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Essay on Native American Burial Grounds & Ossuaries in Canada

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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 a look at the anthropological studies of these ossuaries and burial sites while also discussing the restrictions and limitations met in accordance to said Act. For the purpose of this report, there will be particular stress placed on the Iroquois Nation, to whom this act may pertain to more than perhaps another, smaller, tribe. Through Anthropological research in Canada, Ossuaries have allowed us to see and learn more about the First Nations peoples and their lives revealing the information denied to us previously.
The Ontario Cemetery Act went into legislation in the year of 1990. Though the act does not deal specifically with aboriginal peoples, they are affected by the act, and so too are the archaeologists and anthropologists studying them. Number 68 of the Ontario Cemetery Act, states that “No person shall disturb or order the disturbance of a burial site or artifacts associated with the human remains…” ("Cemeteries Act (Revised)" number 68). This part of the legislation alone would put a...


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...n, Richard E. "Palaeodemography and Late Iroquoian Ossuary Samples." Ontario
Archaeology. No. 48 42-50. Web. 14 Nov. 2013. .

Town of Richmond Hill Planning and Development Department, ed. Town of Richmond Hill
Official Plan: Archaeology and First Nations Policy Study. Toronto: Archaeological Services Inc., Web. 14 Nov. 2013. .

van der Merwe, Nikolaas J., Ronald F. Williamson, Susan Pfeiffer, Stephen Cox Thomas, and
Kim Oakberg Allegretto. "The Moatfield ossuary: isotopic dietary analysis of an Iroquoian community, using dental tissue." Journal of Anthropological Archaeology. 22. (2003): 245-261. Web. 14 Nov. 2013. .



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