February Meeting Announcement


Join us on Fri­day, Feb­ru­ary 8th at 7:00 pm in Room 132 of the Archae­ol­o­gy Build­ing (55 Cam­pus Dri­ve) for our next meet­ing! Cara Pol­lio (West­ern Her­itage) will be pre­sent­ing on “Archae­o­log­i­cal Inves­ti­ga­tions at the No. 39 Swift Cur­rent Fly­ing Train­ing Ser­vices School”. All are wel­come!

Abstract: Archae­o­log­i­cal Inves­ti­ga­tions at the No. 39 Swift Cur­rent Fly­ing Train­ing Ser­vices School
The Swift Cur­rent Muse­um is inves­ti­gat­ing a report­ed buried pit asso­ci­at­ed with the dis­pos­al of World War II era mate­ri­als from the No. 39 Swift Cur­rent Fly­ing Train­ing Ser­vices School (S.F.T.S.). In 2015, the Swift Cur­rent Muse­um con­tract­ed West­ern Her­itage to com­plete a near sur­face geo­phys­i­cal sur­vey (NGS), using Ground Pen­e­trat­ing Radar (GPR) and mag­ne­tom­e­try, of cer­tain areas of the present-day Swift Cur­rent Air­base, where the pit was thought to be locat­ed. The NGS result­ed in the iden­ti­fi­ca­tion of sev­er­al anom­alies that were flagged for inves­ti­ga­tion. Three trench­es were exca­vat­ed in 2016 to inves­ti­gate the anom­alies. The trench­es revealed strati­graph­ic infor­ma­tion about the site and pro­duced mul­ti­ple diag­nos­tic his­toric arti­facts. The pre­sen­ta­tion, will review the project con­text, the results of the NGS and trench­ing work, and the arti­fact analy­sis of the col­lect­ed mate­ri­als from the trench­ing and ground sur­face col­lec­tion.

Biog­ra­phy:
Cara Pol­lio is a con­sult­ing archae­ol­o­gist work­ing for West­ern Her­itage out of Regi­na. She has 15 years of archae­o­log­i­cal expe­ri­ence work­ing exten­sive­ly in Saskatchewan, Alber­ta, and Man­i­to­ba. She has worked with pub­lic non-prof­it orga­ni­za­tions, uni­ver­si­ty field schools, provin­cial gov­ern­ment agen­cies, and var­i­ous petro­le­um, min­ing, and forestry com­pa­nies and has expe­ri­ence in all of the geo­graph­ic regions (espe­cial­ly the plains, park­land, and bore­al for­est) of Saskatchewan, Alber­ta, and Man­i­to­ba. Her areas of exper­tise are archae­o­log­i­cal con­sul­ta­tion for indus­try and zooar­chae­ol­o­gy with a spe­cif­ic focus on Cana­di­an his­toric and pre-con­tact fau­nal analy­sis. Her MA the­sis (U of S) was a Scan­ning Elec­tron Micro­scope study of cut marks on bison remains from Fish Creek park in Cal­gary.

January Meeting Announcement


Join us on Fri­day, Jan­u­ary 11th at 7:00 pm in Room 132 of the Archae­ol­o­gy Build­ing (55 Cam­pus Dri­ve) for the first lec­ture of 2019! Angela Burant and Olen­ka Kaw­chuk (Depart­ment of Archae­ol­o­gy and Anthro­pol­o­gy, Uni­ver­si­ty of Saskatchewan) will be pre­sent­ing “shíshálh Archae­o­log­i­cal Research Project: An Expe­ri­ence in Com­mu­ni­ty Archae­ol­o­gy”. All are wel­come!

Abstract: shíshálh Archae­o­log­i­cal Research Project: An Expe­ri­ence in Com­mu­ni­ty Archae­ol­o­gy
Oper­at­ing since 2008, the shíshálh Archae­o­log­i­cal Research Project (sARP) is a col­lab­o­ra­tion between researchers at the Uni­ver­si­ty of Saskatchewan and the shíshálh nation, which recent­ly signed a land­mark rec­on­cil­i­a­tion agree­ment with the gov­ern­ment of British Colum­bia. Direct­ed by Dr. Ter­ence Clark, the project works close­ly with mem­bers of the com­mu­ni­ty to inves­ti­gate long-term pat­terns of land and resource use with­in shíshálh lands. A pri­ma­ry aim of the project is to increase knowl­edge of shíshálh cul­ture his­to­ry with­in the com­mu­ni­ty itself, as well as with­in the broad­er dis­course of the region. Last sum­mer, sARP offered a field school through the Uni­ver­si­ty of Saskatchewan for the first time.

