As discussed in previous posts, the E’se’get Archaeology Project is designed as a community archaeology project, with significant input from Acadia First Nation and other stakeholders. On Monday and Tuesday, with generous assistance from the Nova Scotia Department of Natural Resources, we hosted Mi’kmaw “Community Archaeology Days” in Thomas Raddall Provincial Park. The events consisted of a tour of the current archaeological excavations, followed by an opportunity to see the artifacts recovered to date, and finally a barbeque prepared by my crew and collaborators (who all did an amazing job).
Unlike a formal lecture, these events are a great opportunity to meet community members and discuss the project with them face to face. Often the conversations lead to their recounting oral histories heard from elders, or experiences of finding archaeological materials on their properties and/or journeys. Such interaction can lead to organic development of new research questions and strategies, as community members discuss the subjects that interest them about the past. This is the basis of community archaeology – directly involving the community in shaping new research designs and projects, while communicating the results of the archaeology as it is being discovered.