Evelyn Siegfried | Curator of Indigenous Studies

Royal Saskatchewan Museum
2340 Albert Street
Tel:  306-787-1644
Fax: 306-787-2645

Adjunct Professor
Department of Archaeology And Anthropology
University of Saskatchewan

Email: Evelyn.Siegfried@gov.sk.ca

Research Interests
Research Projects
Prospective Graduate Students
Theses, Research Papers and Reports


Research Interests

My Cree grandfather lived all his life in the boreal forests of northern Alberta and had a tremendous traditional knowledge base. He was a practical man who could make and build anything he needed from resources in the landscapes he moved through. My research interests were inspired by him as I have learned multiple uses for numerous species of plants found in the boreal forest. That interest in ethnobotany has also taken me to the plains regions of Canada where plants were also an important part of traditional Aboriginal lifeways during the past. Palaeoethnobotanical research is based on plant remains recovered during the excavation of archaeological sites and can be used in palaeoenvironmental reconstruction and understanding possible uses of plants by people in landscapes of the past. As an archaeologist I have been inspired by my ethnobotanical studies to think about how people lived through time and their activities within the changing landscapes of central and north central Canada.

My future research interests include the use of the archaeological collections housed by the Royal Saskatchewan Museum with the goal of analyzing residues found on pottery used for cooking during the past in the plains region of Canada. These residues may contain starch grains and phytoliths, identifiable at the species level which will indicate what types of plants were made use of by people during the past. The question to be answered is when such plant use may have begun, where did it originate from and how extensive was.

Research Projects

I am currently working in two areas of Saskatchewan, the Stanley Mission Holy Trinity Anglican Church Site in northcentral Saskatchewan and surveying lands southeast of the town of Bienfait in the southern part of the province.

Situated in the meadows surrounding the Holy Trinity Anglican Church were numerous Métis cabins dotting the landscape near the parsonage and Revillion Fréres trading store. No evidence of that activity is visible today, just a few short decades after people moved away to live on the south side of the Churchill River. Archaeology is revealing evidence of their past activities like the processing of large amounts of fish, women working on their beadwork and even game playing (a carved toe bone for the cup and pin game). Broken glass and nails yield information about the cabin structure. Tin cans reveal information about bought foodstuffs, while broken crockery and bone remains from rabbits and birds yield information on diet and how meals were presented at the tables of the former residents of the meadow lands. The first parsonage burned and its original location has been lost. Current studies seek to find that original parsonage location—not an easy task. The Stanley Mission site is rich in both artifacts and history and is an important part of the Saskatchewan landscape

South and east of Bienfait, a couple of buried tipi ring complexes have been identified along the upper reaches of the Souris River valley. They are still in the early stages of investigation which includes mapping and test excavations. The Souris River valley was an important area before Europeans came west, judging by the quantity of archaeological sites that have been found along its length in southeastern Saskatchewan. Excavations of such tipi ring sites contribute to knowledge about past lifeways on the vast plains of North America.

back to top

Prospective Graduate Students

As an archaeologist I have interests in a variety of topics. I have focused on ethnobotany and palaeoethnobotany in my personal research but have also worked on numerous excavation projects in Saskatchewan and Alberta, on the plains and in the boreal forest. More recently, I have been working at the Stanley Mission site since joining the RSM. It is an ongoing project that may interest students who would like to focus on historical archaeology.

If you are interested in working at the Stanley Mission site or would like to delve into the realms of ethnobotany or palaeoethnobotany, please email me and tell me about yourself, your education and experience, and what kind of projects you are interested in undertaking. Though I am situated at the RSM in Regina, Co-supervisory/Advisor arrangements could be made through the Department of Archaeology and Anthropology at the University of Saskatchewan. The RSM does not provide funding, so your ability to bring your own external funding or scholarships to your project would be a great asset.

Prospective students must meet the requirements of the College of Graduate Studies and Research and the College of Arts and Science and the Department of Archaeology and Anthropology at the University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon.

Theses, Research Papers and Reports


Paleoethnobotany on the Northern Plains: the Tuscany Archaeological Site (EgPn-377), Calgary. PhD Thesis, University of Calgary, July 2002.

Ethnobotany of the Northern Cree of Wabasca/Desmarais. MA Thesis, University of Calgary, August 1994.


1998 Appendix 1. Sediment Analysis at the Lake Minnewanka Siet (349R). In Lake Minnewanka Site 

1995 Ethnobotanical Survey of Elders of the Tsuu T'ina Nation. Report completed for Lifeways of Canada, Ltd. Calgary, Alberta.

1995 Archaeological Consultation with First Nations in Northern Alberta: Survey of Elders of the Community of Wabasca/Desmarais, 1994. Report submitted to Dr. Martin Magne, Director, Western Region, Parks Canada, Calgary, Alberta.


2008 Paleoenvironmental Reconstruction and Paleoethnobotany at the Tuscany Site (Calgary, AB): Looking Back 8000 years into the Past. Evelyn Siegfried. Paper presented at the Annual General Meeting of the Canadian Archaeological Association, May 8-11, 2008, Peterborough, Ontario.

2007 Human Remains and Sacred Objects: An Example of Repatriation by the Royal Saskatchewan Museum. Evelyn Siegfried. Paper presented at the Annual General Meeting of the Canadian Archaeological Association. May 16-20, 2007, St. John’s, Newfoundland.

2006 Saskatchewan, Repatriation and First Peoples: Forging Onward. Evelyn Siegfried. Paper presented at the 39th Annual Chacmool Conference. November10-13, 2006, Calgary, Alberta.

2006 Reflexive Archaeology with an Aboriginal twist: Shaken and Stirred. Evelyn Siegfried. Paper presented at the Annual General Meeting of the Canadian Archaeological Association. May 24-28, 2006, Toronto, Ontario.

2006 Paleoenvironmental Reconstruction at the Tuscany Site, Alberta. Evelyn Siegfried. Paper presented at the Annual General Meeting of the Saskatchewan Archaeological Society, April 28th, 2006, Regina, Saskatchewan.

2001 Paleoenvironmental Reconstruction through Flotation Analysis: The Tuscany Archaeological Site (EgPn-377). Evelyn Siegfried. Paper presented at the 34th Annual Canadian Archaeological Association Conference, May 9-13, 2001, Banff, Alberta.

2000 A Place to Call Home: The Organization and Use of Space at a Paleoindian Encampment. Evelyn Siegfried and Gerald Oetelaar. Paper presented at the 65th Annual Society of American Archaeology Meeting, April 5-9, 2000, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

1998 Voices of the Past and Present: Aboriginal Participation in the Tuscany Archaeological Project. Evelyn Siegfried and Gerald Oetelaar. Paper presented at the 31st Annual Canadian Archaeological Association Conference, May 6-10, 1998, Victoria, British Columbia.

1997 Review of Early Holocene Palynology in Southwestern Alberta. Evelyn Siegfried. Paper presented at the Third Biennial Rocky Mountain Anthropological Conference, September 18-21, 1997, Bozeman, Montana, USA.

1996 Gerald A. Oetelaar, Evelyn Siegfried and Kimberly Jones. The Natural and Human Landscape in the Calgary Area 8,500 years ago. Paper presented at the Canadian Association of Geographers Meetings, May 11-16, 1996, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.

back to top