Thesis Defences

Degree of Masters of Art, MA

Matthea Wiebe

Friday, 24 January 2020 at 1:30 pm

SWH 9152 (Archaeology Seminar Room)

Striking Light: Experimental methods for the production, characterization, and description of iron disulphide pyrodebitage


The adoption of fire into the lives of hominins is widely held to be one of our genus’ most significant technological advances. The ability to start fire at will and therefore control when and where fire was available may have been a key factor for survival during the Paleolithic. However, archaeologists have few methods for identifying fire starting activities in context. Based on archaeological, anthropological, and mineralogical literature, experimental procedures were developed to identify, describe, and collect microscopic debitage from the strike-a-light fire-starting technique. In these experiments, iron disulphide debitage was the primary focus of study. The experiments produced promising qualitative, quantitative, and semi-quantitative base-line data with great potential for identifying strike-a-light fire-starting in the archaeological record and for advancing our knowledge of the prehistory of fire.

Degree of Masters of Art, MA (HRM)

Vanessa McKillop

Tuesday, 26 November 2019 at 2:30pm

SWH 9084 (Archaeology Material Culture Lab)

Weji-sqalia’tiek, they ‘sprouted up from the earth’: Archaeology and Management of Shubenacadie River Valley Paleoshorelines, Nova Scotia


The abrupt geomorphological changes of the late glacial period in Nova Scotia varied regionally, often drastically changing the subsistence patterns of the ancestors of the Mi’kmaq. This dramatic landscape change has created a unique problem for archaeologists and heritage managers in their efforts to predict Paleo-Indian Period site occurrence in advance of industry- and community-driven land alteration. Policy and practice in Nova Scotia has been slow to recognise this challenge and has lagged behind the policies implemented in neighbouring jurisdictions. This thesis argues that the current understanding of Paleo-Indian settlement patterns in Nova Scotia can be bridged by building upon existing geological research and freely available LiDAR data. A regionally focused glacial lake inundation model derived from digital elevation model data in Nova Scotia is an effective tool to offer insight into how the ancestors of the Mi’kmaq may have utilized the landscape of Central Nova Scotia over 12,000 years ago.


Introduction/Opening Remarks: Michael Gregory (Host/IT Services) – 3 minutes


Update from the CIO: Mark Roman (CIO) – 20 minutes


Staffing Changes and Milestones: Mark Roman (CIO) – 5 minutes


IT Job Evaluation: Calvin Mah (Library) and Michael Gregory (IT Services) – 15 minutes

An update on the IT job evaluation project for APSA staff including where to find information and how to locate contacts.


University Wi-Fi Replacement project: Craig Simons (IT Services) – 15 minutes

An overview of the University Wi-Fi replacement project.


EDUCAUSE Annual Conference 2019: Various conference attendees – 10 minutes

Brief overview of learnings from the EDUCAUSE Annual Conference.


SFU PCI Compliance Program: Steve MacGregor (IT Services) – 10 minutes

What is PCI Compliance, why is it important, the current state of PCI Compliance at SFU and where our short term and long-term objectives are.


Information Security Update: Kimberly McCollum (IT Services) – 10 minutes

Review of current threats and incidents.


Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) Updates: Melissa Luck (Digital Transformation Office), Sabrina da Silva, and Mike Stanger (IT Services) – 15 minutes

Updates on what’s happened so far, current status, and next steps for multi-factor authentication.

Closing Remarks: Michael Gregory (Host/IT Services) – 2 minutes



The recording will be available one week after the meeting on SharePoint at:

Degree of Doctor of Philosophy, (PhD)

Erin Hogg

Monday, 9 September 2019, at 2 pm

Bennett Library 2020

Archaeological Data as Evidence in Aboriginal Rights and Title Litigation in Canada


Aboriginal rights and title acknowledge and affirm Indigenous peoples as the original occupants of Canada. Notwithstanding this acknowledgment, the legal tests to prove rights and title require evidence of pre-contact or pre-sovereignty land occupation and use. Archaeology’s ability to challenge, substantiate, and add temporal dimensions to oral and documentary histories makes it an essential tool in rights and title resolution. Archaeologists, as ethics-bound stewards of the material past, need to understand how their data have been used in these claims. This dissertation examines the use and consideration of archaeological data as evidence in Aboriginal rights and title litigation in Canada. Using qualitative methods, I assess court decisions, expert witness reports, academic literature, and interviews with archaeologists and lawyers to understand how archaeological evidence has influenced the legal tests for Aboriginal rights and title. In particular, I consider the types of archaeological data considered for these tests and the standards data must meet to be accepted in court. I frame these research questions in three different studies, each considering a different perspective: a broad overview of past litigation; an in-depth case study of the Tsilhqot’in (2014) decision; and an analysis of the experiences of expert witnesses and lawyers. My studies show that archaeological data can indicate pre-contact occupation and use of specific places within a territory. Evidence of occupation sites and lithic and faunal analyses fit within accepted definitions of occupation and meet the criteria for the tests for both Aboriginal rights and Aboriginal title. Archaeological data have been important evidence in multiple court decisions, including Baker Lake (1979), Adams (1996), and Tsilhqot’in (2014). Its ability to be tangible evidence of occupation and use has been shown to outweigh its limitations, including the inherent limits of the material record and the inability to indicate ethnicity. My investigation indicates that archaeological data have been and will continue to be used as evidence in Aboriginal rights and title litigation, particularly to bolster oral histories and historical records.