2013 SAPA Workshop

First Nations, Métis and Archaeology: Collaborative Approaches Towards Understanding Our Past


Traditional Spiritualism, Oral History, Archives and Archaeology: The Search for the Site Where Treaty Number Six was Signed
Butch Amundson - Stantec Consulting Ltd.; Jerry Prosper and Richard John - One Arrow First Nation
Beginning in 2011 One Arrow First Nation, in cooperation with Beardy's and Okemasis First Nation and Saskatchewan Parks, Culture and Sport, Stantec is helping facilitate the search for the exact locations where the Treaty Number Six signing ceremonies took place near Fort Carlton on August 23 and August 28, 1876. The study has involved traditional spiritual practices including the Sweat Lodge, the Shaking Tent, the Pipe Ceremony, tobacco offerings, prayer and smudging to provide guidance and support for all involved. We are collecting the oral traditions of Elders as well as the landowners of the Fort Carlton region. To augment our study we are conducting archival research and archaeological field reconnaissance. Our efforts to date have resulted in finding the August 28th location and we are narrowing down the location of the of August 23rd location. The study stands as an example of the combination of traditional knowledge with documentary history and archaeological resources to provide a more complete account of a historic event.

Non-regulatory Archaeology, and Collaboration between First Nations/Métis and the Archaeology Community
Jack Brink - Royal Alberta Museum

Many, but not all, collaborations between First Nations/Métis and archaeologists in Western Canada occur during the conduct of cultural resource management studies. Increasingly, there are new areas of interest on both sides, perhaps especially among First Nations/Métis with respect to return or reburial of artifacts and/or human remains, and with the management of sacred sites and landscapes. In this paper I present several case studies to illustrate how archaeologists have worked with the Aboriginal community to resolve (or sometimes not) issues of common concern. Studies presented include the proposed reburial of artifacts at Majorville Medicine Wheel, massive problems with graffiti and vandalism at the Okotoks rock art site, and dealing with the erosion and exposure of historic burials at the Dunbow Industrial School site. While there are no guaranteed templates for successful collaboration between respective communities, there are some basic principles that always hold true. I conclude with a summary of some of these principles.

Don’t Let This Die with You, Make Sure You Pass This On To Others: Perspectives on First Nation Heritage and Archaeology

Kevin Brownlee - The Manitoba Museum
Everyone is shaped and molded by their experiences. To understand where I am coming from, I would like to share some of the experiences that have molded me. Over the last twenty years, I have been engaged in Manitoba archaeology. During this time, I have witnessed a dramatic shift in the role of First Nations in archaeological research. I am fortunate to have experienced many different roles during this time including field assistant, cataloguer, Aboriginal intern, field crew supervisor, heritage advisor for First Nations and film work, newspaper columnist, education, Aboriginal Liaison and most recently, Curator of Archaeology. These roles have led me to work for many different institutions such as Brandon University, the Manitoba Government, The Manitoba Museum, consulting firms, various film production companies, First Nation newspapers, countless schools both on and off reserves and Band Councils. Despite these roles and experiences or maybe because of them I see myself as not only a student but very much a facilitator for the First Nation community. The true knowledge holders are the culturally proficient Elders and other knowledgeable people in the communities who have been so generous to take me under their wing to become my teachers.
What drives me in this profession is that I have a passion for understanding my Cree culture and heritage. My attitude diverges from traditional archaeology where I have always found the academic divisions of First Nation heritage unusual and irrelevant. Dividing First Nation heritage into archaeology, history, ethnology, native studies is inconsistent with what I have learned. Knowledge of our past, culture and heritage requires an understanding of all of these areas. Archaeology is a piece of the puzzle that cannot be kept in isolation from other disciplines relevant to First Nations heritage or we run the risk of alienating First Nation people. In order to work collaboratively with First Nations, Métis and Inuit peoples we must first agree on what we want to accomplish and work together to achieve these goals.

