Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Clayton Samuel King on family/doodem relationships

Please join us for a talk on Wednesday May 1st by

Clayton will be speaking as the Heritage and Culture Coordinator for Beausoleil First Nation. His presentation will focus on the family/doodem relationships that he has uncovered through his ten years of research. This presentation explores the written clan signatures in Treaties, petitions, requisitions, nominal roles and oral history regarding BFN and the Chippewa Tri -Council.

This meeting will be held in the Assembly Room on the lower level of the Midland Public Library starting at 7:00 PM 
- Open to the public at no charge.

Friday, April 12, 2019


While doing research regarding historical/archaeological sites that might be threatened by a change to the cultural landscape as a result of the proposed development of some industrial land across the Wye River from the Shrine and Ste. Marie I came across references to the settlement of Bruneauville. Bruneauville was a registered plan of subdivision for a village on the west side of the Wye River in the west 1/2 of lot 16 con 3 of Tay Township.

Saturday, March 16, 2019

“Alt-Wrong: Archaeology vs. the Populist Right”

Please join us for a talk by Paul Racher on
“Alt-Wrong: Archaeology Versus the Populist Right”
A look at the role of archaeologists as Canada and Ontario grapple with right wing populism.

At 7pm on Wednesday, April 10th in the Thompson Room at the North Simcoe Recreation Centre, Midland, Ontario
Open to public - No admission charge

Paul Racher is Vice-President, Operations of Archaeological Research Associates and teaches Cultural Resource Management at Wilfrid Laurier University. He has a B.A. in Prehistoric Archaeology from Wilfrid Laurier University and an M.A. in anthropology from McMaster University. He began his career as a heritage professional in 1986. Over the two and a half decades since, he has overseen the completion of several hundred archaeological and cultural heritage contracts. He holds professional licence #P-007 with the Ministry of Tourism, Culture, and Sport (MTCS). Paul is an Associate at the Heritage Resources Centre, a heritage think tank at the University of Waterloo, and a professional member of the Canadian Association of Heritage Professionals (CAHP). He also holds memberships in the Association of Professional Archaeologists (APA), and the past president of Ontario Archaeological Society (OAS).

Thursday, February 28, 2019

Métis History and Culture beyond Discovery Harbour

Join us for a presentation of
 Chapter meeting: Wednesday, March 13th, 2019
Where: North Simcoe Sports & Recreation Centre
Thompson Room - Time: 7 PM

  Chapter meetings are open to the public at no charge.
Join us for a presentation of
Métis History and Culture beyond Discovery Harbour
We will explore the historic and contemporary Métis through music and a presentation by the Red Hot Stove Pipe Band. The two founding members of this band, Basil Lafreniere and Marg Raynor, are descendants of Metis, Louis George Labatte & Julie Francoise Grouette, who migrated from Drummond Island to this area in 1828 and settled on the shores of Thunder Bay Beach. Family artifacts will be highlighted.

                                      Family artifacts will be highlighted.

   Labatte homestead, Built on Thunder Bay Beach in 1834 


Thursday, February 14, 2019

Karolyn Smardz Frost to speak on African Canadian History.

In recognition of Black History Month and Simcoe County’s own Black Heritage, the Huronia chapter is pleased welcome Dr. Karolyn Smardz Frost to speak at our February 27th members meeting.
Our meeting will be held at the North Simcoe Sports and Recreation Centre, Midland starting at 7: PM.
Our meetings are open to the general public at no charge.
Black church in Oro township

