B.C./Yukon Regional Report by Sandra K. Zacharias


This report presents the results of consultation undertaken between Spring, 1993 and Spring, 1995 for the B.C./Yukon regional working committee. British Columbia and the Yukon were grouped as a single region following informal discussions with a number of Yukon archaeologists who agreed that they would be comfortable with a B.C.-based committee representative as long as there was frequent communication.

In both the past and present, the two regions have had different experiences of formal and informal communications between archaeologists and First Nations. The land claims settlements presently negotiated in the Yukon include formal archaeological and heritage agreements and protocols. The political setting for archaeology in B.C. is rapidly shifting with recent amendments to the Heritage Conservation Act (Bill 21, 1994) and the ongoing treaty negotiation process. Apland's (1993) discussion of the role of the provincial government in B.C. archaeology provides an historical perspective.


The process of consultation posed logistical problems for both B.C. and the Yukon: there are a large number of First Nation communities (over 200 Bands in B.C.), many of which are in isolated rural locations and travel distances are long and expensive. Given the limited committee budget, these problems were addressed by communicating through a series of comprehensive mail-outs and regional meetings, supplemented by meetings with communities, organizations, and institutions on request.

It became clear, early in the process, that a formal regional committee representing professional archaeologists and First Nations was not possible, due to the time commitment involved, the regional and local nature of many issues, and concern on the part of First Nations in B.C. that all groups should be fairly represented, given the treaty negotiation environment.

Consultative efforts began in Spring, 1993 with an initial information meeting at Simon Fraser University and a comprehensive mail-out to over 300 Tribal Councils, Bands, governments, academic, and consulting archaeologists, describing the mandate of the Aboriginal Heritage Committee. I also attended several meetings of Aboriginal organizations in B.C. at their request, where they described their concerns. A document that included the AHC's "eleven points for discussion" was distributed by mail to the full B.C./Yukon mailing list to solicit comments.

In November, 1993, at the B.C. Archaeological Forum at Simon Fraser University, a full morning forum was devoted to discussing problems and issues in ethical archaeological practice in B.C. Over 60 archaeologists and First Nations representatives participated in the open discussion, with a full spectrum of viewpoints represented: academics, consultants, government, students, including First Nations archaeology students, and representatives from Bands and Tribal Councils from throughout the province.

In April, 1994, the draft guidelines developed by the National Committee were sent out for comment to C.A.A. members, Bands, Tribal Councils and archaeologists throughout B.C. and the Yukon. The Draft Guidelines were also printed in The Midden, the newsletter of the Archaeological Society of British Columbia, and were made available at the 1994 Edmonton CAA Forum.

In November, 1994, B.C. archaeologists and First Nations representatives from Bands and Tribal Councils met again at the annual B.C. Archaeology Forum hosted by the Secwepemc Cultural Education Society/Simon Fraser University program on Kamloops Indian Reserve. Regional concerns, including ethics, were the focus of discussions.

At the AHC meeting in February, 1995, it became evident that the Draft Guidelines were not acceptable across Canada: regional differences were too great across the country for detailed guidelines to be meaningful or even useful. Thus, the National Committee extracted the principles embodied in these guidelines with two important omissions - ownership and informed consent. Through committee discussions, it became apparent that these would have to be addressed through regionally and locally developed protocols and guidelines.

In the Spring of 1995, the revised draft Statement of Principles was sent out to the comprehensive B.C./Yukon mailing list for comments.

Throughout the course of this process, a large amount of information on archaeological ethics from other areas (e.g. Australian Archaeology Code) was collected by the author, and made available upon request. Requests for information have come from Bands, Tribal Councils, and archaeology students.

Evaluation of Process

Since 1992, contact has been made in the B.C./Yukon region, by mail and through a series of consultative meetings, with over 320 organizations and individuals, including 265 Aboriginal organizations and the professional archaeological community (universities and colleges, government, consultants). A total of 80 written and verbal responses have been received: 50 from the professional community and 30 from First Nations.

In 1993, following the distribution of the eleven "points for discussion" (see Introduction), numerous responses were received - most from Aboriginal organizations in both B.C. and the Yukon. From the Yukon, in particular, existing protocols were sent which addressed most of these discussion points.

In 1994, numerous responses to the Draft Guidelines were received. Based on the responses, First Nations communities and organizations agreed that their concerns had been addressed, although there were questions about enforcement and the process of consultation. Active professional archaeologists in B.C. and the Yukon, based on responses received, were also in general agreement with the principles embodied in these guidelines, although there were concerns and questions about enforcement, the process of consultation, and that expectations in Aboriginal communities would be raised which the profession would be unable to meet.

Also in response to the 1994 Draft Guidelines, the B.C. Archaeology Branch raised concerns that archaeologists who obtained the informed consent of a Band or Tribal Council to conduct research would be acting outside the legal permitting system. Since that time, First Nations consultation (although not "informed consent"), prior to the issuing of a B.C. archaeology permit, has become a legal requirement.

The 1995 draft Statement of Principles was commented upon by B.C. and Yukon archaeologists at the 1995 CAA/AAC meeting in Kelowna, who generally agreed that regionally-developed protocols would be an appropriate way to establish research guidelines and standards. Written responses were also received in B.C. from the 17 Chiefs of the Shuswap Nation, who raised concerns beyond the mandate of the committee.

Conclusions and Recommendations

The professional community in B.C. and the Yukon are in general agreement with the principles in the draft documents. The two main areas of concern of First Nations are informed consent and ownership. It has become clear, through the course of this process, that these concerns will have to be addressed though regional protocols rather than in a national accord. In this regard, the regional consultation process has had value beyond its initial purpose, by creating a forum or space for ongoing dialogue on ethics/responsibility between archaeologists and First Nations communities and organizations.

Currently in the Yukon, formal agreements in many areas outline protocols and guidelines for interactions between archaeologists and First Nations. In B.C., the situation is not as developed but is changing rapidly with court decisions, ongoing treaty negotiations, and heritage policy initiatives by government, First Nations, and professional archaeologists (academic institutions and consulting organizations).

In the Spring of 1993, I made some notes to myself that have helped guide me though this process. I made the analogy that the development of guidelines for ethical conduct between archaeologists and First Nations might be similar to guidelines for ethical conduct between men and women - it wouldn't be something that men could develop all by themselves. Ideally, these guidelines for ethical conduct would seek an end to victimizing and feeling victimized - by respecting each other's boundaries and by both groups understanding their own power and seeking to understand one another. Such guidelines should be based on mutual respect and responsibility.