Engaging Aboriginal Communities - Building Stronger Relationships in Practice Applying the Cultural Landscape Approach: Thunder Bay, Ontario
Dr. Shabnam Inanloo Dailoo - Western Heritage
For decades, Western Heritage has provided professional services to local and Aboriginal communities whose historic resources were impacted by development activities. The company has conducted Aboriginal engagement projects in different provinces where sound methodologies for Aboriginal impact assessment were developed. Recently, Western Heritage adopted the Cultural Landscape Approach while engaging Aboriginal communities, employing new guidelines and templates to complement the company's archaeological work. This approach involves taking a larger scale view of heritage places and promotes better understanding and respect for the natural environment, culture and heritage of the area under investigation.
This presentation will illustrate how the Cultural Landscape Approach in heritage conservation relates to Aboriginal peoples' way of life and how archaeologists could benefit from the application of this approach in their activities while engaging Aboriginal communities.
Recent mitigative archaeological work in the Thunder Bay district of Northern Ontario is an example of how this approach has been applied in practice and illustrates how Aboriginal communities' views of their own heritage can be integrated into planning processes and conservation activities. The presentation will also discuss how Western Heritage is assisting local First Nation communities to build capacity and to actively participate in management planning of their cultural places, applying Cultural Landscape Approach.

Traditional Ecological Knowledge and Traditional Land Use: The Benefits of Aboriginal Engagement
Carrie Dunn - TERA Environmental Consultants
The understanding of the biotic and physical world by Aboriginal Peoples is described as Traditional Ecological Knowledge (TEK), while Traditional Land Use (TLU) is the actual and former use of the land and its resources by Aboriginal Peoples. Since 2005, the regulatory requirement for Aboriginal consultation and engagement on development projects, as well as the significant role that traditional knowledge can play with regards to these projects, has continued to grow and develop. Over the years, both provincial and federal regulations have continually attempted to define what elements of a project trigger Aboriginal consultation, the guidance provided to proponents, funding opportunities for Aboriginal community involvement as well as what satisfies the requirements. Although the importance of including TEK and TLU information within project applications was easily recognizable even earlier on, the process of collecting and integrating the information with the western science data and approach proved more challenging. The holistic nature of traditional knowledge did not seem to fit the check boxes of western science.
The process of effectively collecting and integrating TEK and TLU for any project can only be accomplished through meaningful Aboriginal engagement throughout the entire project study. Actively engaging Aboriginal communities potentially affected by a project is not a brand new concept, for decades proponents and consultants have attempted to “engage” communities. However the process by which it is approached is the key factor in achieving meaningful engagement, invaluable TEK and TLU, and benefits to everyone involved.
Archaeology is one field that has not struggled to understand and appreciate what Aboriginal participation and traditional knowledge has to offer to the discipline. The value of Aboriginal engagement, and thereby traditional knowledge, to archaeology is illustrated through its ability to provide input into every aspect of the discipline, including but not limited to methodology, identification, interpretation and validation. This presentation explores these concepts in further detail and identifies how Aboriginal engagement is the only approach which allows for meaningful inclusion of TEK and TLU, contributing overall to the community, the environment and resources, the discipline and the project.

Current Archaeological Practices and Policy in the Province of Saskatchewan
Nathan Friesen - Heritage Conservation Branch, Government of Saskatchewan; Lisa Hein - Stantec Consulting Ltd.
It's difficult to get somewhere without knowing where you are first. As such, we will briefly discuss the current state of archaeology in the province - from both a regulatory and a field perspective.
As the Senior Archaeologist for the province, Nathan Friesen will review the current policies and practices of the Heritage Conservation Branch (HCB) of the Government of Saskatchewan. The mandate of the Branch is to ensure that the requirements of The Heritage Property Act are being met by anyone developing projects that could potentially impact archaeological sites (like the oil and gas sector, housing, forestry, road construction). Ultimately, the goal of The Heritage Property Act is to ensure that all significant sites are protected from damage. Nathan will discuss how the process of heritage regulation operates and what provisions are currently in place for First Nations and Métis engagement.
Lisa Hein is a professional archaeologist working with Stantac Consulting Ltd. As an "on the ground" archaeologist, Lisa will outline the current field and reporting practices in consulting archaeology and her primary role as a consultant. Fortunate to have worked with a number of First Nations and Métis communities, Lisa feels that archaeology and heritage protection can only benefit from regular inclusive and unified practices via communication and participation.

The Pheasant Rump Nakota Archaeological Inventory Project: A First Nation Community Project
Nathan Friesen - Heritage Conservation Branch, Government of Saskatchewan; Wayne McArthur - Pheasant Rump Nakota First Nation
This presentation will focus on a project, initiated in 2001, to create an archaeological inventory of Pheasant Rump Nakota First Nation. Pheasant Rump is located on Moose Mountain, in southeastern Saskatchewan. Some important sites, including Moose Mountain Medicine Wheel, were already known to be located on Pheasant Rump lands. The survey recorded many more sites, and greatly expanded what we knew about previously recorded sites. This survey was different from many archaeological surveys in that the methodology and scope of the project was guided by the Pheasant Rump community, and members of Pheasant Rump made up the crew.
Everyone involved with this project was genuinely engaged in making it successful, and in gaining the knowledge that the opportunity could provide. This made for a very successful project, not only in the number of sites recorded, but in creating a dialogue between myself as an archaeologist and Pheasant Rump community members, particularly with Wayne McArthur who was our community co-ordinator. The presentation will look at the collaboration that occurred during this project, the results of the survey, and the continued relationships that were established.