Under­grad­u­ate stu­dents had the oppor­tu­ni­ty to gain expe­ri­ence in sur­vey, exca­va­tion, and pub­lic out­reach all while study­ing the cul­ture his­to­ry of the Coast Sal­ish region of British Colum­bia. The field school encour­aged com­mu­ni­ty involve­ment and rela­tion­ship build­ing between stu­dents and com­mu­ni­ty mem­bers, two cen­tral pil­lars of com­mu­ni­ty archae­ol­o­gy. sARP and this field school rep­re­sent impor­tant steps toward wide­spread col­lab­o­ra­tion between archae­ol­o­gists and Indige­nous com­mu­ni­ties.

Biog­ra­phy:
Angela Burant is a fourth year archae­ol­o­gy stu­dent at the Uni­ver­si­ty of Saskatchewan. She is inter­est­ed in house­hold archae­ol­o­gy and plans to do her mas­ters under Dr. Ter­ence Clark on sites in shíshálh lands of British Colum­bia. Angela vol­un­teers at the Saskatchewan Archae­o­log­i­cal Soci­ety and is an exec­u­tive mem­ber of the Saska­toon Archae­o­log­i­cal Soci­ety. She is also the Vice Pres­i­dent of the Archae­ol­o­gy and Anthro­pol­o­gy Stu­dents’ Asso­ci­a­tion.

Olen­ka Kaw­chuk is also an archae­ol­o­gy stu­dent in her fourth year at the Uni­ver­si­ty of Saskatchewan. Her areas of inter­est include com­mu­ni­ty archae­ol­o­gy, mor­tu­ary archae­ol­o­gy, and pub­lic archae­ol­o­gy. She plans to pur­sue her master’s degree under the super­vi­sion of Dr. Ter­ence Clark work­ing with the Nation­al Cen­tre for Truth and Rec­on­cil­i­a­tion to locate miss­ing grave  at Cana­di­an Res­i­den­tial Schools. She is also the cur­rent trea­sur­er of the Archae­ol­o­gy and Anthro­pol­o­gy Stu­dents’ Asso­ci­a­tion.

December Meeting Announcement

Join us on Fri­day, Decem­ber 7th at 7:00 pm in Room 132 of the Archae­ol­o­gy Build­ing (55 Cam­pus Dri­ve) for our Christ­mas lec­ture! Dr. Ernie Walk­er (Depart­ment of Archae­ol­o­gy and Anthro­pol­o­gy, Uni­ver­si­ty of Saskatchewan) will be pre­sent­ing “The Hope and Promise of Wanuskewin Her­itage Park Part 2: An Update”. All are wel­come! Feel free to bring some hol­i­day good­ies to share!

Abstract: The Hope and Promise of Wanuskewin Her­itage Park Part 2: An Update
The tran­scen­dent nature of Wanuskewin Her­itage Park from a small cat­tle ranch to a poten­tial World Her­itage Site is an epic Cana­di­an sto­ry that has cap­tured the imag­i­na­tion of a diverse seg­ment of the com­mu­ni­ty both region­al­ly and  nation­al­ly. In a pre­vi­ous pre­sen­ta­tion to the SAS, the Wanuskewin Project was dis­cussed in terms of the his­to­ry of Park devel­op­ment, ongo­ing archae­o­log­i­cal research, and future plans. Since that time, a num­ber of dra­mat­ic events have tak­en place includ­ing the tremen­dous suc­cess of the Thun­der­ing Ahead Nation­al Cam­paign and inclu­sion of the Park on the UNESCO Ten­ta­tive List for World Her­itage Site inscrip­tion. This pre­sen­ta­tion is intend­ed to pro­vide an update of cur­rent devel­op­ments and activ­i­ties at the Park as well as a pre­view of what lies ahead.

