Past Event

Challenges in the Protection and Conservation of Archaeological Resources In the National Capital Region

Larrimac Golf Club, September 27, 2023

Ian Badgley has been an archaeologist since 2009 with the National Capital Commission, in a multi-faceted role, which he says involves “finding, recovering, interpreting and managing artifacts that tell the story of our cultural heritage.” The erosion of ancient shorelines due to climate change has been recognized as a global crisis in archaeology. While the impacts of this are most often represented as a coastal problem caused by sea level rise, archaeological resources located on inland lake and river shorelines are equally threatened by increased frequency and severity of storms and flooding. The National Capital Region is no exception, where a marked acceleration in the erosion of pre-contact archaeological sites has been noted in recent years. The continuing destruction of these sites represents a disaster for the Anishinabe Algonquin Nation, whose history and cultural legacy is literally being washed away.

The National Capital Commission launched the Assessment and Rescue of Archaeological Legacy (ARAL) project in 2018, to addresses the damage caused by the ongoing erosion of shorelines in the region. The initial phase of the project focused on auditing and re-documenting known archaeological sites, and the survey of shorelines along a section of the Ottawa River that have not been previously explored archaeologically. This phase provided the baseline information required to understand the current impact on, and future risk to, the pre-contact archaeological sites in the region. Following a summary of the pre-contact history in the region, the current results of ARAL and preliminary protective measures will be presented. Consideration of long term solutions, including the full and direct involvement of the Anishinabe Algonquins in the stewardship of their archaeological legacy are discussed.

Viseo of presentation