Get Involved and Learn
Visitors and archaeologist at an excavation site at Fort Wellington NHS of Canada (Ont.)
© Parks Canada / Morin, B. / H.06.60.06.11(35) / 1991
Volunteering at Parks Canada
Some Parks Canada national parks, national historic sites or service centres may offer programs for archaeological volunteers. To find out more about volunteer opportunities, look at the sections under educational activities or at the Parks and Historic Sites web pages.
Public Archaeology in Canada
Each year Parks Canada offers a variety of public archaeology activities. Parks Canada archaeologist or partnering organizations supervise the participants. The activities are designed so that anyone interested in archaeology can observe and participate in archaeological excavations. Certain programs take place on a regular basis, while others do not. Activities other than excavation are offered and allow people to become familiarized with other aspects of the archaeological discipline. Here are links to some well-established programs in Canada.
Excavation activities cannot be offered on a regular basis each year. Consult the Special Archeological Events to find out an updated listing.
Other Learning Opportunities and Educational Programs in Archaeology
At Rocky Mountain House National Historic Site of Canada, the "Archy Cart" activity provides an on-site demonstration where children are able to dig for artefacts. While digging the "Archy Cart", children are being shown the process of archaeology and the important role it played in the creation the Historic Site.
At Lower Fort Garry National Historic Site of Canada, it's Bingo, Lower Fort Garry style! The Bingo card squares are filled with pictures of artifacts found throughout the historic site. The Bingo caller, a Parks Canada interpreter, describes what each picture represents using the actual artifact. A fun, interactive program suitable for all ages. Availability: May 15-June 30. Length: 45 minutes.
At Fort Battleford National Historic Site of Canada, the Archaeological Dig Workshop is designed to teach children the important role that archaeology plays in furthering our understanding of the past. It is a hands-on activity and depends on favourable weather conditions. This workshop fits the social studies curriculum for Grade 5, Unit 2: Heritage Module 1, “learning about the past”.
At Fort Wellington National Historic Site of Canada, “Dig In! and Discover Through Artifacts”. This program supports the Ontario Curriculum learning expectations of Grade 7 - History: British North America. Students become archaeological detectives during this session, examining artifacts for clues in their investigation of military life at Fort Wellington. Students will develop their analytical, organizational and reporting skills as they use primary source materials uncovered during a previous dig at the fort to draw conclusions about the people that lived there and the events that affected them. For more details consult the Fort web page.
At Fort Chambly National Historic Site of Canada, come and join our guides to discover some of the artefacts found by the archaeologists. Through the activity: “Archeology at Fort Chambly: Artefacts that Have Plenty to Say!” Moreover, primary school groups could book a specific interactive activity called:“Archaeology at Chambly Fort: Artifacts Are Real Blabbermouths!”
At Coteau-du-Lac National Historic Site of Canada primary grade school groups are invited to live the “Adventure of the Lost Objects”.
At Fort Témiscamingue National Historic Site of Canada, discover the “Secrets of the Earth” and travel through time while archaeology is demystified in front of you.
Public Archaeology elsewhere in Canada
Archaeological Field Schools in Canada
Field schools are designed primarily for students registered in university archaeology programs so the students can get some practical hands-on experience in archaeological research. However, some field schools also welcome anyone wanting to know more about history and archaeology. Some field schools offer permanent courses; others only temporary ones. Locations can also change frequently so be sure to contact the institution directly for more detailed information.
Here are some links to current field schools in Canada: