The French colony of Acadia, located in what is now the Maritime Provinces of Canada and part of the State of Maine, has long attracted the attention of writers and scholars. Immigrating to the region in the early seventeenth century, the Acadian colonists established a viable agricultural economy without alienating the region’s indigenous peoples. Despite these achievements, imperial politics brought war to the region in the mid-eighteenth century, and saw most of the French inhabitants removed by force. Historical archaeology is helping to recover details of this early Canadian immigrant experience, but the task is complicated by a scholarly tradition dominated by romanticism and myth. This chapter surveys the development of historical archaeology in reference to the Acadians in Nova Scotia, noting how archaeology has helped reframe understandings of this colonial experience, and suggesting ways to carry the project further.
Catherine M. Cameron and Scott G. Ortman
Movement is a fundamental concept among Native peoples of the American Southwest, and early archaeologists adopted a strong interest in migration from Native groups with whom they interacted. Over the past two decades, southwest archaeologists have made significant contributions to method and theory in migration studies, including ways of identifying migrants as they move across the landscape, the ways in which migrants interact with Indigenous residents, and the size of migrating groups. Study has focused especially on the vast thirteenth- through fifteenth-century population movements that resulted in dramatic changes in population distribution, particularly in the northern Southwest. The passage of the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA) initiated a re-engagement with contemporary Native peoples that has transformed perspectives on the relative importance of movement (and sedentism) and has produced new understandings of how social identity was constructed in the ancient Southwest.
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.