore forgotten strands of thinking: the lesser-known and less glamorous unpublished aspects of our graduate research on the Sunshine Coast - shovel tests, 1x1s, and painfully slow zodiac surveys - all of which were facilitated by our advisor, Gary Coupland.

04:00 PM to 04:20 PM: 'New Stuff Has Come to Light': Recent Findings of Archaeological Surveys on the Northwest Coast
Presentation format: In-Person
Author(s):
  • Bryn Letham - Coast Mountain College

Despite a prolific and influential career, Gary Coupland is not particularly known for his contributions to landscape archaeology and archaeological survey. However, one summer 15 years ago when I was just about to start a Master’s program under his supervision, Gary entrusted me with a leaky boat and instructed me to survey the inlets of the Sunshine Coast. With that first encouragement I found myself pursuing investigations of how and why ancient Indigenous coastal inhabitants of BC settled where they did, along with how they invested in and modified their landscapes; reconstructing how coastlines have changed through time; and chasing the elusive evidence of “First Peopling” of the Northwest Coast. In this presentation I present results of several recent survey projects that elucidate elements of the long-term, deep-time engagements of Northwest Coast peoples with their landscapes. While doing so, I reflect on how – even though he is best known as ‘the Northwest Coast household archaeology dude’ – the wisdom and inspiration of Gary Coupland has shaped how we look at coastal landscapes.

04:20 PM to 04:40 PM: It’s only rocks in holes, but I like it (and maybe convinced Gary, too)
Presentation format: In-Person
Author(s):
  • Kenneth Holyoke - University of Lethbridge

After a long and storied career on the west coast, in his last few years before retirement, Gary agreed to try something new, and take on a PhD student working on the east coast. And despite his love of the Rolling Stones, likely did not appreciate the scale of interest that would be required in actual stones to see this final project through. So it was that beginning in 2017, Gary was involved in a project—and fieldwork—exploring the importance of lithic quarries to Ancestral Wabanaki, and to understanding patterning in settlement, mobility, and technological change. The results of the Carboniferous Chert Geoarchaeological Survey have served to complicate the understanding of bedrock sources for particular lithic materials, while at the same time reinforcing the flexible nature of Ancestral Wabanaki lithic procurement and technological strategies. In this paper, I will present various scales of analysis in the understanding of lithic procurement and technological patterning from the regional to the local, landing where Gary is most comfortable, the household. I argue these patterns point to shifting social landscapes among Ancestral Wabanaki during the Maritime Woodland period, while at the same time demonstrating continuities in place and use of space.

04:40 PM to 05:00 PM: Reflecting on the Dude: Collected Anecdotes on Life and Archaeology with Gary Coupland – Part 2
Presentation format: In-Person
Author(s):
  • Andrew Martindale - University of British Columbia
  • Bryn Letham - Coast Mountain College
  • Trevor Orchard - University of Toronto Mississauga

This paper brings together collected shorter contributions or anecdotes on experiences, archaeological or otherwise, with Dr. Gary Coupland. Contributors to this collection of anecdotes include past students and colleagues.

05:00 PM to 05:20 PM: The Dude Abides: Discussion
Presentation format: In-Person
Author(s):
  • Bryn Letham - Coast Mountain College
  • Trevor Orchard - University of Toronto Mississauga
  • Andrew Martindale - University of British Columbia

Final discussion and wrap-up for the session "The Dude Abides: Reflections on Professor Gary Coupland’s Career and Influence in Canadian Archaeology".

Date/Time: 
May 3, 2024 - 1:20pm to 3:00pm
(CST)
Room: 
Florence
Session Hosting Format: 
in-person session
Organizer(s): 
  • Tommy Ng, Bison Historical Services Ltd.
  • John Somogyi-Csizmazia, North Island College
  • Neha Gupta, University of British Columbia, Okanagan

Session Abstract

The roundtable session builds on an invited “Black and POC in Archaeology” roundtable in 2021 which was held virtually. In this in-person roundtable, we invite archaeologists at all stages of their careers and from any sector to join the conversation on proposals to support Black and racialized archaeology students, CRM professionals, and academics in Canadian archaeology.

Together, we seek to listen, share, and reflect on actionable steps to implement proposals. Participants are encouraged to familiarize themselves with the proposals prior to the roundtable. The proposals are published in the Canadian Journal of Archaeology (Gupta et al. forthcoming
2024, Issue 1).

 

 

Date/Time: 
May 3, 2024 - 1:30pm to 5:00pm
(CST)
Room: 
Venice
Session Hosting Format: 
in-person session
Organizer(s): 
  • Gabriella Prager, InterGroup Consultants Ltd.

Session Abstract

Over almost 25 years of working in the Canadian Arctic I have come to appreciate the great wealth of fascinating heritage and the substantial research and work opportunities. With considerable puzzlement, I have noted the total lack of any presentations on Arctic research in the past few years of the CAA meetings. This observation coupled with the retirement of some of the prominent Arctic specialists in recent years, made me wonder if there is still interest in Arctic research. But when I reached out to a few people, the responses made it clear that there is much amazing research going on in the Arctic. This session will provide a venue for researchers to communicate some of the interesting investigations and findings that are happening and for sharing the exciting possibilities for research and ongoing work in the Arctic

Presentations

01:40 PM to 02:00 PM: The One-eyed Elder Woman Stitches an Ornament: Needles and Needle Cases from the Iamal Region of Arctic Siberia
Presentation format: In-Person
Author(s):
  • Tatiana Nomokonova - Department of Anthropology, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, Canada
  • Stella Razdymakha - Arctic Research Center, Salekhard, Iamal-Nenets Autonomous District, Russian Federation
  • Lubov' Vozelova - Arctic Research Center, Salekhard, Iamal-Nenets Autonomous District, Russian Federation
  • Andrei Gusev - Arctic Research Center, Salekhard, Iamal-Nenets Autonomous District, Russian Federation
  • Andrei Plekhanov - Arctic Research Center, Salekhard, Iamal-Nenets Autonomous District, Russian Federation
  • Grace Kohut - Department of Anthropology, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, Canada
  • Robert Losey - Department of Anthropology, University of Alberta (Edmonton, Canada) and University of Saskatchewan (Saskatoon, Canada)

The Iamal region of Siberia is one of many areas in the Arctic where women’s sewing skills were and are crucial to daily existence. It is home to Nenets and Khanty people and their reindeer. This territory is known as the global center of reindeer pastoralism, with many Indigenous families living a mobile lifestyle that involves moving with their animals on a seasonal basis across the tundra. Our presentation discusses needles and needle cases found at archaeological sites that were made and used by ancestors of the current Indigenous peoples of this region. We start by introducing women’s sewing bags, which are a symbolic representation of every stitch made by a woman’s hands in creating dwelling covers, bedding sets, storage bags, and every piece of clothing, all of which are crucial to the survival and well-being of her family. They embody layers of multigenerational skill, ancestral knowledge, and identity that are passed by Khanty and Nenets women to their daughters, nieces, and granddaughters. We continue with a summary of ancient needles and needle cases in an attempt to stitch together the past and present of these belongings.

02:00 PM to 02:20 PM: You Get What You Pay For? Evaluation of Drone Photogrammetry Software for Arctic Cultural Resource Management
Presentation format: In-Person
Author(s):
  • Kelsey Pennanen - University of Calgary
  • Daniel Szot - InterGroup Consultants Ltd.
  • Gabriella Prager - InterGroup Consultants Ltd.
  • Lori White - Independent
  • Tim Rast - Elfshot

This paper assesses the viability of drone photogrammetric software for site mapping of archaeological features in the Canadian Arctic. An evaluation of three different software (Pix4DMapper, MapsMadeEasy, and WebODM) for aerial structure-from-motion (SfM) landscape reconstruction using two case studies from Baffin Island, Nunavut. We examine the accuracy and perform a cost-comparison analysis of the three software applications for the creation of 3D landscape reconstruction for archaeological site mapping and interpretation. Drone photogrammetry was determined to be a beneficial tool for mapping Arctic sites, even without the use of ground control points (GCPs). Open-source software (WebODM) provided an economically viable method of site documentation, the ground sampling distance (GSD) denoting the resolution of orthomosaics was found to be accurate to cm-scale precision. Paid subscription Pix4DMapper and pay-per-use MapsMadeEasy software were found to be accurate to sub-cm resolution. Pix4DMapper and WebODM georeferenced to each other within 25cm, and Maps Made Easy compared to Pix4DMapper and WebODM averaging 2-3m discrepancy. Each software accurately represented the landscape and was found to be accurate to PolarDEM within 1-2m. Similar output resolutions could be obtained by data capture using single grid flights as compared to a double grid thereby increasing efficiency of time in the field.  

02:20 PM to 02:40 PM: Reconstructing sled pulling activity in Arctic dogs using entheseal changes
Presentation format: In-Person
Author(s):
  • Jessica Sick - Department of Anthropology, University of Saskatchewan
  • Angela Lieverse - Department of Anthropology, University of Saskatchewan
  • Tatiana Nomokonova - Department of Anthropology, University of Saskatchewan
  • Robert Losey - Department of Anthropology, University of Alberta

Sled dogs are among the most iconic animals of the North, and their efforts in pulling sleds facilitated trade and subsistence practices of many Indigenous groups for millennia. Though the identification of archaeological sled dogs has been mostly addressed through their association with material remains of sleds and harnessing equipment, there is currently no way to identify sled-pulling activity directly from canid remains. As part of a larger project on Indigenous dog sledding of the Western Arctic, our research focuses on developing a visual scoring manual for entheseal changes to address this knowledge gap. Entheseal changes are morphological variations to muscle, tendon, and ligament attachment sites on bone and have been extensively studied in bioarchaeology, and more recently, in reindeer and equids to reconstruct working activity during life. This method is applied to canid remains by examining how visual scores in sled dogs, pet dogs, and wild canids reflect activity and biological factors like age, sex, and body size. The results show that sled dogs have significantly higher scores than non-working canids in several attachments, demonstrating this method also as a useful tool to better understand the history and development of human-dog relationships in the North.

02:40 PM to 03:00 PM: How old were these caribou? A method for estimating ages of Rangifer tarandus using dental wear and eruption
Presentation format: In-Person
Author(s):
  • Grace Kohut - University of Saskatchewan

Caribou and reindeer (Rangifer tarandus) are key animals and carry special significance to many peoples across the North, both in domestication and wild contexts. Unsurprisingly, their remains are found at many Northern archaeological sites. Despite their prevalence, some key zooarchaeological methods, namely age estimation using tooth wear, have been unavailable or unsuitable for most substantial populations; this includes barren-ground caribou (R.t. groenlandicus) that range across much of Northern Canada. This presentation outlines a refined visual-based method for tooth wear and eruption age estimation developed. Based on caribou from Northern Canada and wild forest reindeer from Finland, this method is designed to be generally applicable to Rangifer subspecies that would be found at many archaeological sites in North America and Eurasia. Estimated ages using this method are suitable for investigating age-based demographic data that can inform about hunting and domestication strategies in the past.

03:20 PM to 03:40 PM: Rethinking archaeological survey through Inuit Qaujimajatuqangit in Amittuq (northern Foxe Basin), Nunavut:
Presentation format: In-Person
Author(s):
  • Samantha Walker - McGill University

Pedestrian surveys in maritime regions of the Canadian Arctic often employ purposive sampling strategies that privilege outer seacoasts where large residential sites are located. These strategies have been influenced by the accessibility of coastal vs. inland sites, the heightened surface visibility of architectural remains in coastal contexts, and the economic-rationalist presumption that past people continuously occupied these settings to optimize their access to nearshore resources. In this paper, I propose that building archaeological survey designs in conversation with Inuit Qaujimajatuqangit can help address spatial biases by expanding the scope of investigations to include a greater variety of site types. Through a case study of two Tuniit (Paleo-Inuit) settlement areas in Amittuq (northern Foxe Basin), Nunavut, I outline how Inuit oral testimonies have informed targeted surveys of underrepresented contexts and the identification of newly documented sites. The research challenges dominant cultural-historical and socio-evolutionary narratives of the region's occupational history, and highlights local diversity in community practices and social structures during the Tuniit period (c. 2500 BCE – 1350 CE). 

03:40 PM to 04:00 PM: Transport Matters: A Circumpolar Look at the Archaeological History of Sledding
Presentation format: In-Person
Author(s):
  • Robert Losey - University of Alberta
  • Katherine Latham - University of Alberta
  • T. Max Friesen - University of Toronto
  • Matt Walls - University of Calgary

One of the most important transportation technologies employed in the Circumpolar North are sleds, vehicles that are pulled or pushed across snow-covered land and sea ice. Such vehicles are and were used for daily taskwork, recreational activities, and even long-distance episodes of human dispersal. This presentation outlines the archaeological history of sleds and related gear in the North. Our survey of archaeological literature demonstrates that sleds were in use by at least the Early Holocene. Even by this period, sled designs were variable and complex, suggesting a far deeper history of use. Keeled sleds, boat-like in form, were largely confined to the European North, while low sleds are largely found within traditional Inuit lands. Built-up sleds are more widespread, being present from Europe eastward through northern Alaska. Simple forms of dog sledding were also likely being practiced by the Early Holocene, but more modern forms seem to have emerged only in the Late Holocene. Reindeer sledding first emerged around 2000 years ago and gradually developed in Eurasia into modern forms.    

04:00 PM to 04:20 PM: Ancestral Inuit Occupations at Qausuittuq (Resolute Bay), Nunavut
Presentation format: In-Person
Author(s):
  • Sarah Hazell - University of Toronto

The ancestors of contemporary Inuit groups, known as Thule Inuit, migrated to Canada and Greenland from Alaska and the Bering Strait region approximately 800 years ago. Over a period of at least 200 years, between 1200 and 1400 A.D, they resided at Qausuittuq in a series of occupation events. The dwellings at the M1 (QeJu-1) site show a range of variability including deep semi-subterranean single-family habitations, bi-lobed and tri-lobed multi-roomed houses, qarmat (heavy tent rings for spring or fall seasons), and qarmat-like structures. Coupled with artifact analyses, two of the occupations indicate ties to the west, the original homeland(s) of the Thule Inuit. In this paper, I will explore these different residential episodes in the context of modelling the migration(s) of early and later Thule Inuit groups.

