© A.H.B.I. Associates Inc.
The   passage   that   follows   is   the   introduction   to   a   chapter   in   a   book   commemorating   Jim Wright’s many contributions to Canadian archaeology. The   full   article   “Steward   of   the   Past:   The   Published   Works   of   James   V.   Wright”,   by   Joyce M.   Wright,   can   be   found   in   Painting   the   Past   with   a   Broad   Brush:   Papers   in   Honour   of James   Valliere   Wright ,   edited   by   David   L.   Keenlyside   and   Jean-Luc   Pilon   and   published   by the Canadian Museum of History (2009).
A   hallmark   of   many   early   scholars   is   the   considerable   breadth   and   variety   of   their   research.   This   is   no   less   true   of archaeologists    and    early    Canadian    pioneers    in    the    discipline    can    be    considered    Renaissance    men    for    the methods   they   employed   and   the   spatial,   temporal   and   cultural   scope   of   their   contributions.   When   James   Valliere Wright   was   hired   for   the   position   of   Ontario   Archaeologist   by   the   National   Museum   of   Canada   (now   the   Canadian Museum   of   Civilization)   in   1960,   he   was   one   of   but   10   archaeologists   employed   in   all   of   Canada.   And,   like   his intellectual   forbears,   his   contributions   to   archaeology   were   extensive.   His   surveys   extended   as   far   west   as Alberta   and   encompassed   Saskatchewan,   Manitoba,   Ontario,   Quebec   and   the   Northwest   Territories.   He   was involved   in   the   excavation   of   two   New   York   state   sites,   three   Northwest   Territory   sites,   and   more   than   20   Ontario sites.   A   considerable   number   of   the   sites   he   excavated   can   be   classified   under   the   Ontario   Iroquois   Tradition (OIT),   a   cultural   taxonomy   he   created,   or   as   St.   Lawrence   Iroquoian.   Many,   too,   were   Algonquian.   In   fact,   it   was   his belief    that    the    contrast    between    his    Iroquoian    and    Algonquian    interests    helped    to    maintain    an    objective perspective   with   respect   to   each.   Yet   other   sites   involved   Palaeo-Indian   and   Archaic   peoples   and   a   few   multi- component excavations spanned thousands of years up to and including the historic period. A   life-long   interest   in   classification,   both   artifactual   and   cultural,   was   evidenced   early   on   in   “The   Middleport Horizon”   (1960)   and   the   dissertation   for   which   he   received   his   Ph.D.   and   which   was   later   published   by   the National   Museum   of   Canada.   The   Ontario   Iroquois   Tradition   (1966)   constitutes   a   cultural   taxonomy   pertaining   to past   Iroquoian   populations   resident   in   what   is   now   the   province   of   Ontario,   exclusive   of   the   St.   Lawrence Iroquois.   The   taxonomy   is   still   in   use   almost   half   a   century   after   it   was   created,   although   it   has   occasionally   been targeted   for   criticism   by   those   who   tend   to   focus   more   on   the   diversity   evident   within   it   than   on   the   broad similarities   it   encompasses.   This   is   a   frequent   issue   with   any   taxonomy   and   one   which   can   be   explained   to   some extent   by   the   observation   that   “...   splitters   are   ...   more   impressed   by   the   appearance   of   internal   cohesion,   and lumpers   by   external   isolation.   It   may   also   be   that   splitters   have   simply   a   sharper   eye   for   differences   than   have lumpers,    or    they    may    have    a    lower    tolerance    for    diversity”    (Adams    and    Adams    1991:280).    One    point misunderstood   by   several   critics   of   the   OIT   was   the   fact   that   the   author   never   intended   it   to   be   “cast   in   stone” but,   rather,   fully   expected   it   to   be   subject   to   revision   with   the   advent   of   new   evidence   and   insights.   