INVISIBLE RESIDENTS: ARCHAEOLOGICAL EVIDENCE AND THE QUESTION OF INDIGENOUS PRESENCE AT HOUSE C OF BRITISH FORT MICHILIMACKINAC, 1765-1781
Michel-Rolph Trouillot’s theory of “silences” states that much of the knowable past is ignored or discarded in order to create a coherent narrative, which we call “history”. Over the past 60 years, Colonial Michilimackinac has largely constructed a narrative that centers on white male traders and soldiers while silencing the presence of Indigenous peoples. Steps towards a more nuanced narrative have been made in recent years, but there is much that can still be done. This thesis attempts to evaluate evidence of Indigenous presence at House C of Fort Michilimackinac. Using personal use or adornment artifacts, ceramics, and faunal and floral remains from House C and comparative sites, I will explore the possibility that Indigenous or Métis women lived and worked at House C, despite their absence in the documentary record. My hope is that this thesis will prompt other archaeologists and academics to reconsider who or what has been silenced in the standard narrative of the fur trade. Reevaluation of the archaeological narrative could lead to more holistic interpretation at Michilimackinac, reshaping visitor experiences and how we - as scholars - create history.
Museum studies; Indigenous; fur trade; Mackinac; Métis; Archaeology; American history; Anthropology; Historical Archaeology
Jordan, Kurt Anders
Baugher, Sherene Barbara
Master of Arts
dissertation or thesis