Please join us for a UNLV Anthropology Talk, given by Dr. Kisha Supernant. Dr. Supernant is the Director of the Institute of Prairie and Indigenous Archaeology and Associate Professor of Anthropology at the University of Calgary. There is space for a limited number of audience members to watch the livestream in-person (in CBC C120) or one can register to obtain the WebEx access link to watch online.
Sensing the Past: Integrating Indigenous Knowledge and Digital Archaeology
Over the past 25 years, archaeologists and Indigenous peoples have developed collaborative approaches to understanding the past, bringing together different systems of knowledge in productive and meaningful ways. Challenges remain, however, in integrating Indigenous knowledge systems into digital archaeological research, in part because the underlying structures of digital archaeology are based on non-Indigenous ways of knowing. In this paper, I explore how different forms of digital archaeology, including GIS, remote-sensing, and database construction, can be more attentive to Indigenous worldviews. The application of these technologies in respectful ways has become increasingly important as Indigenous communities are searching for unmarked graves of their children who never returned home from institutions known as residential schools. Drawing on examples from my research with First Nations and Métis communities in western Canada, I explore where digital archaeology and Indigenous knowledge converge, as well as note where more work needs to be done to decolonize digital archaeology in order to incorporate Indigenous ways of knowing.