Through the consultative process, I have also come to the understanding that archaeologists have four areas of ethical responsibility in their research involving Aboriginal communities. Best described to me by Chief Agnes Snow of the Canoe Creek Shuswap Band, these four areas are: physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual. If local guidelines and protocols take these four aspects of our responsibilities into account then, as Chief Agnes explained to me, nothing should fall between the cracks.

Reference cited:

Apland, Brian
1993 The Roles of the Provincial Government in British Columbia Archaeology. BC Studies Vol. 99, p.7-24.

Forest And Prairie Regional Report by Brian Scribe


The Forest and Prairie regional working committee encompassed the provinces of Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and northwestern Ontario. This region contains the largest population of Aboriginal people in Canada.


The committee consisted of 12 people, five of whom are Aboriginal, thus maintaining a balance of Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people. Regional committee meetings were held to discuss strategies and devise a plan that would best address the AHC mandate. It was decided to apply an approach in accordance with First Nations practice and have Elders review the draft guidelines for their comments and recommendations.

As a practical initiative, it was decided that a display of artifacts, specific to the various regions represented, together with an outline of the goals and methods of archaeology, be constructed and taken on tour to each sub-region or province. The involvement of Aboriginal people in particular would be emphasized as a prominent part of the display, and it would be accompanied by Aboriginal interpreters who had some experience in archaeology, as well as a first hand knowledge of the regions where the display was to tour. The display and interpretive team were to visit various First Nation and Metis gatherings and events. The process would thus provide an ideal opportunity to discuss issues relating to archaeology and Aboriginal heritage with Elders and the grassroots.

Due to the vastness of the region, however, and because funding would have to be obtained from separate provincial agencies, it was decided that the project be compartmentalized into independent segments available for set-up wherever First Nation groups were interested. As the overall regional approach was not practical, the members in the respective provincial jurisdictions assumed responsiblity for targeting local groups to gain responses on the AHC's draft guidelines.

In northwestern Ontario, there was a misunderstanding between committee members and the sponsoring umbrella organization regarding the timing of the proposed tour and the funding was unfortunately lost. Despite this dilemma, a committee member proposed to continue the process of informing the Aboriginal community through a series of articles that will be submitted to First Nation newspapers that service this region.

In Manitoba, two students were hired in 1994 to tour a number of southwestern reserves associated with the Dakota Ojibway Tribal Council. This included visits to local Friendship Centres. The following summer, the Manitoba tour resumed, reaching more of the northern Aboriginal communities.

The Saskatchewan heritage promotion and education program began in mid-summer of 1994 with a field trip to a number of northern communities. Visits also included several reserves in the south. Two Elders Conferences were also attended: one sponsored by the Saskatchewan Indian Cultural College in Saskatoon, and one sponsored by the Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations (FSIN) in the Battlefords. Along with displays, presentations were made on issues pertaining to heritage, archaeology and the AHC Draft Guidelines.

The Draft Guidelines were circulated to candidates and to the leadership at the 1994 Assembly of First Nations elections held in Saskatoon. Given other pressures imposed on First Nation governments, however, it can be understood that the document was not a priority. In addition, the 1995 elections of the FSIN were also attended and the AHC document circulated with the hope that archaeological issues would be addressed. Positive and informative discussions resulted with a number of Chiefs and Band Councillors.

In Alberta, a number of northern communities were visited and interviews were conducted with a number of Elders and other community leaders. A response to the Draft Guidelines was also sought from the Chief, Council and Elders of the Peigan reserve in the south. Eldon Yellowhorn, Co-Chair of the AHC, describes his work in Alberta in a separate report.

Evaluation of Process

It was found that many who came to view the displays on tour in parts of the region were not prepared to fill out the accompanying survey forms, however, copies of the Draft Guidelines were handed out with return addresses in order that people could comment in writing. The document was well received and archaeology was perceived as finally progressing in a positive direction and that a very important step was being taken by the CAA/AAC. Many agreed to the concept of cooperation and increased communication as outlined in the document; it was long overdue.

In Saskatchewan, the opinion was expressed that more displays depicting Aboriginal culture and history were needed at northern schools. It was felt that teaching children about archaeology and the past was very important. These communities do not have the opportunity to view artifacts other than in a museum in the south and having a display visit their community was a very good idea. An Elder out of curiosity asked about the number of Aboriginal students involved in archaeology and was surprised that all could be counted on both hands if not one. He concluded that more Aboriginal students must be made aware of a possible career in archaeology. Most communities visited in the south expressed enthusiasm in the development of the draft guidelines and were willing to implement them providing they were consulted in all phases of archaeological research. Only one group felt that Aboriginal people should not be involved in archaeology because of the sacredness of Mother Earth.

Some comments and concerns went beyond issues pertaining to archaeology. At the Battleford Conference, Elders focused on issues relating to forestry, mining and the damming and flooding of river systems. Those affected by such activities still maintain traditional land use practices and comments reflected their feelings toward this process. For example, one Elder stated, "The white man will never listen to us, all they care about is money, they have no respect for us or the land." What must be understood is that all outsiders (non-Aboriginal people) are often perceived as one in the same, and this includes archaeologists. In reality, many Elders feel victimised and exploited by the "White Man's" world and therefore find it very difficult to share whatever remains of their culture, tradition, oral history and spiritual knowledge. As well, others are not pleased with the actions of the younger acculturated generation and believe they too are losing respect in the eyes of the Creator.

All across the region, Elders expressed the need for co-operative efforts between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people, not only with regards to archaeology, but with everything. One Elder commented that we are now in a new era in which Aboriginal people and archaeologists must start learning to work together hand in hand and in mutual respect. Other concerns included the significant role of oral history in understanding the material culture obtained through archaeological research. It was stated that Aboriginal people's views and interpretations need to be incorporated more often into archaeological research. An important point made was that cross-cultural awareness workshops, not only between First Nations and Euro-Canadians, but among the different First Nations themselves, was needed. This issue specifically entailed the practices and appropriate procedures used in the handling of specific artifacts. It must be understood that various First Nations have differing views regarding cultural material.

Discussions with some FSIN leaders focused on consultation in areas related to sacred sites and burial sites and the communication and interpretation of Aboriginal culture and heritage. It was felt that the principals of informed consent and Aboriginal involvement were important, but that the process should be made on a collective basis and not left to the discretion of individual First Nations. Consultation was seen as essential and very important in furthering positive relationships between First Nations and archaeologists.