Sopoyaapistsiyiita: Aboriginal Consultation and Archaeology in Western Canada
Jason Gillespie - Ghostpine Environmental Services Ltd.
Ghostpine Environmental Services Ltd. has completed First Nations Consultation (FNC) on large and small projects in Alberta and Saskatchewan. The consultation process typically consists of four parts: desktop review of the proposed project, face-to-face meetings with Aboriginal groups, field visits and assessments, and sometimes construction monitoring in areas of concern. Aspects of this process have worked well for some stakeholders, but not all.
One of the most difficult hurdles for consultation is reconciling Aboriginal and Scientific worldviews during the fieldwork phase of a project. For example, the definition of an archaeological or historical resource often differs between Aboriginal groups and archaeologists. What the archaeologist considers significant does not always align with what Aboriginal groups consider significant.
The current regulatory framework is nebulous, too often forcing Aboriginal groups and industry into confrontation over what is expected of all stakeholders. Aboriginal consultation occurs within a complex cultural and economic framework that needs to be better understood by all parties. Best practices and regulatory guidelines are required to establish a framework so that the process can benefit all stakeholders.
Sopoyaapistsiyiita means “listen carefully” in Blackfoot. This type of listening is what is required to bring all stakeholders to the table and to ensure everyone better understands the other. Listening will also be key in the development of best practices and clear regulations.

Old Parr/Liten Mine: A Sharing of Ideas and Knowledge in Canada's Subarctic
Murray Lobb - AMEC Environment and Infrastructure
An Archaeological Impact Assessment was conducted of the historic gold mine site Old Parr/Liten Mine (KePe-1) in the Northwest Territories. As the mine was to be remediated for harsh contaminates and metals then reclaimed, returning the site back to natural conditions, an archaeological survey was warranted. During this survey Noel Doctor (from the Yellowknives Dene First Nation) and Elder Ed Jones (from the North Slave Métis Alliance) took part in fieldwork at the historic mine site. Mr. Doctor and Mr. Jones were enthusiastic and invaluable at identifying historic artifacts but also how specifically the mine was operated by Louis Garskie. In addition, Mr. Jones provided historic anecdotes about mining operations he observed in his years of mining during the 50's and 60's. These lines of information provided stronger interpretation of the mine, its operator and its profitability.

Rodger Ross - Creerunner Communications Ltd.
According to the 'Map of Saskatchewan Archaeology', there are more than 20,000 archaeological sites in Saskatchewan. The Saskatchewan Heritage Branch of the Saskatchewan Government manages the archaeological site files. Many of the archaeology sites of Saskatchewan are of aboriginal ancestry and include rock paintings, habitation sites, medicine wheels, as well as kill and processing sites.
For the latter half of his life, Rodger W. Ross has been drawn to the Sacred Sites that were created by his Ancestors and others who traveled through his people's traditional territories. His involvement in ceremonies has only served to fuel his desire to rediscover these Sacred Sites. In more recent times he has been drawn to a couple of specific sites, the first being the Jelly Ranch medicine wheel and the other is the Avonlea medicine wheel. Although Mr. Ross has known about these sites for over 30 years, it has only been in the last 10 years that he has made a conscious effort to visit the sites and pay his respects in the traditional fashion of putting tobacco down to acknowledge the gifts that his ancestors left behind. The Jelly Ranch site was shown to Rodger through a ceremony that was conducted a few kilometres north of the location of the site, prior to that he only knew that the site was somewhere close by. Until that ceremony, he was never shown its exact location. In the spring of 2012, Mr. Ross made a discovery that was yet to be documented by the Saskatchewan Heritage Branch and a few days later this find was confirmed by Nathan P. Friesen, Senior Archaeologist with Saskatchewan Parks, Culture and Sport. After consulting with Mr. Friesen and Dakota/Cree Elder Harold Lavallee, Mr. Ross committed to assisting in the development of a relationship between the Archaeological community and his people. This conference is the first step to fulfilling this commitment.

