University of Calgary
Sociology & Anthropology
What it means to be a Killam Scholar
As a discipline, archaeology is dependent on public support and partnerships for our work to be relevant and valuable. The view of archaeology presented in the media (and consequently the commonly held perception of archaeology) is one in which action heroes such as Indiana Jones battle villains, collecting ancient treasures in exotic regions.
The reality, often overlooked, is frequently closer to home, with archaeologists commonly studying the rich heritage of First Nations and European history in Canada. Having my research recognized by the Killam Trusts, a prestigious organization with a history of funding first class research, is appreciated as it means that this organization has recognized the value of studying and promoting the heritage of the province of Alberta. Additionally, it provides an opportunity to bring awareness of these heritage resources to a wider, public audience. In partnership with the Killam Trusts, I hope to foster an awareness of both the rich cultural history of the province of Alberta and an increased appreciation of this heritage.
How Killam funding has been a benefit
One of the goals of my dissertation research is to foster an increased public awareness of the historic resources of the Northwestern Plains, particularly the history of the Alberta countryside and the issues facing local communities, including those of First Nations. Given that most of Alberta’s archaeological resources are located on private lands, any increased appreciation of the heritage value of these resources can only contribute to their long term preservation, as private landowner’s can become local stewards of these resources. The funding provided by the Killam Trusts will be a benefit to this endeavor, as it will provide the opportunity to travel to make presentations to local community organizations and schools, as well as national and international conferences. In addition, this funding will provide the opportunity for additional collaboration with local landowners in several southern Alberta communities.
Why I chose the University of Calgary
The Department of Archaeology at the University of Calgary is home to one of the premiere Plains archaeology programs in Canada. In addition, the Department of Geography at the University of Calgary offers a specialized Masters of GIS (MGIS program) which includes a number of respected scholars and the critical infrastructure for this aspect of my research. Working at the University of Calgary also provides easy access to my study region and to the Alberta community of professional archaeologists, with whom I propose to collaborate and for whom my graduate research may ultimately be of benefit. The proximity to my study area lowers the costs of field work associated with my research, allowing more sites to be re-visited. Finally, the University of Calgary is located within the traditional homeland of the Blackfoot people and faculty members in the Department of Archaeology are currently collaborating with members of the Siksika First Nation. Spatial proximity and these initiatives will, I hope, facilitate collaboration with the Blackfoot community.