His   own contributions   in   this   respect   can   be   found   in   Chapter   33   of   Volume   III,   Part   1,   of   A   History   of   the   Native   People   of Canada    (2004a),    “The    Conquest    Theory    of    the    Ontario    Iroquois    Tradition:    A    Reassessment”    (1992b),    and responses   to   other   author’s   publications;   for   example,   “Comment   on   Spence’s   ‘Mortuary   Programmes   of   the Early Ontario Iroquoians’” (1994a) and “Archaeology of Southern Ontario to A.D. 1650: A Critique” (1990b). The   publication   of   Richard   S.   MacNeish’s   Iroquois   Pottery   Types:   A   Technique   for   the   Study   of   Iroquois   Prehistory (1952)   constitutes   a   landmark   in   Iroquoian   archaeology.   Not   only   did   it   provide   the   first   evidence   in   support   of the   in   situ   development   of   Northeastern   Iroquoian-speaking   peoples   but   it   offered   a   classificatory   key   to   ceramic vessels   that   assisted   in   the   identification   of   broad   spatial   patterns   across   Iroquoia.   The   key   was   comprised   of types,   a   concept   that   William   A.   Ritchie   and   MacNeish   defined   in   their   1949   article   “The   Pre-Iroquoian   Pottery   of New   York   State”   as   “a   group   of   objects   exhibiting   interrelated   similar   features   which   have   temporal   and   spatial significance”   (Ritchie   and   MacNeish   1949:98).   While   acknowledging   the   utility   of   MacNeish’s   types   to   previous research,   Wright   nevertheless   was   of   the   opinion   that   the   many   weaknesses   associated   with   the   use   of   types justified   their   abandonment   in   favour   of   individual,   irreducible,   attributes.   These   views   were   expounded   in   “The Role   of   Attribute   Analysis   in   the   Study   of   Iroquoian   Prehistory”   (1980)   and   “Type   and   Attribute   Analysis:   Their Application to Iroquois Culture History” (1967a). When   he   was   asked   to   assume   overall   responsibility   for   the   archaeological   content   of   the   Historical   Atlas   of Canada:   From   the   Beginning   to   1800   (1987c),   a   task   which   ultimately   involved   his   authoring   or   co-authoring   nine plates   himself,   Wright   found   himself   tackling   issues   of   taxonomy   at   a   national   scale.   Stitching   together   insights garnered   from   multiple   regional   perspectives   necessitated   the   creation   of   an   overall   structure   within   which   to understand   and   communicate   the   disparate   parts.   Such   a   complex   task   had   not   previously   been   undertaken although,    13    years    earlier,    Wright    had    noted    the    fundamental    association    between    taxonomy    and    the advancement   of   knowledge   in   “Archaeological   Taxonomy:   Apples   and   Oranges”   (1974a).   The   process   by   which this   was   done   for   the   Historical   Atlas   of   Canada   was   outlined   in   “Mapping   Canada’s   Prehistory”   (1986a).   Similarly, the   process   by   which   his   even   more   ambitious   taxonomical   efforts,   apparent   in   the   multi-volume   A   History   of   the Native   People   of   Canada   series   (TBD,   1995a,   1999b,   2004a),   were   accomplished,   was   described   in   “Archaeological Cultural   Constructs   and   Systematics:   A   Proposed   Classification   System   for   Canada”   (1999a)   and   “A   History   of   the Native   People   of   Canada:   Genesis   of   a   Synthesis”   (1996).   Not   only   was   he   aware   of   the   need   to   communicate   the necessity of cultural taxonomies but, in the spirit of sound science, the means by which they are accomplished. The   Ontario   Iroquois   Tradition   (1966)   was   also   one   of   the   first   of   Wright’s   publications   to   raise   what   would become   a   recurring   theme   throughout   his   published   works;   the   advocation   that   all   evidence   from   archaeological sites—settlement   patterns,   bone   artifacts,   lithic   artifacts,   ceramics,   and   so   on—be   analyzed   together   (e.g.,   “The Gordon   Island   North   Site   and   Cultural   Settlement   Distributions   Along   the   Upper   St.   Lawrence   River   Valley” (2004b),   “Comment   on   Spence’s   ‘Mortuary   Programmes   of   the   Early   Ontario   Iroquoians’”   (1994a),   Chapter   23, Volume   II   and   Chapter   35   of   Volume   III,   Part   1,   of   A   History   of   the   Native   People   of   Canada   (2004a)).   