Karolyn Smardz Frost 

Both an archaeologist and an historian, Karolyn Smardz Frost explores North America's rich African American and African Canadian heritage and specializes in studying and teaching the Underground Railroad in the Great Lakes basin. She is an adjunct professor at both Acadia and Dalhousie Universities, and is consulting historical archaeologist for the Cataract House hotel excavations in Niagara Falls, New York.
She is also an accomplished author of lively and intriguing narrative non-fiction. In 2007 Karolyn won the Governor General's Award for I've Got a Home in Glory Land: A Lost Tale of the Underground Railroad.  Her co-edited A Fluid Frontier: Slavery, Resistance, and the Underground Railroad in the Detroit River Borderland (2016), won the Historical Society of Michigan Book Award.
Karolyn's newest volume, Steal Away Home (HarperCollins Canada 2016) tells the story of Cecelia Jane Reynolds, who at the age of fifteen fled her Kentucky by way of the Cataract House hotel at Niagara Falls NY. Reaching Toronto she learned to write and began a correspondence with Fanny, the woman who had once owned her body, asking the price of her own family's freedom. Thus began a twenty-year correspondence between a freedom-seeker and her former mistress that has no parallel in the annals of American slavery.
A finalist for the Atlantic Book and Heritage Toronto Awards, Steal Away Home won the Speaker's Award for the Legislative Assembly of Ontario and the J.J. Talman Award for the best book in Ontario history over the past three years. The most exciting news yet is that Steal Away Home has been optioned for a five-part mini-series by Conquering Lion Pictures, which produced the Book of Negroes for television! Karolyn will speak about the archaeology of the Underground Railroad, and tell the tale of not one but two excavations illuminating the life of freedom-seeker Cecelia Jane Reynolds.

Saturday, February 02, 2019

Artifacts transferred to Simcoe County Museum.

Jeff Monague, a resident of Christian Island, Pipe Carrier and representative from the Culture and; Heritage Committee of the Beausoleil First Nation.

On Feb. 1st, six members of the Huronia Chapter of the O.A.S attended a Pipe Ceremony held at the Simcoe County District School Board's Education Centre in Midhurst, Ontario. Two of the Huronia Chapter's attendees were Janet Turner and Jim Shropshire , both of whom were part of the archaeological team that excavated the Molson Site from May to October, 1985.
Hosting the event was Corry Van Nispen of the SCDSB and Darryl Wines of the Collections Department of the Simcoe County Museum.
The ceremony was conducted by Jeff Monague, a resident of Christian Island, Pipe Carrier and representative from the Culture and Heritage Committee of the Beausoleil First Nation.  A member of the chapter presented a gift of tobacco to Mr. Monague, paying honour and due respect to him at this occasion.
After the 1985 salvage excavation of the Molson Site, a 400+ year old Protohistoric settlement in south Barrie, many significant artifacts found there became part of an extensive display at the board office. Space at the board office is now at a premium and the decision was made that the best place for the artifacts, display cases and written information would be directly across the road at the Simcoe County Museum to expand its First Nation exhibit. The ceremonial offering which connects the physical and spiritual worlds, was observed to give thanks to and seek blessing from the Ancestors as the artifacts begin this journey.

Sunday, January 27, 2019

When Archaeological Sites Are Offered For Sale

Archaeological sites and Real Estate.

Question: Should archaeological sites be registered on property title?

