Daily Archives: September 11, 2009

Aboriginal history a la mode.

Being a mere archaeologist and not a sophisticated type, I like to reduce complex topics to simplistic graphs.  I showed this one to the first class of my new course on the Archaeology of BC.     The numbers for this are based on the emerging 13,000+ (calibrated) year old archaeological finds in Haida Gwaii,  so I expect the red slice to keep on growing.

If I were a paranoid type, I’d liken it to Pac-Man just getting his teeth into a ghost.

Reverse the colours to get the relative number of BC historians vs BC archaeologists in Universities – though I am all for historical archaeology as well, not to mention history, and BC history in particular.   All really good things.  But it is striking nonetheless to consider how weighted we are institutionally towards  the green slice.  As I said to the students, hearing the BC government natter on obsessively on the radio and in newspaper ads last year about the “150th Anniversary of British Columbia” just made my blood boil every time.  Seriously, Premier, do you want a new relationship with First Nations?  How about acknowledging the red slice of pie?  How about a celebration of 130 centuries of BC history?  Call off the government lawyers and other PR flacks who seem to think the world began 150 years ago.

While we are on the topic of letting the facts speak in the tongue of numbers,  where I work, the ratio of BC archaeology faculty members to all regular faculty members = 1:800.  As the kids say, Hello?

PS: Archaeologists are quintessentially “shovel ready” so maybe some stimulus money goes well with pie.  Try it.