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Cultivate The Land – Oh Canada and the Three Whys

Welcome to my blog, Cultivate The Land! I write these posts to you with the hope of sharing my two cents about landscape. The information in this blog is a culmination of my many years as an archaeologist, a historical educator, a nerdy interest in landscapes, watching informative documentaries like Planet Earth, and a genuine desire to see this beautiful and majestic planet understood in a way that allows us to understand the past and our impact on the landscape.


Archaeology moment: over 12 years ago I went on my first archaeological excavation. This is me holding a stadia rod in an open field under the hot sun. Stadia rods are used in surveying to measure distances and elevations on the land. Photo: my own.


So why landscapes? Even though we stand on it every day, we often overlook landscapes. Growing up, I often liked looking at the ‘big picture’, so I guess by the time that I decided to specialize in landscape archaeology in university I took that perspective literally. I loved analyzing maps and their purpose, GIS (Geographic Information System), and the ways that hunter gatherers travelled over the land.


From sea to see: While en route from Vancouver, British Columbia, I realized that 45 minutes later the plane that I was on was STILL flying over the Rocky Mountains…. Photo: my own.


Why landscapes in historic Canada? To me, the landscapes in Canada are like a giant story book. The images come alive and are as unique as a character in a novel and each character is often refined by other characters and/or their environment. Historical in Canada, there are MANY different interpretations of the landscape (which includes but is not limited to) the Indigenous perspective, the European perspective, the immigrant perspective, and the perspective of new Canadians.


The story of snow: everybody who has been to Canada in the Winter has a snow story. Trust me, just ask them… Photo: stock pictures.


So why Cultivate The Land? During my years as a historical connoisseur, I was also in management for many years too. In a weird sense, I likened the use of maps to management because maps help manage people’s expectations by giving useful information such as territories and boundaries on the land that need to be ‘managed’. Yet, as history shows, sometimes the environment can change things. Thus, Cultivate The Land tells tales about how the landscape and people impact each other and the results of it.


So, let the journey begin.

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