Landing : Athabascau University

Conference Session: The ‘Other Grand Challenge’: Archaeological Education & Pedagogy in the Next 50 Years

Chacmool at 50: The Past, Present, and Future of Archaeology

Nov. 8-12, 2017, Calgary, Alberta, Canada

Session Title: The ‘Other Grand Challenge’: Archaeological Education & Pedagogy in the Next 50 Years

Session Organizers: Meaghan Peuramaki-Brown (Athabasca University, Alberta, Canada) & C. Matthew Saunders (Davidson Day School, North Carolina, USA)

Session Sponsors: Athabasca University, American Foreign Academic Research, Calgary Finlandia Cultural Association

*Session will be made available as an open access video/audio recording following the conference.

Session Abstract: The now well-known “Grand Challenges” of archaeology article (Kintigh et al. 2014) featured in American Antiquity was based on a crowd sourced survey of archaeologists regarding their views on the next great challenges facing our discipline. Two major groups of issues were identified: 1) targeted scientific questions and 2) methodological issues and needs. The article focused on the former, with the ‘Other Grand Challenge’ consisting of issues such as deficiencies in training and the need for more public education. In this session, part of the 50th anniversary of the Chacmool Archaeology Conference, we ponder the future of archaeological education and pedagogy. What it could be like or will be like are two different things—both in need of exploration.

  • What are the goals of archaeological education, and do they require updating or revision?
  • Who (what) will be the student demographic of the next 50 years?
  • Where does graduate training stand when so little is available for academic careers?
  • What are the roles and, more importantly, responsibilities of Cultural/Heritage Resources Management (CRM), museums, and journalism/story telling?
  • How should the recommendations of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada (TRC) impact education and pedagogy?
  • Do we add more technology or keep things hands on, or can we do both?
  • Do Web 2.0/3.0 and virtual/extended/augmented reality help or hinder our goals?

One of the most important capacities of any discipline is the ability to adapt to relevant forces: internal forces—such as emerging skills, visions, conflicts, resources, etc.—and external forces—such as changing demographics, societal values, new technologies, etc. Being responsive to the critical issues of our day in ways that bring prehistory and history into a vital relationship with the present while actively engaging citizens, helps to justify the public funding of archaeology and its teachings.



The ‘Other Grand Challenge’: Archaeological Education & Pedagogy in the Next 50 Years (Part 1) – CIBC Hub, Rosza Centre, U of Calgary

1:30     Meaghan Peuramaki-Brown (Athabasca University) Hands Back, Hands Forward: Learning and Sharing Archaeology Through Education and Pedagogy – Part 1

1:50     Mike Corbishley (Institute of Archaeology, University College London/University of Kent/Athens University of Economics and Business) Archaeology in Education: Where do we want to be in fifty years?   

2:10     John R. Welch, David Burley, Erin Hogg, Kanthi Jayasundera, David Maxwell, George Nicholas, and Janet Pivnick (Simon Fraser University), Christopher D. Dore (Heritage Business International and SFU), Joanne Hammond (Pacific Heritage and SFU), and Michael Klassen (Klahani Research and SFU) An Online Professional Master's Program in Heritage Resource Management: Digital bridges across disciplinary, practical and pedagogical divides

2:30     Adrian Praetzellis (Sonoma State University) Archaeological Theory Without Tears

2:50     Break 

3:10     Danny Zborover and Ran Boytner (Institute for Field Research) Archaeology Field Schools: Where have we been, where are we going?

3:30     Christine Cluney (McMaster University) Revisiting the Role of Experiential Learning Through the Archaeological Laboratory

3:50     Kisha Supernant (University of Alberta) Archaeological Pedagogy, Indigenous Content, and the TRC Calls to Action: An Indigenous archaeologist’s perspective on the next 50 years of teaching Indigenous archaeology

4:10     C. Matthew Saunders and students (Davidson Day School, North Carolina) Hands Back, Hands Forward: Learning and Sharing Archaeology Through Education and Pedagogy – Part 2

FRIDAY, Nov. 10, AM

The ‘Other Grand Challenge’: Archaeological Education & Pedagogy in the Next 50 Years (Part 2) – CIBC Hub

9:00     Kevin Brownlee (The Manitoba Museum), William Dumas (Manitoba First Nation Education Resource Centre) and Myra Sitchon (Government of Manitoba) Six Seasons of the Rocky Cree: Collaborative Education model based on archaeological research

9:20     Christie Grekul (Yukon Beringia Interpretive Centre) and Cynthia Zutter (MacEwan University) The value of experiential education: Developing collaborative internship opportunities for archaeology students

9:40     Todd Kristensen and Courtney Lakevold (Historic Resources Management Branch, Alberta Culture and Tourism) Outreach, Protection, and Legislation: The role of heritage managers in archaeological education

10:00   Oula Seitsonen (University of Helsinki, Finland) Archaeology, National Identity and Globalization

