Challenging Colonial Narratives: Nineteenth-Century Great Lakes Archaeology
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At the outset, the University of Arizona Press is to be commended for establishing a publication series on the “Archaeology of Indigenous-Colonial Interactions in the Americas.” Since its inception, the series has contributed much to the literature and discourse on this significant topic. Challenging Colonial Narratives, by Matthew A. Beaudoin, is a worthy addition to the series. As the title suggests, Beaudoin examines our received wisdom on colonial archaeology and he goes on to encourage archaeologists to question many of the theoretical constructs that have arisen and come into vogue over the past 30 years. As he remarks in the introduction, “[t]his book is a critique of archaeological interpretive practice, explored through the lens of a postcolonial critique” (p. 5).
The focus is southern Ontario, Canada, in the mid-19th century, but the book’s relevance extends far beyond those geographical and temporal bounds. His analysis concerns four sites along the Grand River and elsewhere...