04:20 PM to 04:40 PM: Tuniit and Iqaluk: Intensive Dorset Fishing in Western Nunavut
Presentation format: Online - pre-recorded
Author(s):
  • Max Friesen - University of Toronto

Tuniit, a.k.a. Dorset Paleo-Inuit, are widely understood to have engaged in some fishing, based on occasional finds of fish bones, artifacts interpreted as fish spears, and locations of sites near good fishing places used by Inuit in more recent times. However, many aspects of Tuniit fishing, including its relative importance in different regions, and even methods used, are unclear. In this paper, I will bring together several strands of evidence to show how in one particular region, southern Victoria Island, fishing was a key part of Tuniit economic and social life. Large Middle Dorset sites in two areas – Iqaluktuuq and Iqaluktuuttiaq - both contain high frequencies of fish bones as well as small harpoon heads that were almost certainly used in fishing, particularly during the annual Arctic char (Iqaluk) runs.

04:40 PM to 05:00 PM: Contributions of Consulting Archaeology to Arctic Heritage
Presentation format: In-Person
Author(s):
  • Gabriella Prager - InterGroup Consultants Ltd.
  • Jennifer Tischer - Stantec Consulting Ltd.

The contributions of archaeological consultants working in Nunavut are often unrecognized given the confidential nature of development projects and archaeological data. Archaeological consultants often work in areas that have not previously been subject to research. The resulting body of data contributes to the understanding of past Arctic peoples’ land use and lifestyles. This presentation will provide a brief overview of the type and nature of archaeological investigations being undertaken in Nunavut in advance of development-related projects to showcase how consulting archaeology contributes to the archaeological record.

Date/Time: 
May 3, 2024 - 3:20pm to 5:00pm
(CST)
Room: 
Naples
Session Hosting Format: 
in-person session
Organizer(s): 
  • Session Chair: Steven Mozarowski
Contact Email: 

Presentations

03:20 PM to 03:40 PM: Cooked to Perfection: Insight on Cuisine from Early Northern Great Plains Pottery
Presentation format: In-Person
Author(s):
  • Andrew Lints

During the time of Besant and Sonota, cuisine likely held a central role in daily life and culture, much like today. However, the challenge of preservation often obscures our understanding of these past culinary practices. Microbotanical research provides archaeologists with an invaluable means to identify even the most delicate remnants of past meals (e.g., plants) cooked within pottery vessels. Analyses of carbonized residues, combined with visual analyses of vessels from 24 sites provided an opportunity to gain insight into the cuisine of this time. At the Stelzer site (39DW242), a combination of maize, chenopodium, and local berries was found within multiple vessels spread throughout the campsite. These combinations closely resemble recipes that are still prepared today, as documented in ethnographic accounts. Similarly, at the Walter Felt site (EcNm-8), an abundance of common grass phytoliths was observed in each vessel, requiring thought to food recipes. This finding suggests that these vessels may have been used to prepare meals containing stomach contents, aligning with ethnographic descriptions of food preparation practices. By continuing microbotanical research on carbonized residues in concert with a functional analysis of pottery vessels, we can continue to shed light on past cuisine. 

03:40 PM to 04:00 PM: Learning from the ancient masters: Seeing the people through technology
Presentation format: In-Person
Author(s):
  • Wen Yin (Elaine)  Cheng - University of Toronto

Studying technology through archaeology science often focuses on the material science aspects of the artifacts such as the raw material, changes in the raw material through its production, and application of the raw materials to its use. Technology is but one aspect of the past. To learn from the masters in the past in their techniques and production, we must look beyond the results of archaeological science from the material science and technological application point of view and understand the human factors involved in the changes of raw materials in the form of specialization, organization, and how the knowledge was passed down, while keeping in mind the geographical landscape, technological knowledge, and cultural preferences. Without these factors the artifacts will not exist in the form we see them today. This paper will use Wendat pottery and Chinese bronze casting as examples to learn from the artisans. The artisan theory combines landscape archaeology, sequence of production, and knowledge theory to bring a new avenue of discussion by focusing on the artisans beyond the technology.

04:00 PM to 04:20 PM: Technological Styles in Indus Terracotta Production
Presentation format: In-Person
Author(s):
  • Sutapa Lahiri

The Indus or Harappan Civilization's Urban Phase, also known as the Integration Era, flourished in South Asia between 2600-1900 BCE. It is known for its unique features, such as urban planning, hygienic practices, undeciphered script, extensive regional and interregional trade, and cultural uniformity across a vast geographical area. Despite the amount of material culture available from this period, little research has been conducted on the technological styles, cross-craft technologies, and knowledge transmission involved in the production of Indus terracottas. In this presentation, I analyze a sample of terracottas from two Indus settlements in the Ghaggar Basin in Northwestern India dating to the Mature Indus period (2600-1900 BCE). This study offers the first comparative analysis of Indus terracotta technological styles and demonstrates the presence of different technological choices in terracotta cakes, toys, and figurines. The present investigation offers new insights into the technological choices made by Indus terracotta artisans and highlights the significance of terracotta in their social structure.

 

04:20 PM to 04:40 PM: Mixing methods to reconstruct past diet: Microbotanicals and Stable Isotopes from Carbonized Pottery Residues
Presentation format: In-Person
Author(s):
  • Stephanie Skelton - Lakehead University

Reconstructing past diet is important for Indigenous reclamation of traditional foodways and our understanding past human economic systems. The Six Seasons of the Asiniskaw Īthiniwak (Rocky Cree) project seeks to contribute to Indigenous reclamation of language, history, and knowledge (including food systems). As part of this larger project, my goal is to investigate the traditional foodways of the Asiniskaw Īthiniwak’s ancestors, through the analysis of carbonized residues preserved on a series of Late Woodland Selkirk Composite vessels from South Indian Lake in Northern Manitoba. A fundamental goal of this project is to establish what foodstuffs were cooked in these vessels, and therefore what plants and animals may have contributed to the Asiniskaw Īthiniwak ancestor’s diets. Microbotanicals, such as phytoliths and starch granules, are readily recoverable from these residues, allowing the identification of plant foods. Carbon and nitrogen stable isotope analyses of these same residues can identify proteins, in particular the presence of aquatic sources. Combining these two methods allows for a broader assessment of past diet than either of these methods does alone liking them to a specific vessel and therefore to the final meals cooked in those vessels. 

 

04:40 PM to 05:00 PM: Automated starch granule identification using high-throughput microscopy and machine learning
Presentation format: In-Person
Author(s):
  • Steven Mozarowski - Pre-Construct Archaeology

Starch analysis is used in archaeology to investigate the processing of wild plants for food and medicine, as well as the domestication and spread of cultigens. Starch analyses depend on the development and use of plant species identification keys. To date, all methods to identify starch are either time-consuming to produce and apply, or impossible to statistically validate for their accuracy. This paper describes a statistically testable starch identification method developed during my MSc research (LakeheadU) called the machine learning method (MLM). MLM mitigates two production bottlenecks in existing methods. First, collecting reference images of starch is accelerated using a multispectral imaging flow cytometer (MIFC). This microscope can collect thousands of images per second. Second, the traditional step of collecting measurements of individual starches by hand is eliminated. Image sets are used directly to train image recognition algorithms at species identification. MLM produces identification accuracies comparable to or better than other methods. When MLM is applied using 8,500 images of starch from 17 plants mostly occurring in eastern North America, identification accuracy is observed to be as high as 99.5%. MLM promises to provide a feasible and accurate means to identify starch recovered from archaeological materials.

Saturday May 4, 2024

Date/Time: 
May 4, 2024 - 8:00am to 10:00am
(CST)
Room: 
Venice
Session Hosting Format: 
in-person session
Organizer(s): 
  • Lyndsay Dagg, Institute of Prairie and Indigenous Archaeology, University of Alberta
  • Stephanie Halmhofer, Institute of Prairie and Indigenous Archaeology, University of Alberta
  • Dawn Wambold, Institute of Prairie and Indigenous Archaeology, University of Alberta
Contact Email: 

Session Abstract

Recent years have seen a resurgence of historical archaeology in Western Canada. One reason for this may be the increased role of Indigenous community-led research. While pre-colonial Indigenous archaeology has a long history, more and more communities are interested in the ways archaeology can tell stories about Indigenous resiliency post European contact. Historical archaeology thus becomes a powerful tool for giving voice to both Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples who were previously silenced in times when written records focused on those who were predominantly wealthy, literate, and European men.

As part of this resurgence, we acknowledge that historical archaeology has been characterized as a multi-disciplinary field that embodies a reciprocal relationship between archaeology and history (Orser, 2017:16), where historical records and oral histories can add rich insight and context to archaeology and archaeology can add temporal depth to the historical record and reveal stories not previously told. While this allows for the incorporation of research methodologies from both disciplines, it also means that the methodological challenges and advances from each discipline are present. As Charles Orser (2015:117) noted of historical archaeology, “ideas change and methods improve with the introduction of new concepts and the development of innovative technologies.” Whether conducting research in the library and archives, or solving fieldwork problems unique to historic sites, we invite presenters from the field of historical archaeology to share their research experiences and their solutions to methodological challenges that they have encountered.

Presentations

08:00 AM to 08:20 AM: Rabbit holes: Not Just a Nuisance in the Field
Presentation format: In-Person
Author(s):
  • R. Dawn Wambold - Institute of Prairie and Indigenous Archaeology, University of Alberta

A research rabbit hole can refer to a situation in which you are so interested in the subject matter that you can’t stop researching it and all the various lines of inquiry that it takes you down. At their best, research rabbit holes are tangential to the research that you are working on. At their worst, they are wholly unrelated. While literal rabbit holes in the field pose a tripping hazard on the surface and can complicate subsurface stratigraphy, metaphorical rabbit holes can present their own forms of tripping hazards and complications. In my own work seeking the archaeological presence of the Métis in Southern Alberta, I have encountered both the literal and figurative versions of the rabbit hole. In this presentation I will discuss some of the rabbit holes that I have encountered in the archives, the interesting places that they have taken me, and present a few of the strategies that I will use going forward to sidestep their hazards.

08:20 AM to 08:40 AM: Where a Cabin is Not Just a Cabin: Combining Archives and Archaeology to Uncover a 1920s Conspiritual Organization in British Columbia
Presentation format: In-Person
Author(s):
  • Stephanie Halmhofer - Institute of Prairie and Indigenous Archaeology, University of Alberta

Led by the enigmatic Brother XII, from 1927 to 1933 a conspiritual organization called the Aquarian Foundation constructed three settlements on the south coast of British Columbia (BC). Each was built to serve a specific ideological purpose within the Foundation’s conspiritual worldviews – two were for the spiritual transition of humanity that was to be led by the spiritual Masters of Wisdom from Atlantis, and one was for exposing an evil cabal working towards total world domination. Texts, such as books, articles, and pamphlets, are important pieces of the Aquarian Foundation’s material culture, used by Brother XII in the 1920s to communicate conspiritual ideals and goals to Foundation members, and by me in the 2020s to uncover a deeper understanding of the Foundation’s settlements that I am examining archaeologically. My presentation will share examples of how I am combining texts and other archival materials with archaeology to not only locate the Aquarian Foundation’s built structures and related material culture, but to also uncover a deeper understanding of what those structures and material culture meant to the Aquarian Foundation’s members.   

08:40 AM to 09:00 AM: Machine-Assisted Seed Bead Recovery: The Example of Chimney Coulee (DjOe-6)
Presentation format: In-Person
Author(s):
  • Solène Mallet Gauthier - University of Alberta

Small colourful glass beads, called seed beads, are found frequently on historic-period sites in western Canada. Produced in Europe, they were acquired at trading posts and used by Indigenous women to decorate functional items. However, their small size has made it that they are not systematically sought out by archaeologists, which often results in the recovery of what is likely only a fraction of the total number of seed beads deposited at a site. While some might argue that only a limited amount of knowledge can be obtained from these mass-produced objects, this bias in the recovery of seed beads limits the space occupied by Indigenous women in archaeological narratives. To remedy to this problem, members of the EMITA (Exploring Métis Identity Through Archaeology) project have been experimenting with different systems of sediment screening to collect seed beads from Métis archaeological sites. Using the example of the work done at Chimney Coulee (DjOe-6) in the summer of 2023, I will present the most efficient system EMITA members have come up with so far. The goal of the presentation is to inspire other archaeologists to build their own on-site water-screening systems and experiment with them.

09:00 AM to 09:20 AM: Reframing the Importance of Excavations: The Use of Geophysics and Air Photos in Historic Landscape Archaeology
Presentation format: In-Person
Author(s):
  • Lyndsay Dagg - University of ALberta

For most of archaeology’s history excavations have been the most important form of investigating a site, with countless hours and years devoted to improving excavation techniques. However, as more and more methods of archaeological research have begun to be developed and applied to sites, excavations are no longer as important as they once were. The use of non-invasive geophysical techniques has grown in popularity in recent years at all types of archaeological sites but has been found to be particularly useful at Indigenous sites where non-invasive methods of investigation are often preferred, and historic sites when combined with archival data. While these methods have often been used to inform excavations, excavations themselves can become less important depending on the research goal, sometimes slipping into a more supplementary role. In this paper, I use the Métis Historic Site, River Lots 23 & 24 in St. Albert, Alberta to argue that excavations can be a helpful supplemental method for supporting the results of archival research and geophysical surveys, rather than the primary focus of an archaeological investigation.

09:20 AM to 09:40 AM: How Many Laser Scanners Does it Take to Rerelocate a Building? Discussing Digital Repatriation of a Kootenai Brown Cabin
Presentation format: In-Person
Author(s):
  • Madisen Hvidberg - University of Calgary
  • Peter Dawson - University of Calgary
  • Christina Robinson - University of Calgary

“Kootenai” Brown is well-known in Canadian history for being the first European to see and experience what is now known as Waterton Lakes National Park. In his years at Waterton Lakes Brown lived at at least four places: the Kanouse Cabin, his first homestead, the second homestead, and his house at Lake Linnet. All of these locations have been known historically until 1977 when his second homestead was relocated to the Kootenai Brown Pioneering Village in Pincher Creek. Sometime after it was moved, the original location of the homestead was lost to memory.

