April 17th @ 7:30 pm
University of Calgary, Tom Oliver Room ES 162
History is Beaded into the Land: Archaeological Patterns Métis Lifeways in the 19th century ”
The Canadian west during the 1800s provides an interesting historical and archaeological case study that has potential to shed light on the dynamics of settlement, material culture, and the mobile nature of Métis peoples. Based originally in the Red River Settlement, some of the Métis began to expand west after 1845, forming interconnected wintering communities to participate in winter bison hunting. These wintering communities were almost entirely inhabited by Métis families, so the assemblages from wintering sites present a test case to examine the day to day material culture of the Métis hunting brigades during the mid- to late-1800s. In this paper, I examine patterns from previous and new excavations of Métis wintering sites in Alberta and Saskatchewan, and taking a Métis approach to understanding what these sites mean for understanding the historical significance of these places. I also discuss evidence for the presence of Métis in southern Alberta and Saskatchewan during this era.
Dr. Kisha Supernant is Métis and an Associate Professor of Anthropology at the University of Alberta. She received her PhD from the University of British Columbia in 2011. Her research with Indigenous communities in Canada explores how archaeologists and communities can build collaborative research relationships. Her research interests include the relationship between cultural identities, landscapes, and the use of space, Métis archaeology, and heart-centered archaeological practice. She specializes specializing in the application of mapping methods to the human past and present, including the role of digital mapping and GIS spatial analysis in archaeological research. Her current research project, Exploring Métis Identity Through Archaeology (EMITA), takes a relational approach to exploring the material past of Métis communities, including her own family, in western Canada. She has published in local and international journals on GIS in archaeology, collaborative archaeological practice, indigenous archaeology, and conceptual mapping in digital humanities.