Claire's research investigates how different ontologies interact through the process of heritage management in the Treaty Six region of Alberta. She will be working closely with Plains Cree nations to examine the Cultural Resource Management (CRM) processes mandated by the province's Heritage Resource Act.
Does such legislation mediate the relationship Plains Cree can have with their own heritage? This inquiry will follow the consultation and management process that has been unfolding around one particular "archaeological site". Rather than approaching the site as a singular entity with definable properties, the inquiry will trace different sets of practices that "perform" the site in multiple ways. By questioning the assumptions about reality that underlie various approaches to heritage management in Alberta, Claire's work will contribute to the growing body of literature concerned with ontological encounters, conflicts, and compatibilities.
Claire has been working with First Nations, sacred sites and sacred artifacts in Alberta and Nova Scotia since 2005. She completed her BA and MA degrees in the Social Anthropology department at Dalhousie University. Working under Dr. Brian Noble, her MA work focused on a Plains Cree elder's process of socializing with a museum collection of sacred "artifacts". She is now working on her PhD with Dr. Mario Blaser in the Archaeology department at Memorial University of Newfoundland.