Many Elders and grassroots people still maintain traditional practices of respect for Mother Earth and have offered suggestions as to how archaeologists may apply this value system to the discipline. In a report about the Manitoba tour, Todd Paquin stated that many people discussed the significance of the tobacco offering tradition and how it may be applied to dealing with archaeological sites. He was told that whenever something is taken from Mother Earth, an offering must be made to give something back in order to maintain a balance in the natural order of creation.

The offering of tobacco is portrayed as an act of good faith by many traditional practitioners. The importance of making such a gesture may result in new relationships and a greater co-operation and acceptance of what archaeologists are doing. This process also relates to the idea that when artifacts are removed from the ground, an offering should be made to the Great Spirit (Creator/God) in prayer with the intent that the artifacts will be well cared for. This also includes the respect for the person in the past who manufactured and owned the artifact. It would be very disrespectful to treat the artifacts with carelessness.

Conclusions and Recommendations

In conclusion, more ground work needs to be done in the promotion of archaeology and heritage. The CAA/AAC initiative has created lines of communication into the Aboriginal community. Elders, grassroots people and political leaders have been made aware and informed of the issues pertaining to archaeology. It is unfortunate that not all Aboriginal communities were reached. We hope that the contacts in the various communities were with key people that would become instrumental in bridging the gaps. It was difficult to find Aboriginal students willing to tour with the display or go on field trips. The qualified students had their own priorities relating to their studies and found it difficult to make commitments to the project.

Both archaeologists and First Nations people have to begin the process of educating each other in order to establish a positive working relationship. Cross-cultural awareness is a key in the process of educating each other. The dissemination of information and education on archaeological issues to the Aboriginal public and educating professional archaeologists on Aboriginal culture and spiritual values has only began.


The author would like to acknowledge the contributions of committee members Bev Nicholson, Chuck Ramsey, Joe White Bear, Lois Edge, Scott Hamilton, David Meyer, Leigh Syms, Margaret Hanna, Terry Gibson, Jack Ives, Marty Magne and Eldon Yellowhorn. Special thanks to Todd Paquin, Leah Dorion, Patrick Young and Jill Musser from the University of Saskatchewan for their involvement on the road tours in Manitoba and in Saskatchewan. The Saskatchewan Archaeological Society must also be thanked for the use of display materials. Special thanks to the Saskatchewan Heritage Branch and to the Access to Archaeology program for funding the tours to Aboriginal communities.

Alberta Regional Report By Eldon Yellowhorn


In Alberta, the four main Aboriginal organizations that operate on the provincial level are the Treaty 7 Tribal Council, the Grand Council of Treaty 8 First Nations, Treaty 6 First Nations and the Indian Association of Alberta. The three treaty groups operate as umbrella groups and represent the reserves identified within their treaty number and region. The Indian Association of Alberta is the provincial umbrella organization that represents the concerns of the various Aboriginal communities.

The Treaty 6 and Treaty 8 First Nations groups are located in Edmonton, and the Treaty 7 Tribal Council is in Calgary. They represent the 68,000 status Indians in Alberta. The Indian Association of Alberta operates from its office on the Enoch Reserve in Winterburn, Alberta. Overall, there are 46 First Nations in Alberta and they comprise a population of 71,297 people that include the Cree, the Dene, the Blackfoot and the Stoney. There are 46,737 people living on reserve communities, and 24,560 (or 34%) band members living off reserve.


It was apparent early on that it would not be possible to create one group discussion because of the logistics involved. It was decided, therefore, that the leaders of various Bands and umbrella organizations should be informed of the AHC's initiative through a letter writing campaign.

A personal visit to the Treaty 8 office in Edmonton was made during the 1994 CAA/AAC annual meeting. At that time, a research document on the subject was made available for study. The Treaty 7 Tribal Council office in Calgary was also visited, and the Executive Director, Greg Smith, was given an update on the AHC's progress. He has also been kept informed of subsequent activities. A letter was also sent to the Indian Association of Alberta with a request to be included on their conference agenda in 1994, however, no reply was received.

Aboriginal leaders and organizations are now being notified of the Statement of Principles drafted in February of 1995. A presentation was recently made at the "Focusing our Resources" Conference in Calgary, which was attended by representatives of First Nations, resource companies and the provincial government. Sponsored by various companies and hosted by the Tsuu Tina First Nation, this conference brought together Chiefs and company directors to discuss co-managing resources in traditional lands. Also present were representatives of the Northern Territory Aboriginal Commission from Australia, who received copies of our guidelines. They were pleased to hear of the AHC initiative since they are collecting data regarding similar processes.

At the conference, the author and Dr. Jack Ives of the Archaeological Survey of Alberta presented a well-received paper that discussed the efforts of the AHC to articulate a policy statement of ethical conduct for the CAA/AAC. Afterwards, copies of the Statement of Principles were personally distributed to Chiefs and resource company representatives. Several resource transmission and recovery companies related their efforts to accommodate Aboriginal concerns during their own assessments.


My efforts to execute the AHC mandate will continue and I am willing to continue working with the committee as the need arises. It's a start!

Maritime Regional Report By Patricia Allen


The provinces of New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island constitute the Maritime region. Each Maritime province has different government agencies and separate pieces of legislation relating to archaeological/heritage matters. Aboriginal people in each province have their own organizations, leaders, Elders, educators and other interested individuals. The archaeological community, although not a large one, consists of federal and provincial government employees, consultants, educators and students.

The challenge lay in knowing how to approach people for their input. A large portion of the people concerned were totally unaware of the existence of the Canadian Archaeological Association. Further, ethical conduct pertaining to Aboriginal heritage and archaeological research is a highly sensitive and often times controversial subject.


After informal consultation with various members of both the archaeological and Aboriginal communities, it was decided best to hold as many workshops or discussions in each province as was possible given the limited budget and time frame. Firstly, however, both communities had to be made aware of the AHC, its composition, its objectives and time schedule, as well as the CAA/AAC's past initiatives concerning Aboriginal heritage issues. All Maritime archaeologists and interested students were invited to participate. The Aboriginal community was informed through introductory letters and information packages that were mailed out in no particular organized fashion, but included elected Micmac and Maliseet leaders, political umbrella organizations, women's groups, Friendship Centres and cultural institutions, as well as Elders and other individuals who were known to have previously demonstrated an interest in matters of historical or cultural concern. These persons provided three preliminary mailing lists for each province. Additional names were recommended and added to the lists after each and every meeting.

During the two years between the spring of 1993 and the spring of 1995, a series of meetings, workshops and/or talking circles were held in each province. There were three meetings in Nova Scotia, four in New Brunswick and two in Prince Edward Island. Meeting response was good, with the average attendance at meetings in New Brunswick 26 people, in Nova Scotia, 20 people, and in Prince Edward Island, six people. The meetings were generally equally attended by archaeologists and Aboriginal people.

