Linda Larcombe is a broadly trained archaeologist and anthropologist whose research interests include archaeology, molecular anthropology, infectious diseases in contemporary and ancient human populations and cultural resource management. She has worked as a researcher and a consultant specializing in the prehistory and history of Arctic and subarctic Aboriginal Canadian populations. Linda received her PhD in anthropology from the University of Manitoba in 2005. Her research focused on the analysis of the immunogenetics of contemporary and ancient Aboriginal populations in the context of the changes that occurred in the disease environment in North America during the historic period. Currently, Linda works closely with First Nation’s groups on community-based research projects involving archaeological investigations and research into genetic and environmental factors contributing infectious disease outbreaks in northern Canadian communities. In additional to being the Senior Archaeologist with White Spruce Archaeology, Linda is an Assistant Professor in the Departments of Internal Medicine, Medical Microbiology, Community Health Sciences and is Adjunct with the Department of Anthropology at the University of Manitoba.
Mr. Matthew Singer
Matthew Singer is an Archaeologist for White Spruce Archaeology Inc consultants in Manitoba. He regularly works with First Nations and mining companies in Northern Ontario. Matthew also currently assists the Department of Internal Medicine at the University of Manitoba with their research on Dene populations in northern Canada. Among other things for the U of M, Matthew directed and co-wrote "No Shelter From the Storm: housing and tuberculosis in Lac Brochet" an 11 minute documentary about housing and health problems in a Dene community which has been shown in Europe and across Canada. Matthew has also worked at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem with Dr. Haskel Greenfield (University of Manitoba) and for eThembeni Cultural Heritage in South Africa.
Mr. Gord Hill
During 1980 and 1981 Mr. Hill was the Project Archaeologist of an Ontario Government program to conduct shoreline intensive archaeological surveys in north western Ontario in the general vicinity of Lake Nipigon. These surveys were intended to amass an inventory of archaeological heritage in areas scheduled for harvest by the pulp and paper industry.
In 1982 Mr. Hill began a career with the Manitoba Government to conduct archaeological surveys of Planning Districts. Planning Districts were established in an attempt to organize two or more municipal governments in their development plans. The archaeological surveys identified and recorded archaeological sites within each planning district to assist in the protection of Manitoba’s heritage. Mr. Hill was the lead archaeologist for three planning district surveys before the program was ended.
After the planning district surveys, the Manitoba Historic Resources Branch began a program of heritage resource impact assessment. Branch staff would identify development projects where the potential to impact heritage resources was enough to conduct an on-site archaeological investigation as outlined in the Heritage Resources Act (1987). Mr. Hill was the archaeologist in charge of these investigations in southern Manitoba.
Mr. Hill was also assigned to assist artifact collectors in identification of artifacts, archaeological site recording and general collection management. This aspect became so successful that a program was developed named the Municipal Volunteer Regional Advisors, where artifact collectors from across Manitoba were watching local developments that may not have been sent to the Historic Resources Branch for review.
Several of the Regional Advisors informed the Branch of found human remains, which required implementation of the Manitoba Policy Concerning the Reporting, Exhumation and Reburial of Found Human Remains. This policy states that the Coroner’s Office, the closest First Nation and the Police Force that held jurisdiction over the find location were contacted to establish a course of action to satisfy all parties. Once the remains were considered to be of an archaeological nature, Mr. Hill was assigned to recover the remains and any other information that could be used to identify a cultural group to which the individual belonged.
Found human remains were also reported by the general public, construction companies and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. Unfortunately, the RCMP would often dig up the remains and send them to a forensic specialist without acceptable excavation methodology or respect. Mr. Hill and other Branch staff rectified this situation through consultation with the RCMP such that it is now RCMP policy to contact the Branch once the remains are no longer considered to be the result of criminal activity, or if it is not certain that the remains are human.
The Heritage Resource Impact Assessment program has developed to the degree that over 2500 projects are assessed by Branch staff annually. Mr. Hill was in charge of this program for the last decade of his career at the Historic Resources Branch.