Combine archeology with indigenous knowledge

Collaboration between archaeologists and our people complements each other. It complements our long history and we taught each other this worksays Kent Ayugman, member of the board of Sixka Nation Band.

Accompanied by members of the nation, about twenty students from the two schools are busy excavating the artifacts they have found at the southern camp site. Even University of Calgary professor Lindsey Amundsen-Meyer explains that Aboriginal elders come to see them every week to describe their lands.

We want to do archeology for and by First Nations. The principle we try to follow here with Old Sun College is to think about their goals and how we can increase their ability in archeology.

We want our students to emerge from this experience more efficiently across cultures, with a better understanding of Indigenous perspectives, worldviews and reality. »

Quote from Lindsay Amundsen-Meyer, Archaeologist, University of Calgary

We are trying to train more people here to increase their ability. So we just listen to what they think is the right way to do it explains the person leading the archaeological operations at the site.

For Ally Bradford, a student at the University of Calgary, the work done with First Nations allows her to take a different look at the ways things are done in archaeology.

It was a wonderful experience for me. The perspective is very different from what we are usually taught. Everything I’ve learned in school so far has been seen through a Western lens. There, we saw through the eyes of those who lived here on this earth.

Ms. Amundsen-Meyer also explains that each student must write three records during the experiment.

We want to develop their intercultural competence apart from their competence in archeology. Their first act, before we do anything, was before the Beaver Bundle party, hosted by First Nation. Then they did one this week and will eventually do one.

advanced field

Amundsen-Meyer says that while archeology could have been closed to new avenues, the field of archeology is changing.

Many archaeologists, especially older ones, may wonder what we do. And tell yourself that this is not the way to do it. In the 1980s, the focus was on complete objectivity […] But many people are starting to say that we all have ingrained prejudices about society..

As such, she explains that the project allowed students to better understand Aboriginal reality by working differently.

Many of them have a better understanding of boarding schools, the impact they may have on people, and why they care about their culture and history. Helps them understand what archaeologists can and should do for societiesas you say.

With information from Terry Trimpath and James Young.

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