10:20   Break

10:40   Shawn Morton (Northern Arizona University) and Peter Dawson (University of Calgary) Digitally Preserving Heritage Through Virtual Tourism: Case studies from Belize and Canada

11:00   Christopher Sims (Codifi) Taught Yet Malleable: Presenting Research-Based Knowledge as Content in Digital Media

11:20   Meigan Henry (Hakai Magazine & Hakai Institute) Media and the Role of Storytelling in Archaeology

11:40   Joanne Lea (Lakehead University) Session Discussant

FRIDAY, Nov. 10, PM

Session working group, 1:30-4:30pm, ES 822


Kevin Brownlee is a member of Kinosao Sipi Cree Nation (Norway House). In 2003 Kevin became the Curator of Archaeology at the Manitoba Museum. He has worked for the Government of Manitoba as Aboriginal Liaison Officer for the Archaeology Unit. Brownlee has spent his career working with Indigenous communities raising the importance of ancient heritage and archaeology to contemporary communities especially youth. His research focuses on the archaeology of Manitoba’s boreal forest and the emerging field of Indigenous Archaeology.

Christine Cluney beganher archaeological career at the University of Calgary in 1997, completing her BSc in archaeology in 2002. She was actively involved in the archaeology department, a Chacmool executive for three years (treasurer, and then president), co-editor for three Chacmool volumes from the 25th, 27th, and 33rd annual conferences, a frequent volunteer, and part of the team that began the Programme for Public archaeology under the direction of Dr. Dale Walde. She won the Bea Loveseth Award for best student paper in 2003 at the 36th Chacmool conference, after starting her Master’s degree in Anthropology at McMaster University. At McMaster, she continued her interest in volunteering as a graduate student representative and copy editor. Her particular interests were in island archaeology and marine fauna, beginning at the Antigua archaeological field school, run out of the University of Calgary at the time. Upon completion of her Master’s in 2004, she obtained her B.Ed and taught high school geography and family studies during the day at the Peel public school board in Mississauga, and for the Adult Education Centre in the evenings. In 2008, she decided to return to McMaster as a Senior Grants advisor to professors applying for SSHRC program grants, and jumped at the chance to work again in archaeology as the Instructional Assistant for the Department of Anthropology, where she remains today. Christine is a staunch supporter of student development through volunteer work at the McMaster archaeology teaching lab. Currently, she is completing her PhD part-time, expanding her marine fauna repertoire to the South Pacific under the direction of Dr. Aubrey Cannon. More recently, through her graduate classes, she has developed interests in Ontario historical archaeology, specifically foodways and tourism at Dundurn Castle in Hamilton.

Christie Grekul is currently the Manager of the Yukon Beringia Interpretive Centre in Whitehorse, Yukon.  She moved from Alberta to the Yukon in 2016.  Prior to that she had been conducting archaeology in Alberta and Saskatchewan for 12 years, and her research interests include Great Plains archaeology, public archaeology, zooarchaeology, and precontact bison hunting.  From 2010 to 2016, Christie was the Project Director of the Bodo Archaeological Society, a non-profit organization that undertakes archaeological research, public interpretation, and educational programming at the Bodo Archaeological Site in east central Alberta. She has also worked with the Learning Network creating and promoting critical challenge based–inquiry lessons on archaeology for social studies classrooms.  Christie was also the Provincial Coordinator for the Archaeological Society of Alberta for three years and has taught archaeology courses for the Faculty of Extension at the University of Alberta.

Meigan Henry Based out of Victoria, British Columbia, is the video producer and editor for both Hakai Magazine ( and the Hakai Institute ( Before she moved back to Canada, she worked as an editorial producer for the Digital Studio at Smithsonian Enterprises, and as Director of Production for the Missions Media division of the National Geographic Society in Washington, D.C. Meigan is passionate about working with scientists, artists, and communicators towards the shared goal of creating engaging and accurate science media.

Todd Kristensen works at the Archaeological Survey of Alberta (Canada) as a Regional Archaeologist and oversees cultural resource management projects in northwest Alberta. Since beginning at the Archaeological Survey in 2013, he has spearheaded a number of outreach projects designed to encourage the appreciation and protection of Alberta’s heritage. Todd is also a PhD candidate at the University of Alberta where he utilizes archaeometric techniques applied to stone tools in order to study human adaptations to boreal forest and subarctic landscapes in Northwest Territories, Yukon, and northern Alberta.    

Joanne Lea has worked and published in the field of Public Archaeology in Canada and internationally. She served on the Public Education committee for the Society for American Archaeology (SAA) and as committee chair for the Canadian Archaeological Association (CAA). Joanne holds degrees in Archaeology from Wilfrid Laurier University, and the University of Calgary, in Education from Lakehead University, and a PhD in Public Archaeology from the International Centre for Cultural and Heritage Studies at the University of Newcastle in the UK. She has worked as an archaeologist, a museum administrator in education and interpretation, a teacher and a lecturer, and has participated in numerous community initiatives to acknowledge heritage.

