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Vikings of L’Anse aux Meadows

Frequently Axed Questions About the Vikings of L’Anse aux Meadows

archaeology, Newfoundland, L_Anse_aux_Meadows, Vikings

Did Vikings come to the New World? Yes. Are we talkin’ Ragnar and Lagertha? No. What’s a L’Anse aux Meadows? Newfoundland’s L’Anse aux Meadows is a Canadian National heritage site and it was also declared a world heritage site by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in 1972 (Kristensen & Curtis 2012, 70). It is marketed for archaeological tourism that focuses on the fact that it is the first and only pre-Colombian Norse settlement in North America. In addition to viewing the ruins and re-creations of Norse structures, visitors who make the 12hr drive north from St. John’s can participate in “traditional” Viking games, arts and crafts (Newfoundland and Labrador Tourism). The site is also notable for having been occupied by numerous Indigenous peoples for thousands of years (Kristensen & Curtis 2012, 71). Despite this, public interest in the Norse dominates the narrative of the site. Read more

Changing Landscapes: London Parks

Springbank and Victoria Parks are two well know London Parks.  The archaeology of these parks reveals a history that stretches over 12,000 years in London that includes aboriginal, pioneer, and early military functions. With new development and reuse of our landscape,  London’s history can be studied through excavated archaeological sites, archived stories, maps, and photographs.  Part of the Changing Landscapes exhibit at MOA, Springbank and Victoria Parks illustrate how our use of the land has changed over time.

Springbank Park, Byron Ontario

London Parks - Springbank Park including Northern Hotel 1880
The Pumphouse complex, including the Northern Hotel, in 1880 before the flood in 1883.

Located in Byron Ontario, Springbank Park is a multi-use park consisting of gardens, nature trails, bicycle paths, grassed and natural areas along the Thames River. Springbank park is part of the Springbank Cultural Heritage Landscape and is highly valued by Londoners since its history and memories weave the past with the present while contributing to the community’s sense of identity and rich cultural fabric. Through historical research and archaeological findings, we can piece together the history of Springbank Park and it’s changing landscape. Read more

Why Mission Matters

Why_Question

Do you know why you do what you do? Mission does matter.

I am always amazed, when I sit back and think about it, how much goes on behind the scenes at the Museum of Ontario Archaeology.   I like to compare museums to icebergs – because what you see when you visit is just a small part of everything that is going on.  From working with the collection, researching exhibits, planning programs and events to the things we rarely consider as “museum work” but are critical to any business, like marketing, managing the finances, fundraising, and health and safety just to name a few – museums are busy places.  It’s because museums are so busy that our mission matters.

For all of this activity to have meaning, everything we do must flow from a deep sense of purpose  – our mission matters.  It’s through our mission that we articulate our reason for existing.  How we strive to serve our communities,  meet our public trust responsibilities, and hopefully make a difference in the lives of the people we serve. Read more

Oneida and Anishinaabe Language Exhibit

Oneida and Huron Language Exhibit

The Creator gifted each human being with a voice and language to use. Indigenous languages are verb-based rather than noun-based. They tend to describe people, places, and things instead of labelling them. Within southern Ontario, Indigenous languages are no longer peoples’ mother tongue. However, more Indigenous people are revitalizing and preserving their languages. Indigenous languages carry a peoples’ culture and whole philosophy in life. This is why it is so crucial to keep Indigenous languages alive. Many Indigenous people have lost some of their ways and traditions, so the best approach to retaining knowledge and tradition is to relearn their language.

Shekoli/aanii/hello, the Museum of Ontario Archaeology will be incorporating a new exhibition focused on Indigenous languages. The Onʌyota’a·ká· (Oneida) and Anishinaabe (Ojibwe) languages will be highlighted within this new feature exhibition. The curator at the Museum of Ontario Archaeology, Nicole Aszalos, had approached me and asked if I could assist her in putting together an exhibition on Indigenous languages. I had agreed to help since it is in my line of work. I have a passion for our Indigenous languages because it is in my blood – it is a part of who I am. My primary focus is on Oneida language right now, and I thought it would be a great idea to include another Indigenous language since we are all so diverse. I asked Monty McGahey to do an Ojibwe language piece for the exhibition, since he is knowledgeable and works within his community, Chippewa of the Thames, on keeping the language alive Read more