Too   many researchers,   he   felt,   relied   on   ceramic   artifacts   alone   or   on   the   presence   of   cultural   markers/index   fossils.   As   an indication   of   just   how   misleading   such   a   practice   can   be   “The   Glen   Site:   An   Historic   Cheveux   Relevés   Campsite   on Flowerpot   Island,   Georgian   Bay,   Ontario”   (1981c)   demonstrated   that   there   is   an   inverse   relationship   of   ceramics and   lithics   at   Iroquoian   versus   Algonquian   sites.   In   “A   Regional   Examination   of   Ojibwa   Culture   History”   (1965)   he found   that,   with   respect   to   Ojibwa   culture   history,   ceramic   artifacts   reflect   the   influences   of   different   foreign traditions but that lithic manufacture was locally inspired. Like   all   true   scholars,   Wright   was   interested   in   addressing   the   issues   of   his   research   more   deeply.   To   that   end,   he made   several   strides   with   respect   to   the   methods   he   used   during   excavation   and   analysis.   Some   of   this   involved physical   experimentation   as   when   he   used   a   mano   and   metate   to   grind   dried   corn   kernels   into   flour   which   was used   to   make   a   corn   pancake   or   when   he   built   a   tipi   primarily   from   materials   available   on   his   own   woodlot.   Such experimentation   occurred   on   an   even   grander   scale   during   the   excavation   of   the   Nodwell   site   (1971,   1974b) when   three   longhouses,   stockades,   shooting   platforms   and   ladders   were   reconstructed.   Years   later,   when   Mima Kapches    misinterpreted    these    activities    and    postulated    a    method    of    longhouse    construction    that    Wright considered   improbable,   he   again   resorted   to   his   own   woodlot   to   measure   tree   diameters   versus   height   in   order to   rebut   her   arguments   in   “Three   Dimensional   Reconstructions   of   Iroquoian   Longhouses:   A   Comment”   (1995b). The   Nodwell   site   excavation   was   also   distinctive   because   it   tied   with   William   D.   Finlayson’s   excavation   of   the Thede   site   for   first   utilization   of   flotation   at   an   Ontario   site.   The   potential   benefits   of   this   recovery   technique versus   no   such   effort   or   sieving   with   the   ubiquitous   ¼   inch   screen   were   amply   illustrated   in   two   articles   co- authored   with   his   wife,   Dawn   M.   Wright:   “Iroquoian   Archaeology:   It’s   the   Pits”   (1993)   and   “A   News   Item   from   the McKeown   Site”   (1990a).   Both   resulted   from   an   unwillingness   to   discard   nearly   27   tonnes   of   pit   fill   from   more   than 1,000   features   at   the   Maynard–McKeown   site.   The   wet   and   dry   techniques   they   employed   resulted   in   several unique   insights   and,   most   notably,   the   only   extant   archaeological   evidence   of   contact   between   Europeans   and   St. Lawrence   Iroquoians.   In   another   study,   he   used   Nodwell   data   in   conjunction   with   data   from   the   McIvor   site   to examine   the   effects   of   different   materials   on   radiometric   dates   in   “The   Comparative   Radiometric   Dating   of   Two Prehistoric Iroquoian Villages” (1985b). The   explicit   purpose   of   Wright’s   multi-volume   magnum   opus,   A   History   of   the   Native   People   of   Canada,   “...   is   to serve   as   general   reference   works   treating   the   culture   history   of   the   pre-European   native   people   of   Canada   as revealed   by   archaeology”   (1995a:3,   1999b:v;   2004a:1571).   Likewise,   culture   history   and   culture   process   were listed   as   his   two   foremost   archaeological   interests   on   his   curriculum   vitae,   a   fact   that   is   attested   to   by   virtually   all of   his   publications.   The   key   point   here   is   that   culture   history   and   culture   process   were   linked   for   him   and probably   for   many,   if   not   most,   of   the   scholars   who   spent   their   careers   furthering   it.   As   Wright   says   himself:   “no one   told   me   when   I   was   going   through   university   that   culture   history   was   only   description   devoid   of   explanation and   consideration   of   cultural   process.   