The disconnect between cabin and location lasted until 2016 when a grove containing culturally modified trees (CMTs) was identified as the cabins’ location by Parks Canada employee Edwin Knox. In May 2022, the Digital Heritage Research lab at the University of Calgary digitally captured the meadow as well as the surrounding CMTs using geoSLAM mobile mapping technology. In July 2023, Kootenai Brown cabin in Pincher Creek was documented with a Z+F 5010X IMAGER with the intention of merging the datasets. The digital reconnection of cabin with surroundings provides a unique example of using innovative technologies to explore topics in historic archaeology.  

09:40 AM to 10:00 AM: Bringing Truth: Challenging the Erasure of Métis Material Culture through Historical Archaeology
Presentation format: In-Person
Author(s):
  • Kisha Supernant - University of Alberta

Over the past several decades, there has been a growing recognition of the importance of Indigenous histories during the post-contact era in demonstrating resistance, resilience, and survivance of Indigenous communities in the wake of colonization. This resurgence of historical archaeology that is about countering the narratives of European exploration and colonization has opened up new possibilities for revisiting previous archaeology that contributed to Indigenous erasure at historic-era sites. In this paper, I investigate how early historic archaeology in western Canada has contributed to the erasure of Métis material culture from sites that are important to our emergence as a distinct nation and people. I also explore how working within a time frame that has documentary evidence provides an opportunity to challenge this erasure by integrating multiple sources to tell a very different story of our presence. Through examples from fur trade archaeology, I demonstrate how the use of documentary and demographic records can challenge previous interpretations of material culture and reveal the presence of the Métis in the archaeological record.

 

Date/Time: 
May 4, 2024 - 8:00am to 10:00am
(CST)
Room: 
Michelangelo B
Session Hosting Format: 
in-person session
Organizer(s): 
  • Chelsea Colwell-Pasch, Colbr Consulting Inc.
  • Sara Beanlands, Boreas Heritage
  • Richard Grubb, ACRA
  • Ken Holyoke, University of Lethbridge
Contact Email: 

Session Abstract

This roundtable session is seeking individuals who are passionate about advancing CRM archaeology in Canada in the creation of, and need for, a CRM trade association. Similar to, and with support of, the American Cultural Resources Association (ACRA), this proposed association will serve as a pillar of support for CRM archaeology firms and archaeologists across the country, provide a unified voice to lobby all levels of government and regulators for better practices and policies, and actively promote the teaching of CRM archaeology as an essential discipline in universities and academic institutions. Emphasizing this support is vital in fostering a thriving and sustainable future for CRM archaeology, ensuring the protection of our shared cultural heritage for generations to come. This roundtable will discuss topics critical to the CRM industry and will go over the initial setup and running of this membership-based association. It is believed that together, we can collectively elevate the standards of CRM archaeology and foster greater collaboration within our community. As an example of how a CRM trade association can be successful in Canada, a member of ACRA’s Executive Committee will present a brief history of that association, why it was formed, and how it benefits the CRM community in the United States. If you and the firm or institution you represent are interested in assisting in the creation of this professional association and becoming a member, this roundtable session is important to attend. The creation of a CRM trade association is an important first step in working together to establish a vibrant and influential platform for CRM archaeologists in Canada.

Date/Time: 
May 4, 2024 - 8:00am to 3:00pm
(CST)
Room: 
Michelangelo C
Session Hosting Format: 
in-person session
Organizer(s): 
  • Amelia Fay, Manitoba Museum
  • David Finch, Manitoba Museum
Contact Email: 

Session Abstract

Many museums and universities are filled with legacy collections. These older, understudied, and often under-catalogued collections have led to a curation crisis in many institutions. The under-staffed reality of heritage institutions means that legacy collections have an opportunity for greater attention by external researchers. This opens doors to past work that may have been neglected, but also recognizes the costs and ethics surrounding continual excavation projects without proper curation. This session explores the challenges and opportunities of tackling these legacy collections, bringing new analyses, fresh interpretations, and reinvigorating the work of archaeologists of the past. We welcome papers from researchers and community members who are actively engaging with legacy collections to share their work. At the same time, we also encourage heritage professionals working in institutions that house these collections to highlight the research potential that might be hiding in the collections, just waiting for the right researcher to come along.

Presentations

08:00 AM to 08:20 AM: What Kind of Legacy Are We Leaving? Responding to the curation crisis before its too late
Presentation format: In-Person
Author(s):
  • Amelia Fay - Manitoba Museum

As an introduction to the session, this presentation discusses the issues surrounding chronic underfunding as it relates to collections care and our ethical responsibility to properly document and store collections for long-term preservation. I’ll explore how we got here and some of the ways we can work within our financial limitations. More importantly, I'll discuss why a session like this is critical to bring awareness and minds together to develop solutions and share ideas.  The papers within this session are diverse, and shed light on how widespread and common these issues are, but also highlight how much untapped research potential is available for researchers. The aim of this presentation is to give some background information to frame the rest of the session, and to get us all thinking about what we can do now so future generations don’t have an even bigger crisis on their hands.

08:20 AM to 08:40 AM: Reconnecting when return is not possible
Presentation format: In-Person
Author(s):
  • Laura Kelvin - University of Manitoba
  • Lisa Rankin - Memorial University
  • Lena Onalik - Nunatsiavut Government

As an act of colonialism, the collecting of heritage has caused a disruption of relationships between Indigenous people, their land, their (in)tangible cultural heritage (Gray 2022), their Ancestors, and their pasts, presents, and futures. Over the last 500 years, many archaeologists, academics, tourists, missionaries, and government officials have collected Inuit (in)tangible cultural heritage without Inuit consent, which are now housed in institutions all over the world. Unfortunately, there are many factors that make the physical return of heritage to Nunatsiavut not possible at this time, even when heritage holding institutions are willing. This presentation will discuss an ongoing collaboration between the Nunatsiavut Government, the State Ethnographic Collections in Saxony, and archaeologists, which seeks to reconnect Nunatsiavummiut with their heritage housed in Germany and find ways to restore Nunatsiavummiut control of their heritage by applying Inuit understandings of care, love, and respect to housing and curation.

08:40 AM to 09:00 AM: Putting Our House in Order: How a Decade of Collection Reorganization and a Focus on Collections Management at the Royal Saskatchewan Museum has resulted in Research Success
Presentation format: In-Person
Author(s):
  • Cindy Scheer - The Royal Saskatchewan Museum

The Royal Saskatchewan Museum (RSM) has been the principal repository for the province’s archaeological materials for over one hundred years and now houses 6,000 boxes of artifacts along with reports, slides and photos, notes, maps, drawings, correspondence, and catalogues all with diverse storage requirements and considerations. To address these needs, the RSM Archaeology Unit initiated an ongoing project to rehouse the museum’s archaeological collections and rethink our collections and data management approach. Broadly the project goals were (1) to ensure safe collection storage and (2) improve accessibility. Methods include a complete rehousing of the artifacts collection into archival quality boxes, a revised inventory, and database development improvements. Now, ten years into the project, we present the current status of our project and highlight case studies of recent research and future research projects facilitated by the work.

09:00 AM to 09:20 AM: Small Museum, Big Challenges: Community Museums and their Role in Maintaining Legacy Archaeological Collections
Presentation format: In-Person
Author(s):
  • Tim Panas - Museums Association of Saskatchewan
  • Sarah Durham - Museums Association of Saskatchewan

The issue of understudied, or in some cases unstudied, legacy archaeological collections is an issue that not only impacts major provincial and federal museums but community museums as well. Found throughout Canada, these institutions often served as the repositories for significant locally-sourced assemblages, donated by avocational archaeologists and collectors, prior to the implementation of any provincial legislation or oversight by regulatory agencies. This paper will examine the unique challenges that these institutions face due to their size, staffing, financing, and governance structures, and will highlight the potential contributions that their collections can make to a larger understanding of the history of what is now Canada.

09:20 AM to 09:40 AM: Stemming the Tide: Assisting Community Museums with Archaeological Collections through Creative Collaboration
Presentation format: In-Person
Author(s):
  • Karin Steuber - Saskatchewan Archaeological Society
  • Tomasin Playford - Saskatchewan Archaeological Society
  • Tatiana  Nomokonova - University of Saskatchewan
  • Tim Panas - Museums Association of Saskatchewan
  • Sarah Durham - Museums Association of Saskatchewan

Archaeological collections amassed during the 20th Century can be left in a state of flux when current stewards are no longer able care for them. Local community museums are sometimes approached when seeking a new, permanent home for these legacy collections. In the past decade, the Saskatchewan Archaeological Society (SAS) has received increasing requests from museums on how to respectfully accession, identify, interpret, and curate archaeological collections. To address this, the Society is working with partners to help improve museum capacity by developing innovative approaches including a commitment to working with Indigenous communities. In 2024, the University of Saskatchewan's Department of Anthropology (USask) partnered with the SAS, the Museums Association of Saskatchewan (MAS), and the Mortlach Museum to pilot a new senior undergraduate course, Collaborative Practice in Archaeology. For the class, students identified a sample of artifacts from the C.B. Forbes Collection currently housed at the museum. They also gained practical experience in exhibit design and program development by creating public displays, developing grade-specific educational activities, and producing a teaching guide for use by the museum and educators. This presentation will highlight the outcomes and benefits of the project as well as areas for improvement.

09:40 AM to 10:00 AM: Rethinking antiquity: Legacy collections as multi-temporal
Presentation format: Online - pre-recorded
Author(s):
  • Tiziana Gallo - Trent University Durham
  • Craig N. Cipolla - Tufts University

Indigenous artifacts collected by Euro-colonial settlers of southern Ontario around the late 19th century commonly lack provenience. This leaves many questions unanswered and leads archaeologists to favour singular temporalities over others. We discuss how two classes of artifacts from the Royal Ontario Museum’s Archaeology of Ontario legacy collection challenge the arbitrary nature of archaeological periods and the cut between real and fake, antique and new, traditional and modern. Typologically attributed to a 3,000-1,500 BP timeframe, we compare examples of steel-modified ground stone gorgets with jingle cones, a type of artifact that only emerged in the early twentieth century but that is often framed as an eternal and essential component of Indigeneity. Traces that speak to the sound-making properties of jingle cones and the recent interaction of the properties of steel tools and stone gorgets help us think beyond deep pasts and highlight change and continuity within Indigenous and colonial histories.

10:20 AM to 10:40 AM: From Private Hands to Public Heritage: Legacy Collections and Community Engagement in Alberta Archaeology
Presentation format: In-Person
Author(s):
  • Kyle Forsythe - Royal Alberta Museum
  • Karen Giering - Royal Alberta Museum
  • Bob Dawe - Royal Alberta Museum

The establishment of productive relationships with artifact collectors, despite ethical disagreements among archaeologists, is a priority for the future of Alberta archaeology. This talk presents a case study of best practices in public outreach to facilitate the donation of privately held collections to the Royal Alberta Museum, which is necessary to enable their access by descendent communities, researchers, and the public. The recently donated Bob Graham Legacy Collection from central Alberta consists of approximately half a million artifacts from between Paleoindian to Early contact periods. Our discussion of the collection proposes three implications that derive from effective relationships with the collecting community. First, the study of large legacy collections with good provenience can offer new perspectives on spatial contexts not normally prioritized by academic archaeologists. Second, the Graham Collection demonstrates how the construction and maintenance of community connections can mediate looting over the long term. Third, artifacts held in private collections are sequestered away from their source communities. Public outreach programs are an effective way to disseminate access to these collections for descendent communities and the broader public.

10:40 AM to 11:00 AM: A new look at collections from the Manitoba Glacial Lake Agassiz Survey of the 1960’s.
Presentation format: In-Person
Author(s):
  • Gary Wowchuk - Swan Valley Historical Museum

The largest archaeological survey conducted in West-central Manitoba was the Glacial Lake Agassiz Survey (GLAS) of the late 1960s. With the exception of Leo Pettipas work on the Pale-Indigenous material and a recent summary of the GLAS survey he published, unpublished year-end reports, preliminary site reports and a several master’s thesis a huge volume of data remains unstudied or reported. On a visit to the archaeology lab at the University of Manitoba, material recovered from LAS280 (FcMe-4) and LAS239 (FbMi-56) during the Glacial Lake Agassiz Survey was re-examined. Black Duck pottery had reportedly been recovered from those sites and is relatively rare in that region of Manitoba. Efforts were made to relocate the collections and confirm those observations by examining the ceramics. When the ceramics were analyzed a couple of unexpected surprises were encountered which are discussed.

11:00 AM to 11:20 AM: Investigations into the Clovis projectile points from the Dewalt collection.
Presentation format: In-Person
Author(s):
  • Nathaniel Wowchuk - KGS Group

Lew Dewalt accumulated his collection around McCord, Saskatchewan during the 1930s through to the 1950s due to extensive erosion in the area. This exposed cultural occupations ranging from Clovis all the way into metal trade points, and everything in between. This paper will examine the Clovis projectile points, and the possible Clovis projectile points from the Dewalt Collection through a statistical analysis and comparison to other Clovis points found at Wally’s Beach in Alberta.

11:20 AM to 11:40 AM: Digging through the Archives: Uncovering the History of the Lake Midden Collection
Presentation format: In-Person
Author(s):
  • Faith Boser - University of Alberta

The Lake Midden (EfNg-1) site, located near Last Mountain Lake in southern Saskatchewan, has intrigued archaeologists and avocationals for decades. Lake Midden has a Mortlach phase, Pericolonial period occupation dating from the 16th to 18th centuries. The site first garnered attention due to its dense and variable artifacts. Lake Midden has been involved with many eras of archaeological interest in Saskatchewan, from the early days of curious post-dust-bowl Saskatchewan farmers in the 1940s to field schools conducted in the 1990s. Systematic excavations began in the 1950s and continued until the mid-1990s. Mortlach pottery, lithics, trade goods, bone tools, ice-gliders, other modified objects, and thousands of fragmented faunal remains were recovered during these excavations. The integrity of much of the site was disturbed due to looting activities, although undisturbed portions were excavated. Due to the duration of the inquiry and the many different people involved with the site, piecing together the history of the collection is needed to help inform further analyses. This paper discusses the process of tracking down and going through Lake Midden archival material and the benefits of working with legacy collections.

