The Eastern States Archeological Federation (ESAF) is an organization of state archeological societies representing much of the Eastern United States and Canada. Our founder Dr. Ron Williamson is giving a talk entitled “Recent Developments in Great Lakes Archaeology: A View from Ontario” at their 85th Annual Meeting, November 3rd, 2018. A synopsis of his planned talk is below:
It seems that archaeologists in Canada and the United States are now talking about the same issues, some of them broad anthropological concerns rather than culture-history. While north-south collaboration across the border is now routine, there are considerable differences in the work environments. An exceedingly strong legislative mandate in Ontario for pre-development identification and excavation of sites for most public and private land initiatives has resulted in the generation of huge data sets. These data have resulted in now more completely excavated sites from throughout the 13,000 year long archaeological record in Ontario than would have been thought possible fifty years ago. There are significant opportunities and challenges resulting from this surge in Ontario data. Exciting opportunities, for example, have resulted from the generation of funding for the application of innovative scientific analytical techniques to archaeological data. There have also been growing pains, especially around government regulation and the accommodation of escalating advocacy on the part of Indigenous people for consenting to and directing archaeological work, analyses and curation. Perhaps the most challenging issue is dwindling expertise in the Ontario archaeological workforce, a product of both the academy and the commercial archaeology industry.