Ottawa Chapter - Canadians and the Founding of the Society for American Archaeology, 1934-1942

  • October 18, 2018
  • 7:30 PM
  • Routhier Community Centre, 172 Guigues near Cumberland
Speaker: Dr. Mima Kapches
Topic: Canadians and the Founding of the Society for American Archaeology, 1934-1942

The Society for American Archaeology (SAA) was founded in December of 1934, in Pittsburgh, PA. To set the record straight there were no Canadians who signed the founding document at the meeting in the Roosevelt Hotel. However, there was one Canadian who had been involved with the Council that had developed the Constitution for the SAA in advance of that meeting. Although not Canadian born Diamond Jenness of the Dominion Museum, Ottawa, was involved. Jenness and Wintemberg became Fellows of the society. 

Newly formed, the first objective of the SAA was to grow the membership and this is where Wintemberg came into play. He recommended many Canadians to become affiliated with the SAA. Some of these people joined the SAA and others did not. It’s the names of these individuals that provide a glimpse into who was interested in archaeology in Canada in the 1930s, not just in Ontario, but Canada wide. In this talk I’ll look at the earliest Canadian men and the two women members of the SAA, as well as some of those nominated by Wintemberg who did not join. 

Accomplishments and background:

Mima Kapches  (PhD, Toronto, 1981) 

- licensed archaeologist in the Province of Ontario who has worked in Ontario Archaeology for 46 years;  

- retired as Senior Curator, Ontario Archaeology from the Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto in 2009;  

- served as President of the Ontario Archaeological Society, President of the Canadian Archaeological Association and President of the Eastern States Archaeological Federation and Toronto Chapter of the OAS; 

- served as Editor of the CAA’s Newsletter, the Canadian Journal Of Archaeology and Editor of the Bulletin of the Eastern States Archaeological Federation; 

- served as Chair of the Toronto Historical Board;

- a Founding Member of the Friends of Fort York, Toronto and currently serves as their membership chair. She is a life member of the Ontario Archaeological Society and the Royal Ontario Museum; 

- publishes articles on Ontario Archaeology and the history of Ontario archaeology;

- has a peer-reviewed paper appearing in 2019 on the 19th Century looting of Wendat ossuaries;

- is currently researching Profile articles for Ontario Archaeology on Peter Marshall Pringle and Margaret Thomson Tushingham.

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