Cultural Resource Management (CRM) has grown over the last 40 years or more to become the dominant form of archaeological practice in Ontario as well as throughout the (western) world.
“Contract”, or “fee for service” archaeology, carried out by consultants unfettered by university affiliations, is an easy target for critique. We hear about the cowboys, the reports that lack substance and contribute little to scholarly debate, the warehoused collections accumulating nothing more than dust and high storage fees, and that the bottom line has displaced the quest for knowledge.
But the original intent of CRM or ‘salvage’ archaeology was never to short-change the ‘resource’. Rather, the objective was to become more responsive to growing pressures from development and other potential impacts on the archaeological heritage.
Our purpose in this session is to look beyond the easy targets, and draw upon our collective experience as archaeologists to find the positive benefits that have been gained from the growth of CRM in the province.
Papers for this session can range widely. They may be based on CRM-derived data, or discuss how this data has contributed to theory building, academic debate, or our understanding of the past. They may recount how collections generated from CRM work have been used in public archaeology, museum or other educational settings to increase public awareness of archaeology and educate our future archaeologists. They may also move beyond material concerns, and discuss how consulting practices have created new opportunities for Aboriginal communities to become involved in archaeological resource management.
This session promises to be a lively exchange of views, as well as a great opportunity to catch up on what the rest of us are doing – and reporting in the grey literature!
Don’t delay in expressing interest as space is limited.