Economical venues for the discussions were found in universities, provincial museums, Friendship Centres, Aboriginal government offices and in hotels. As much as possible, an effort was made to make all participants feel comfortable with their surroundings. Individual presentations were also made by the author to the Nova Scotia group of professional archaeologists, to the New Brunswick Archaeological Society and to participants in Saint Thomas University's 1994 "Native Awareness Days." The total budget allotted the Maritime region for the process was approximately $10,000.

The workshops were most often opened by an Elder and conducted in a talking circle format. In the circle everyone could discuss their views without interruption. This was critically important during the initial meetings when matters of local concern needed to be aired. From the outset, it was evident that there was a general need for greater communication between the Aboriginal community and archaeologists. The people who had gathered together under the AHC really needed to talk on a regular basis.

Most discussions were summarized in point form and then distributed to meeting participants. Participants were asked to critique the meeting summaries and make changes if they thought changes were necessary. Important points from the accumulated summaries were then used by the author as the platform for Maritime input to the national level meetings. The author also received and submitted individual letters from those who had been unable to attend our meetings. A "Code of Ethics" was independently drafted and submitted by the Native Council of Prince Edward Island.

Following the presentation of the Draft Guidelines for Ethical Conduct Pertaining to Aboriginal Heritage Research and Communication, copies of the guidelines were circulated among the Maritime committee members. Discussion meetings were then held with this document as the focus of attention. Aboriginal participants called for stronger wording as well as for more equal and positive partnerships between First Nations and the CAA/AAC.

In February of 1995, the draft guidelines were transformed into the Statement of Principles presented at the 1995 CAA/AAC annual meeting in Kelowna. Prior to this, two final meetings were held, one in Nova Scotia and another in New Brunswick. The Statement of Principles was put on the table for review. The document has left a number of participants with mixed feelings.

The process of consultation was summed up by the Director of Nova Scotia's Micmac Association of Cultural Studies, Peter Christmas, during one of the discussions held in Halifax in 1994.


  • This whole process is about moral correctness... any moral person would see how much communication, interaction and respect needs to be shown the Native people and their heritage sites... researchers can stand back and analyze and acknowledge the Jesuits' lack of understanding but do they examine themselves similarly?

Evaluation of Process

The first reaction by most Aboriginal participants to the Statement of Principles was that it was far too brief and watered down compared to the earlier draft guidelines that were circulated. Instead of becoming stronger, as was requested in earlier meetings, the content of the document was seen to have become weaker. Other Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal voices stated that the document was acceptable, if only as a first step towards developing more in-depth local protocols. Although not everyone is pleased with the Principles, the overall effort to formulate them has had a positive impact on communication in the Maritime region.

Conclusions and Recommendations

Although much of the overall discussion was spent on local and regional issues, a number of universal concerns could be identified from these discussions. The concerns included:


  • 1) The overwhelming need for respect of sacred sites including burial places.

    2) The need for Aboriginal heritage studies to be conducted with much consultation and open communication between archaeologists and Aboriginal communities.

    3) The need for more Aboriginal training and educational opportunities in the field of Aboriginal heritage studies.

    4) The need for fuller Aboriginal participation in Aboriginal heritage projects.

    5) The need to respect oral traditions and to recognize Aboriginal interpretation as a valid point during all levels of research, especially during archaeological impact assessments.

    6) The need to report findings in a timely and understandable format.


As well as the above, the participants agreed that there was a need for stronger provincial legislation to protect Aboriginal heritage sites on private lands and that there was a need to complete Maritime coastal site inventories. The question of "ownership" of sites and artifacts also came up at most meetings. Although there was a fair amount of heated discussion on this topic, no consensus of opinion could be derived from it.

At the suggestion of Dwight Dorey, leader of Nova Scotia's Native Council, the Maritime participants would like to have the last line of the Preamble reworded to state, "As the heritage of First Nations Peoples makes up the greater part of the Canadian archaeological record, this document presents a Statement of Principles that guides members of the Association in their relationship with Aboriginal peoples." We see this as a reasonable request which acknowledges the importance of Aboriginal heritage to Canada and to ourselves as archaeologists.

Finally, a short lesson in understanding from Rosalee Tizya, who recently spoke at a public forum on Human Rights in Fredericton, New Brunswick, in 1995. She explained very simply how we may come to a better understanding of each other's world view and thus, be more considerate of each other's feelings.

Visualize yourself, a non-Native sitting on one side of a large circle. Opposite you on the other side of the circle sits a Native person. Your experiences, culture and way of life are very different. An unknown object with two different faces is set in the centre of the circle. One face is turned towards you and the other is turned towards the Native person. Both of you are asked to describe what it is. The descriptions turn out to be considerably different. You and the person opposite you view the object from separate cultural and physical positions. What may look to you like one thing looks very different to the other person. If you do not get up and walk at least half way around the circle, your description and understanding of the object will always be very one-sided. If both persons walk and meet and talk about what they see, the reality of the object becomes clearer.

This circle lesson in understanding may be phrased very simply, but it holds a clear message for all human beings. While we cannot expect to totally understand another person's view, we can, if we take a few steps, become more aware of their reasoning and their feelings.

Walking is not always easy, but its good for the heart.


I would like to thank all the participants who took time away from their busy schedules to attend the Maritime discussions. I would especially like to thank the Elders who assisted in the process by setting a tranquil atmosphere for the beginning of most of our meetings. Thanks are also extended to those who could not attend but who sent material to be included in our discussions. I must also thank my employer for allowing me to do a significant portion of the Committee work on New Brunswick government time.

To the CAA/AAC, I thank you for offering me the opportunity to work on this Committee and to speak with so many people about something that genuinely concerns them. The task assigned to the AHC was not an easy one. In almost every Maritime meeting, past and sometimes present actions by members of the archaeological community were reviewed and questioned. Sometimes a pressing local issue dominated the discussion and the need for greater, more open communication was clearly spelled out without anyone mentioning it.

Newfoundland And Labrador Regional Report By Ralph T. Pastore


Although the Beothuks, the Aboriginal people of Newfoundland who met the first European fishermen and explorers to the island, became extinct in 1829, the province is now home to three Aboriginal groups. The Inuit, represented by the Labrador Inuit Association (LIA), live in the Labrador portion of the province and reside in a number of communities, primarily on the northern coast. The other group indigenous to Labrador are the Innu (formerly known as the Naskapi-Montagnais) who live in two communities, Shetshashit and Utshimassit (Davis Inlet). The Innu are represented by the Innu Nation of Nistassinan. Today, the island portion of the province is home to the Micmac who live in a number of communities, the largest of which is Conne River on the island's south coast. The people of Conne River are represented by the Miawpukek Band Council, while the Micmacs, who live elsewhere in Newfoundland, are represented by the Federation of Newfoundland Indians.