In   fact,   cultural   process   was   a   key   element   of   the   method”   (2004:1574). Criticisms   that   culture   history   over-emphasizes   description   and   relies   too   heavily   on   explanations   of   migration and   diffusion   inadequately   explain   the   current   disdain   with   which   so   many   researchers   appear   to   view   it.   One possibility   is   that   the   term   has   been   misconceived   by   some   as   pertaining   to   rigidly   bounded   cultures   equatable with   ethnic   groups   such   as   those   known   in   the   historic   period.   Such   a   misunderstanding   would   naturally   lead   to scorn   if   it   were   justified;   however,   at   least   with   respect   to   Wright,   this   was   not   the   case.   In   “The   Cultural Continuity   of   the   Northern   Iroquoian-Speaking   Peoples”   (1984a)   he   explains   that   “While   prehistoric   cultures cannot   be   equated   with   historic   political   units   per   se,   they   can   be   recognized   as   contributing   cultural   ancestry   of political   groups   of   the   historic   period.”   Even   relatively   early   in   his   career,   in   “Cree   Culture   History   in   the   Southern Indian   Lake   Region”   (1968d),   he   stated   that   “It   is   relatively   clear   that   the   ethnic   designations   derived   from ethnology   and   history   will   never   equate   neatly   with   the   archaeological   reconstructions.   On   the   other   hand,   it   may be   possible   for   the   archaeologist   to   assist   the   ethnologist,   the   ethnohistorian,   and   the   historian   by   tracing   the time depth of local sequences and by presenting the evidence for broad areas of interaction ....” Part   of   the   business   of   being   an   archaeologist   is   tending   to   the   discipline   of   archaeology.   Each   of   us   must determine   our   own   direction   in   this   regard   but,   for   Wright,   it   was   expressed   through   administration,   teaching, and   popular   writing.   In   the   first   instance,   he   accepted   several   leadership   terms   of   office   at   the   National   Museum of   Canada.   As   all   archaeologists   are   aware,   this   is   not   something   that   any   scholar   would   necessarily   want   to   do because   it   leaves   so   little   time   for   research;   however,   it   is   necessary   to   ensure   that   control   of   archaeological interests    rests    firmly    with    those    who    understand    the    discipline    best.    He    was    also    very    involved    in    an administrative   capacity   with   a   number   of   archaeological   organizations   including   the   Canadian   Archaeological Association    (of    which    he    was    the    founding    president),    the    Ontario    Archaeological    Society,    the    Society    for American   Archaeology,   the   Council   for   Canadian   Archaeology,   and   the   Ontario   Council   for   Archaeology.   Likewise, for   two   terms   he   was   a   Member   of   Council   for   Academy   II   of   the   Royal   Society   of   Canada   to   which   he   was   elected a   Fellow   in   1980   and,   for   four   years,   he   was   a   member   of   the   Board   of   Directors   of   the   London   Museum   of Archaeology (now the Museum of Ontario Archaeology). Second,   he   took   on   a   professorial   role   when   he   accepted   invitations   to   teach,   on   a   visiting   basis,   at   the   University of   Toronto   and   the   Université   de   Montréal   (he   was   also   a   Conjunct   Professor   at   Trent   University   but   never   taught a   class   there).   He   loved   the   lively   interplay   of   ideas   and   debate   and   since,   like   the   best   of   professors,   he   was always   open   to   learning   himself,   it   is   likely   that   he   profited   as   much   from   these   classes   as   did   the   students. Certainly,   he   was   revitalized   by   them.   