Old Collections, New Analyses: Wabanaki Archaeology at Acadia National Park, Maine with Bonnie Newsom
August 9, 2022 @ 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Join us Tuesday, August 9, 2022 at 7 PM for a free evening lecture with Dr. Bonnie Newsom, Assistant Professor of Anthropology and Associate Faculty in the Climate Change Institute at the University of Maine.
Acadia National Park (ANP) in Maine is home to at least 24 coastal shell-bearing archaeological sites reflecting the last 3,000 years of Native American life. Most of these sites are threatened by climate change-induced impacts such as sea-level rise and increased storm intensity—the result being an irrecoverable loss of Wabanaki heritage. In a new study of archaeological collections from previous studies, Wabanaki archaeologists are re-analyzing the material heritage of their ancestors and integrating Wabanaki language and values to inspire deeper connections between past and present peoples. This work is designed to support consultations between ANP staff and Wabanaki communities about Indigenous heritage places in the Park, which will encourage culturally informed decisions on coastal site stewardship and management of sites at risk for loss. This effort is an initial step in Indigenizing shell heap research and coastal site management within the context of cultural heritage and climate change loss and damage.
Dr. Bonnie Newsom is a citizen of the Penobscot Nation and an archaeologist interested in the pre-contact lifeways of Maine’s Native peoples. Through her research, Dr. Newsom seeks to humanize past peoples by exploring concepts of identity and human agency. Her current research centers on community-engaged archaeologies, aboriginal ceramic technologies, and Maine’s shell bearing coastal sites. Dr. Newsom’s professional history includes serving as the Tribal Historic Preservation Officer for the Penobscot Indian Nation and as Assistant Director for UMaine’s Wabanaki Center. She has a strong public service record which includes serving as Chair of the Repatriation Review Committee for the National Museum of Natural History, a member of the Maine Indian Tribal-State Commission, and a Trustee for the University of Maine System. She currently serves as a commissioner for the Maine State Museum and is a board member for the Forest Society of Maine. Dr. Newsom holds a B.A. in Anthropology and an M.S. in Quaternary Studies from the University of Maine and she earned her Ph.D. from the University of Massachusetts Amherst. She and her husband Les are both military veterans and they live in Eddington, Maine. They have four children and two grandsons.