11:40 AM to 12:00 PM: Coloinally bound to traditional knowledge
Presentation format: In-Person
Author(s):
  • Vick Allen

As Indigenous peoples, the disruption felt after colonialism is intergenerational, demeaning, and infuriating. Explorers, missionaries, archaeologists, friend and foe began participating in the removal of tools, clothing, toys, burial belongings, and even remains of our sacred Ancestors. The collection of our possessions, our people, and our culture for general interest continued for many years. The disconnect that we as Indigenous people feel is only deepened by the fact that prior to modern archaeological ethics, these collections were amassed largely without Inuit consent. Artefacts and remains are scattered throughout institutions in countries that most Nunatsiavimmuit have never visited. In June of 2023 I was lucky enough to participate in the Creating Context project that brought Nunatsiavimmuit to our artefacts housed in Germany. While there, I was faced with an interesting dilemma— Am I grateful that we have pristine collections? Am I angry that these collections existed without our knowledge for 150+ years? How do we care for, continue to restore, and eventually begin the repatriation progress? I will reflect on the challenges faced during the trip, the questions that arose upon my return home, and the specific draw to complete an unfinished ammamiuttak that was shown to us by museum curators.

01:20 PM to 01:40 PM: The Seven Sacred Teachings: Indigenizing Zooarchaeology by Mass Spectrometry with Anishinaabeg Frameworks
Presentation format: Online - pre-recorded
Author(s):
  • Kayla Shaganash - University of Manitoba

Although archaeologists have long discussed “decolonizing” archaeology, little has been done to Indigenize zooarchaeology. This is especially pertinent considering the important relationships that Indigenous people have had and continue to have with animals. In this presentation I will discuss my MA research that aims to dismantle colonial paradigms and epistemologies embedded in zooarchaeology. I do this through the application of minimally destructive techniques like ZooMS (Zooarchaeology by Mass Spectrometry) guided by Anishinaabeg frameworks. In particular the Seven Sacred Teachings adhere to Humility (Wolf), Honesty (Sabé), Truth (Turtle), Love (Eagle), Respect (Buffalo), Courage (Bear), and Wisdom (Beaver); which guide and inform my research.

01:40 PM to 02:00 PM: Curating toward rematriation and repatriation: the future of collections management at the University of Manitoba
Presentation format: Online - pre-recorded
Author(s):
  • Rachel ten Bruggencate - University of Manitoba
  • Olajumoke Olalere - University of Manitoba
  • Laura Kelvin - University of Manitoba
  • Chelsea H. Meloche - Royal British Columbia Museum
  • Lara Rosenoff Gauvin - University of Manitoba

Archaeological collections housed by the Department of Anthropology represent one of the largest gatherings of Indigenous cultural heritage at the University of Manitoba (UM). They comprise an estimated 125,000 items and 3000 supporting documents from over 450 sites in Manitoba, Ontario, and the United States. Most of these items were brought to UM without the consent of Indigenous communities whose cultural heritage they represent. The conditions under which these collections have been housed over the past 60 years make an appraisal of their full scope and contents extremely challenging. 

For the past four years, UM has been engaged in a Rematriation and Repatriation Ceremony led by Grandmothers, Grandfathers, Knowledge Keepers, and Elders at UM. One outcome of this Ceremony is policy requiring that all departments undertake a census of Indigenous Ancestors and cultural heritage obtained without proper consent. All departments must also work under the guidance of descendant communities toward respectful repatriation and/or long-term care plans for these Ancestors and cultural heritage. We present a plan for implementing this policy in the Department of Anthropology at UM that addresses the volume of cultural heritage we house and long-term shortcomings in its curation. 

02:00 PM to 02:20 PM: Excavating an Archaeological Collections Room: What’s in that Cabinet?
Presentation format: In-Person
Author(s):
  • Maria Lear - Memorial University

The Archaeological Collections Room, Department of Archaeology, Memorial University of Newfoundland Labrador houses all artefacts, samples and other post-excavation archival materials that are under an open provincial archaeological permit. The space is specifically for NL archaeological permit holders who are departmental Faculty members, graduate students or archaeological staff researchers. It holds approximately 800,000+ finds and is equipped with compact rolling storage, shelving units, layout tables and areas for analysis. It is in constant use with the addition of artefacts from our annual field school and other departmental field seasons. The active use of the space requires continual monitoring, database entry and other collections management accessioning duties as related to storage and retrieval.

A portion of the space is dedicated to legacy collections - some span decades of past research and excavations. Often, the original archaeological permit holder is no longer available and what remains is a select group of varied cultural assemblages and related site materials. It is not without challenges - but with increased archaeological information sharing, modernized computer programs and efficient storage system protocols, the record keeping of the past is updated and the result is a rekindled interest in the material by researchers and students alike.

 

02:20 PM to 02:40 PM: Challenges with Legacy Collections and How to Do Better
Presentation format: In-Person
Author(s):
  • Genevieve Hill - Royal BC Museum

Legacy collections come in all different shapes and sizes - from personal collections of avocational archaeologists to unpublished manuscripts of academics, and the many incomplete deposits of the commercial archaeologists in between. These collections have long been rendered inaccessible to their home communities through poor documentation, collection management practices, government and museum priorities and policy, as well as a lack of sustained funding. In recent years, there has been a marked increase in high-level government support for repatriation of cultural belongings and ancestors to descendant communities. However, there is also an incongruous lack of support for the day-to-day work of caring for and improving access to legacy collections.

In this presentation I will examine the historic and continuing creation of legacy collections in BC, with a focus on the belongings cared for by the Royal BC Museum. I will also explore the most common obstacles to legacy collection access and share learnings and suggestions that can help improve practice in the future. 

02:40 PM to 03:00 PM: Shedding Light onto the Cultural Heritage from Churchill, Manitoba
Presentation format: In-Person
Author(s):
  • Miguel Valverde-Yetman - Department of Anthropology, University of Manitoba
  • Linda Larcombe - Department of Internal Medicine, University of Manitoba
  • Laura Kelvin - Department of Anthropology, University of Manitoba

The University of Manitoba (UM) has a large amount of Indigenious cultural heritage (or Indigenious belongings) from cultural heritage sites in the area around Churchill Manitoba. Indigenous belongings (artifacts) that were collected in the 1960s and 70s without community knowledge or consent that are now housed at UM remain poorly inventoried and understudied, making them inaccessible to northern Indigenous communities.

By opening the storage drawers and shedding light on the holdings from the Churchill area by 1) consolidating the information previously collected about the holdings, and 2) connecting Indigenous community members from northern Manitoba with the holdings and the cultural heritage sites from where they were taken. Archaeological field notes, catalogues, maps, photographs, and site reports will be digitized and consolidated to make the collected knowledge accessible to academics and community members. Community members will travel to the cultural heritage sites at Churchill to explore and experience the Land, help document the features that are on the Land using non-invasive techniques. We will hold ceremony at locations where the belongings originate. Potentially this will make the holdings available to Northern communities, inspire deeper connections with cultural heritage sites and holdings, and enhance local capacity for stewarding and sharing the past.

Date/Time: 
May 4, 2024 - 9:00am to 12:00pm
(CST)
Room: 
Florence
Session Hosting Format: 
in-person session
Organizer(s): 
  • William T.D. Wadsworth (UAlberta)
  • Andrew Martindale (UBC)
  • Colin Grier (Washington State University)
Contact Email: 

Session Abstract

Increasingly, GPR surveys are employed throughout Canadian archaeology to suit a variety of purposes (e.g., locating unmarked graves, delineating buried strata or features, and mapping archaeological sites). Training field technicians to conduct GPR surveys is increasingly common; however, there is a large bottleneck in archaeologists who can process or interpret data. This panel discussion is focused on critically important (but often overlooked) aspects of ground-penetrating radar survey: managing challenging topography/environments, processing/filtering the raw data, and interpreting archaeological features from the final products. A central theme of these discussions will be data integration with other remote sensing techniques (i.e., LiDAR), processing software, and GIS databases. This panel discussion is meant to be an interactive exercise where the three facilitators will introduce the topics before breaking out into informal discussion groups. Although several computers with demo data will be provided, participants are encouraged to bring their own data, software, and problems to work through together during the interactive portion.

Date/Time: 
May 4, 2024 - 10:20am to 12:00pm
(CST)
Room: 
Michelangelo B
Session Hosting Format: 
in-person session
Organizer(s): 
  • Tracy Martens, Royal Saskatchewan Museum
  • Bailey Monsebroten, Royal Saskatchewan Museum
Contact Email: 

Session Abstract

Today, most people live in uninterrupted contact with fibre and perishable items, from status symbols like designer clothing and handbags to utilitarian objects like automobile seatbelts, paper, and household linen. Archaeological evidence indicates that the tight-knit relationship between people and fibre and perishable items is genuinely ancient, with indirect evidence of fibre processing dated over 100,000 years BP at Cueva Anton, Spain and convincing evidence that Neanderthals possessed yarn production technology. This revelation has been interpreted as evidence of increased cognitive capacity (Hardy et al., 2020). Yet, aside from enthusiastic hobbyists and textile specialists, few people, including but not limited to archaeologists, have a working understanding of fibre types and processing, yarn production, and textile structure. Likewise, even fewer people appreciate the complexity and prolonged engagement demanded by these techniques, particularly before and during mechanization when processes were performed entirely or partially by hand. As a result of this unfamiliarity, researchers often ignore fibre and perishable items and associated technologies or superficially address them, leading to misleading categorization including but not limited to miscellaneous items alongside rosary beads, marbles and clocks (Mackay et al. 2006). This session invites papers and project descriptions focused on detailed recordings and analysis of fibre and perishable items from archaeological, historical or museum contexts that demonstrate the research value and potential of fibre and perishable items and associated materials. Contributions might also include best practices for handling, recording and storing fibre and perishable items and recognizing tools and indirect evidence for fibre processing.

Presentations

10:20 AM to 10:40 AM: Analytical Approaches to Fiber and Perishable Artifacts
Presentation format: In-Person
Author(s):
  • Tracy Martens - Royal Saskatchewan Museum
  • Judith Cameron - Australian National University
  • Charles Higham - University of Otago

Analytical approaches to fibre and perishable artifacts have expanded from detailed technical analysis to diagnostic imaging, chemical and stable isotope analysis and even machine learning. Where such methods have been successfully applied, our understanding of resource use, technological development, trade, identity and even cognitive capacity, among Neanderthals, has been established or improved. Despite the potential of these artifacts to contribute to common archaeological questions, fibre and perishable items remain misunderstood, understudied and under-analyzed by archaeologists. In this paper, we describe our recent and ongoing investigations using stable light isotope analysis and scanning electron microscopy (SEM) of fibre and perishable artifacts from an Historical Australian site, light microscopy, SEM-Energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDX), photogrammetry, and 3D scanning of cord-marked pottery sherds from the collection at the Royal Saskatchewan Museum and Ban Chiang; a Bronze/Iron Age site in Thailand. We also assess these analytical methods' effectiveness, practicality and contributions in the case studies presented and future possibilities for further work. 

 

10:40 AM to 11:00 AM: The Subarctic in the Southwest? The Advent of Leather Footwear in a World of Sandals
Presentation format: In-Person
Author(s):
  • John  Ives - University of Alberta
  • Kevin Gilmore - HDR Inc.
  • Edward Jolie - University of Arizona
  • Benjamin Bellorado - University of Arizona

Circumpolar populations negotiated an “Arctic filter” that must have involved sophisticated leather footwear capable of dealing with severe northeast Asian and Beringian environments through which Indigenous Ancestors would travel entering the western hemisphere. Yet, apart from glimpses afforded at sites such as Spirit Cave or the mid-Holocene moccasin from a Mount Edziza ice patch, ancient leather footwear is exceedingly rare. While leather footwear remained critical in the north, early populations in the Great Basin and American Southwest soon employed fibre perishable sandals that largely dominated the archaeological record until the late fourteenth century. Then, leather footwear quickly succeeded sandals amongst many Southwestern populations. This has at times been attributed to the appearance of Apachean ancestors in the Southwest and southern Plains. We explore this adoption of leather moccasins in light of the hundreds of Promontory Cave moccasins in Utah, a scattering of similar moccasins in Wyoming and Colorado, and at prominent Southwestern sites including Mesa Verde, Aztec, Montezuma’s Castle, Chaco Canyon and Walpi. Apachean ancestors entered a turbulent thirteenth century world—where Puebloan peoples were retracting into fewer, larger communities—and brought with them a Subarctic moccasin style that became the basis from which leather footwear came to dominate.

11:00 AM to 11:20 AM: An Island in Space and Time: A Transitional Early to Middle Archaic Fiber Perishable Assemblage from Franktown Cave, Western Great Plains, USA
Presentation format: In-Person
Author(s):
  • Kevin Gilmore - HDR
  • Edward Jolie - University of Arizona

Manufacture of perishable artifacts, particularly complex artifacts such as sandals and baskets, follows traditions of shared teaching and learning that overlap with individual and group identities and so are valuable for establishing regional sociocultural connections. However, sites preserving perishable artifacts are inconveniently rare and geographically isolated, creating interpretative challenges. Franktown Cave, at the edge of the western Great Plains, contains an assemblage of woven sandals and coiled basketry in two components dated 3310-2940 and 2840-2490 BC, and suggests possible interaction or cultural affinities with populations of the Colorado Plateau to the west and the northern Chihuahuan Desert to the south. The Franktown Cave projectile points are similar to types found on the Colorado Plateau dating much earlier, but similar contemporaneous points are found in southern New Mexico and Texas south into northern Mexico, providing additional support for a southern connection. The early component at Franktown Cave slightly predates the appearance of the Northern Plains Middle Archaic McKean technocomplex in the region, whose users dominated the Central and Northern Plains for over 2000 years. Thus, Franktown Cave may represent the northern frontier for southern ideas (and possibly people) just prior to the arrival of northern technologies that defined the Middle Archaic.      

