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Staff Profile: Joan Kanigan – Executive Director

Staff Profile Blog:  Joan Kanigan

joan

I joined the Museum of Ontario Archaeology as Executive Director in May of 2012.  This was an exciting change for me as it allowed me to merge two of my passions – museums and archaeology.  What excites me most about working at MOA is that I believe museums can profoundly change people, and that MOA has tremendous potential to inspire the archaeologist in everyone.  Museums are great for unleashing our natural curiosity, expand our understanding, and, broaden our sense of place in the world.  What makes MOA unique is the connection the museum has to past human experiences.  I believe museums connect people through shared experiences, and through archaeology, we can connect with the countless generations that have come before us.

Since joining the MOA team, the museum has seen many changes.  With input from many community members, we redeveloped our mission statement to clearly articulate our “why” what we do is important.  We have also created a new logo to support our belief that archaeology is (first and foremost) about people and that the role of the museum is also (first and foremost) to serve people.  We will soon start planning for a complete redesign of the museum’s permanent exhibits and I am looking forward to involving the community throughout the planning and design phases. Read more

Meet Laura: MOA’s Education Assistant

Meet Laura Walter, Education Assistant

Laura

I am in the Public History MA program, at Western University, and I am currently carrying out my research assistantship at the museum. I started last September, and was thrown into a very busy fall, with a different school group visiting, roughly every Monday and Wednesday that I was at the museum. I help with providing tours, conducting First Nations craft sessions, preparing curriculum based programming, and outreach programming. My favourite part of the position is getting to interact with the children, seeing their faces light up as they step back in time and learn about the First Nations people in Southern Ontario. Particularly with Museum School, which is an excellent program, as it allows for me and the others working in education to get to know the children, and see their knowledge of First Nations history and culture develop, as they spend their week at the museum.

Coming from Penetanguishene, and having previous experience at Huronia Museum, in Midland, I was expecting the museum to have the typical archaeological artifacts in rows of glass cases, but the gallery space is visually pleasing; with historical wall paintings, a hanging canoe, and longhouse, along with being interactive; as one can step into Wilfred Jury’s office or dig in an archaeological site. One of the great aspects of the school tours, is that children can physically handle artifacts, while learn about their purpose, to gain an overall idea of how these early people lived.

To those who are interested in volunteering at the museum in education, if you enjoy learning and sharing history and like a busy energetic environment, the education department can always use the extra hand, as the visiting group size increase all the time. Although, it is a lot of information at first, with time and practice, you will be able to increase your First Nations knowledge, communication skills, and time management ability, while having fun.

To follow my journey through the Public History program at Western University, check out my blog lwalter23.wordpress.com

Dakota’s blog “I found my Way”

Dakota

I Found My Way…

Sheko:li, my name is Dakota Ireland. My spirit name means She Gathers; I come from the Bear Clan within the Oneida Nation of the Thames. I have recently joined the staff here at the Museum of Ontario Archaeology. I am an Education Assistant Intern, so I help out with tours, workshops, activities, crafts, and other various areas of the museum, if needed. Before I got this job, my main background was in customer service and retail.

I wanted a change from my usual jobs, and I got started with Southwest Regional Healing Lodge, located in Muncey, as a Childcare Worker. I really enjoy working with children, so it was a step in the right direction. The job was not reliable though, so I continued searching. I wanted to work in a women’s shelter, but there were not any openings. Read more

Job Shadowing at MOA

The week of December 2nd, MOA welcomed Lindsay, a high school student from Alymer who spent a week taking part in a job shadowing experience.

Lindsay enjoyed her time at MOA where she worked with our collections and helped with educational programming.
Lindsay learned how to use PastPerfect software which is used to catalogue the collection. She handled artifacts and learned how they were stored for archival purposes. She even had a unique chance to tour Sustainable Archaeology. At the end of the week, she was more involved with educational programming, helping with pottery and soapstone pendant workshops and even sat in on some tours.

Have a listen to an interview between Jennifer (MOA’s Public Relation officer) and Lindsay about her time at MOA.

Board Members Wanted

The Museum of Ontario Archaeology is seeking creative and energetic Board Members.

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Do you believe museums can profoundly impact people and make a difference in the world? Are you a leader who likes building sustainable organizations? Do you enjoy solving core organizational challenges (i.e. limited resources, defining mission, governance structures, and risk management processes)?

We believe that the Museum has tremendous potential to become a place of inspiration where people can experience the excitement of discovery, come to a greater understanding of archaeology and First Nations history, and connect through shared experiences. We recognize that the Museum has some challenges to overcome, but we believe with perseverance and hard work our potential can be realized.

Affiliated with the University of Western Ontario, MOA is a registered charity that must raise 70% of its operating revenue annually. MOA is a small organization governed by a 13 member Board of Directors. Daily operations are managed by 5 staff. Read more