Essay on Native American Burial Grounds & Ossuaries in Canada

1480 Words 6 Pages
Canada is a diverse country, home to many different peoples and cultures. It can easily be said that Biological Anthropology is one of the main reasons that we have learned so much about the many people who have lived in Canada. This can certainly be said when one thinks of all we have learned of the First Nations peoples’ through this method. However, in Canada there exists such an Act known as the Cemetery Act. This act protects many things, one of which being the protection of aboriginal burial grounds and ossuaries. Through Anthropological research in Canada, however, Ossuaries have allowed us to see and learn more about the First Nations peoples and their lives; revealing the information denied to us previously. This report will take …show more content…
("Cemeteries Act (Revised)" number 71-72). This rule alone would present a problem for anthropologists and the like, especially considering there was no such rule restricting their research before. The approval came be highly difficult to come across however—the regulations state that the nearest First Nations Government will become acting representative if one of these such sites is discovered. Permission from the representatives is needed as well, before one could proceed to analyse the site in any way ("Ipperwash Inquiry Community Meeting About Aboriginal Burial and Other Sacred Sites in Ontario" 2-3). Negotiations cannot always be met however, and in such a situation, no progress occurs. Ossuaries as a whole are to anthropologists and the like, a very convenient concept. In her article, Susan Pfeiffer attributes “… the ossuary mode of burial…” as being an “…excellent opportunit[y] for study” (Pfeiffer 9). She goes on to discuss how, considering the amount of deceased in each ossuary, advantageous they can be. Ossuary’s are, by definition, a container or vault of sorts, for holding the dead, or more specifically the bones of the dead. As such, these mass graves not only give a wide range of deceased to study, they give a wide range of deceased to study that come from essentially the same time period (Pfeiffer 9). The chance to study the

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