11:20 AM to 11:40 AM: Tips and Techniques for the Care of Waterlogged Perishable Archaeological Artifacts
Presentation format: Online - pre-recorded
Author(s):
  • Kathleen Sullivan - Canadian Conservation Institute

The Archaeological Conservation Laboratory at the Canadian Conservation Institute (CCI) is a resource for the heritage community, and treats archaeological artifacts from across Canada, particularly waterlogged perishable materials. Fibrous and perishable materials rarely survive in the archaeological record, making such finds even more significant. When perishable materials such as textiles, rope, cordage, basketry, leather, and wood do survive, more frequently they are found in a wet or waterlogged context. Waterlogged perishable materials are some of the most fragile types of artifacts that can be recovered during an archaeological excavation. To ensure the best possible long-term preservation consideration for the care of these artifacts needs to begin upon discovery. As a part of our mandate, CCI archaeological conservators also respond to general information requests related to the conservation of this type of material. From these conversations, we have identified common themes and questions about the care of perishable materials. Based upon these themes and questions, this talk will cover tips and techniques for handling, suggestions for packaging materials, and options for long- and short-term storage of perishable archaeological artifacts.

11:40 AM to 12:00 PM: Qu’Appelle Valley Rug Hooking
Presentation format: In-Person
Author(s):
  • Bailey Monsebroten - Royal Saskatchewan Museum

The study of Metis people’s artistic achievements has been a growing field in recent years. Much attention has been paid to their beadwork, and some to their silk embroidery. While this is excellent progress for the inclusion of the Metis in the Canadian Art Historical cannon, a lesser-known Metis art form, rug hooking, has not been as well represented. This presentation will examine three hooked rugs held in the collection of the Royal Saskatchewan Museum, created in Qu’Appelle Valley. These rugs provide an interesting puzzle leading to a discussion on the rug-based economy that existed among the Metis road allowance communities in the area, the later rug production in the area by Dakota women from Standing Buffalo Dakota Nation, and an examination of rugs produced in Manitoba to provide context on the identification and appreciation of this little known but rather significant part of Metis Material Culture.

Date/Time: 
May 4, 2024 - 10:20am to 12:00pm
(CST)
Room: 
Venice
Session Hosting Format: 
in-person session
Organizer(s): 
  • Steven Dorland, Grand Valley State University
  • Sarah Hazell, University of Toronto Mississauga
Contact Email: 

Session Abstract

Indigenous archaeologies has grown significantly, resulting in the development of new methodologies and frameworks that are grounded in Indigenous ways of knowing, doing and being. Through these ways, Indigenous voices, experiences and scholarship are centred to  provide fruitful avenues to decolonize the discipline. In this session, we present the diversity of Indigenous archaeologies taking place in Northeastern North America, emphasising the benefits of engaging in true partnerships and relationship building with Indigenous communities. As you will see in this session, there is not one way to engage in Indigenous archaeologies as each community is unique with their own needs, interests and goals, and each community partnership involves different groups of settler and Indigenous archaeologists. However, an overlying theme becomes apparent, an emphasis on relationship building that is centred on respect, reciprocity, trust, and gratitude. By effectively braiding Indigenous archaeologies in Northeastern North America, we contribute to decolonize and enhance archaeology in this region and elsewhere. 

 

Presentations

10:20 AM to 10:40 AM: Fighting a Silent Battle: A multidisciplinary field school at Grand Valley State University that brings together Archaeology, Forestry, and Indigenous Knowledge
Presentation format: In-Person
Author(s):
  • Rob  Larson - Grand Valley State University
  • Steven Dorland - Grand Valley State University
  • Michelle Oberlin - Grand Valley State University
  • Alexandra  Locher - Grand Valley State University
  • Wesley  Jackson - Grand Valley State University

 

In this paper, we introduce the development of an archaeological field school at Grand Valley State University in West Michigan that focused on the impact of cultural activity on the modern landscape. Students engaged in a learning experience at the 19th century historic logging town of Blendon Landing to investigate a plurality of relationships to the landscape and how past processes, including past field schools, changed the landscape. Through our approach, students were introduced to Etuaptmumk, or Two-Eyed Seeing. Etuaptmumk is a Mi’kmaq concept that brings Indigenous and Western Science together to address a particular problem. This approach allowed students to reflect about their relationship to the field site and their impact on the environment. By partnering with faculty in the department of Biology, one of which being a Knowledge Keeper and citizen of Nottawaseppi Huron Band of the Potawatomi, students gained the opportunity to learn how past cultural practices led to a silent battle between invasive and native plant species. In this paper, we present student and faculty perspectives on the opportunities and challenges associated with braiding archaeological fieldwork, biological methods of data recording, and Indigenous ways of knowing and doing to answer a similar set of questions. 

 

10:40 AM to 11:00 AM: “We are just providing an opportunity”: Reflections on the third year of the Learning About Learning archaeology camp. 
Presentation format: In-Person
Author(s):
  • Steven Dorland - Grand Valley State University
  • Jordan  Jamieson - Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation
  • Lindi Masur - McMaster University
  • Veronica King-Jamieson - Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation

In this paper, we reflect on our third year of the Learning About Learning archaeology camp for Mississauga Nation youth, hosted by Mississaugas of Credit First Nation and in partnership with university institutions in Canada and the United States. This community-based archaeology research program began in 2019 and each year, we have navigated yearly challenges as we have transitioned from online formats as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, to in person camps. We consider the challenges in the development of meaningful relationships, the determination and articulation of shared goals and community objectives, and the delivering of inspiring and inclusive programming. When creating a community-based archaeology project, and developing this into a long term research program, there are many challenges faced. Here we explore our path in unlearning ways of thinking rooted in Western institutional procedure. Rather than an overemphasis on logistics and concrete, scaffolded learning plans, the reorientation of our camp to centre on Councilor King-Jamieson’s words, “We are just providing an opportunity,” has been the backbone of camp success. Herein, we consider the camp and our research partnership as an iterative process and the importance of decentering academic voices to provide truly collaborative community partnerships.

 

11:00 AM to 11:20 AM: Nisdotang gaa-bi-zhiwebag wii-ni-mno-bmaadzing: Indigenous-led archaeology in Northeastern Ontario
Presentation format: Online - pre-recorded
Author(s):
  • Jake  Cousineau - Mississauga First Nation
  • Brent  Niganobe - Mississauga First Nation

Mississauga First Nation (MFN) is located on the North Shores of Lake Huron between the mouth of the Mississaugi River and the Blind River. This area has been the home to the Mississauga people since time immemorial. Unfortunately, the North Shore of Lake Huron has long been underrepresented in Ontario archaeological research and discourse, creating a cultural-heritage data vacuum where information is sparse, unpublished, outdated and has little to no meaningful interpretation. This lack of publication and the current Ontario Standards & Guidelines created a self-perpetuating cycle where archaeology is overlooked and undervalued by the public and approval authorities. Within the last year, MFN has made advancements in developing its ability to conduct archaeological research on its own terms to protect its ancestral remains, confirm traditional knowledge, and engage its community in learning about their history. This has resulted in MFN protecting known archaeological and traditional sites, negotiating artifact repatriation, documenting new sites, advocating for archaeological assessments, and learning more about their past. Through this work, MFN will break the self-perpetuating cycle, demonstrating the significance of their ancestral legacy in Northern Ontario through traditional knowledge and archaeology

11:20 AM to 11:40 AM: Pathways to Reclamation: The La Cloche Cataloguing, Learning, and Sharing Project
Presentation format: In-Person
Author(s):
  • Alicia Hawkins - University of Toronto Mississauga
  • Sarah Hazell - University of Toronto
  • Naomi Recollet - Ojibwe Cultural Foundation
  • Allen Toulouse - Sagamok Anishnawbek
  • Alyson Summers - University of Toronto

Fort La Cloche, on the north shore of Lake Huron, was the site of archaeological excavations from the late 1960s to the early 1980s. Collections from government of Ontario excavations are now housed at the Ojibwe Cultural Foundation (OCF) on Manitoulin Island, an Indigenous cultural center. However, lacking reports and a comprehensive catalogue, the OCF and Sagamok Anishnawbek, on whose territory the site lies, find that it is hard to make decisions about the future of these ancestral belongings. In this collaborative and community-based project, members of Sagamok and First Nations from Manitoulin Island and archaeologists from University of Toronto are working together to learn about what is held in this large collection and about what can be learned from these ancestral belongings. This process will provide information to SA and the OCF as they consider the best way to care for these belongings in the future. The work is guided by elders and incorporates language learning and cultural teachings.

11:40 AM to 12:00 PM: Just a Nibble: A Brief Analysis of the Faunal Material from the 1969 Excavation of Fort La Cloche
Presentation format: Online - pre-recorded
Author(s):
  • Alyson Summers - University of Toronto

La Cloche is a region in southern Ontario, on the northern shore of Lake Huron, which was occupied by a Hudson’s Bay Company post, Fort La Cloche, from around 1820-1890. Local Anishinaabe people, particularly the Sagamok Anishnawbek, have recognized this region as their home since time immemorial. Material excavated at La Cloche between 1968-1983 is currently being stored at the Ojibway Cultural Foundation (OCF), where members of the OCF, archaeologists from the University of Toronto, and Anishinaabe community members have been cataloguing and identifying the material. With the permission of the OCF and local Anishinaabe elders, I borrowed a portion of the faunal material from the La Cloche excavations for 4 months for cataloguing and analysis. The faunal material identified is from the 1969 excavations at Fort La Cloche. Contrasting with earlier French Northwest Company forts, the occupants of Fort La Cloche predominately subsisted on domesticated species rather than wild species of Cervids and may have been supplementing their diets with imported barreled pork. A variety of fish and bird species, particularly ducks also contributed to the diet. Additionally, rabbits were likely an important economic fur-trade species at this site. This work incorporates indigenous voices and histories with historic reports.

Date/Time: 
May 4, 2024 - 1:20pm to 4:00pm
(CST)
Room: 
Venice
Session Hosting Format: 
in-person session
Organizer(s): 
  • Catherine Cottreau-Robins, Nova Scotia Museum

Session Abstract

New archaeology field and laboratory research focused on sites of the seventeenth century in the Atlantic Northeast region, has been underway in recent years. Among the current research topics, insights are emerging concerning landscape viewshed analysis, posts and stations as locales of multiple identities, food and diet, Indigenous collaboration, objects of trade and exchange, environmental impacts to sites, fresh review of old collections, copper and geochemical provenance studies, geophysics, and public engagement. This session is a call for papers within the broad realm of the title. The goal of the session is to consider more fully the work that is happening in the Atlantic Northeast and to provide participants with an opportunity to connect. It is anticipated that a wide-ranging mix of exciting and valuable information will be shared.

Presentations

01:20 PM to 01:40 PM: Remote Sensing Techniques and Archaeological Prospection and Mapping of 17th Century Fur Trade Sites in Nova Scotia
Presentation format: Online - pre-recorded
Author(s):
  • Jonathan Fowler - Saint Mary's University and Northeast Archaeological Research

During the 17th century, a surprising number of commercial organizations operated fortified fur trade posts in what is now Atlantic Canada. Relatively few of these sites have been studied archaeologically, one factor obstructing our inquiries being their often-ephemeral nature. Even historically well-known sites have sometimes evaded detection. Remote sensing can play a constructive role here.

Archaeological remote sensing practitioners often distinguish between prospection (finding sites), and mapping (plotting their features). Although the methods and instruments employed in each activity can overlap, mapping surveys tend to be more intensive and consequently more time-consuming and data-rich. Ideally, prospection surveys inform mapping surveys, which in turn allow subsurface testing programs to be targeted to maximum advantage.

For the past several years, we have been employing a variety of aerial and terrestrial remote sensing techniques at 17th century fur trade posts in Nova Scotia, and this paper will briefly review sites studied, instruments employed, and lessons learned. Techniques include aerial LiDAR, 3D photogrammetry, and terrestrial electromagnetic induction (magnetic susceptibility and electrical conductivity) and ground-penetrating radar. The sites include Port-Royal, Fort St-Louis, Fort St-Pierre, and Fort Ste-Marie, each of which offers unique challenges and insights.   

01:40 PM to 02:00 PM: Engineering Avalon: Investigating Protoindustrial and Domestic Wastewater Systems in 17th-century Ferryland, Newfoundland
Presentation format: Online - pre-recorded
Author(s):
  • Barry Gaulton - Memorial University

Settled by the English in 1621, the colony of Avalon in Ferryland, Newfoundland has been studied by archaeologists for decades revealing, among other things, what may be the first European sanitation system in North America. Used to redirect and dissipate various forms of wastewater and excrement, the partially excavated 17th-century remains include subterranean masonry drains associated with the village’s brewhouse, stable, and kitchen, surface gutters placed along exterior cobblestone pavements, and even a communal privy positioned beside the inner harbor so that its contents were ‘flushed’ twice daily with the tides. Through the combined efforts of archaeologists and engineers, a project is underway to investigate the design, construction, and operation of individual drainage features and combined sanitation systems at Ferryland through the application of civil engineering principles. GPR, LiDAR, high-resolution Digital Elevation Models and computer simulations will be employed in these investigations. The goal is to provide a comprehensive local case study of early modern sanitation management, which includes considerations of site-specific ground slope, drainage, and availability of materials into How, What and Where things were built. Future research will contextualize these early sanitation practices within comparable traditions in Southwest England where most of Ferryland’s colonists originated.

02:00 PM to 02:20 PM: What stories are told by a simple pipe: The red clay pipe collection from Fort Saint-Louis
Presentation format: Online - pre-recorded
Author(s):
  • Vanessa Smith - Nova Scotia Museum

The collection of clay tobacco pipes from Fort Saint-Louis, an early seventeenth-century French trading post site in south-western Nova Scotia, encompasses a range of pipe styles - from the expected European kaolin clay pipes to a steadily growing collection of simple red clay pipes. These red clay pipes, characterized by sturdy stems with wide bore diameters and bowls with minimal decorative elaboration, have been excavated from units around the site and collected from the beach by community members.

This paper is intended as a preliminary study of this small but meaningful collection of pipe material. Through consideration of form, bore diameter, and decoration, as well as comparison to contemporary sites around the Atlantic region and farther afield, I will explore what insights the assemblage may offer about the inhabitants of the trading post and their participation in the emerging fashion of tobacco smoking, as well as the fort’s connection to other North American sites in the seventeenth century.

