This article reviews the history of Métis archaeological research in Canada. The Métis of Canada arose as a distinct Indigenous identity in the postcontact period and provide an interesting archaeological case study to explore how and why new cultures emerge. Previous research attempted to correlate patterns in material culture with Métis identity, particularly in terms of economy, use of space, and certain artifact types. New research has the potential to take a more nuanced approach to the process of identification among the Métis, to contribute to a broad understanding of ethnogenesis, and to do research that is relevant to the contemporary Métis community, as well as the discipline of historical archaeology.
Carmen A. Laguer Díaz
This article examines nation building and its perpetuation through social memory and social identity theory to understand how it affects, and is affected by, the politics surrounding archaeology. It is divided into five sections. The first, memories of a frontierless political community, describes how social memory helps maintain national unity in a region that has been greatly influenced by waves of migrations for centuries. The second, the (re)creation of identities, delves into issues of social identity theory and how it depends on social memory to develop a sense of self. The third, the politics of archaeology, deals with the ethics and political issues that permeate archaeological research. The fourth, racial schizophrenia and identity crises, focuses on the case of Puerto Rico. The last section, from Puerto Rico to the Caribbean, concludes the article.
Craig N. Cipolla
This chapter considers the current state and future of archaeological studies of Native American diaspora and ethnogenesis. It begins with an exploration of the broader literature concerning diaspora and ethnogenesis, comparing these branches of scholarship with the specific conditions—epistemological, historical, and political—of archaeologies of indigenous North America. The challenges and benefits of studying Native American diaspora and ethnogenesis are highlighted. The future of such studies is explored in relation to recent moves toward post-humanism that challenge archaeologists to ask crucial questions on who and what constitutes a community. Drawing briefly upon several case studies throughout, the essay places most emphasis on the diaspora and ethnogenesis of the Brothertown Indians. It concludes that notions of diaspora and ethnogenesis stand to make important contributions to the decolonization of indigenous history in both academic and public venues.