The Association of Manitoba Archaeologists is made up by professionals and avocational archaeologists, academics and students. The AMA is committed to the preservation and protection of Manitoba’s cultural heritage through professional and transparent archaeological practices. The AMA is committed to strengthening communication and working relationships between the archaeological community, First Nations communities, various levels of government, private organizations, as well as the public at large.
Established in 1975, the AMA was responsible for changing provincial government policies and laws to better reflect the heritage needs of the province. At the time Manitoba was at the forefront of cultural heritage legislation in North America. However, just as the requirements for construction and safety have been updated over the last 40 years, so too must heritage laws, guidelines and regulations be updated. It is the opinion of the current executive council that these laws, regulations and guidelines are in dire need of updating and enforcing to the current standard of professional best practices.
The AMA has recently reformed after laying dormant for the last 6 years. The AMA acknowledges that information sharing plays an essential role in preserving cultural heritage for all Manitobans. The AMA is hopeful about working with the municipal, provincial, and federal governments to improve and update the current heritage laws. Fostering a co-operative atmosphere among professional and academic archaeologists, governmental bodies, private businesses, and the public is a primary goal of the AMA.
About the Executive Council
Mark Paxton-MacRae (Interim President)
Mark Paxton-MacRae has conducted field-based archaeological research throughout Manitoba for the last 30 years, and recently launched his own company, Agassiz Cultural Resource Services. He has worked in Yugoslavia, Romania, north-western, and south-central Ontario. He has found that careful attention to what Indigenous community members have to say has changed the way he understands and interprets archaeological remains. Mark has always been passionate about expanding public knowledge of Manitoba archaeology throughout his career and is proud to be involved with the Association of Manitoba Archaeologists.
Garth Sutton (Interim Vice President)
Garth has a B.A. in Classical Studies and Anthropology/Archaeology from the University of Winnipeg (2007) and a Master’s of Environmental Studies from Lakehead University (2015) focusing on the Ecological Impacts of the Fur Trade in Manitoba and Eastern Saskatchewan. He is currently enrolled at the University of Manitoba in the Phd program focusing on Indigenous Ceramic Technology. His main interests are Indigenous pottery, environmental archaeology, the fur trade, Indigenous agriculture, Reconciliation and Indigenous Food sovereignty. He has over 11 years of field work in Manitoba, Ontario and Tunisia and has worked in both Government and private consulting sectors. Garth has worked extensively with Indigenous peoples in the field and has attended numerous ceremonial events, several times in a participatory role.
Dr. Sara Halwas (Interim Secretary/Treasurer)
Sara received an undergraduate degree in Anthropology, and an interdisciplinary Ph.D. (Biological Sciences and Anthropology) from the University of Manitoba. In between, Sara took a few years to gain her MA (Archaeology) from Memorial University in Newfoundland and work in Ireland. Her main research interests are palaeoethnobotany, how humans interact with, influence and are influenced by the plant world, and using this information to understand how different Pre-Contact peoples made a life in Manitoba. For the last decade, Sara has moonlighted as a CRM archaeologist in Manitoba, and works as a sessional instructor at the University of Manitoba in the Department of Anthropology.
She is involved in the AMA because safeguarding cultural heritage and educating Manitobans about the amazing part of the world they live in is vital.