02:20 PM to 02:40 PM: Old Férolle Island: a reassessment of Indigenous and Basque presence on a 17th-century fishing station
Presentation format: Online - pre-recorded
Author(s):
  • Sarai Barreiro Argüelles - Université de Montréal

In 2022, the Smithsonian Arctic Studies Center in collaboration with the University of Montréal carried out archaeological work in northwestern Newfoundland, on Old Ferolle Island. The work was part of my doctoral research on Basque and indigenous interactions around the Gulf of Saint Lawrence, which assesses evidence of contemporary occupations on transatlantic fishing sites.

Historical research by Selma Barkham (1989) identified Old Férolle as a Basque fishing station during the 16th to 18th centuries. In 1993 and 1995, Callum Thomson, in a survey of Old Férolle, confirmed its use as a fishing post by Basque and French fishermen and by English in the 19th century. Thomson also reported the discovery of ten tent-ring features on the fishing station, which may belong to Inuit or other indigenous groups. Our work aimed to document the tent-rings and sought to identify evidence of Basque, Inuit, or other indigenous presence. The lack of in situ artifacts prevented us from drawing firm conclusions as to the cultural affiliation of the encampments. However, we obtained relevant information on a variety of forms of tent-rings that raise new hypotheses about indigenous presence in this cod fishing station and the dynamics of their occupations in the 17th century.

02:40 PM to 03:00 PM: Landscape Archaeology, Remote Sensing, and Past Research at Fort Saint-Marie-de-Grâce and the Razilly Colony, La Hève, Nova Scotia
Presentation format: Online - pre-recorded
Author(s):
  • Wesley Weatherbee - Saint Mary's University

Recognized as the first permanent French settlement in Acadia, an almost 10-kilometer span of coast along Nova Scotia’s south shore houses some of the first truly domestic activities by Europeans who had eyes to putting down roots here. At the centre of this plan was Isaac de Razilly at Fort Saint-Marie-de-Grâce, founder of the La Hève colony. The fort was constructed, and colony established in 1632 when 300 people came from France in support of this effort. Very little documentation exists to detail life in Razilly’s La Hève colony in the 1630s, though past archaeological research has confirmed the location of Fort Saint-Marie-de-Grâce.

This presentation contextualizes the archaeological remains of the La Hève colony through a lens of landscape archaeology with the aid of past research and remote sensing results. Past excavations have mostly focused on Fort Saint-Marie-de-Grâce and future ground penetrating radar and aerial multispectral mapping intend to improve characterization of that site. With the aid of lidar data covering the entirety of La Hève, the archaeological remains of the colony can be resolved in greater detail than previously possible. The synthesis of these approaches sheds new light on the landscape of 17th century La Hève.

03:20 PM to 03:40 PM: Archaeology at Fort Saint-Louis (AiDi-1) in Port La Tour, Nova Scotia
Presentation format: In-Person
Author(s):
  • Catherine Cottreau-Robins - Nova Scotia Museum

In 1931, Fort Saint-Louis, in the remote coastal community of Port La Tour, Nova Scotia, was declared a national historic site. The basis for the declaration was the association of the location with the early seventeenth-century, fortified fur-trade post of Charles de Saint-Etienne, Sieur de La Tour (c. 1593-1666), of Saint-Just, Champagne, France and Port Royal, Annapolis Basin, Acadie.  Under the care of landowners and community, Fort Saint-Louis remained largely undisturbed since the eighteenth century. This status changed in 2010, when archaeological assessment was required.  The arhcaeological work inspired a community-driven partnership, in place since 2017, to explore through archaeology, the landscape of Fort Saint-Louis and the multiple identities represented therein.

This paper summarizes the archaeology underway at Fort Saint-Louis and the success of a layered community approach. Focus will be placed on artifacts and cultural belongings that address the long cultural-landscape history in the bay as well as a long-standing gap in Nova Scotia's archaeological record. Underpinning the work, is a sense of urgency given increasing impacts to the site due to climate change events. 

03:40 PM to 04:00 PM: Determining the Provenance of Early Contact Trade Copper in Nova Scotia’s Bay of Fundy and Northumberland Strait regions
Presentation format: In-Person
Author(s):
  • Delaney Carter - Saint Mary's University
  • Jacob Hanley - Saint Mary's University
  • Katie Cottreau-Robins - Nova Scotia Museum
  • Roger Lewis - Nova Scotia Museum
  • Mostafa Fayek - University of Manitoba
  • Ryan Sharpe - University of Manitoba

Our study on the provenance of copper, including copper kettles of European origin (sixteenth to seventeenth century) associated with burials and sites of habitation within Nova Scotia used by the Mi’kmaq, is a subject of significant archaeological and cultural interest. By integrating data from complementary analytical techniques, including trace element analysis by laser ablation inductively-coupled plasma mass spectrometry and lead isotope analysis by secondary ion mass spectrometry, this research aims to trace the origins and migration of the copper in these objects through comparison of known sources of copper using ore compositions, and European copper coinage from the same period, including from Sweden’s historic Falun copper mines.

Recent findings of the study include the characterization of speiss inclusions by differing levels of Pb ± As, Sb, Sn, and Zn within both artifacts and European coinage. Speiss show a wide array of physical and compositional tendencies, with samples containing additional inclusions of Sn, Ag, and slag. Comparison of these characteristics demonstrate the relationship between artifacts and seventeeth century Swedish coinage. Artifacts express a range of Pb isotope ratios corresponding to the Fennoscandian shield suggesting a potential for multiple sources of copper and lead within the Bergslagen mining district of Sweden.

Date/Time: 
May 4, 2024 - 1:20pm to 4:20pm
(CST)
Room: 
Michelangelo B
Session Hosting Format: 
in-person session
Organizer(s): 
  • CAA 2024 Organizing Committee
Contact Email: 

Session Abstract

A general session for posters. This session will also include any student posters. Posters can be in-person or viewable online. If you would like to participate in this session online, please submit your digital poster by April 15, 2024.

Presentations

A Unique and Complex Lithic Assemblage in the Central Interior of British Columbia
Presentation format: In-Person
Author(s):
  • Keli Watson - Pathfinder Endeavours Ltd.
  • Dana Evaschuk - Pathfinder Endeavours Ltd.

The Cheslatta Carrier Nation has an oral tradition about where their people used to live, the place that was their home before colonization changed their world. Recent wildfires and on-going hydro reservoir fluctuations have significantly impacted this place and it became crucial for them to demonstrate that this has always been their home, since time immemorial. Three seasons of fieldwork has given us a glimpse of the unspeakable archaeological richness of this location. This poster will focus on the distinct lithic assemblage at Tatichek Lake where we have located 100 sites and continue to find more. This part of Canada has not seen a lot of archaeological investigation and it is clear from our work that this gap in our knowledge is even bigger than we knew. The preliminary lithic analysis suggests a long, complex occupation throughout the Holocene and wide-ranging trade networks with evidence of connections to the far North, the Plains, the Columbia Plateau, and the BC coast, demonstrated by the projectile point typology, incredible variety of lithic material and technologies, and a distinct microblade complex. 

An Overview of the Metal Assemblage of the Schreiber Wood Project
Presentation format: Online - pre-recorded
Author(s):
  • Gani Cabezas - University of Toronto Mississauga

The University of Toronto Mississauga (UTM) has conducted annual archaeological field school excavations of the former Schreiber family estate as part of the Schreiber Wood Project. The Schreibers lived in three houses on a portion of the current UTM campus property from the late 19th century to early 20th century. To date, the assemblage of metal artifacts from the field school has not been researched as extensively compared to other artifact classes. Under the Schreiber Wood Project’s Work Study program, this study provides a comprehensive overview of all metal artifacts collected from the field school excavations to date to guide future research efforts within the contexts of 19th to 20th-century industrial metal production and Euro-Canadian domestic life. Artifacts with high interpretive potential were sorted and analyzed as case studies, with reference to comparative North American archaeological sites and store catalogues from the period. Specific interest was given to personal artifacts, tools, and furnishings that suggest a predominant use of American mass-produced cast iron and brass imports.

Clever Young Reindeer: Archaeology, Activity Books, and Indigenous Children of Arctic Siberia
Presentation format: In-Person
Author(s):
  • Hailey Kennedy - Department of Anthropology, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, Canada
  • Stella  Razdymakha - Arctic Research Center, Salekhard, Iamal-Nenets Region, Russian Federation
  • Lubov’  Vozelova - Arctic Research Center, Salekhard, Iamal-Nenets Region, Russian Federation
  • Tatiana Nomokonova - Department of Anthropology, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon

Stitching the Past and Present is an international project designed in partnership with Indigenous Peoples of the Iamal region of Arctic Siberia. Funded through the Social Science and Humanities Research Council of Canada, the project brings together researchers and community members across Russia and Canada. A crucial element of this endeavour is the development of public educational materials for Nenets and Khanty children. The co-creation of these resources is focused on connecting Iamal communities with their archaeological heritage and highlighting the importance of reindeer hide working, sewing practices, and Indigenous voices. Our presentation will introduce the production and implementation of two activity book volumes, together titled Clever Young Reindeer, which are the first examples of this collaborative effort. These open-access resources are written in Russian and English with integration of Khanty and Nenets languages and are intended to stitch together Indigenous Knowledge and archaeological practice in this region. 

Development of a towed multi-channel GPR array for buried feature surveys over large areas at the former St. Michael's Indian Residential School site, Duck Lake, Saskatchewan.
Presentation format: In-Person
Author(s):
  • Troy Zimmer - Misty Clifton Engineering Limited

Ground-Penetrating Radar (GPR) has become a popular geophysical exploration tool for mapping of buried archaeological features, including the detection of possible unmarked graves at former Indian Residential School (IRS) sites. Conventional pushcart or person-towed surveys are usually time-consuming, however, making their use for larger sites difficult and expensive. The geophysical program being conducted by Misty Clifton Limited at the site of the former St. Michael’s IRS at Duck Lake, Saskatchewan, will require GPR surveys over a combined area of 315 hectares. To cover such a large area a towed, 8-channel multi-GPR array mounted to a wheeled modular cart was designed and built. Reflectance data is streamed via wireless connection to a ruggedized laptop mounted in the tow vehicle, allowing the driver-operator to monitor all 8 channels of incoming GPR data in real time and adjust to changing field conditions during the survey. Preliminary field work conducted at the St. Michael’s IRS site in the winter of 2023-2024 shows the cart can collect 11 to 14 ha (27 to 35 acres) of high-resolution GPR data in a single 6-hour field session, operating in temperatures as low as -20°C and with 5 – 10 cm of snow cover.

Documenting and Understanding a Late-19th Century Euro-Canadian House Foundation (AjGw-535) in Mississauga
Presentation format: In-Person
Author(s):
  • Kayla  Mander - University of Toronto Mississauga
  • Christopher  Kiru - University of Toronto Mississauga

The Schreiber Wood Project, and archaeological field school run by the University of Toronto Mississauga (UTM), focuses on exploring and documenting a late-19th and early-20th century cultural landscape on part of what is now the UTM campus. During the completion of a fourth-year advanced archaeological fieldwork course, we undertook the recording and documentation of the stone foundation of Iverholme (AjGw-535). This house, constructed in the late-19th century, was consumed in a fire in the early 20th century. Due to poor preservation from the fire and more recent human activity around the site, sections of the foundation are not intact, resulting in gaps in our understanding of the foundation's size and structure. Interpretations of the orientation and style were made using the foundation's dimensions, ArcGIS, historical photographs, and contemporary descriptions of the property. A previously unknown doorway was identified on the north-west wall. Our results indicate Iverholme was a late Victorian hybrid style house, facing North to the Credit River, with a ground floor of approximately 1700ft2. This detailed investigation of a single landscape feature contributes to a better understanding of the Schreiber Wood Project. 

Duhų (Today): Combining Natural Resource Management with Denesułiné Heritage
Presentation format: In-Person
Author(s):
  • Findlay  MacDermid - Cold Lake First Nations
  • Jim Janvier - Cold Lake First Naitons
  • Nikita  Lattery - Cold Lake First Nations
  • Ashlee  Thompson - University of Alberta
  • William T.D. Wadsworth - University of Alberta

Since the eviction of Cold Lake First Nations (CLFN) from its homelands around Xah Tué (Primrose Lake) in 1952, the nation has maintained a focus on returning to reclaim their territory. Led by the Lands Department, CLFN is employing a range of strategies under this objective of reclamation including the reoccupation of traditional sites, ecological monitoring, protected area development, ecological restoration, and archeological studies. Archeology presents us with a tool that allows CLFN to both understand and interpret the sites it is reoccupying, as well as overcome the limitations of a colonial archaeological system that was designed to keep Indigenous nations distanced from their own heritage. This combination of purposeful reoccupation, Indigenous knowledge, and archeological study helps us contextualize modern activities within historical life ways and assert CLFN’s sovereignty. This poster presents practical examples from these reoccupation efforts and contextualizes them within the past, present, and future of Cold Lake First Nations.

Examining Garry Oak Ecosystems as Indigenous Archaeological Landscapes
Presentation format: In-Person
Author(s):
  • Maddi Tolmie - University of Victoria

Garry Oak savannah ecosystems (GOEs) are Indigenous landscapes. Prior to the 1880’s lək̓ʷəŋən and W̱SÁNEĆ peoples stewarded a diversity of native plants and animals in these once widespread ecosystems. With colonization and the dispossession of Indigenous peoples from these places, GOE stands have decreased in area by 99%. Current research acknowledges that Indigenous fire management and the stewardship of traditional root-foods, such as blue camas, has contributed to the creation and maintenance of these ecosystems. However, I hypothesize that there is a more diverse and currently unrecognized Indigenous history that archaeology is uniquely situated to illuminate. Working with existing site records within past and present GOEs, supplemented by targeted surface surveys, and stratified random archaeological subsurface testing, I argue that GOEs can be reconceptualized as Indigenous archaeological landscapes and that the ecological legacies of burning and cultivation—while key aspects of Indigenous histories —are unlikely to be the only archaeological indicators of Indigenous presence within GOEs. Establishing Indigenous histories is key to asserting Indigenous futures in these places. My master’s research serves to identify, categorize, and create a conversation between the importance of GOEs as Indigenous archaeological sites, as well as spaces where eco-cultural restoration and archaeology intersect.

