Claire Poirier

Previous Education

M.A. (Social Anthropology), Dalhousie University, 2009
B.A. (Social Anthropology), Dalhousie University, 2002


Dr. Mario Blaser


Heritage sites, buffalo, Plains Cree, law, Alberta; ontological encounters, conflicts, and compatibilities.

Research Statement

My Ph.D. research investigates how different ontologies interact through the process of heritage management in the Treaty Six region of Alberta. Working closely with Plains Cree nations I 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, my work will contribute to the growing body of literature concerned with ontological encounters, conflicts, and compatibilities.

I have been working with First Nations, sacred sites and sacred artifacts in Alberta and Nova Scotia since 2005. I completed my B.A. and M.A. degrees in the Social Anthropology department at Dalhousie University. Working under Dr. Brian Noble, my M.A. work focused on a Plains Cree elder's process of socializing with a museum collection of sacred "artifacts".





Department of Archaeology

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