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Work Study Profile: Erik

Work study profile: Erik Skouris

How long have you worked at MOA?
I have been at the Museum of Ontario Archaeology for 6 months.

What is your job title and what do you do?
I am a Curatorial Assistant. I assist Joan Kanigan, the Executive Director, with various assigned and ongoing projects. This includes processing the Museum’s collections and registering, accessing, cataloguing, and shelving the museum’s existing objects. I also maintain inventory and documentation according to Ontario curatorial standards. I have prepared various reports regarding collection activities and conditions of archival objects as well. Currently, I am assisting in an exhibit design. The exhibition is titled, “What Archaeologists Do In The Winter”. Read more

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

February Palisade Newsletter

Click here to view this month’s February Palisade e-Post
What’s new:
– Winter Village Family Fun Day is coming up Family Day Monday, February 17 from 10 am – 4 pm.
Dog sledding, snowshoeing, snowsnake throwing, storytelling in the longhouse, Inuit games, kids games and crafts, Indigenous Foods café,  and more! Visit our new exhibit: Winter Archaeology to see what archaeologists do when the fields are frozen. Bring in your artifacts to ask an archaeologist to help identify them!
– Archaeology of the Fugitive Slave Chapel Site: artifact washing and cataloguing has been going on in MOA’s lab for the past month. Videos and blog posts on the volunteers you shouldn’t miss!
– Register now for March Break Camp : MOA Olympics March 10-14
– London Chapter OAS meeting: February 13 – Annual members night with presentations on various research topics from members.
– Sweat Lodge on February 14 at sunset.

Photographing Artifacts: FSC project

Photographing Fugitive Slave Chapel Artifacts 

Larry has volunteered to take photograph some of the important artifacts from the Fugitive Slave Chapel site. In the early afternoon, he was taking pictures of important bottles for future research.  We caught him photographing a medicine bottle with the words “pain killer” and “vegetable”. Researchers will find a date and more details about the product.

You can do a quick search for “pain killer vegetable bottle” on Google and see what you find! Who knows, the artifact featured in this video could be Perry Davis’ vegetable pain killer…

Photography and archaeology:

Read more

Cataloguing Artifacts

The attached videos feature Rebecca who is working on the “in between” step to help the cataloguer.  She is using an Excel spreadsheet to keep track of the items found in the field bags. If any interesting items are found or notes need to be made associated with the unit items being cleaned, they are documented. This will help the cataloguer and make it easy to access certain artifacts when all items are put into storage.

Artifacts are also sorted into smaller bags within the larger field bag. For example, ceramic patterns are sorted and matched if possible and bones might be put together.

Some of the coolest things that have been found are bottles with embossed writing. A lot of information can be gained from these bottles. One item was found to be from a quack doctor’s “miracle medicine” concoction. Read more

Artifact Washing: FSC Site

Artifact Washing Process:

Small groups of 6-8 people work to help wash artifacts from the Fugitive Slave Chapel site. In the summer, 1 meter square units were excavated on the site and any materials found in that space were documented and kept together in “field bags” with attached provenience information: site number, unit coordinates, level, date, and excavator’s initials. Each bag is given a separate number for the site. Artifacts from the completed units are taken to a lab for processing.

At the Museum of Ontario Archaeology, volunteers are taking items out of the field bags to wash. 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

January Palisade Newsletter

January 2014 Palisade e-Post Newsletter

Welcome to 2014! In this months’ newsletter:

  • Save the date for Winter Village Family Fun Day: Monday, February 17th
  • MOA gets a new logo
  • January 19th Moccasin Making Workshop
  • London Chapter OAS meeting January 9th
  • Flotation project at MOA (and upcoming exhibit)
  • Job Shadow student describes her experience at MOA this past December
  • Help a Child come to Camp

Click here to view the PDF: January Newsletter.
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