A Call to Action: Gauging Canadian Archaeology’s Response to the Coastal Erosion Crisis

Thursday, May 3, 2018 - 9:10am to 3:10pm
The inundation and erosion of shorelines due to sea level rise and climate change have been characterized as a global archaeological crisis. With the longest coastline in the world, Canada sits at the apex of this dilemma. For the Indigenous Nations of Canada, this destruction represents a heritage catastrophe appalling in its scope – and one difficult to address within current funding paradigms and initiatives. The loss of an archaeological past has dire implications for Indigenous peoples seeking to assert their culture, heritage, history, and rights. A full-day session of papers will reveal a snapshot of the scope of the erosion catastrophe, and Canada’s current response to it. The following morning will be devoted to a workshop aimed at answering the following questions: What is the nature of the challenge we are facing? Is the current level of response adequate? What strategies have proved successful? Is a national program needed to address the crisis? How should Indigenous perspectives, aims, and personnel be integrated into the management and execution of the program? How might a national strategy co-exist with current academic, provincial, territorial, and Indigenous initiatives?
  • Matthew W. Betts, Canadian Museum of History