RESCUE ARCHAEOLOGY – UPDATE
July 10, 2017 – The Nova Scotia Archaeology Society (NSAS) is very pleased by the news that the federal government has reversed its decision to close the Parks Canada Archaeology and Conservation Lab in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia. Atlantic Canada’s archaeology collection will remain in Atlantic Canada, at least until 2029, when Parks Canada’s lease on the building expires. And if they try to move it again, we will again raise the alarm, and will again look to you for your support.
In the meantime, the NSAS remains committed to working with stakeholders, particularly those whose heritage is housed in this facility, like the Acadian and Mi’kmaw communities, to strengthen Parks Canada’s presence in Atlantic Canada.
Today we learn from a story posted by the CBC that visitation figures at Atlantic Canada’s national parks and national historic sites this season have jumped 30% (the Halifax Citadel has seen a 74% increase), largely a result of the federal government’s decision to suspend admission fees as part of Canada 150 celebrations. Similar increases in visitation rates at museums and art galleries were observed in the UK after the Labour government scrapped admission charges to that country’s national collections in 2001. And the policy change was a net revenue generator. These are the kinds of smart investments our governments need to make in Atlantic Canada, and retaining – and enhancing – this Dartmouth facility and its magnificent archaeology collection is an important start. We must also ensure that it is properly staffed so that it may function to its potential. There is an exciting opportunity here to increase public access as well.
We would like to thank everyone who has joined us in defending the lab and our regional archaeology collection. As one of our federal representatives observed early in the process, “voices matter.” Without your voices, we would not have had this success. We are particularly thankful that our Members of Parliament stood with us on this issue and presented our argument effectively to the Minister of the Environment. We understand this kind of policy change is not easy. We appreciate your efforts, and again, we stand ready to work with you to continue uncovering and telling Atlantic Canada’s stories in Atlantic Canada.
Thank you, all.
June 16, 2017 – Thank you to everyone who has joined the campaign to save the Parks Canada Archaeology Lab and its magnificent collection. Our work is not over, but this is encouraging news. Let’s redouble our efforts to ensure this facility and its highly qualified staff remain where they are.
The Nova Scotia Archaeology Society will work diligently with all stakeholders to support this facility and enhance its capacity to serve as a centre for research, heritage resource management, and education.
May 31, 2017 – Thank you all very much for your messages of concern and support. We are currently preparing a petition that should be available shortly. Please watch this space.
In the meantime, please continue to spread the word and reach out to your elected representatives. If you haven’t already done so, please spend a few minutes and write an email to one or more of them. They are getting the message, and they need to continue to hear from us.
‘Rescue Archaeology’ Resources
House of Commons