Rural Museum Archaeological Outreach

The Manitoba Archaeological Society (MAS) is pleased to announce a partnership with the Association of Manitoba Museums (AMM) to support rural museums by providing them with assistance in identifying Pre-European contact archaeological materials in their collections. In 2015, the focus will be on rural museums in SW Manitoba. The MAS is collaborating with Dr. Mary Malainey and senior Brandon University (BU) undergraduate students enrolled in Rural Museum Archaeological Outreach, a newly created 6-credit summer session course to identify and produce inventories of each museum’s collection of Pre-European contact archaeological material.

This exciting project will aid in artifact identifications, improve the display and interpretation of archaeological material at rural museums in Manitoba and directly enhance the experience of their visitors. In addition to receiving information about the artifacts during the identification process, each museum will be given artifact labels and a copy of the report produced about the materials in their collection. The resulting museum inventories will provide Dr. Malainey and the MAS with information about the breadth and diversity of materials in the artifact collections of SW Manitoba. The profile of the MAS will be raised in SW Manitoba and the project will build strong connections with museum curators, local artifact collectors as well as the individuals who donated material. It is anticipated that this project will lead to the identification of previously unrecorded archaeological sites and their addition to the Historic Resources Branch (HRB) database.

As well as attaining course credits towards their degrees, this project will be of value to participating BU students as they will gain experience in artifact identification and interpretation, report writing and, where possible, site survey and assessment; all valuable skills to potential employers, such as cultural resource management (CRM) companies and museums, as well as potential graduate school advisors.