Boyd Archaeological Field School
This year's award is to the Toronto Region Conservation Authority for their Boyd Archaeological Field School. In its first year 1975, the school was run by the Royal Ontario Museum, and soon after the Toronto Region Conservation Authority took over the lead. This was the first public school archaeology course offered in Ontario, and its teaching innovations have been copied many times over in other places.
The field school itself is an intensive three-week experience that provides a grade 12 credit to students who successfully complete it. Through a combination of excavations, classes and hands on activities, students learn excavation techniques, methods of analysis, archaeological theory, culture history and ethics. The Seed-Barker site has been the focus of the excavations over many years, and the school's’ work has shown this site to be a very unusual Iroquoian village.
The school has also had a lasting impact on its alumni. In the thirty years since its founding, close to 1000 students have taken the course. For many, the school has been their first introduction to archaeology, and it makes a deep and lasting impression upon all those who take part. Many Boyd graduates have gone on to pursue archaeology at university and found jobs in the discipline. The school has also attracted national and international interest, with students coming from Nova Scotia, Alberta, British Columbia, Britain, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Japan, Israel, Nicaraugua, Poland, South Africa, Taiwan and the United States.
The Boyd field school has put together a remarkable legacy, creating a teaching curriculum, introducing hundreds of students to archaeology, and increasing public awareness about Ontario's past. Congratulations!