Loud Stepping Harbinger of Civilization

photo by Robert Rountree

By Brendan O'Connor

I’ve always seen my father as a John Muir-ish romantic type, beard and all, paddling through the fogs of history, lifting the veils of time to find where people lived and why. As an archaeologist he spends a lot of time in “the bush” around Hudson’s Bay and the Great Lakes. He works in the field, trying to envision where prehistoric or pre-Colombian people would set up camp, or get their tools. Recently, most of his work has been involved with heritage surveys in areas of pre-development. In Canada, the government requires that when an area is to be developed, it must have both and environmental and heritage impact assessment done prior to any disturbance. This means that whenever my father finds a piece of flint or an old portage for instance, entire highways may have to be re-drawn.


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