As   an   external   examiner,   he   evaluated   more   than   a   dozen   French   and English   language   master’s   and   doctoral   theses   at   universities   stretching   literally   from   one   coast   to   the   other, including   theses   authored   by:   José   Benmouyal   (Ph.D.),   Claude   Chapdelaine   (Ph.D.),   Hugh   Daechsel   (M.A.),   Laurent Girouard    (M.A.),    Walter    Kenyon    (Ph.D.),    René    Levesque    (M.A.),    Marcie    Madden    (M.A.),    Roger    Marois    (Ph.D.), William   Noble   (Ph.D.),   Peter   Ramsden   (Ph.D.),   Priscilla   Renouf   (M.A.),   Huguette   Trudeau   (M.A.),   and   Barbara Winter   (Ph.D.).   In   one   instance,   he   even   prevailed   over   a   student’s   own   academic   advisor   in   support   of   a   thesis. Several   students   who   worked   during   the   summer   months   at   the   Archaeological   Survey   of   Canada   (ASC)   were provided with free room and board at the Wright residence. Third,   Wright   translated   the   specialist   literature   of   the   discipline   into   formats   accessible   to   interested   lay-people. Volumes    like    Ontario    Prehistory:    An    Eleven-Thousand-Year    Archaeological    Outline    (1972f    ),    Six    Chapters    of Canada’s    Prehistory    (1976c),    and    Québec    Prehistory    (1979b)    became    best-sellers    and    can    still    be    found    in museum   gift   shops   and   undergraduate   classrooms   to   this   day.   The   more   recently   published   A   History   of   the Native   People   of   Canada   series   was   also   intended   to   be   accessible   to   interested   members   of   the   general   public. In   part,   these   works   were   created   for   Canada’s   taxpayers   who   had   paid,   knowingly   or   not,   for   his   opportunity   to do   archaeology.   In   part,   too,   they   were   written   with   the   full   understanding   that   future   support   of   this   nature would   depend   in   large   measure   on   the   awareness   of   Canadians   of   their   archaeological   past.   And,   finally,   as syntheses   of   the   diverse   and   unordered   research   efforts   of   himself   and   other   scholars,   they   served   the   discipline of   archaeology   by   looking   at   the   “big   picture”   and   making   a   first   attempt   to   understand   how   it   all   works   together. He   was   very   pleased   when   other   scholars   also   took   up   this   task   as   reflected,   for   instance,   in   “Archaeology   of Southern   Ontario   to   A.D.   1650:   A   Critique”   (1990b)   and   William   D.   Finlayson’s   Iroquoian   Peoples   of   the   Land   of Rocks and Water, A.D. 1000–1650: A Study in Settlement Archaeology (1998) to which he wrote the foreword. Wright   considered   himself   extremely   fortunate   to   have   joined   the   discipline   of   archaeology   when   he   did.   Indeed, his   tenure   at   the   Museum   coincided   with   a   period   in   Canadian   archaeology,   spearheaded   in   large   part   by   the Archaeological   Survey   of   Canada,   that   witnessed   a   fluorescence   of   fieldwork   across   the   country,   the   employment of   new   and   exciting   research   strategies   and   interpretations   made   possible   by   the   rapidly   expanding   database, and   the   establishment   of   resources—including   research   grants   and   a   Palaeoenvironmental   Laboratory   at   the ASC—that   betokened   an   ever-brightening   future   for   the   discipline.   Shortly   after   he   joined   the   Museum,   he   was given   a   piece   of   advice   by   that   doyen   of   Canadian   Anthropology,   Diamond   Jenness,   who   urged   him   to   “go   and   do better”.   He   did,   and   I   know   that,   at   one   now   with   the   ancestors   whose   interests   he   worked   so   hard   to   serve   in   his life, it would be his wish for those of us who remain to do the same. © Joyce M. Wright

Dr. James V. Wright (1932-2004)

CANADIAN ARCHAEOLOGIST

© A.H.B.I. Associates Inc.
The   passage   that   follows   is   the   introduction   to   a   chapter   in   a   book   commemorating   Jim Wright’s many contributions to Canadian archaeology. The   full   article   “Steward   of   the   Past:   The   Published   Works   of   James   V.   Wright”,   by   Joyce M.   Wright,   can   be   found   in   Painting   the   Past   with   a   Broad   Brush:   Papers   in   Honour   of James   Valliere   Wright ,   edited   by   David   L.   Keenlyside   and   Jean-Luc   Pilon   and   published   by the Canadian Museum of History (2009).