As one whose interest in archaeology started when I was still practicing real estate, I have always been curious as to why archaeological sites are not automatically registered on a property’s title papers.
As an archaeologist, I see part of our job as acting as custodians of the past, protectors of archaeological sites and educators of the public about the footprints of history that lie beneath their feet.
When I have asked this question before, the real estate agent in me would say “would this registration not have an impact on property values, and what about property rights? Would those be limited?
When I have reflected on this as an archaeologist, I say, “So what?”
As a real estate agent with an increasing knowledge of archaeology that includes the location of sites within my area, I found myself conflicted. I was bound by real estate law to fully disclose whatever I knew or had been made aware of about any property that I either listed or sold. As an archaeologist, there is an unwritten code of secrecy when it comes to revealing site locations and municipal planning authorities are strongly discouraged or forbidden to reveal the location of sites within their jurisdiction unless a development plan proposal has been put before them.
This process seems a little ass-backwards to me. If a developer sees a property within a designated growth area or they choose to speculate on rural property on the edge of town, they may put in an offer of purchase and then approach the planning authorities with a draft plan. That property purchase, along with the costs incurred for the preparation of a draft plan and a possible zoning change will require a significant financial investment on behalf of the developer.
It is only at this point that an environmental assessment is triggered, and as part of the process, an archaeological assessment may also be required.
As a real estate professional who was aware of archaeological sites being located on properties listed for sale, did I have the obligation to disclose this information? What would be the ramifications of either informing or not informing my clients of knowledge that I had about the property? Am I opening myself up to a lawsuit?
Archaeological surveys and site report have been made available to municipalities in my area since the 1890s, yet my experience has been that most, if not all, of the planners that I met were unaware of, and frankly somewhat disinterested in the existence of, let alone, the content of these reports. They believed that the checklist indicating whether a property had archaeological potential was all that they needed. They were not interested in, or felt the need for, an inventory or list of sites within the municipalities they worked for.
Back to the potential for a lawsuit. As that conflicted licensed real estate agent who also held an archaeological license, I was waiting for the day when a developer sued a municipality for negligence for failure to disclose pertinent information that could render their development plan useless or less profitable than anticipated. The developer not only faced the cost of the assessment, but he may also be informed that a significant portion of the land that he had purchased could not be built on. His claim would be that the municipality failed to disclose information that they knew or “should have known” prior to his purchase of the property. Fortunately, the only lawsuits that I was threatened with came from a developer who did not want me informing residents of sites within that development and a CRM company that did not want me to divulge information about potential ossuaries within their contracted area that they had chosen not to investigate or report, even though they had been indicated in a site survey and a previous CRM stage 2 report. As a result, I lost my avocational licence for allegedly interfering with a CRM professional contract, but I felt vindicated when one of those ossuaries was dug up in the process of grading a lot for a home, and the other noticed and brought to my attention by a property owner, who attended a public meeting, who was curious about a strange depression in a greenbelt area not 20 ft from the back of their yard.
So, in conclusion, for the sake of full disclosure and our desire to protect sites, I would like to suggest that we as archaeologists, through whatever organizations we belong to advocate for archaeological sites to be placed on property title. They do it for dump sites and contaminated soil sites, but not for ossuaries or other sites that we and others see as important markers of sacredness and history.

Sunday, January 20, 2019

Ontario Bill 66 and its possible impact on archaeology in Ontario

Dear OAS member,
In the last president's message I called your attention to Bill 66 and some of the impacts it could have to archaeological heritage and Indigenous rights (as well as environmental protections) in Ontario. I indicated that comment on the bill could be sent to Ken Peterson at planningconsultation@ontario.ca by today, Jan. 20.
Since that message, our past president, Paul Racher, has attended two consultations sessions with the Ontario government on behalf of the OAS. While at one of these, he learned about the government's plan to increase housing supply: http://www.mah.gov.on.ca/Page20902.aspx
While the specifics of this plan are not yet fully understood, the rhetoric that is being used suggests that the government wants to make approval processes faster through "streamlining." They state that "The various regulatory requirements and approvals were established to serve specific public interests, policy objectives of government goals. Efforts to streamline these requirements need to balance these multiple goals."
As an organization, the OAS is committed to speaking out to protect archaeological heritage. We have had representation at the consultation meetings we have been invited to. We have submitted comment on Bill 66 and we will submit comment on the proposed Housing Supply Action Plan. We have, and will continue to frame this in terms of language that we hope the current government will understand: that adhering to Official Plans, the Provincial Policy Statement (2014), and Archaeological Master Plans decreases risk, cost, and duplication for municipalities and developers because it allows for identification of archaeological sites early in the approval process.
We have been in touch with a number of organizations who we believe might also have concerns about both Bill 66 and the Housing Supply Action Plan. This includes Indigenous organizations and other heritage organizations.
Should you wish to assist the OAS in advocacy efforts you have a several options.
1. You can comment on the Housing Supply Action Plan here until Jan. 25 (http://www.mah.gov.on.ca/Page20905.aspx).
2. You can contact your municipality, as several OAS members have already done, as it is at the municipal level that many decisions about planning are made.
3. You can assist the OAS by volunteering to help with advocacy efforts. Members have made a number of suggestions about what the OAS could do - ranging from issuing press releases to networking with various heritage organizations. As a volunteer organization, we can always use assistance in such efforts.
Alicia Hawkins

Monday, January 07, 2019

Our 1st Members Meeting of 2019

Happy New Year and compliments of the season.

