2020 Candidate Statements for CAA/ACA Director – Vice-President

Sara Beanlands

I would consider it an honour to be elected to the board of directors of the Canadian Archaeological Association. As my entry into professional archaeology coincided with the decline of government funded research, I enlisted alongside a generation of technicians who built their careers in consulting archaeology and, at the same time, shaped the CRM industry in Canada. Although much of my work has been focussed on the east coast, my professional experience is, I believe, a Canadian experience, filled with extraordinary challenges and unique rewards. Over the past 25 years, I have undertaken a wide range of archaeological projects in all aspects of CRM and am a founding partner of Boreas Heritage, an independently owned CRM firm based in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Having twice served as President of the Nova Scotia Archaeology Society, I currently sit on the Board of Directors of the Association of Professional Archaeologists of New Brunswick and am adjunct professor in the Department of Anthropology at Saint Mary’s University, where I teach CRM Archaeology. Over the past three years, I have also worked with Parks Canada to inventory and analyze all Indigenous artifacts in the national collection from the Maritime provinces.

Today, more than ever, there is an opportunity to transform the practice of CRM. I am committed to moving beyond the established limits of consulting archaeology and to building a strong, diverse and valued workforce across Canada. I believe the CAA can play a crucial role in this transformation, providing the leadership and guidance necessary to ensure a healthy and productive future for Canadian archaeology. Having worked through the ranks of CRM, I trust that my experience can offer insight and assistance to the Board in this regard. I have worked closely with Indigenous communities across Atlantic Canada and have developed strong professional relationships with local Nations and leadership. I am dedicated to the integration of Indigenous knowledge and the active participation of First Nations in all aspects of CRM, and to maximizing opportunities to create lasting benefits through active collaboration, capacity building, and a commitment to the cultural enrichment of Indigenous communities. If elected to the board, I will work towards promoting the above initiatives, while offering my services to the broader mandates of the position.

Lara Wood

I am pleased to run for the position of Vice-President of the Canadian Archaeological Association. I have been a consultant archaeologist in Ontario for the last 10 years and completed an MA in Applied Archaeology at Western University. My Master’s research focused on regional differences of settlement patterns during the Early Woodland Meadowood Period in Ontario. While my research and career has been largely Ontario-based, my university training and current position within a national and global archaeology team has highlighted the importance of sharing ideas across jurisdictions. I believe that the national and global community of the CAA is fundamentally important for encouraging the sharing of knowledge and perspectives to create new research opportunities. If elected, I will work hard alongside the other members of the board while actively encouraging new members to join our community.

As most archaeologists in Canada work in consulting rather than academia, I believe that delivering access to useful tools and training for consultant archaeologists will strengthen the membership base. Many consultant archaeologists have identified gaps in student training that Universities are not filling consistently. I will seek opportunities to collaborate with local archaeological societies, university departments and faculty on how best to connect students with more consultant opportunities and training. This could include a CAA-university collaboration to develop CAA-approved regional field schools, staffed by consultants focused to train students in consulting archaeology methodology for university credit. This would encourage both consultant archaeologists and students to become members and would provide fundamental skills to students to support the success of consultant archaeology in Canada, as they are completing most of the archaeological projects and excavations.

I am also driven to improve the relationship between Indigenous communities and archaeologists and I believe that more training for archaeologists is critical in strengthening this relationship. I would seek out opportunities to work with indigenous communities to provide archaeologists with additional resources to better understand how various communities across Canada wish to be engaged, and to provide this information on the CAA website for member access. Additionally, I will seek collaboration with the Student, Membership, and Indigenous Issues Committees, to work towards providing members key training via digital workshops.

Over the course of my career I have been an advocate for participation in our archaeological organizations and have volunteered to assist in the organization of annual meetings for the CAA, and symposia and chapter meetings for the Ontario Archaeological Society. I have seen the power of people and ideas coming together and the potential for conferences to inspire new ideas and collaboration amongst our membership, students and Indigenous communities. If elected as Vice-President, I look forward to playing a bigger role in the planning of the CAA Annual Meeting and exploring innovative technological alternatives to break down barriers to participation, including exploring options for remote participation. Support from students, young professionals, and Indigenous communities will not come from the status quo. If elected, I will work to find ways to add value in a CAA membership by delivering training and collaboration opportunities on accessible digital platforms, while supporting the board’s initiatives and completing the general responsibilities of my role.