Online Event, Niagara Parks

Heritage Speaker Series: Beneath the Surface Copy

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Old Fort Erie Speaker Series Beneath the Surface: History through Archaeology

Dig into Niagara’s history and trace some of its most fascinating stories revealed through archaeological findings with this three-part online speaker series.

The History Through Archaeology series is delivered as a live-streamed, digital event. Tickets grant access using any computer, tablet or mobile device for these live, interactive sessions with notable archaeology experts and an Indigenous educator.

Tickets are $15 per event, or gain access to the entire series for $35. As an added bonus, all series-pass holders will also receive an Old Fort Erie season pass for unlimited admission to the fort in 2021. All sessions begin at 7:00 PM.

The Speakers

Jamie Jacobs

Seneca Decolonization through Archaeology April 21

Dr. Rob Macdonald & Dr. Martin Cooper

13,000 Years of Indigenous Settlement
in the Niagara Region
May 19

Dr. John Triggs

1764 Fort Erie June 23


Jamie Jacobs Seneca Decolonization through Archaeology

April 21, 7 p.m. - 8 p.m. - $15

Explore the story of Western New York’s Tonawanda Seneca Nation through an archaeological lens with Jamie Jacobs. Learn about Seneca history in the region and uncover captivating archaeological findings that shed light into its complex decolonization.

About the speaker: Jamie Jacobs is a member of the Seneca of the Turtle Clan born and raised on Tonawanda Seneca territory in Western New York. Currently, Jamie provides curation, research and cultural interpretation support at the Rochester Museum and Science Centre in Rochester, New York. He also serves as the primary consultant for the Tonawanda Seneca Adult Language immersion program, where he teaches Seneca language history and morphology. He is the ritual custodian for his clan’s longhouse and ceremonies.

Dr. Rob Macdonald & Dr. Martin Cooper 13,000 Years of Indigenous Settlement
in the Niagara Region

May 19, 7 p.m. - 8 p.m. - $15

Archaeological evidence suggests that as the Laurentide Ice Sheet receded 13,000 years ago, Indigenous peoples adapted to a new landscape in the Great Lakes area. The location of their settlements and the technology they created demonstrate a transition that evolved for thousands of years. In this seminar, discover how Indigenous peoples responded to drastic landscape changes in the Niagara region, and shifted from a hunter-gatherer economy to an agricultural economy over the course of 2000 years.

About the speakers: Dr. Robert MacDonald is a managing partner at Archaeological Services Inc. accredited by the Register of Professional Archaeologists. Dr. MacDonald’s areas of expertise include ecological archaeology, archaeological site potential modelling, geographical information system (GIS) applications in archaeology, Iroquoian archaeology and stone tool analysis. He has authored over 40 publications including books, scholarly works and presentations.

Dr. Martin Cooper has been an active member of Ontario’s archaeology community for over 30 years. He is a senior archaeologist at Archaeological Services Inc. where he has served as project director on hundreds of single and multi-phased assessments; directed archaeological assessments in northern Ontario and the southern Canadian Shield; and directed extensive archaeological survey and excavation of seventeenth century Neutral Iroquoian sites in the Niagara Peninsula.


Dr. John Triggs 1764 Fort Erie

June 23, 7 p.m. - 8 p.m. - $15

In 2019, a group of archaeology students led by professor Dr. John Triggs made a stunning discovery when they found the remains of Ontario’s oldest British military fort. Hear the story of how modern archaeology pieced together the history of the first Fort Erie constructed in 1764. Join Dr. Triggs as he shares some of his team’s incredible findings and learn what life was like for the British and Indigenous inhabitants of this early Ontario community.

About the speaker: For over 30 years, Dr. John Triggs has served as a professional archaeological consultant on military, domestic and fur trade sites across Ontario, including several Canadian National Historic Sites. He has also worked on international projects in the Kingdom of Jordan, the Paleolithic rock shelters of the Periogord region, France and Bermuda. Currently, Dr. Triggs is a professor at Waterloo’s Wilfred Laurier University where he teaches historical archaeology and cultural heritage management.