Biog­ra­phy:
Dr. Ernie Walk­er is a Dis­tin­guished Pro­fes­sor in the Depart­ment of Archae­ol­o­gy and Anthro­pol­o­gy at the Uni­ver­si­ty of Saskatchewan. Born in Saska­toon, he com­plet­ed his Bed, BA (Hons), and MA at the U of S. In 1980, he com­plet­ed his doc­tor­ate at the Uni­ver­si­ty of Texas. Dr. Walk­er is a high­ly accom­plished uni­ver­si­ty pro­fes­sor, plains archae­ol­o­gist, and foren­sic anthro­pol­o­gist. He was the dri­ving force behind the estab­lish­ment of Wanuskewin Her­itage Park and cur­rent­ly plays a key role in the revi­tal­iza­tion and expan­sion of the park. He has received many hon­ors and awards, includ­ing the Saskatchewan Order of Mer­it in 2001, the Order of Cana­da in 2004, and the 3M Teach­ing Fel­low­ship in 2007.

November Meeting Announcement

Join us on Fri­day, Novem­ber 23rd at 7:00 pm in Room 132 of the Archae­ol­o­gy Build­ing (55 Cam­pus Dri­ve) for our Novem­ber lec­ture! Tim Panas (Depart­ment of Inter­dis­ci­pli­nary Stud­ies, Uni­ver­si­ty of Saskatchewan and Parks Cana­da) will be pre­sent­ing “Sand Dunes on the North­ern Plains: The Last 6,000 Years”. All are wel­come!

Abstract: Sand Dunes on the North­ern Plains: The Last 6,000 Years
Over the past forty years, archae­ol­o­gists have iden­ti­fied hun­dreds of Mid­dle and Late Pre­con­tact archae­o­log­i­cal sites in sand dune areas across the North­ern Plains. Vary­ing from iso­lat­ed finds to com­plex mul­ti-com­po­nent sites, they rep­re­sent a set of com­plex and inte­grat­ed behav­iours that to date have not been exam­ined in a holis­tic man­ner across both time and space. When done so, a com­plex pat­tern of per­cep­tion and usage emerges that goes beyond these regions being nat­ur­al areas that are used for eco­nom­ic pur­pos­es. This con­cept will be exam­ined through the use of mul­ti­ple infor­ma­tion sources, includ­ing ethno­gra­phies, oral and writ­ten his­to­ries, envi­ron­men­tal data, and the archae­o­log­i­cal record.

Biog­ra­phy:
Tim Panas obtained his Bach­e­lor of Arts degree in Anthro­pol­o­gy from the Uni­ver­si­ty of Alber­ta, and his Mas­ters in Anthro­pol­o­gy from the Uni­ver­si­ty of Mon­tana. Cur­rent­ly, he is com­plet­ing his PhD in Inter­dis­ci­pli­nary Stud­ies from the Uni­ver­si­ty of Saskatchewan, focus­ing on holis­tic inter­pre­ta­tions of sand dunes on the North­ern Plains. His pro­fes­sion­al expe­ri­ence in archae­ol­o­gy and anthro­pol­o­gy spans over twen­ty years, and includes work­ing with the Roy­al Alber­ta Muse­um, the Cana­di­an Muse­um of His­to­ry, the Archae­o­log­i­cal Sur­vey of Alber­ta, SaskPow­er, numer­ous uni­ver­si­ties, and pri­vate con­sult­ing firms. Cur­rent­ly, he is serv­ing as the Cul­tur­al Resource Man­age­ment Advi­sor for the South Saskatchewan Field Unit of Parks Cana­da, as well as in a sup­port and advi­so­ry capac­i­ty for research projects with the Roy­al Saskatchewan Muse­um and the First Nations Uni­ver­si­ty of Cana­da.

October Meeting Announcement — First Lecture of Fall 2018!