Dr. James V. Wright (1932-2004)

CANADIAN ARCHAEOLOGIST

A   hallmark   of   many   early   scholars   is   the   considerable   breadth   and   variety of   their   research.   This   is   no   less   true   of   archaeologists   and   early   Canadian pioneers   in   the   discipline   can   be   considered   Renaissance   men   for   the methods   they   employed   and   the   spatial,   temporal   and   cultural   scope   of their   contributions.   When   James   Valliere   Wright   was   hired   for   the   position of   Ontario   Archaeologist   by   the   National   Museum   of   Canada   (now   the Canadian    Museum    of    Civilization)    in    1960,    he    was    one    of    but    10 archaeologists    employed    in    all    of    Canada.    And,    like    his    intellectual forbears,   his   contributions   to   archaeology   were   extensive.   His   surveys extended    as    far    west    as    Alberta    and    encompassed    Saskatchewan, Manitoba,    Ontario,    Quebec    and    the    Northwest    Territories.    He    was involved   in   the   excavation   of   two   New   York   state   sites,   three   Northwest Territory   sites,   and   more   than   20   Ontario   sites.   A   considerable   number   of the    sites    he    excavated    can    be    classified    under    the    Ontario    Iroquois Tradition    (OIT),    a    cultural    taxonomy    he    created,    or    as    St.    Lawrence Iroquoian.   Many,   too,   were   Algonquian.   In   fact,   it   was   his   belief   that   the contrast    between    his    Iroquoian    and    Algonquian    interests    helped    to maintain   an   objective   perspective   with   respect   to   each.   Yet   other   sites involved   Palaeo-Indian   and   Archaic   peoples   and   a   few   multi-component excavations   spanned   thousands   of   years   up   to   and   including   the   historic period. A    life-long    interest    in    classification,    both    artifactual    and    cultural,    was evidenced     early     on     in     “The     Middleport     Horizon”     (1960)     and     the dissertation    for    which    he    received    his    Ph.D.    and    which    was    later published    by    the    National    Museum    of    Canada.    The    Ontario    Iroquois Tradition    (1966)    constitutes    a    cultural    taxonomy    pertaining    to    past Iroquoian   populations   resident   in   what   is   now   the   province   of   Ontario, exclusive   of   the   St.   Lawrence   Iroquois.   The   taxonomy   is   still   in   use   almost half   a   century   after   it   was   created,   although   it   has   occasionally   been targeted   for   criticism   by   those   who   tend   to   focus   more   on   the   diversity evident   within   it   than   on   the   broad   similarities   it   encompasses.   This   is   a frequent   issue   with   any   taxonomy   and   one   which   can   be   explained   to some   extent   by   the   observation   that   “...   splitters   are   ...   more   impressed by    the    appearance    of    internal    cohesion,    and    lumpers    by    external isolation.    It    may    also    be    that    splitters    have    simply    a    sharper    eye    for differences   than   have   lumpers,   or   they   may   have   a   lower   tolerance   for diversity”   (Adams   and   Adams   1991:280).   One   point   misunderstood   by several   critics   of   the   OIT   was   the   fact   that   the   author   never   intended   it   to be   “cast   in   stone”   but,   rather,   fully   expected   it   to   be   subject   to   revision with   the   advent   of   new   evidence   and   insights.   His   own   contributions   in this   respect   can   be   found   in   Chapter   33   of   Volume   III,   Part   1,   of   A   History of   the   Native   People   of   Canada   (2004a),   “The   Conquest   Theory   of   the Ontario   Iroquois   Tradition:   A   Reassessment”   (1992b),   and   responses   to other     author’s     publications;     for     example,     “Comment     on     Spence’s ‘Mortuary    Programmes    of    the    Early    Ontario    Iroquoians’”    (1994a)    and “Archaeology of Southern Ontario to A.D. 1650: A Critique” (1990b). The    publication    of    Richard    S.    MacNeish’s    Iroquois    Pottery    Types:    A Technique    for    the    Study    of    Iroquois    Prehistory    (1952)    constitutes    a landmark    in    Iroquoian    archaeology.    Not    only    did    it    provide    the    first evidence     in     support     of     the     in     situ     development     of     Northeastern Iroquoian-speaking   peoples   but   it   offered   a   classificatory   key   to   ceramic vessels   that   assisted   in   the   identification   of   broad   spatial   patterns   across Iroquoia.    The    key    was    comprised    of    types,    a    concept    that    William    A. Ritchie   and   MacNeish   defined   in   their   1949   article   “The   Pre-Iroquoian Pottery   of   New   York   State”   as   “a   group   of   objects   exhibiting   interrelated similar   features   which   have   temporal   and   spatial   significance”   (Ritchie and   MacNeish   1949:98).   