Beginning the year 2019 in fine style, on Wednesday, 9 January, 7 p.m. at the Thompson Room of the North Simcoe Recreation Centre in Midland, our speaker will be Janet Turner, and her topic will be titled “The Molson Site: A Proto-Historic First Nations Settlement, Barrie, Ontario.”

Janet Turner, a secondary school Teacher, was given the unique opportunity to run a Summer School Co-op Education programme under the direction of Paul Lennox and Gary Warrick in 1985 at the Molson Site in Barrie. Co-op Education was in its infancy at this time, so 22 chosen students from the five Barrie secondary schools (grades 9-12) received two Grade 11 credits in “Archaeology” for the instruction they got over a five-week period from the archaeological crew. This was considered to be a salvage dig as major development was imminent.

Janet was raised on a farm in Innisfil Township and has always been intensely interested in the history of the area. The fact that The Molson Site, being located off Harvey Road and in Innisfil and not yet annexed by Barrie at the time, increased her enthusiasm for the project.
Janet had been trained by Dr. Dean Knight and Isobel Ball earlier at the Ball Site off Mount St. Louis Road and had subsequently written a Grade 12 Curriculum based on her experiences, which a Twin Lakes Secondary School teacher and other educators used.

Janet would like to share with others her experiences at the Molson Site as well as the conclusions drawn by Paul Lennox in his Archaeological Report, mindful of the spirit of Reconciliation.

The public is free to join us at no cost.

Thursday, January 03, 2019

TMHC Active Job Postings

Timmins Martelle Heritage Consultants Inc. is now accepting applications for the following positions:

Please note:

  • Archaeological projects throughout southern Ontario
  • Field staff must be prepared for some overnight travel with accommodations and per diem provided
  • Most projects run out of London office
  • Field staff will be transported to site and paid their full wage for travel
  • Some fieldwork will be conducted jointly with First Nations Communities. First Nations members are encouraged to apply
  • We are an equal opportunity employer
  • TMHC Inc. welcomes applications from people with disabilities
  • Accommodations are available upon request for candidates participating in all parts of the selection process

Wednesday, January 02, 2019

A New Book by Michel Gros-Louis

This book should be available in English soon.

John Todd This is the English translation of an introduction to Mr. Gros-Louis' book, 'Les Hurons-Wendats:regards nouveaux':

"This book deals with the history of the Huron-Wendat nation from 1534 to the present day, the culture that this nation shares with the 
other Iroquoian nations, and the language that is now extinguished, but which is a testimony to the occupation. of the territory. We will see how the legend supports the hypothesis of their occupation of the shores of the St. Lawrence at the time of Jacques Cartier and how this hypothesis is reinforced by linguistic data. It will also be noted that the toponymic data testify to the Wendat's occupation of the north shore of Lake Ontario even after the dispersal of 1650. The Huron language has not been spoken for about 90 years, but it has been well documented by the missionaries, especially the Jesuit Potter, which makes revitalization possible today."


Monday, December 31, 2018

Happy New Year

CW Jefferys -The Order of Good Cheer

 The Order of Good Cheer was established by Samuel de Champlain in Port Royal, Nova Scotia (then known as Acadia) in 1606). It was the first gastronomic society in North America.

Thursday, December 27, 2018

Our First Chapter Meeting

From Arch Notes May June 2007

Executive Officers for 2019

Please take note that as of the Huronia chapter's annual meeting held on December 12th 2018 the chapter executive for 2019 is as follows: - Executive for 2019
President: John Raynor
Vice President: Dayle Elder 
Treasurer: Jo Ann Knicely
Secretary: Peter Davis
Member at large: James Stuwart

Wednesday, March 07, 2018

: Sacred Landscapes and the Ancient Town of Nebo.

