ArchaeoCafé Podcast – Episode 33 – Community based, collaborative, and Indigenous archaeology: An interview with Kaitlyn Malleau, Sarah Hazell, and Naomi Recollet

hosted by Otis Crandell

In this episode, I talk with Kaitlyn Malleau, Sarah Hazell, and Naomi Recollet about community based, collaborative, and indigenous archaeology.

Listen to this episode online:



Some useful terminology and links

Ojibwe Cultural Foundation
The Ojibwe Cultural Foundation was created to preserve and revitalize the language, culture, arts, spirituality, and traditions of the Anishinaabe People of the Mnidoo Mnising (Manitoulin Island) and surrounding areas.

The revitalization of Anishinaabek ceramics through archaeology, land, and art-making
a project in partnership between the Ojibwe Cultural Foundation and the Gardiner Museum.

Manitoulin Island Summer Historical Institute (MISHI)
MISHI is an annual week-long summer institute on Manitoulin Island focused on Anishinaabe studies and coordinated jointly by the History of Indigenous Peoples Network (York University) and the Ojibwe Cultural Foundation (OCF). Its focus is to bring together students, teachers, knowledge-holders, artists, and Elders to learn about Anishinaabe history and culture. Every summer program has a different theme.

Material culture
the aspect of social reality grounded in the objects and architecture that surround people. It includes the usage, consumption, creation, and trade of objects as well as the behaviours, norms, and rituals that the objects create or take part in

Collaborative archaeology
a suite of methods in archaeology of engaging communities.
Also see: Colwell-Chanthaphonh & Ferguson 2007

a type of collaborative archaeology. This kind of project promotes long-term meaningful engagement, whereby the descendant or local community is involved from the development of the research question through to dissemination of the results. This type of project should also ensure that the community benefits from the research process and results.
Also see: Atalay 2012

Indigenous archaeology
“includes an array of practices conducted by, for, and with Indigenous communities to challenge the discipline’s intellectual breadth and political economy,” (Colwell-Chanthaphonh et al. 2010: 228).
Also see: Colwell-Chanthaphonh et al. 2010; and Watkins 2000

Situated knowledge
The argument that knowledge production occurs through positioned rationality, or from researchers embedded in certain relationships, “ruled by partial sight and limited voice” (Haraway 1988: 590).
Also see: Haraway 1988

refers to the examination of one’s own beliefs, judgments and practices during the research process and how these may have influenced the research

Post-processual archaeology
a movement in archaeological theory that emphasizes the subjectivity of archaeological interpretations

New materialism
Heavily inspired by assemblage theory (Harris and Cipolla 2017), new materialism makes use of a relational ontology that does not consider the relata (humans, plants, things) to pre-exist their relationships (Barad 2007: 140).
Also see: Crellin et al. 2020; and Harris & Cipolla 2017

Assemblage theory
Assemblage theory resists reducing the whole to merely an aggregate of its parts (as it has emergent properties) as well as reducing the nature of parts to simply being determined by the structure of the whole (the parts may leave one assemblage for another). As a result, the whole is something that occupies the same ontological plane as the parts themselves, meaning assemblages of different scales can interact with one another (DeLanda 2016).
Also see: Bennett 2010; DeLanda 2016; and Deleuze & Guattari 1987

Multivocality in archaeology
an approach to archaeological reasoning, explanation, and understanding that accepts a high degree of relativism and thus encourages the contemporaneous articulation of numerous different narratives or parallel discourses

Diffractive approach
Taking a diffractive approach to research is a type of relational approach which consider relationships as metaphysics (see Harris 2020). Diffraction as a physical principle describes the process of interaction between waves (whether they be light waves, water waves, etc.). A diffractive approach in research allows for a multiplicity of voices to act as the co-authors of a pattern that could never have been produced by a single voice alone. Diffraction allows the multiplicity to intra-act; to highlight agreements, as well as map the points of difference. A diffractive methodology “reconfigures the world” (Barad 2007: 91), as well as allows us, as both researchers and humans in the world, to be reconfigured.
Also see: Barad 2003; and Barad 2007