While   acknowledging   the   utility   of   MacNeish’s types   to   previous   research,   Wright   nevertheless   was   of   the   opinion   that the   many   weaknesses   associated   with   the   use   of   types   justified   their abandonment   in   favour   of   individual,   irreducible,   attributes.   These   views were    expounded    in    “The    Role    of    Attribute    Analysis    in    the    Study    of Iroquoian    Prehistory”    (1980)    and    “Type    and    Attribute    Analysis:    Their Application to Iroquois Culture History” (1967a). When     he     was     asked     to     assume     overall     responsibility     for     the archaeological    content    of    the    Historical    Atlas    of    Canada:    From    the Beginning   to   1800   (1987c),   a   task   which   ultimately   involved   his   authoring or   co-authoring   nine   plates   himself,   Wright   found   himself   tackling   issues of   taxonomy   at   a   national   scale.   Stitching   together   insights   garnered   from multiple    regional    perspectives    necessitated    the    creation    of    an    overall structure   within   which   to   understand   and   communicate   the   disparate parts.   Such   a   complex   task   had   not   previously   been   undertaken   although, 13   years   earlier,   Wright   had   noted   the   fundamental   association   between taxonomy     and     the     advancement     of     knowledge     in     “Archaeological Taxonomy:   Apples   and   Oranges”   (1974a).   The   process   by   which   this   was done    for    the    Historical    Atlas    of    Canada    was    outlined    in    “Mapping Canada’s   Prehistory”   (1986a).   Similarly,   the   process   by   which   his   even more    ambitious    taxonomical    efforts,    apparent    in    the    multi-volume    A History   of   the   Native   People   of   Canada   series   (TBD,   1995a,   1999b,   2004a), were   accomplished,   was   described   in   “Archaeological   Cultural   Constructs and   Systematics:   A   Proposed   Classification   System   for   Canada”   (1999a) and   “A   History   of   the   Native   People   of   Canada:   Genesis   of   a   Synthesis” (1996).   Not   only   was   he   aware   of   the   need   to   communicate   the   necessity of   cultural   taxonomies   but,   in   the   spirit   of   sound   science,   the   means   by which they are accomplished. The   Ontario   Iroquois   Tradition   (1966)   was   also   one   of   the   first   of   Wright’s publications   to   raise   what   would   become   a   recurring   theme   throughout his   published   works;   the   advocation   that   all   evidence   from   archaeological sites—settlement   patterns,   bone   artifacts,   lithic   artifacts,   ceramics,   and so   on—be   analyzed   together   (e.g.,   “The   Gordon   Island   North   Site   and Cultural    Settlement    Distributions    Along    the    Upper    St.    Lawrence    River Valley”    (2004b),    “Comment    on    Spence’s    ‘Mortuary    Programmes    of    the Early   Ontario   Iroquoians’”   (1994a),   Chapter   23,   Volume   II   and   Chapter   35 of   Volume   III,   Part   1,   of   A   History   of   the   Native   People   of   Canada   (2004a)). Too   many   researchers,   he   felt,   relied   on   ceramic   artifacts   alone   or   on   the presence   of   cultural   markers/index   fossils.   As   an   indication   of   just   how misleading   such   a   practice   can   be   “The   Glen   Site:   An   Historic   Cheveux Relevés   Campsite   on   Flowerpot   Island,   Georgian   Bay,   Ontario”   (1981c) demonstrated   that   there   is   an   inverse   relationship   of   ceramics   and   lithics at    Iroquoian    versus    Algonquian    sites.    In    “A    Regional    Examination    of Ojibwa    Culture    History”    (1965)    he    found    that,    with    respect    to    Ojibwa culture   history,   ceramic   artifacts   reflect   the   influences   of   different   foreign traditions but that lithic manufacture was locally inspired. Like   all   true   scholars,   Wright   was   interested   in   addressing   the   issues   of his    research    more    deeply.    To    that    end,    he    made    several    strides    with respect   to   the   methods   he   used   during   excavation   and   analysis.   Some   of this   involved   physical   experimentation   as   when   he   used   a   mano   and metate   to   grind   dried   corn   kernels   into   flour   which   was   used   to   make   a corn   pancake   or   when   he   built   a   tipi   primarily   from   materials   available   on his   own   woodlot.   Such   experimentation   occurred   on   an   even   grander scale   during   the   excavation   of   the   Nodwell   site   (1971,   1974b)   when   three longhouses,      stockades,      shooting      platforms      and      ladders      were reconstructed.    Years    later,    when    Mima    Kapches    misinterpreted    these activities   and   postulated   a   method   of   longhouse   construction   that   Wright considered   improbable,   he   again   resorted   to   his   own   woodlot   to   measure tree   diameters   versus   height   in   order   to   rebut   her   arguments   in   “Three Dimensional    Reconstructions    of    Iroquoian    Longhouses:    A    Comment” (1995b).   