The Realities of our Relationship
Brian Scribe - Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations - Land and Resources
My presentation will attempt to focus on the reasons for the lack of communications and relationships with First Nations. I left the profession of archaeology to work with a major First Nations organization in the Province of Saskatchewan. While working on various projects, it was my intent to introduce the discipline of archaeology and to encourage First Nations to take a more active role in the management of their heritage resources. Unfortunately, when pursuing this avenue there have been roadblocks not necessarily with First Nations but, more with the provincial and federal governments. From this experience, I have to realise the Crown is truly at war with us and continues to be paternalistic and imposes its colonialist ways and tactics against us. Furthermore, there is a lack of fiscal resources to be able to implement any programming in areas of resource management among many others. First Nations have been economically marginalized and at the same time, the resources from their ancestral lands and territories continue to be plundered for the economic prosperity of others and without proper consultation. First Nations have Treaties with the Crown and it has become apparent that they do not want to live up to their Treaty obligation but, rather abolish them. As a result, the wedge between First Nations and Canadians broadens.

The care, management and repatriation of sacred and ceremonial objects at the Royal Saskatchewan Museum
Dr. Evelyn Siegfried - Royal Saskatchewan Museum
The Ethnology Reserve Collection at the Royal Saskatchewan Museum (RSM) is a special collection of 199 sacred and ceremonial objects. Approximately sixty-five percent, or 129 of the objects orginate from the Treaty 4 area. There are twenty-four objects from the Treaty 6 area, three from Treaty 10, one from Treaty 8 and three from the Treaty 7 area. Thirty-four items are of unknown origins. In 2011, the RSM implemented a policy that offers four options for the care, stewardship/co-management and repatriation of these objects by First Nation and Métis communities in Saskatchewan. This presentation will review the history of the policy development process and results following implementation of this internal RSM policy. Communication is an issue that has been addressed in recent months and is a current work in progress.

The Wanuskewin Chronicles: A Historical Look at the Development of Wanuskewin Park
Dr. Ernest Walker - University of Saskatchewan
Wanuskewin Heritage Park (WHP) celebrated its 20th Anniversary in June 2012 some 25 years after its dedications as a National Historic Site in October 1987. This presentation looks at the history of the establishment of the Park with an emphasis on the critical role the First Nations community played in the entire venture and how this truly unique heritage facility came to be. The nationally recognized position of WHP as a centre of excellence for archaeological research, education, tourism and First Nations cultural expression are discussed including a look into exciting new developments planned for the near future. Challenges related to the operation of such a complex facility and the preservation of heritage resources so close to a rapidly expanding urban environment are also explored.

Historical Archaeology and Piikani History
Dr. Eldon Yellowhorn - Simon Fraser University
In my attempts to better understand the early days of the Peigan Indian Reserve (IR 147) I had few volumes to consult beyond the published ethnographies that come from an era when anthropologists thought they were salvaging artifacts from vanishing peoples. My search of archival documents elicited many references to the people and the reserve, but none were from a first person perspective. Therefore my oral history interviews and material culture studies helped bring into focus aspects of Piikani history that appear in no document. Though flawed and incomplete in isolation, these sources revealed a community struggling to adapt their customs to a new lifestyle. The stories that emerged indicated that Piikani people preserved their distinctive identity while embracing the vernacular architecture of their neighbours and products they imported for their domestic lives. Theirs was not simply a story of resisting assimilation, but of internalizing and accommodating modernity. For more information visit: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zbmtOLbOXwY&feature=plcp

The Métis Community of Fish Lake: A Provincial Heritage Property
Patrick Young - Golder Associates Ltd.; Bryan Lee - Métis Nation of Saskatchewan (Local 108)
Golder Associates Ltd. was contacted in 2009 by Bryan Lee of the Métis Nation of Saskatchewan (Local 108) to assist with recording and documenting the former settlement of Fish Lake in their effort to have it designated a Provincial Heritage Property. The Fish Lake settlement, located just east of Prince Albert National Park, represents a unique example of an independent Métis community occupied from approximately 1945 to 1965. It reflects a period of transition for Métis communities and an effort to maintain their distinct cultural traditions and way of life in the 20th century. In 2012 the settlement was officially designated a Provincial Heritage Property by the Government of Saskatchewan. The project represents a successful collaborative effort between professional archaeologists and the Métis community in bringing to light and protecting an important part of Saskatchewan's cultural heritage.