The Canadian Archaeological Association (CAA/AAC) has attempted for a number of years to formulate a position regarding the relationship between archaeologists and Aboriginal peoples within Canada. This has been pursued through special symposia, forums, and paper sessions at the annual CAA/AAC meetings. There has also been considerable contact and communication between individual archaeologists and Aboriginal groups who have worked together on archaeological excavations and planning projects. In many cases, archaeologists have been directly employed by Aboriginal organizations and bands as consultants, educators, and coordinators/supervisors of projects administered by Aboriginal people.

Despite these examples of cooperative working relationships, there remained many differences in perspectives held by members of the Aboriginal and archaeological communities, which have caused misunderstandings and confrontation. It was recognized during discussions held by the new CAA/AAC Executive after the 25th annual meeting in London, Ontario, that the professional archaeological community had not adequately appreciated the interests and role of Aboriginal people in the interpretation and stewardship of their archaeological record.

As a result, the Aboriginal Heritage Committee (AHC) was created in 1992 with a specific mandate aimed at developing an accord between First Peoples and archaeologists. Funding for this initiative was received from the Department of Communications in the form of a contribution grant. The CAA/AAC agreed to contribute money for travel expenses and office/secretarial support expenses. Members were appointed to the AHC to represent the major geographic regions of Canada. These people in turn organized working committees that initiated consultations on a regional level. Summaries of the regional consultations were presented to the AHC at bi-annual committee meetings, in an on-going process of review and discussion at the national and regional levels.

The AHC was comprised of the following members:


Bev Nicholson Eldon Yellowhorn Bjorn Simonsen Debbie Webster (replaced by Doug Stenton) Sandra Zacharias Brian Scribe Patricia Allen Ralph T. Pastore Gary Baikie Ron Williamson David Denton,Tommy Weetaluktuk Co-Chair Co-Chair Secretary to the Committee NWT B.C./Yukon Forest/Prairie Maritimes Newfoundland/Labrador Labrador Inuit Ontario Quebec


Ex officio members of the AHC were:

Elizabeth Snow, Access to Archaeology Program
Jane Kelley and David Pokotylo, CAA/AAC Presidents 1992-1995