Prior to 1992, no formal procedures were in place either to require archaeologists to seek permission from Aboriginal groups before working in Newfoundland and Labrador, or to mandate cooperation and consultation during and after archaeological investigation. Prior to the 1980s, there had been relatively little archaeological reconnaissance and excavation carried out in areas claimed by the Micmac people, and, ultimately, the major archaeological effort in this area was undertaken by archaeologists hired by the Miawpukek Band Council as part of the land claims process. As for Labrador, archaeologists working there did hire Aboriginal crew members on occasion and did sometimes provide information, in an informal way, to members of Aboriginal communities, but by the end of the 1980s it was clear that this arrangement was not acceptable to the Aboriginal peoples of this province, particularly the Innu and Inuit of Labrador.


The impetus for a set of guidelines for archaeologists, and indeed, other researchers, working in areas of Newfoundland and Labrador claimed by Aboriginal people initially came from both the Innu and the Inuit. In July, 1992, Peter Armitage, an anthropologist who works for the Innu Nation, provided members of Memorial University's Archaeology Unit with a document entitled "Innu Nation Policy Regarding Archaeological Research in Nitassinan" from the then chief of the Innu Nation, Daniel Ashini. That document very clearly set out the principles which archaeologists would be required to adhere to in Labrador. In brief, that policy statement outlined a process whereby archaeologists who desired to work in regions claimed by the Innu would submit proposals to the Innu Nation prior to carrying out research in the relevant area of Labrador. Such proposals would be required to include provision for the employment and training of Innu people, and would be subject to peer review by referees chosen by the Innu Nation. The policy statement also required that archaeologists furnish the Innu Nation with the written results of their investigations.

In October of the same year, the author organized a conference at which Isabelle Ford of the Land Claims Team of the Labrador Inuit Association presented a paper which outlined a protocol for archaeologists working in Northern Labrador. In spirit, it was very similar to the Innu document. The Labrador Inuit also insisted that archaeologists request permission from the LIA prior to coming to Labrador, that they hire members of the Inuit community as field workers, and that they provide information about their activities after the archaeological investigations were completed.

In part because of this conference, the author was asked to join the AHC in the winter of 1993. Gary Baikie of the Labrador Inuit Association, Shayne Mcdonald, former Chief of the Conne River Micmacs, Gerard Webb, President of the Federation of Newfoundland Indians, and Peter Armitage, representing the Innu Nation, were asked to act as liaisons between the Committee and the Aboriginal groups of the province. When Deborah Webster of the NWT resigned from the Committee, her place was taken by Gary Baikie who assumed responsibility for consultation with the Labrador Inuit. In June of 1993, a meeting was held in St. John's with representatives from the academic community, consulting archaeologists, the Provincial Government, and the Innu, to explain the work of the Aboriginal Heritage Committee. By March of the following year, copies of the Committee's draft guidelines had been sent to the Conne River Micmacs, the Federation of Newfoundland Indians and to the Innu Nation. It should be noted that the major principles of those guidelines were very much in keeping with both the Innu and the Inuit policy regarding archaeological research, and throughout this period, CAA/AAC members working in Labrador have followed these local protocols. The final consultation with representatives of Aboriginal groups about these guidelines took place in August, 1994 when the author met with the new chief of the Miawpukek (Micmac) Band Council, Michael Joe, to discuss the guidelines with him.

Evaluation of Process

In the past, archaeologists in Newfoundland and Labrador have sometimes felt caught between the conflicting interests of Aboriginal peoples pursuing land claims and those of the Provincial Government. A very positive step toward alleviating this situation was taken in December of 1994 when representatives of the Historic Resources Division of the Department of Tourism and Culture and the Justice Department met with academic and consulting archaeologists. The question of the role of First Nations in archaeology in Newfoundland was on the agenda, and the parties attending agreed to a future meeting held by Memorial University's Archaeology Unit at which representatives of all of the stakeholders, government, archaeologists, and First Nations, would be invited.

This meeting was a very hopeful sign. While there are still a number of problems to be worked out, the principles outlined in the AHC guidelines are working in Newfoundland and Labrador. Archaeologists from Memorial University and from the consulting community now follow the policies first enunciated by the Innu Nation and the Labrador Inuit Association. In addition, archaeologists from Memorial University have provided assessment of proposals for archaeological work in Labrador to both the Labrador Inuit Association and the Innu Nation.


A concrete example of this new spirit of cooperation between First Nations, the Newfoundland government, and the archaeological community, occurred in the summer of 1995, when, in response to a request from the Labrador Inuit Association, the reburial of a number of Inuit remains was negotiated by the provincial government and Memorial University. These remains had been excavated from northern Labrador more than twenty-five years ago and had been in the custody of Memorial University's Archaeology Unit since that time. The fact that this sensitive issue was resolved to the satisfaction of all of the parties involved has given rise to a hope that we have found a way to satisfy the interests of First Nations, government, and archaeologists.

Ontario Regional Report By Ron Williamson


In Ontario, archaeology is an activity licensed by the Ministry of Citizenship, Culture and Recreation, whose officials review and comment on the work of license holders. This has been the practice since the proclamation of the Ontario Heritage Act in 1974. Other pieces of legislation that inform the practice of archaeology include the Planning Act and the Cemeteries Act.

The Planning Act has allowed the provincial government to institute a number of mechanisms that have resulted in requirements for archaeological assessments in advance of most major industrial and housing subdivisions and infrastructure projects. This has been quite successful in slowing down the rate of site destruction in southern Ontario, and has created a consulting industry that conducts a major portion of the archaeological work.

Cemeteries have become less of an issue due to the Cemeteries Act, despite the fact that pre-contact period cemeteries are defined as "unapproved aboriginal cemeteries". Aboriginal people must be contacted in the case of all such burial sites, for the purposes of reaching a site disposition agreement. More specifically, the regulations state that the representatives of the deceased in this case shall be "the nearest First Nations Government or other community of Aboriginal people which is willing to act as a representative and whose members have a close cultural affinity to the interred person." The regulations further state that the consent of the representatives is needed before the remains and associated artifacts can be removed from the cemetery, or before scientific analysis of the remains and artifacts can be conducted.

