Public Advocacy Committee

Purpose and Objectives

Chairperson: Christian Gates St-Pierre
Members: Rob Ferguson
  Peter Ramsden
  Moira McCaffrey
  George Nicholas

Statement of Purpose

It has been a difficult year for Canadian archaeology. Since the last AGM in May our Association has witnessed massive cuts to Parks Canada and our federal archaeology program and changes to the Museums Act which threaten the viability of archaeology and anthropology and their contributions to Canada’s heritage and history at the national and regional levels, including at the Canadian Museum of Civilization, soon to be the Canadian Museum of History. Equally destructive are the cuts that have been made to the national archives in Ottawa and archives and library programmes across the country. These issues are symptomatic of the current federal governments’ general stance, which seems to be bent upon attacking science and reason in Canada. Our membership has raised concerns about these issues and indicated that the Canadian Archaeological Association should take a stronger stance against these changes in order to promote the objectives of this organization.

The small size of the volunteer executive means that we cannot address these issues with the urgency and attention that they deserve. As such, the executive has decided to create a Public Advocacy Committee.

According to section of the CAA executive manual the President is “empowered to appoint committees (and committee chairpersons) which are deemed necessary in the attainment of the Association’s objects.”  The President is further empowered to direct the attention of the executive and appointed committees to matters of concern to the Association.


The mandate of the CAA Public Advocacy Committee will be to support the CAA’s objective "to serve as the national association capable of promoting activities advantageous to archaeology and discouraging activities detrimental to archaeology.” The CAA executive will review all materials prior to dissemination to the membership and the public. 

In this capacity the Public Advocacy Committee will:

  1. Co-ordinate input from the membership on advocating for the promotion of archaeological heritage, and against activities that are potentially damaging to archaeological heritage.
  2. Develop a network of individuals to develop public awareness and encourage broad-based lobbying to reduce the current destructive government developments and to improve the protection and development of archaeological resources.
  3. Develop liaisons and work with related organizations such as provincial archaeological societies and historical societies.
  4. Produce materials to be disseminated through appropriate public channels, including but not limited to government offices, national and local media, and the internet.
  5. Additional activities as determined by the committee and the membership.

PAC Statements

Joint Statement on Cultural Destruction in Iraq and Syria

June 26, 2015

The members of the Canadian Archaeological Association, the Canadian Art Museum Directors Organization (CAMDO), and the International Council of Museums Canada (ICOM Canada) denounce the directed and intentional destruction of cultural heritage and heritage sites within Iraq and Syria. The heritage sites of Iraq and Syria represent thousands of years of human development and artistic expression. Their destruction is a devastating strike against cultural diversity and an attempt to erase the complex and intertwined history of our collective human experience.

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Fortress of Louisbourg, Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia

This letter was written by the Public Communications committee in response to Parks Canada developing a parking lot over the Fortress of Louisbourg, Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia.

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Change in Name and Purpose of the Canadian Museum of Civilization

Dec 11, 2012

The Canadian Archaeological Association is joined by other organizations in our opposition to the change in name and purpose of the Canadian Museum of Civilization, soon to be the Canadian Museum of History.

We are concerned that the new mandate places a disproportionate emphasis on Canadian history after confederation at the expense of the human history and our cultural achievements as a whole, and particularly those of the peoples who have occupied these lands since time immemorial. We are also concerned that the apparent de-emphasis on research and the management and acquisition of collections undermines the museum’s ability to facilitate the production of knowledge about Canada’s past.

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Draconian cuts to Parks Canada

Dear Friends and Colleagues:

As you know, Bill C-38 will result in a massive reduction to Parks Canada’s archaeologists and conservators. The Canadian Archaeological Association unanimously adopted the following resolution at our Annual General Meeting on May 19, 2012:  “We propose that the Canadian Archaeological Association take a strong position against these cuts to personnel and infrastructures and that it seeks the support of appropriate organizations in Canada and abroad.”

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