Exploring the sínkw: Investigating Resource Usage and Responses to Environmental Change in shíshálh Traditional Lands
Presentation format: In-Person
Author(s):
  • Christie Fender - University of Saskatchewan
  • Katie Willie - University of Saskatchewan
  • Lennon Sproule - University of Saskatchewan
  • Glenn Stuart - University of Saskatchewan
  • Tina Greenfield - University of Saskatchewan

In 2021, a collaboration between the shíshálh Nation and the University of Saskatchewan initiated a research project to document long-term adaptive resource management strategies of the shíshálh people in the face of consistently shifting environmental conditions, and to achieve and serve as an example of meaningful reconciliation. One of the goals of this project, sEARCH (sinku Environmental ARCHaeology) is to explore resource usage and environmental interactions within the archaeological record through paleoenvironmental data and traditional knowledge from shíshálh community members. This research summarizes the findings from the analysis of archaeological data found within shíshálh archaeological sites along the Strait of Georgia, with an emphasis on Thormanby Island. 

Flea on the Run: Preliminary Results of a Re-examination of the Biogeography of Pulex irritans L. from Archaeological Locality Data
Presentation format: In-Person
Author(s):
  • Alyshia Reesor - Memorial University of Newfoundland

The Human Flea thrives on human blood, yet exhibits adaptability and opportunism, having been identified on various mammals including pigs, dogs, cats, and burrowing owls. Unlike the Human Louse, which evolved with their primate hosts in Africa, the Human Flea originated in South America, implying that it evolved with another host species before adapting to humans. In 1989, Paul Buckland and Jon Sadler published A Biogeography of the Human Flea, Pulex irritans L. (Siphonaptera: Pulicidae), to date the most comprehensive analysis of this species biogeography. This paper presents hypotheses about the evolution and routes taken by P. irritans, as it adapted to humans and moved out of South America to reach Europe, and eventually achieved a cosmopolitan distribution. Research published within the last 30 years have added to current understanding of this topic, with several studies of insect remains from archaeological sites having yielded specimens of P. irritans. This poster presents the preliminary results of my review of the available archaeoentomological literature. Using temporal and geographical locality data extracted from databases and publications, I have created a series of maps to illustrate the current state of knowledge about the biogeography of the Human Flea.

Illuminating the Schreiber Wood Project: Exploring the Diversity of Late 19th to Early 20th Century Lighting Devices in Ontario
Presentation format: In-Person
Author(s):
  • Karol Guayasamin - University of Toronto

The Schreiber Wood Project investigates the cultural landscape created by a late 19th to early 20th century settler family on a portion of what is now the University of Toronto Mississauga campus. The project operates as an archaeological field school that focuses on sites (AjGw-534 & -535) associated with two of the three houses built by the Schreiber family. The Schreiber Wood Project has accumulated a large collection of artifacts consisting of ceramic, metal, and glass. Prominent among all of these categories of artifacts from the sites are items related to lighting devices, particularly oil lamps. This poster will provide a tentative criteria for oil lamp characteristics that may serve to differentiate lighting device glass from a large collection of vessel glass. The poster also examines how variations in oil lamps can both indicate differing functions and provide insights into the age of individual artifacts in relation to the Schreiber family occupation during the late 19th to early 20th century.

Loyalist Material Culture and Historical Archaeology in the Grand Lake Meadows, New Brunswick
Presentation format: In-Person
Author(s):
  • Emily Draicchio - Montreal Museum of Archaeology and History (Pointe-à-Callière)
  • Gabriel Hrynick - University of New Brunswick

The Grand Lake Meadows (GLM) was a locus of Loyalist settlement beginning in 1783 in what became the province of New Brunswick. The GLM spans the counties of Queens and Sunbury and is known today as the largest freshwater wetland in New Brunswick and the richest in eastern Canada. Although extensive pre-Contact archaeological research has been completed in the GLM, far less historical archaeology has been conducted, particularly regarding the Loyalists. This poster discusses promising areas in the GLM for future archaeological research through an analysis of GIS site maps alongside archival documents including land grants, probate records, and cadastral maps. In doing so, this poster highlights information about the Loyalists who settled in the GLM and provides a selection of case studies to offer a broader understanding of Loyalist life in New Brunswick.

Meaningful Relationships and Care: Current Practices within Museums Representing Indigenous Peoples
Presentation format: In-Person
Author(s):
  • Tienne  Johnson - Memorial University of Newfoundland and Labrador

Museums are often regarded as respected places of learning; however, they have played a significant role creating and disseminating stereotypes about Indigenous People by misrepresenting them and their cultures. This, coupled with the often violent way that material culture has been collected, has left museums with legacies that can be harmful and unwelcoming to Indigenous Peoples. Indigenous activism both within and outside heritage spheres has led to documents such as UNDRIP, which affirm Indigenous sovereignties and rights to their culture and heritage, and have set a new precedent for how museums should operate and represent Indigenous cultures. This poster examines eight museums from across Canada, the USA, and Germany to understand how they are engaging with the Indigenous Nations they represent, and further, how they are counteracting their legacies to develop meaningful working relationships.

On This Land They Walked: Looking for a Métis Deathscape
Presentation format: In-Person
Author(s):
  • Maria Nelson - University of Alberta

Métis ancestors are a powerful force. It is through them that we understand our identity, our culture, and our relationships. Their names alone are enough to build and rebuild bonds between people regardless of distance or age; but names are not the only piece of our ancestors that has been left to us. Their bodies act as roots in the earth, anchoring us to the land – a symbol of our existence. My research seeks to understanding the impacts of this and how their bodies can transform the land to create a deathscape. Deathscapes are often viewed as landscapes that have connections to mortuary practices, but they can also extend to include the ways in which memory is understood and how the landscape is imbued with a power that can be linked to belonging and exclusion. I will be visiting with Batoche – a place on the Saskatchewan landscape that is an intersection of Métis and Canadian history, culture, and identity across space and time. To understand the complexity of this deathscape and the extent of its influence, I will have to look to not only to the land but to the people who walk among our ancestors, including myself.

Provisioning the Provisioners: An Analysis of Animal Use in Hudson’s Bay Company Journals from South Branch House in Saskatchewan
Presentation format: In-Person
Author(s):
  • Anna Hoimyr - University of Saskatchewan

South Branch House is a Hudson’s Bay Company fort located on the South Saskatchewan River. It was one of the earliest fur-trade sites in Saskatchewan that operated from 1786 until 1794. Daily journals were kept by the factors over the course of the fort’s operation, with nine of these journals preserved in the HBC archives today. These records hold important information about the uses of various animal species at South Branch House and can be used to understand dietary, subsistence, and trade practices. These journals are utilized in this presentation to answer the following research questions: 1) which animal species were written about and in what quantities, 2) in what seasons animals were used and for what purposes, and 3) how European fur-trader’s dependence on the Indigenous peoples can be seen in the HBC journal records. The answers to these questions contain relevant insights into aspects of hunter’s and trader’s everyday lives, a topic that is not commonly explored in the field of fur trade archaeology.

Reconciling more than a decade of field-school stratigraphic drawings: A case study using AutoCAD.
Presentation format: In-Person
Author(s):
  • Mark Heffernan - University of Toronto Mississauga

The Schreiber Wood Project, an undergraduate field school offered by the University of Toronto Mississauga (UTM), has been exploring Euro-Canadian occupations on the UTM campus for the past eleven years. Its excavations have tested various features associated with late-19th- to early 20th century occupation of part of the UTM campus property. More than a decade of excavation by the project has resulted in well over 100 stratigraphic drawings. Utilizing AutoCAD, stratigraphic profiles from one large midden feature were combined to create 2D renderings from North/South and East/West to identify patterns in soil types and artifact densities. AutoCAD was used for this process due to its accuracy and infinite scale when creating 2D renderings, and its potential to subsequently create 3D models which is its key benefits over Adobe Illustrator and similar programs. Another benefit to AutoCAD is the ability to filter the renderings for aspects such as cultural (artifacts or features), natural (soil types/colours or natural inclusions (roots/large stones)), or specific cultural groupings (artifacts by raw material). This poster presents the results of this case study and considers the potential value of AutoCAD as an analytical tool in both Cultural Resource Management and academic contexts.

Roots of Research: A Personal Narrative of Indigenous Heritage in the Research Lab
Presentation format: In-Person
Author(s):
  • Keeanna Barron - University of Lethbridge
  • Kenneth Holyoke - University of Lethbridge

This poster will explore the unique perspective of my experiences as a Metis woman and student, engaged in research in a lab setting. In fall 2023, I conducted an independent study analyzing the CgDt-2 (Everett) and CgDt-3 (Deadman’s Pool) lithic assemblages, both sites from Ancestral Wolastoqey territory in New Brunswick. Through artifact analysis, readings, discussions, photography, and interactions with the belongings, I was able to form a well-rounded understanding of the site assemblages from my own perspective. This research enhanced my knowledge of lithic technology, and my understanding of the craftsmanship involved in making these tools. In doing so, the experience shed light on the daily practices and lifestyles of Wabanaki people and deepened my understanding of the Indigenous people who created these lithic pieces. By intertwining my own Indigenous heritage into archaeological research, I hope to shed light on the complexities of balancing Indigenous traditional knowledge with Western knowledge. This poster will discuss the intersection of Indigenous identity, archaeological inquiry, and traditional knowledge in the lab, emphasizing the importance and inclusivity of diverse perspectives in the archaeological field and how I honour my roots while navigating the complexities of academia.

Setting the Table: Euro-Canadian Table-setting Traditions in Mississauga, Ontario, from the early 20th century
Presentation format: In-Person
Author(s):
  • Lilly Maher - University of Toronto Mississauga

Table etiquette and table settings encompass a ritualized and class-specific aspect of late 19th to early 20th century meal-time customs. The combined factors of these customs and their implications for a specific socio-cultural group greatly contribute to archaeological constructions of the recent past. Table setting, in particular, encompass a variety of material sources, whose presence reflects a certain Euro-Canadian meal-time standard with implications for understanding social stratification and class. Employing analysis of historical documentation, in conjunction with recovered artifacts from a site on the University of Toronto Mississauga (UTM) campus, I recreate a late 19th century to early 20th century place setting to investigate the social stratification and wealth status of the property residents. This was completed utilizing ceramics, glassware, and utensils recovered from two middens on the UTM property indicating the probable displaying of formal table settings at this location. Analyzing the materials demonstrates this late 19th century to early 20th century family's adherence to contemporaneous societal standards of ceramic services and other components of table settings.

The Effectiveness of Heuristic Cluster Analysis in Domestic Space-use Research on the Northern Plains.
Presentation format: In-Person
Author(s):
  • Zoe Cascadden-Jassal - University of Calgary

Tipi rings are one of the most common archaeological sites found across the Northern Plains. Given their relative abundance, exploring how we can analyze these sites and gain an understanding of their organization is important for elucidating the every day lives of past plains inhabitants. In 2000, a space-use model was developed by Dr. Gerald Oetelaar from the excavation of EgPn-375, a tipi ring site in Alberta. This model was created using visual analysis of artifact distribution. In my work, I re-examined this site to determine if the identified clusters of artifacts used to create the space-use model are present when examined using statistical cluster analysis. This presentation will discuss if the ArcGIS™ tool Cluster Analysis, a heuristic tool which can account for site and artifact-specific characteristics, is an effective tool for examining artifact distributions at archaeological sites. The result of the research indicates that the spatial delineations determined within EgPn-375 are statistically valid, thus the model has continuing applicability with some updates, and indicates that methods of spatial analysis such as Cluster Analysis are useful tools in understanding archaeological space-use and artifact distribution.

Tipis, Bison, and Dogs: Visualizing an Archaeological Feature in Southern Alberta
Presentation format: In-Person
Author(s):
  • Todd Kristensen - Archaeological Survey of Alberta
  • Emily  Moffat - Archaeological Survey of Alberta

Archaeologists in Alberta have studied tipi rings for over 75 years and there are now over 8000 recorded sites in the province with stone circle features interpreted to be the remnants of rocks that anchored tipis. What have archaeologists learned about life in tipis? We review some of the important tipi ring studies in Alberta and visualize their findings with new artwork, diagrams, photographs, and maps to help make technical content accessible and interesting to a wider audience. This project is part of the ongoing Heritage Art Series, the purpose of which is to employ art to captivate public audiences and instill appreciation of Alberta’s past. Tipis are fascinating adaptations: imagery highlights their ingenuity, significance, and inherent connection with animals.

Welcome Back to the New Brunswick Archaeology Podcast: Podcasting as a Tool for Public Archaeology
Presentation format: In-Person
Author(s):
  • Kenneth Holyoke - University of Lethbridge
  • Gabriel Hrynick - University of New Brunswick
  • Emanuel Akel - University of Lethbridge

The New Brunswick Archaeology Podcast Project (NBAPP) was launched in 2023 to respond to a lack of publicly accessible information about archaeological history and archaeological practice in the province. In just over a year, the fortnightly podcast has reviewed the nearly 13,000 year archaeological history of  New Brunswick, profiled important sites, and featured interviews with leading scholars. It has also engaged important topics such as pseudoarchaeology, cultural resource management, publication in archaeology, and Indigenous rights. Podcasting is a uniquely accessible medium for archaeologists to engage with the “many publics,” especially in regions that lack many of the traditional mechanisms for public engagement. The sustained growth of the NBAPP has demonstrated an appetite for this engagement in New Brunswick and more broadly. In this poster, we summarize the progress of the podcast so far, and share some of the lessons we have learned. We suggest that other archaeologists should consider podcasting as a tool for responding to ethical requirements to share and promote archaeology in a manner that is accessible to non-archaeologists, and engage undergraduate students in that process.