With regards to the protocol that existed between Aboriginal people and archaeologists prior to the AHC initiative, on an individual basis, many archaeologists who met with the Ontario regional committee have made it a practice in their work to consult with members of the Aboriginal community. Archaeologists working for the Ministry of Transportation (MTO), for example, have an established record of contacting Six Nations whenever MTO has any projects in the Oshwekan/Brantford neighbourhood. A number of private consultants work on a regular basis with First Nations on projects that are designed to mitigate any effects that land development might have on archaeological sites in First Nations territories, especially in northern Ontario. In fact, the Planning Act requires local First Nations to be informed of any development project situated within one kilometre of their territory.


The process of regional consultation to address the issues presented in the AHC mandate was begun in February of 1993. A meeting of invited archaeologists and Aboriginal people was organized to initiate discussions regarding the type of consultative process appropriate for Ontario. The first meeting, attended by sixteen people, was facilitated by the Ontario Heritage Foundation, who provided the meeting room for the group.

Overall, the meeting was found to be constructive, and the participants agreed that initiating a dialogue was important and should continue. Coincidentally, however, a number of the archaeologists that had been invited worked for government agencies, and the meeting was held at a government building. Consequently, some questions were raised by the Aboriginal participants as to whether or not the process that had been initiated by the CAA/AAC was tied to the government's proposal to revise the Ontario Heritage Act. It was decided by those present that the next meeting should be a workshop conducted by Elders, and a curator at the Woodland Cultural Centre in Brantford, Ms. Joanna Bedard, invited the group to hold its workshop there. It was also decided that an Aboriginal co-chair should be appointed to the Ontario working group, and Ms. Sylvia Thompson of the Chiefs of Ontario agreed to act in this capacity. There was uncertainty, however, as to when the next meeting could be held.

Thus, our subsequent attempts to arrange workshops for the fall of 1993 and then February 1994, with Elders on the Advisory Council for the Chiefs of Ontario, were postponed. Two more attempts were made in 1994 to reschedule the meeting for a time when it would be convenient for the Elders. In every case, however, Elders were already very busy dealing with the proposed legislation of a new Ontario Heritage Act and other heritage matters, although the committee was assured that our consultation would resume once those matters had been settled. Incidentally, the revised Act was not tabled by the government before it lost the election of 1995 and many matters remain to be settled between the government and the Chiefs with respect to jurisdiction over archaeological concerns.

While waiting to resume the formal consultative process with the Elders, an ad hoc meeting of archaeologists was held in London in the spring of 1994 to respond to the Draft Guidelines for Ethical Conduct Pertaining to Aboriginal Heritage Research and Communication that had been circulated by the AHC. These were discussed and revised and forwarded to the AHC with a covering letter stating the concerns of the archaeologists who had attended the London meeting. It was pointed out that the document could potentially intrude upon existing legislative and regulatory processes in Ontario and, possibly, in other planning jurisdictions.

It was hoped that the AHC could fully appreciate the nature and extent of archaeological research in southern Ontario, both of which are, for the most part, defined by the nature and degree of land development. This relationship has always had very serious implications for archaeological site destruction. For example, it has been demonstrated that for the period from 1951 to 1971, over 5,000 archaeological sites within the Greater Toronto Area alone, were totally destroyed by urban expansion. While the rate of site destruction decreased in the ensuing twenty year period, over 3,000 sites were nevertheless totally destroyed. Moreover, the potential for the loss of resources in the future remains great, due to continuing growth in southern Ontario. It is anticipated for the Greater Toronto Area that almost one million hectares of land will be developed in the next thirty years, resulting in a 40% urban occupancy of the landscape, up from the current 25% level.

Subsequent to the Ontario government's instalment of a number of planning mechanisms as outlined above, approximately 300 sites per year have been documented. The current procedure, however, is under constant pressure from the development community and indeed from other provincial ministries as they seek to streamline the development process. It was felt that a requirement to obtain informed consent from Aboriginal communities in advance of assessment would actually constitute an additional threat to the review and assessment process since it is unlikely that we would be able to continue to meet existing development schedules. It was recommended, therefore, that archaeologists in Ontario should seek to negotiate protocols with Aboriginal communities, where they have not already been established, in order to address that professional responsibility as well as to ensure the continuing conservation and protection of archaeological features.

Evaluation of Process

The timing of the AHC initiative with respect to the new Ontario Heritage Act could not have been more inconvenient for our process. On November 30, 1993, the former Ontario Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Recreation released their revised working draft of proposed legislation, prepared by ministry staff, based on a report from the Minister's Advisory Committee on New Heritage Legislation (MAC), which was charged with developing a stakeholder's consensus on what new legislation should say.

While 13 heritage groups were represented on the Ministry's committee, the ministry conducted separate discussions with the Chiefs of Ontario reflecting a government-to-government relationship between First Nations and the Province of Ontario. A number of Aboriginal organizations also made presentations during the original public consultation process, however, including the Association of Iroquois and Allied Indians, the Chiefs of Ontario, the Oneida Council of the Thames, the Union of Ontario Indians, Walpole Island Heritage Centre and the Woodland Cultural Centre. Thus, the time and effort of the Elders were consumed by their work with the new Act.

The working draft now includes a preamble, and has been divided into six parts that interpret the new Act, define provincial and municipal powers, specify aspects of heritage resource management, and provides for heritage facilities, an appeals board, and other general provisions.

The preamble sets forth a philosophical statement concerning what heritage means to the people of Ontario, but also states in the following manner that Aboriginal people have separate rights and responsibilities:


  • First Nations and other Aboriginal peoples, who are stewards of lands and waters, culture and traditions and who have a special responsibility given to them by the Creator to protect, conserve and enhance this heritage for the benefit of present and future generations, have their rights recognized and affirmed by s. 35 of the Constitution Act, 1982. (The New Ontario Heritage Act, p. 2)

This was intended to acknowledge the inherent right to self-government and also to recognize that Aboriginal rights are protected under the federal charter. There was also explicit recognition in section 2d (p. 5), of the "the interests and responsibilities of First Nations and other Aboriginal peoples in the conservation and stewardship of heritage". Moreover, it is acknowledged in the Act (Section 3.3) that its application must be consistent with Treaty and Aboriginal rights recognized and confirmed by s.35 of the Constitution Act, 1982.

A number of other sections in the proposed new Act allow the provincial government and municipal councils to enter into agreements for heritage conservation purposes with any First Nation. Also, to explicitly recognize that Aboriginal people were stewards of the land as stated in the preamble, First Nations, in addition to the Crown, a conservation authority, a municipal council, and any public body, are given the power to enter heritage covenants or easements with land owners.