Join us on Fri­day, Octo­ber 12th at 7:00 pm in Room 132 of the Archae­ol­o­gy Build­ing (55 Cam­pus Dri­ve) for our first meet­ing of Fall 2018! Dr. James Basinger (Depart­ment of Geo­log­i­cal Sci­ences, Uni­ver­si­ty of Saskatchewan) will be pre­sent­ing “Fos­sil Forests of the Cana­di­an High Arc­tic: A Win­dow into Polar Envi­ron­ments Dur­ing a Peri­od of Glob­al Warmth”. All are wel­come!

Abstract: Cana­di­an High Arc­tic: A Win­dow into Polar Envi­ron­ments Dur­ing a Peri­od of Glob­al Warmth
Cli­mate change is dom­i­nat­ing our glob­al envi­ron­men­tal con­scious­ness, and Humanity’s role in glob­al warm­ing is now a mat­ter of con­sen­sus among the sci­en­tif­ic com­mu­ni­ty. Our impact on Earth’s cli­mate, and the con­se­quence, in turn, on ecosys­tems, exists, how­ev­er, with­in the con­text of con­stant change. The fos­sil record illus­trates Earth’s chang­ing cli­mate, and nowhere is the con­trast between past and present so vivid as in the polar regions.

Remains of ancient polar com­mu­ni­ties are pre­served in the Cana­di­an High Arc­tic, most notably on Axel Heiberg Island, where mum­mi­fied fos­sil forests of Mid­dle Eocene age (45 mil­lion years old) are found. Tree stumps are still root­ed in their ancient soils, and for­est-floor lit­ters are pre­served in exquis­ite detail. As revealed by these fos­sils, the Arc­tic once host­ed tow­er­ing cedars and dawn red­woods, rich hard­wood forests of wal­nut, oak, sycamore, and birch, and upland forests of pine, larch, and spruce. Lush veg­e­ta­tion thrived in the warm, humid polar envi­ron­ment of this “Green­house Earth”, and arc­tic tun­dra and ice did not exist.

Glob­al cli­mate has changed dra­mat­i­cal­ly, as first the South­ern, then the North­ern Hemi­sphere slipped inex­orably into an Ice Age. Arc­tic fos­sils help us under­stand how Earth’s cli­mate changes and appre­ci­ate the impact of glob­al cli­mate change. These great changes in cli­mate occur nat­u­ral­ly in response to evo­lu­tion of the Earth Sys­tem, pro­found­ly alter­ing Earth’s bios­phere over geo­log­i­cal time. Humans have become agents of cli­mate change, and we must antic­i­pate our impact on Earth’s envi­ron­ments. Per­haps the Arc­tic fos­sil record may serve as a win­dow onto both the past and the future.

Biog­ra­phy:
Dr. James Basinger received a B.Sc. in Bot any at the Uni­ver­si­ty of Alber­ta. He then earned an M.Sc. in 1976 and Ph.D in 1979 at the Uni­ver­si­ty of Alber­ta in Pale­ob­otany. After two years as a post­doc­tor­al fel­low in the U.S.A., Aus­tralia, and Cana­da, he joined the fac­ul­ty of the Depart­ment of Geo­log­i­cal Sci­ences in the Col­lege of Arts and Sci­ence at the Uni­ver­si­ty of Saskatchewan in 1981. He served as Head of the Depart­ment of Geo­log­i­cal Sci­ences from 1997–2003, Asso­ciate Dean Sci­ence from 2004–2007, and Asso­ciate Vice-Pres­i­dent Research from 2008–2016.

His research pro­gram on the evo­lu­tion of plants and envi­ron­ments has includ­ed exten­sive field-based research in West­ern Cana­da and the Cana­di­an High Arc­tic. Since 1982 he has inves­ti­gat­ed the remains of fos­sil plants in north­ern­most Cana­da and was involved in the much-pub­li­cized dis­cov­ery of the 45–60 mil­lion- year-old fos­sil forests of Axel Heiberg and Ellesmere islands. These fos­sil forests pro­vide a win­dow into Earth’s past, to a time when glob­al cli­mate was much warmer than present, and forests exist­ed through­out the polar regions. His arc­tic research has also brought to light one of the best sources of some of the world’ s old­est land plants, in 400-mil­lion-year-old rocks of Bathurst Island, in the cen­tral Arc­tic Arch­i­pel­ago of Cana­da.