Working for Communities: Beyond Data Collection in North American Archaeology

  • Rebecca Goodwin, University of Western Ontario
  • Chelsea Meloche, Simon Fraser University

The process of archaeological research often extends beyond the traditional field site. With the rise of public archaeology, Indigenous archaeologies, and other engagement-based research frameworks, heritage professionals recognize the impacts of their work and are developing innovative ways to engage with non-archaeological communities. Working beyond data collection, many community-oriented projects have developed outreach and engagement activities to ensure that archaeological research is of benefit to all partners. Important examples can include hosting and participating in community workshops; visiting archaeological sites with elders and youth; developing creative educational projects; the creation of digital content; and/or repatriation. However, such outreach and engagement activities are often still considered auxiliary to “archaeological research.” In this session, we invite presenters to think beyond data collection in their work with local and descendant communities and explore unique and innovative approaches to outreach and community engagement activities. In particular, we encourage submissions that highlight work being done by graduate students and early career scholars, who represent the next generation of archaeological researchers.