Experiential Learning and Archaeology: Reconciliation through Excavation


  • Kelsey Pennanen University of Calgary
  • Lynnita-Jo Guillet Lakehead University




The discipline of archaeology is uniquely positioned to allow for inclusion of culturally appropriate curricula to be incorporated into student learning objectives as mentioned in the 94 Calls to Action by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada (2015). In this paper the authors discuss the creation, implementation, and qualitative feedback of a community-directed and curriculum-based education program developed by graduate students that uses archaeology to mediate student learning and meet curriculum goals in both classroom and land-based environments. This experiential learning initiative involves graduate and undergraduate students, and students from a local Indigenous community and the surrounding area. Feedback from educators and student participants, both Indigenous and non-Indigenous found that the experience fostered a deeper understanding of longstanding histories of the land and increased cultural appreciation. The paper outlines program development, curriculum connections, community engagement, as well as educator and student feedback. This programming can be used as a framework, and the creation of local and place-based education initiatives is encouraged within other disciplines to facilitate pedagogy for reconciliation.

Author Biography

Lynnita-Jo Guillet, Lakehead University

Lynnita-Jo (Jojo) Guillet is an Indigenous Education Curriculum design and development consultant with the Ministry of Education in Ontario.






Design Thinking and Experiential Learning