Yąnísi (Long Ago): Archaeology with the Denesułine of Łuéchogh Túé
Presentation format: In-Person
Author(s):
  • William T. D. Wadsworth - Institute of Prairie and Indigenous Archaeology / University of Alberta
  • Ashlee R. Thompson - Institute of Prairie and Indigenous Archaeology / University of Alberta
  • James Janvier - Cold Lake First Nations – Lands and Resources
  • Nikita Lattery - Cold Lake First Nations – Lands and Resources
  • Fin Macdermid - Cold Lake First Nations – Lands and Resources

The traditional territory of the Denesułiné of Łuéchogh Túé (Cold Lake First Nations, CLFN) has been occupied by Indigenous communities since deglaciation; however, this region has received little archaeological attention. In 1952–1954, CLFN was removed from their territory by the Canadian military in order to establish the Cold Lake Air Weapons Range (CLAWR), a nearly 20’000 km2 munitions testing area in northern Alberta/Saskatchewan. This separation caused deep impacts on the wellness of Indigenous communities who were evicted from their homes and then barred access from returning. As a result of this history, the region remains one of the least archaeologically studied areas in Western Canada. In the early 2000s, CLFN signed an agreement with the Canadian military that allowed nation members access to their territories within the CLAWR. As a result, community-driven archaeological and anthropological research has been taking place. In 2021, a multi-year study of Xah Tué (Primrose Lake) began to 1) identify historical archaeology sites, 2) understand the relationship between pre-contact and historical sites in the region, and 3) document archaeological evidence of CLFN’s forced removal from the CLAWR. This poster presents results from these investigations in the context of the past, present, and future of CLFN.

Yonáthe dé (Future): Developing a Cultural Heritage Policy for the Next Generations of CLFN
Presentation format: In-Person
Author(s):
  • Ashlee R. Thompson - Institute of Prairie and Indigenous Archaeology / University of Alberta
  • James Janvier - Cold Lake First Nations - Lands and Resources
  • Nikita Lattery - Cold Lake First Nations - Lands and Resources
  • Fin Macdermid - Cold Lake First Nations - Lands and Resources
  • William T. D. Wadsworth - Institute of Prairie and Indigenous Archaeology / University of Alberta

Cultural resource management, often triggered by industrial development, is rooted in colonial legislation, whereby archaeologists assess archaeological sites and make decisions based on their perceived scientific value. While criticisms of current cultural heritage practices are not new, these systems can often frustrate Indigenous nations who wish to use existing legislation to protect areas of historical occupation and importance, while actively using the lands. This is demonstrated by Cold Lake First Nations, whose traditional territory suffers from the impact of activities at the Cold Lake Air Weapons Range and industrial development. Matters are further complicated by the area's overlapping and often discordant legal jurisdictions (federal, provincial - Alberta & Saskatchewan). Over the past few decades, CLFN has worked to establish sovereignty over their traditional lands in the CLAWR but has faced challenges in balancing the restrictive nature of heritage legislation with community-based resource management. In response to these challenges, CLFN has begun developing their own cultural heritage policy. Within the context of the past, present, and future of Cold Lake First Nations, this poster presents some of the activities and progress made toward a policy for current and future archaeological work within their traditional territory.

Date/Time: 
May 4, 2024 - 1:20pm to 5:00pm
(CST)
Room: 
Florence
Session Hosting Format: 
in-person session
Organizer(s): 
  • Timothy Allan, Ember Archaeology.
  • Todd Kristensen, Archaeological Survey of Alberta.
Contact Email: 

Session Abstract

The ‘Eastern Slopes’ is a general ecological region in Western Canada that includes the Rocky Mountains east of the continental divide as well as the topographically diverse foothills that separate the Rockies from northern boreal and southern prairie regions. The Eastern Slopes hosted a variety of pre-contact and historic groups who moved through the mountains and foothills or called them home over the past 12,000 years. We welcome CRM or academic-based papers that explore human adaptations, migrations, or archaeological methods. Presenters are encouraged to re-format their CAA papers for publication in the Archaeological Survey of Alberta’s 2024 Occasional Paper Series, which will be dedicated to archaeology in the Eastern Slopes (submission deadline in October, 2024).

Presentations

01:20 PM to 01:40 PM: A Tale of Two Sites: Results of a Small-scale Research Program at GbQn-13 and FlQs-35 in the Eastern Slopes of Alberta.
Presentation format: In-Person
Author(s):
  • Erik G. Johannesson - Circle CRM Group Inc.
  • Margarita de Guzman - Circle CRM Group Inc.
  • Alexandra Burchill - Circle CRM Group Inc.

Since 2017, Circle CRM Group has been conducting a small-scale research program in the Grand Cache area in an effort to further investigate in situ buried Early Precontact Period sites in the Eastern Slopes of Alberta. This paper details the results of the 2023 installment of the program, which centered on GbQn-13, a small Early Precontact Period lithic scatter located in the uplands east of Grande Mountain. GbQn-13 was originally identified during a Historic Resources Impact Assessment conducted on behalf of Foothills Forest Products in 2021, and was recorded as a small lithic scatter that included obsidian flakes and a Scottsbluff projectile point base manufactured from black chert. In 2023, further investigations at the site resulted in the recovery of additional materials as well as the identification of a possible hearth feature.  In 2023 Circle also submitted obsidian specimen from GbQn-13, as well as other sites identified during its 2022 and 2023 field seasons for X-ray fluorescence analysis (XFR). Here, the results of this analysis and the ongoing research at GbQn-13 are presented against the backdrop of the program’s previous investigations at nearby FlQs-35 to further situate and contextualize Early Precontact Sites in the Eastern Slopes of Alberta.

01:40 PM to 02:00 PM: Down by the River: 2018 and 2020 Excavations at FlQg-8.
Presentation format: In-Person
Author(s):
  • Taylor Graham - Bison Historical Services Ltd.
  • Tommy Ng - Bison Historical Services Ltd.

In the fall of 2018 and 2022 a Historical Resources Impact Mitigation of FlQg-8 was conducted on banks of the Athabasca River in the eastern slopes of Alberta.  This site contained multiple cultural components determined through the recovery of temporally diagnostic artifacts, as well as evidence of raw material procurement from the nearby river cobbles in the Athabasca.  Of particular note within the site is a nested hearth feature, and several temporally and spatially discreet lithic reduction activity areas that were identified within the predominantly quartzite lithic assemblage based on unique physical characteristics present in the individual cobbles harvested from the river.  The site, features, and methods used will be discussed and interpretations presented.

02:00 PM to 02:20 PM: Fifty Years on the Ranche: A Look Back at Five Decades of Archaeological Investigations at the Cochrane Ranche Site from early 1970s to the most recent excavations in 2019-2020.
Presentation format: In-Person
Author(s):
  • Sean Pickering - Bison Historical Services Ltd.

The Cochrane Ranche Site (EhPo-37), the oldest commercial ranch in Alberta, is one of the earliest Post Contact period archaeological sites investigated after the Historical Resources Act came into law in Alberta in 1973.  Initial investigations at the site began in 1974 and continued through to the late 1970s with investigations focused on the Post Contact 1880s ranching period.  Subsequent investigations at the site in the 1990s and 2000s focused on the Precontact Period occupations at the site.  The latest work from 2018 to 2020 investigated the early to mid-twentieth century use of the site.  The history of the archaeological investigations at the Cochrane Ranche Site since the 1970s to present mirrors the changing and expanding priorities of CRM archaeology over that period, and the implications of this will be discussed.

02:20 PM to 02:40 PM: Reverse Unifaces: A Middle Period Stone Tool Found on the Eastern Slopes
Presentation format: In-Person
Author(s):
  • Jason  Roe - Lifeways of Canada Limited

Reverse Unifaces are a common stone tool found on the Eastern Slopes of Alberta.  This presentation will highlight some of the unique characteristics of this Middle Period tool that make it diagnostic.  I will discuss where they have been found, focusing mostly on Eastern Slopes sites.  Lastly, the argument will be made that there is a specific operational sequence tied directly to the cobbles they are made from to how they were may have been used. 

02:40 PM to 03:00 PM: A Case Study of Mitigation in Alberta’s Eastern Slopes
Presentation format: In-Person
Author(s):
  • Vanessa Ockerman - Department of Anthropology, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, Canada
  • Hailey Kennedy - Department of Anthropology, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, Canada

In Alberta’s forestry sector, archaeological sites identified during Historical Resource Impact Assessments (HRIA) are typically flagged for avoidance, resulting in rare instances of excavation (HRIM) procedures being conducted. However, beginning with the 2022 field season, the largest mitigative forestry project on the eastern slopes of the Rocky Mountains has been undertaken, as two sites (ElPu-28 and ElPv-5) were identified within a proposed right of way of a new logging haul road, and could not be avoided. This project offers a rare look into the significance shovel testing has on the interpretation of spatial data, regarding archaeological sites near Limestone Mountain. An overview and comparison between these two archaeological sites highlight the importance of understanding the potential bias of judgmental shovel tests, while providing further insights into the archaeological record and the cultural history of Indigenous Peoples residing in the eastern slopes of Alberta.

03:20 PM to 03:40 PM: Ancient DNA Analysis Reveals Expanded Flyway for Northern Curlew (Numenius borealis) During the Late Pleistocene
Presentation format: In-Person
Author(s):
  • Luke Jackman - Ancient DNA Laboratory, Department of Archaeology, Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada
  • Jonathan Driver - Department of Archaeology, Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada
  • Thomas Royle - Ancient DNA Laboratory, Department of Archaeology, Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada / Department of Archaeology and Cultural History, University Museum, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Trondheim, Norway
  • Dongya Yang - Ancient DNA Laboratory, Department of Archaeology, Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada

The archaeological and paleontological faunal assemblage from Tse’K’wa (formerly Charlie Lake Cave;HbRf-39) in northeast British Columbia is an important archive of vertebrate biodiversity since approximately 12,500 cal BP. While zooarchaeological analysis has been conducted on this site’s avian remains, this study is the first ancient DNA analysis of avifauna. A 131 base pair region of the cytochrome c oxidase I gene was sequenced to identify 17 (n=17) shorebird (Charadriiformes) specimens. Through this analysis, seven species not previously detected using morphological methods were identified within the avian assemblage. These species support prior paleoenvironment reconstructions as they shared similar habitats with species previously identified at Tse’K’wa. Additionally, a northern curlew (Numenius borealis) was identified amongst the analyzed specimens. This 11,000-year-old northern curlew genetically differs from 19th century specimens. Moreover, this northern curlew was found hundreds of kilometers outside of the route of the species’ spring migration suggested by 19th and 20th century observations. This suggests that the northern curlew's migratory range may have been larger than previously thought and confirms that the annual migration was established at least 11,000 years ago. 

03:40 PM to 04:00 PM: Obsidian in Alberta and its Implications for Human Dispersal Along and Across the Eastern Slopes
Presentation format: In-Person
Author(s):
  • Todd Kristensen - Archaeological Survey of Alberta
  • Timothy Allan - Ember Archaeology
  • John Ives - University of Alberta
  • Robin Woywitka - MacEwan University
  • Gabriel Yanicki - Canadian Museum of History
  • Jeffrey Rasic - National Park Service

We utilize pXRF to source the oldest obsidian artifacts in Alberta. The province lacks obsidian outcrops: each archaeological site with obsidian (n=525) is indicative of long-distance human mobility. We summarize sourcing results from artifacts that inform human dispersal through the Late Pleistocene Ice-Free Corridor and across the Rocky Mountains as Alberta and British Columbia deglaciated through the Early Holocene. Results point to an early establishment of relationships in the central Ice-Free Corridor that reached into Oregon, Idaho, and Alaska. Alberta appears to have been entered principally by people from the south who had ties to the Pacific Northwest and Intermountain West. Limited evidence suggests that northern people from Beringia may have trickled south and admixed with southern populations in the central Corridor region. We discuss obsidian from western sources in British Columbia (Anahim Peak and Edziza) that arrived relatively quickly in northern and western Alberta.

04:00 PM to 04:20 PM: Obsidian Sourcing on the Eastern Slopes
Presentation format: In-Person
Author(s):
  • Timothy Allan - Ember Archaeology

               In an update to the ongoing work of the Alberta Obsidian Project, here we present results of sourcing efforts on the eastern slopes, including the Front Ranges of the Rockies, as well as Jasper, Banff and Waterton Lakes national parks. We found that the diversity of obsidian sources used at archaeological sites is much greater than other regions of the province. The sources of obsidian indicate that the eastern slopes of Alberta were part of trade networks or mobility patterns that connected indigenous peoples in the Southern Rocky Mountains (Idaho and Wyoming), Great Basin (Oregon and southern Idaho), as well as the Coastal Mountains and Interior of British Columbia. We suggest that the eastern slopes formed the border of a major north-south travel corridor along the edge of the Rocky Mountains of North America but was also home to people engaged in east-west long distance trade networks.

04:20 PM to 04:40 PM: Not Another Swan Song - Excavations at the Swan Creek Site (FaPs-14)
Presentation format: In-Person
Author(s):
  • Joshua Read - Stantec

Mitigative excavations undertaken at the Swan Creek Site (FaPs-14) in 2022 have resulted in the identification and interpretation of a small-scale Oxbow campsite situated within the Eastern Slopes region. In addition to the recovery of diagnostic artifacts and other lithic tools, microbotanical remains have been analysed from the site which provide a unique insight into the foodways of precontact peoples inhabiting the area. Details regarding the site identification and subsequent excavation, further information about the analyses undertaken on the recovered assemblage, and how the site can be interpreted relative to other Oxbow sites in the region, are discussed and presented.

04:40 PM to 05:00 PM: Early Prehistoric Occupation of James Pass, Alberta
Presentation format: In-Person
Author(s):
  • Bob Dawe - Royal Alberta Museum
  • Brian Ronaghan

It has been almost 30 years since the completion of archaeological field study by the Provincial Museum of Alberta in James Pass in Alberta’s Rocky Mountain Eastern Slopes. A series of multicomponent sites were identified occupying the periphery of a large spring-fed basin situated between two Front Range peaks of the Rocky Mountains.  Recently obtained dates indicate precontact use of this area began more than 12,500 years ago and provide additional insight into the character of early prehistoric use of Alberta’s Mountain ecosystems. An examination of the lithic assemblages from these sites suggests development of a technology that placed heavy reliance on local lithic sources. This Eastern Slopes location provides a significant contribution to our understanding of the initial peopling of Alberta. The evidence of subsequent occupation when compared to other montane and Plains assemblages suggests an archaeological record of coherent regional prehistoric human adaptation to this unique landscape in early postglacial times.