We are very fortunate to have Dr. Debra Foran, Assistant Professor, Department of Archaeology and Heritage Studies at Laurier University, coming to speak at our upcoming March 14 Huronia OAS meeting. 

 Dr. Foran has worked with the Tell Madaba Archaeological Project (Nebo) since 1998. She became Assistant Director of the project in 2001 and Director in 2006. She has more than 20 years of field experience in the Middle East and has participated on numerous projects in Jordan, Syria, and Tunisia.

Dr. Foran will speak about her ongoing research in Jordan at the ancient Town of Nebo.  The site overlooks the Jordan Valley and the Dead Sea and was an important strategic, trade and cultural site from the Bronze Age to the 7th century CE when it was apparently abandoned until the 18th century. 

Meeting Place:  Midland Public Library
Meeting Time:  7pm  
Meeting Date:  Wednesday March 14, 2018

I hope you can join us. 

Wednesday, February 07, 2018

The archaeology of the Black church in Oro

In recognition of Black History Month in Ontario the Huronia Chapter of the OAS is pleased to present the Archaeology of the Oro African Church by Ms Sarah Clarke from the firm of Archaeological Research Associates.Over the last two years the Historical Committee of Oro-Medonte undertook a study for the restoration and refurbishment of this building thought to have been constructed circa 1849 by the Black community members of Oro. They did this project on a pro bono basis and Sarah will lead a discussion of this work completed last year in concert with the restoration project of the church.

The event takes place at the Midland Public Library at 7 pm on Wednesday February 14 th. For those that love heritage we'll see you there.

Saturday, January 06, 2018

The Longhouse in Winter

Have you every tried to imagine what it would have been like to live in a longhouse during a winter like we are currently experiencing in Huronia?

I posted this photo and question to the Huronia chapter's Facebook group (www.facebook.com/groups/Huronia.chapter/) and there were a number of interesting comments and additional questions.

To address these questions I used what I could remember from various primary source documents such as the Champlain's journals, Sagard's Histoire du Canada and the Jesuit Relations.
One of the best descriptions of a longhouse that I found was in Sagard's Histoire chapter XI. It reads as follows:
"Their lodges, which they call Ganonchia, are constructed, as I have said, like arcades or garden arbours covered with tree-bark, twenty-five or thirty fathoms long, more or less (for they are not all of equal length), and six in breadth, with a passage down the middle ten or twelve feet wide running from one end to the other.  At the two sides there is a kind of bench, called Endicha, of the same length [as the lodge] and four or five feet high; on this they sleep in summer to escape the annoyance of the fleas, of which they have many, and in winter they lie below on mats before the fire, packed close together for greater warmth, the children in the most comfortable place and the parents next them; and there is no space between them nor separation either at the foot or at the pillow, no more above than below, and they make no other preparation for sleeping than to stretch themselves out in the same place where they were sitting and to wrap up their head in their blanket, without any other covering or bed.  This is an easy way of going to bed and it can be carried out at small cost.  The whole space underneath these benches they fill with dry wood for burning in winter, but the great logs called Ancincuny,91 which are used for keeping the fire in by having one end on the ground and the other raised on a stone or at the end of a billet, are piled up in front of their lodges or packed into the porches, which are called Aque.  All the women help one another in providing this wood; they do so in the months of March and April, and by this arrangement every household is supplied with what it needs in a short time.  They use only very good wood, preferring to go far in search of it rather than to take less trouble and get bad wood, or that which makes smoke, on account of which they always keep up a clear well made fire with a small quantity of fuel.  And if they do not find trees as dry as they like then they fell those which have dry branches, breaking the branches into splinters and cutting them to an equal length, like the faggots in Paris.  They do not make up faggots of twigs at all, nor use the trunks of the trees felled; they leave them to rot on the ground, because they have no saw for sawing them up, nor the means of breaking them to pieces unless they are dried and rotten.  We were not so particular, we used the first wood that came to hand, so as not to spend our whole time in going to look for it; for we ourselves and the women savages had to provide it.  They used to give us some, out of politeness merely, or as gifts in return for other presents of equal value, except when we were living in their lodges.  In a single lodge there are many fires, and at each fire there are two families, one on one side, the other on the other; some lodges will
91 Aneincuny in the Grand Voyage and the dictionary
have as many as eight, ten, or twelve fires, which means twenty-four families, others fewer, according as they are long or short.  There is smoke in them in good earnest, and this causes many to have very serious trouble with their eyes, as there is neither window nor any opening, except the one in the roof of the lodge, through which the smoke escapes.  These lodges have no partition or division to hinder you from looking from one end to the other and seeing what is going on.  Yet all remain at peace and without any confusion or clamour, each household in its own division with all its belongings, which are neither put away not locked up with keys or iron bolts.  At each end there is a porch, and the principal use of these porches is to hold the large vats or casks of tree-bark in which they store their Indian corn after it has been well dried and shelled.  In the midst of each lodge are suspended two big poles which they call Ouaronta; on them they hang their pots, and put their furs, provisions, and other objects, for fear of mice and to keep the things dry.  But the fish, of which they lay in a supply for winter after it is smoked and well dried, they store in casks of tree-bark, which they call Acha, except Leinchataon; they do not clean this fish and they hang it with cords in the roof of the lodge, on account of mice and of the vile smell which it gives out in warm weather, so bad that nobody here could endure it.
            For fear of fire, to which they are very liable, they usually put away their most precious possessions in casks of tree-bark, which they bury in deep holes dug in the corner of their fireside, covering them up with the same earth, and in this way these possessions are preserved not only from fire but also from the hands of thieves, because they have no chest or cupboard in their whole establishment except these little casks.  It is true that they rarely wrong one another, but still there might be rascals there who would do you an injury if they found the opportunity; for the object arouses the capacity to deal with it, said the philosopher, and opportunity creates the thief."