The question of ownership of artifacts, or "heritage objects," was addressed, and pertained to artifacts found on "protected heritage sites". The Crown has asserted ownership of "all heritage objects, except in cases where a true owner is established". In those cases, "the Minister may enter into agreement with First Nations regarding the conservation, management and disposition of heritage artifacts". It remains to be seen how "true owner" is defined.


Most archaeologists who expressed an opinion find the Statement of Principles much improved over the first draft document. It is acknowledged, however, that we have not had sufficient opportunity to gauge Aboriginal reaction to our initiative. Clearly, in Ontario we must continue to develop local protocols in order to meet both our professional responsibilities of mitigating impacts to the archaeological record posed by development pressures and to respect local protocols developed in conjunction with Aboriginal communities.


The author would like to thank Sylvia Thompson, Co-Chair of the Ontario committee, and the following people for attending meetings and contributing to the regional committee process: Chris J.-Andersen, Joanna Bedard, Ann Balmer, Peter Carruthers, Hugh Daechsel, Neal Ferris, (the late) Ray Hill, Chief Richard Kahgee, Ian Kenyon, Rick Kosmick, Marti Latta, Paul Lennox, Trudi Nicks, Robert Pearce, John Peters, Peter Ramsden, David Smith, Michael Spence, Peter Storck and Gary Warrick. Eva MacDonald should also be thanked for her contribution in the capacity of Executive Assistant.

Québec Regional Report by David Denton


In 1991, as a direct result of the reaction by Aboriginal groups to the proposed federal archaeological heritage legislation, the Association des archéologues du Québec (AAQ) began discussions on archaeology and Aboriginal peoples. A decision was made to set up a committee to examine and to make recommendations on improving relations between archaeologists and Aboriginal people. Although this committee was not formally constituted, a workshop involving archaeologists and Aboriginal peoples was held in April 1992 as part of the annual AAQ colloquium. When the AHC was established in November 1992, the strategy adopted in Québec was to build on the initiative of the AAQ workshop and to work in close collaboration with the AAQ.


Initially, there were two representatives from Québec on the AHC, the author and Tommy Weetaluktuk. Mr Weetaluktuk resigned from the AHC very early in the process. In the course of the consultations, Nicole O'Bomsawin, director of the Abenaki Museum, played an important role, co-chairing two meetings and providing invaluable advice on the orientation of the consultations.

The adopted strategy was to focus on Aboriginal cultural organizations which, in many cases, have a clear mandate from First Nations' and Inuit communities with respect to a range of cultural heritage issues, including archaeology. The following cultural organizations have participated in the consultations: the James Bay Cree Cultural Education Centre, the Institut culturel et éducatif montagnais, Avataq Cultural Institute, the Conseil Atikamekw-Montagnais, the Kanien'kehaka Raotitiohkwa Cultural Centre (Kahnawake), the Kanesetake Cultural Centre, the cultural department of the Conseil de la Nation Atikamekw, the Abenaki Museum, the Société d'histoire et d'archéologie de Pointe-Bleue and the cultural centre of the Huron-Wendat Nation. As well, there has been representation from a number of First Nations' Councils and participation from various members of the SEMMA (Société d'éducation muséologique en milieu amérindien). Efforts to obtain involvement at a higher political level, that of the Assembly of First Nations of Québec and Labrador were unsuccessful, likely due to a lack of resources on the part of that organization for tackling such issues.

Attempts were made to involve as wide a range of archaeologists as possible working on Aboriginal cultural heritage, whether members of the AAQ or not. Consulting archaeologists and those working for governments were well represented at the meetings though regrettably, University-based professionals were not.

In 1993, work focused on the preparation of the proceedings of the 1992 AAQ workshop which were printed and widely circulated. A presentation was also made at the First Forum on Montagnais Cultural Heritage, hosted by the Institut culturel et éducatif montagnais.

Four consultation meetings were held in 1994 and 1995. The first took place in February 1994 in Montreal and was attended by 16 people, including archaeologists based in Montreal and representatives of native organizations from south-western Québec. The second meeting in Wendake in March of the same year involved 18 people, mainly archaeologists based in Québec City and First Nations' representatives from eastern Québec.

The third meeting took place in Chisasibi in January 1995. Chisasibi is a Cree community located on the La Grande River near James Bay. For almost two decades, between 1973 and 1993, what must be amongst the largest archaeological salvage projects ever to take place in Canada were carried out on the lands of the Chisasibi people. This meeting was carried out in the framework of the two and a half day Cree Heritage and the Land Workshop attended by elders from eight of the nine Cree Nations, by local community cultural coordinators and by other community representatives. Brian Scribe of the AHC and two other archaeologists working in the area also participated as did numerous residents of Chisasibi.

The final meeting took place in Ste-Foy at Laval University in March 1995. Requested by the participants at both the Montreal and Wendake meetings, this was viewed as a forum where all of the regional participants could meet to summarize their views and make recommendations. Simultaneous translation (English - French, French - English) was provided. This 1_ day "forum" was attended by 25 native representatives and archaeologists and was organized as follows: An initial plenary session was followed by two workshops at which archaeologists, on the one hand, and Aboriginal participants, on the other, carried out discussions focused on both the proposed Statement of Principals and on longer-term actions that could be taken to ensure an on-going dialogue. The final half day was devoted to discussing the results of the workshops and the possibilities for follow-up actions.

Apart from these meetings, efforts to reach the archaeological community involved including complete summaries of the Montreal and Ste-Foy meetings in the AAQ newsletter and presentations by both the author and Nicole O'Bomsawin at the 1994 annual AAQ colloquium which were subsequently published in the Proceedings of the Colloquium and widely distributed amongst archaeologists in Québec.

Two organizational issues affecting the discussions should be noted. Although it was explained that the two organizations were collaborating on the consultations alone, and that the AAQ would be in no way committed by decisions taken by the CAA/AAC membership, evidently some confusion remained concerning the respective role and mandate of the CAA/AAC and the AAQ in the consultations process. Despite this problem, the collaboration was positive on the whole. In particular, the AAQ contributions (administrative support, communications with its members, supplementing funding for consultation meetings, funding for such things as the preparation of transcripts) were invaluable.

The second issue concerns the regional nature of the consultation process within Québec. While the involvement of new people at the different meetings brought in fresh ideas and served to broaden the consultation, it made it difficult to move much beyond a basic sharing of views. Although the final Forum in Ste-Foy was planned in order to unite and bring the discussions to another level, a number of those who participated in the Montreal and Wendake meetings were unfortunately unable to attend this final meeting.

