A year ago, Crossroads principal Rick Budhwa received an unexpected email: His master’s thesis, 15 years after its completion, had caught the attention of Gesa Mackenthun, a professor at the University of Rostock and organizer of anthropological conferences around the world. Dr. Mackenthun invited Rick to present the paper at her symposium, Decolonizing “Prehistory”: Deep Time and Topological Knowledge in the Americas, held in Rostock, north of Berlin, this month.
In early April, Crossroads was thrilled to present our 18-minute documentary, Sacred Ground, at the Society for Applied Anthropology Film Festival. The festival is part of the SfAA’s annual conference, which attracts roughly 2,000 participants from around the world, and took place this year in downtown Philadelphia.
This spring, Crossroads conducted a recovery in Moricetown, BC. The site (which had previously been disturbed) revealed bone fragments and cultural artifacts when machinery was brought in to install a staircase. Digging on reserve can be tricky business — the recovery of bone fragments and artifacts requires working closely with the community for a better understanding of cultural concerns. This three-minute video offers a glimpse of life on an archaeological excavation, along with highlighting the challenges and rewards that come with cultural resource management work.
When we started Crossroads CRM in 2004, it was a response to the business-as-usual, focus-on-the-material archaeology that was happening across the province. We thought it could—in fact, it should— be done differently. We believed there was a place for integrating the material remains of a culture with the living, breathing people that still occupy the lands, that still honour their ancestors. That’s why we were thrilled to receive a call from the Xaxli’p First Nation in May 2016.
Last week, Crossroads had the privilege of not only presenting at the world’s most prestigious archaeology conference, we were honoured to do it next to colleagues who have come to mean a lot to us.
As much as we’d like to try, it’s hard to turn away from what’s happening south of the border. It’s even harder not to see the US’s cultural divisions and ask ourselves, “Could it happen here?” It can. It does. Indeed, it has.