This blog post from ASI is also an interesting read. - http://asiheritage.ca/winter-longhouse-project-1979/

Saturday, December 09, 2017

AGM, Social and election of executive.

 AGM and social to be held at the Midland Public Library (upstairs boardroom) Wednesday December 13th - 7 PM to 8:45 PM.

An AGM is typically a profoundly tedious event. This year we will try to break that mould. Here is what we have planned:
• Coffee and cookies to ease into the meeting.
• A short presentation by Alicia Hawkins on the OAS strategic plan.
• Election of officers. Jamie Hunter, Kristin Thor and Peter Thor have agreed to stand again next year for President, Treasurer and Secretary respectively. We will welcome nominations from the floor for any of these positions.
• Come to the meeting with any ideas for archaeological projects and speakers for 2018
• A multiple choice quiz of your knowledge of Huronia archaeology led by Kristin Thor. Here is a sample question you can research so you will get at least one question correct.
o Who has found more archaeological sites in Ontario than anyone else and published them?
 At the meeting you will have three choices to select from.
o There is a prize for the person with the most correct answers, a 500ml flask of maple syrup. That would not be particularly interesting but for the fact that it was made by Kristin Thor's own hands by the same methods used in Huronia in Wendat times and in pioneer times; over an open hardwood fire in an open pan. You may not have tasted anything quite like it before.
A social time will follow to wrap up by 9 pm when the Library closes.

Friday, January 06, 2017

AGM and election of officers


Members Meeting -  Wednesday January 11th 2017 at 7PM
AGM and election of executive.
We are going to try once again to have our AGM and invite our members to elect our upcoming executive that will guide the chapter's  activities over the next year. Nominations for executive positions of President, Vice President, Secretary and Treasurer are invited and are open up to the time that the meeting is called to order. The agenda for the meeting will be brief and include a succinct report from our president, treasurer and secretary followed by any nominations, the election of officers followed by consultation with the membership for direction and plans for the upcoming year.
Please note that our current President will not be standing for election this year.
Our venue for the meeting will be in the assembly room on the lower floor of the Midland Public Library.  320 King St, Midland, ON L4R 3M6
FB page - https://www.facebook.com/HuroniaChapterOfTheOntarioArchaeologySociety
FB group - www.facebook.com/groups/Huronia.chapter/