Evaluation of Process

Although some examples of direct conflict can be cited, archaeology in Québec has generally proceeded without the dramatic confrontations between Aboriginal people and archaeologists that have occurred in some provinces. Indeed, over the last twenty years, there have been increasingly frequent examples of cooperation. Still, the prevailing view of archaeology and its practitioners held by Aboriginal people in Québec remains one of suspicion sometimes bordering on hostility. From the Aboriginal perspective, the history of archaeology in Québec, with rare exceptions, is one of researchers arriving, removing their cultural heritage and perhaps even disturbing burials or other sacred sites, without consulting them, and then leaving, most often, returning nothing to their communities. Of course, these feelings cannot be divorced from the larger political and social context: the fight for Aboriginal lands and title, and the struggles for self-government and to maintain Aboriginal culture and identity and, especially important in the present context, to maintain a sense of Native authority in matters relating to Aboriginal culture, history and traditions.

Despite the negative views which form part of the backdrop to the consultation meetings, Aboriginal participants indicated a certain openness to archaeology as expressed, for example, in the demand for access to archaeological information and for training programs, in the acceptance of the possibility of various forms of partnership and in the idea that the development of archaeological heritage resources may, in some cases, play a positive role in community development. Aboriginal participants asserted throughout the meetings the importance of their own traditional and spiritual knowledge existing in the context of a sacred relationship with the land and indicated that this knowledge can provide contextual and cultural information about the past and about specific sites which can never be obtained from archaeology. Contrasts between such knowledge and scientific knowledge were drawn throughout the meetings and the potential disturbance by archaeologists of spiritually significant sites and places was emphasized. Although archaeologists may wish to avoid burial sites, they may unwittingly stumble upon human remains within domestic sites, such as places where whole camps or villages died as a result of disease, or dig up or remove objects in other contexts that should not be touched. It was asserted that such places can only be identified in advance through consultations with community Elders. Another important theme in the meetings was the authority of the community to make decisions about what research is done and how it is carried out and the possible role of Aboriginal cultural organizations as mediators.

On the part of archaeologists there were several dominant themes. There were attempts made to correct the stereotype of "archaeologist as Native bone-digger" and to provide current information on what archaeologists actually do and how they go about it. The frustrations expressed by consulting archaeologists, who felt they were being asked to take responsibility for issues that were completely out of their hands and which should more logically be addressed to their clients or to government, was evident throughout the meetings as were concerns about which Aboriginal community, polity or organizations should be addressed for the purpose of consultations. Examples of sites that could not easily be linked to a modern Aboriginal group or where there have been dramatic changes in territory were discussed. There were many useful discussions focusing on other aspects of archaeological ethics, including issues such as freedom of scientific enquiry and objectivity. Although all appeared to be in agreement that burial and other sacred sites should never be touched without Aboriginal consent, there was concern relating to the definition of sacred sites and a fear that this notion could be manipulated to exclude archaeologists from all sites. The query on the part of several archaeologists as to why there were so few Aboriginal archaeologists resulted in useful discussions about education and training. Some archaeologists expressed an openness to learning more about Aboriginal values and traditional knowledge and agreed that training should be a two way process.

The above comments represent selected themes that stand out in the mind of the Québec representative rather than summaries of positions and issues discussed, which would be impossible to present here. Apart from such issues, much discussion in the later consultation meetings centred on the initial text of the proposed Guidelines and the later Statement of Principles.

The former document was presented at the Wendake meeting in March, 1994. Although there appeared to be general support, some archaeologists pointed out that the initial draft related mainly to academic research and did not adequately take into account the constraints inherent in archaeological impact assessment. At least one archaeologist suggested changes to eliminate the need to obtain Aboriginal consent. On the Aboriginal side, changes in wording were suggested to clarify and strengthen the text.

At the Forum in Ste-Foy last March, the revised Statement of Principles text was presented and discussed in detail. Aboriginal representatives delivered a thorough and blistering critique of this text, some noting that the wording was so vague that it had lost all meaning except as a general statement of good intentions. There was difficulty with the fact that the Statement of Principles text appeared to represent a retreat from the much stronger position of the Guidelines text. It was strongly felt that there should be a series of "whereas" statements in the Preamble explaining the necessity of such a document. In sum, this document cannot be considered to have been approved or accepted by the Native representatives at the Forum and by extension, those participating in the Québec consultations as a whole. Some people clearly felt political-level representation would be required for Aboriginal approval of any text and it was also felt that more community discussions were necessary. On the other hand, the document was not completely rejected and some participants indicated that it served a useful basis for further discussion.

On the part of the archaeologists present, discussion centred on whether the CAA/AAC text, or a modified version of it, should be recommended for adoption to the members of the AAQ. Some archaeologists were concerned by sections of the text which appear to assign responsibilities to archaeologists actually held by developers or government; others felt strongly that these sections would support consulting archaeologists in effecting changes in the way that developers deal with Aboriginal groups. It was concluded that there was an interest in the AAQ adopting a statement of principles to supplement the existing AAQ "Code of Ethics and Standards" but that further work was required before a specific text could be adopted. Several archaeologists simply wished for fuller discussions on possible implications for the discipline. It was recommended that a workshop of AAQ members be convened to review in detail guidelines or statements of principals adopted by other archaeological associations. Although supportive of the CAA/AAC initiative, archaeologists present were also reluctant to recommend that this text be adopted by the CAA/AAC without examining further the implications and the wording.


The greatest contribution of the consultation meetings was to open the door of communication. Archaeologists and Aboriginal peoples in Québec have finally begun to talk to each other in an honest and useful manner about many subjects of mutual interest. There is every indication that the dialogue initiated will be continued in Québec at various levels. For example, the intention expressed by First Nations representatives at the Forum to bring the issues raised to a newly created Aboriginal cultural organization, which brings together all or most of the Aboriginal, cultural organizations in the province. It was suggested that this organization and the AAQ could discuss the issues in parallel and then begin more concrete, joint discussions.

Clearly, there was no agreement on the Statement of Principles. The author shares the view expressed by many of the Aboriginal representatives that the text has been overly diluted but nevertheless supports its adoption by the CAA/AAC as a modest first step in the right direction _ hopefully, a statement of good intentions is better than none! This statement will not be written in stone; it can, in the future, be modified to reflect new concerns or unforeseen developments. The Statement does not represent a closing of the door opened during the consultations but, on the contrary, should serve to promote on-going discussions and dialogue at the provincial and local levels, in all parts of Canada.

The author feels that it is urgent for the CAA/AAC to follow-up on the work of the AHC with concrete actions: policies and programs to encourage Aboriginal involvement in all facets of archaeological endeavour.