Selected publications

Multivocality and Indigenous Archaeologies, in Evaluating Multiple Narratives
by Sonya Atalay
In: Evaluating Multiple Narratives (Habu, J., Fawcett, C. & Matsunaga, J., Eds.) (2008) Springer: p. 29-44
-outlines some of the problems in multivocality in archaeology

Community-Based Archaeology: Research with, by, and for Indigenous and Local Communities
by Sonya Atalay
University of California Press (2012)
-successful community-based projects

Posthumanist Performativity: Toward an Understanding of How Matter Comes to Matter
by Karen Barad
Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society, 2003, Vol. 28(3): p. 801-831

Meeting the Universe Halfway: Quantum Physics and the Entanglement of Matter and Meaning
by Karen Barad
Duke University Press (2007)
-reflexivity is a flawed approach

Vibrant Matter
by Jane Bennett
Duke University Press (2010)
-assemblage theory

Theory in Collaborative Indigenous Archaeology: Insights from Mohegan
by C. N. Cipolla, J. Quinn & J. Levy
American Antiquity, 2019, Vol. 84(1): p. 127-142

The Collaborative Continuum: Archaeological Engagements with Descendant Communities
by C. Colwell-Chanthaphonh & T. J. Ferguson
In: Collaboration in Archaeological Practice: Engaging Descendant Communities (Colwell-Chanthaphonh, C. & Ferguson, T.J., Eds.) (2007) Rowman Altamira: p. 1-32
-collaborative archaeology

The Premise and Promise of Indigenous Archaeology
by C. Colwell-Chanthaphonh, T. J. Ferguson, D. Lippert, R. H. McGuire, G. P. Nicholas, J. E. Watkins & L. J. Zimmerman
American Antiquity, 2010, Vol.: p. 228-238
-Indigenous archaeology

Archaeological Theory in Dialogue: Situating Relationality, Ontology, Posthumanism, and Indigenous Paradigms
by Rachel J. Crellin, Craig N. Cipolla, Lindsay M. Montgomery, Oliver J.T. Harris & Sophie V. Moore
Routledge (2020)
-new materialism and archaeology

Assemblage Theory
by Manuel DeLanda
Edinburgh University Press (2016)

A Thousand Plateaus: Capitalism and Schizophrenia
by Gilles Deleuze & Félix Guattari
Bloomsbury Publishing (1987)

Metaphysics of Modern Existence
by Vine Deloria Jr
Fulcrum Publishing (1979, 2012)

Situated Knowledges: The Science Question in Feminism and the Privilege of Partial Perspective
by Donna Haraway
Feminist Studies, 1988, Vol. 14(3): p. 575-599
-critique of positivist science
-coined the term “situated knowledge”

Modest_Witness@Second_Millennium.FemaleMan©_Meets_OncoMouse™ (2nd ed.)
by Donna Haraway
Routledge (1998, 2018)

Archaeological Theory in the New Millennium: Introducing Current Perspectives
by Oliver J.T. Harris & Craig N. Cipolla
Taylor & Francis. (2017)
-new materialism

Theoretical Challenges of Indigenous Archaeology: Setting an Agenda
by I. J. McNiven
American Antiquity, 2016, Vol. 81(1): p. 27-41


About Kaitlyn Malleau

Kaitlyn is a Ph.D. student at the University of Toronto where her research focuses on technological systems and how they are shared and communicated between different communities. She is also Director of Education at the Ontario Archaeological Society.



About Naomi Recollet

Naomi is a member of Wiikwemkoong Unceded Territory and is the archivist and programming coordinator at the Ojibwe Cultural Foundation in M’Chigeeng First Nation. She has a double graduate degree in Museum Studies and Information Studies from the University of Toronto. Her interests in archaeology are involve repatriations work, increasing training capacity within and for indigenous communities, making sure that there is space for indigenous knowledge, and creating opportunities for artists, elders, knowledge keepers, archaeologist and other academics to interact with and learn from one another.



About Sarah Hazell

Sarah is a member of Nipissing First Nation. She is also an adjunct professor at Laurentian University, a Ph.D. candidate at McGill University, and the Workshop Coordinator for the Ontario Archaeological Society. Her interests focus on finding ways to build archaeological capacity in indigenous communities in order to eventually create a more equitable place at the table regarding research, legislation and industry.





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