Shawn Morton is presently a full-time Lecturer in the Department of Anthropology at Northern Arizona University (NAU), and holds formal research appointments with the University of Calgary (UC) and Michigan State University (MSU). He graduated with an M.A. and Ph.D. from the Department of Archaeology at UC.  He specializes in Mesoamerican archaeology, with a notable interest in the Classic Period Maya (ca. 250-900 CE) and is particularly drawn to questions related to socio-political development, urbanism, and community identity. Given the nature of Maya governance, more often than not, his research incorporates elements of ritual and religion.  Methodologically, most of his research has involved the combination of archaeological science—particularly data visualization and spatial analysis/archaeoinformatics—Mesoamerican archaeology, ethnography, and history.  To this extent, his work seeks to bridge the divide between archaeological science and social interpretation.  Finally, he is a rabid pizza-fan... Don't get between him and a slice of Margherita!

Meaghan Peuramäki-Brown is an Assistant Professor of Archaeology in the Anthropology Program at Athabasca University in Alberta. She received her BA in Archaeology from the University of Calgary (2003); an MA in Artefact Studies from the University College London (2004); and a PhD in Archaeology from the University of Calgary (2013). Her research is conducted primarily in Belize, Central America, and her undergraduate teaching is conducted entirely online—together allowing for her sometimes ‘unique’ perspectives on archaeological education and pedagogy for today and tomorrow.

Adrian Praetzellis’ first archaeological experience was at Mucking, a Saxon site in southern England, where he spent July of 1969 shelping gravel in the rain. From 1983 to 2016 he taught archaeology and cultural resources management at Sonoma State University in California. Adrian is the author/illustrator of Death by Theory (2000 and 2011) and Dug to Death (2003), two archaeology textbooks pretending to be silly murder mystery novels. His most recent attempt to make theory palatable is Archaeological Theory in a Nutshell (2015) that one reviewer described as a “bad example of professional writing.”

Mat Saunders is an Upper School teacher of anthropology, mythology, and world cultures, and Director of Field Study Programs at Davidson Day School in North Carolina.

Oula Seitsonen is a geographer and archaeologist from the University of Helsinki. He is currently studying the archaeology of Hitler’s arctic war in Lapland as part of the Lapland's Dark Heritage Project.

Chris Sims got his start in archaeology in Belize with the Belize Valley Archaeological Reconnaissance project. He has since worked as a CRM archaeologist all over the United States; done studies on Paleolithic sites in Portugal; worked with sustainability and alternative transportation programs; and, more recently, pivoted to data management, software development, and public archaeology. He’s the host of the Go Dig a Hole podcast and Vice President of the paperless data company, Codifi. He also volunteers his summers with AFAR, teaching high school students at archaeology field schools.

Kisha Supernant is Métis and an Associate Professor of Anthropology at the University of Alberta. She received her PhD from the University of British Columbia in 2011.  Her research with Indigenous communities in Canada explores how archaeologists and communities can build collaborative research relationships and work toward shared goals. Her research interests include the relationship between emerging cultural identities, landscapes, and the use of space; Métis archaeology; Indigenous archaeologies; and heart-centered archaeological practice. She specializes in the application of mapping and methods to the human past and present, including the role of digital mapping and GIS spatial analysis in archaeological research. Her current research project, Exploring Métis Identity Through Archaeology (EMITA), takes a relational approach to exploring the material past of Métis communities, including her own family, in western Canada. She has published in local and international journals on GIS in archaeology, collaborative archaeological practice, indigenous archaeology, and conceptual mapping in digital humanities.

John R. Welch is aprofessor, jointly appointed in The Department of Archaeology and the School of Resource and Environmental Management at Simon Fraser University in British Columbia. Welchworks with indigenous communities on projects at the interface of indigenous peoples’ sovereignty—rights and responsibilities derived from authority over people and territory—and stewardship—sustainable and broadly beneficial uses of sociocultural and biophysical inheritances. Welch is a founding member of the board of the Fort Apache Heritage Foundation and directs SFU Archaeology’s online Professional Graduate Program in Heritage Resource Management.

Danny Zborover is the Academic Director of Archaeology at the Institute for Field Research, where he directs the Oaxaca-Pacific Rim field school and coordinates over 40 other programs around the world. He received his PhD from the University of Calgary and his MA from Leiden University, held postdoctoral positions at UC San Diego and Brown University, and taught at UCLA and UCSD. As an anthropological and historical archaeologist, Dr. Zborover has conducted archaeological, historical, and ethnographic research in southern and northern Mexico, exploring diverse themes such as colonialism, territoriality, literacy, mobility, and social memory. In addition, he participated in archaeological projects in Canada, Ecuador, and Israel, among others. 


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AU Anthropology Interest Group

AU Anthropology Interest Group

A group for those interested in socio-cultural anthropology, archaeology, biological anthropology, and linguistic anthropology