The   Nodwell   site   excavation   was   also   distinctive   because   it   tied with   William   D.   Finlayson’s   excavation   of   the   Thede   site   for   first   utilization of   flotation   at   an   Ontario   site.   The   potential   benefits   of   this   recovery technique   versus   no   such   effort   or   sieving   with   the   ubiquitous   ¼   inch screen   were   amply   illustrated   in   two   articles   co-authored   with   his   wife, Dawn   M.   Wright:   “Iroquoian   Archaeology:   It’s   the   Pits”   (1993)   and   “A   News Item     from     the     McKeown     Site”     (1990a).     Both     resulted     from     an unwillingness   to   discard   nearly   27   tonnes   of   pit   fill   from   more   than   1,000 features   at   the   Maynard–McKeown   site.   The   wet   and   dry   techniques   they employed   resulted   in   several   unique   insights   and,   most   notably,   the   only extant   archaeological   evidence   of   contact   between   Europeans   and   St. Lawrence    Iroquoians.    In    another    study,    he    used    Nodwell    data    in conjunction   with   data   from   the   McIvor   site   to   examine   the   effects   of different   materials   on   radiometric   dates   in   “The   Comparative   Radiometric Dating of Two Prehistoric Iroquoian Villages” (1985b). The   explicit   purpose   of   Wright’s   multi-volume   magnum   opus,   A   History   of the   Native   People   of   Canada,   “...   is   to   serve   as   general   reference   works treating   the   culture   history   of   the   pre-European   native   people   of   Canada as    revealed    by    archaeology”    (1995a:3,    1999b:v;    2004a:1571).    Likewise, culture    history    and    culture    process    were    listed    as    his    two    foremost archaeological   interests   on   his   curriculum   vitae,   a   fact   that   is   attested   to by    virtually    all    of    his    publications.    The    key    point    here    is    that    culture history   and   culture   process   were   linked   for   him   and   probably   for   many,   if not   most,   of   the   scholars   who   spent   their   careers   furthering   it.   As   Wright says   himself:   “no   one   told   me   when   I   was   going   through   university   that culture     history     was     only     description     devoid     of     explanation     and consideration    of    cultural    process.    In    fact,    cultural    process    was    a    key element   of   the   method”   (2004:1574).   Criticisms   that   culture   history   over- emphasizes     description     and     relies     too     heavily     on     explanations     of migration   and   diffusion   inadequately   explain   the   current   disdain   with which   so   many   researchers   appear   to   view   it.   One   possibility   is   that   the term   has   been   misconceived   by   some   as   pertaining   to   rigidly   bounded cultures   equatable   with   ethnic   groups   such   as   those   known   in   the   historic period.   Such   a   misunderstanding   would   naturally   lead   to   scorn   if   it   were justified;   however,   at   least   with   respect   to   Wright,   this   was   not   the   case. In   “The   Cultural   Continuity   of   the   Northern   Iroquoian-Speaking   Peoples” (1984a)   he   explains   that   “While   prehistoric   cultures   cannot   be   equated with   historic   political   units   per   se,   they   can   be   recognized   as   contributing cultural   ancestry   of   political   groups   of   the   historic   period.”   Even   relatively early   in   his   career,   in   “Cree   Culture   History   in   the   Southern   Indian   Lake Region”    (1968d),    he    stated    that    “It    is    relatively    clear    that    the    ethnic designations   derived   from   ethnology   and   history   will   never   equate   neatly with   the   archaeological   reconstructions.   On   the   other   hand,   it   may   be possible      for      the      archaeologist      to      assist      the      ethnologist,      the ethnohistorian,    and    the    historian    by    tracing    the    time    depth    of    local sequences   and   by   presenting   the   evidence   for   broad   areas   of   interaction ....” Part   of   the   business   of   being   an   archaeologist   is   tending   to   the   discipline of   archaeology.   Each   of   us   must   determine   our   own   direction   in   this regard   but,   for   Wright,   it   was   expressed   through   administration,   teaching, and   popular   writing.   In   the   first   instance,   he   accepted   several   leadership terms   of   office   at   the   National   Museum   of   Canada.   As   all   archaeologists are   aware,   this   is   not   something   that   any   scholar   would   necessarily   want to   do   because   it   leaves   so   little   time   for   research;   however,   it   is   necessary to   ensure   that   control   of   archaeological   interests   rests   firmly   with   those who    understand    the    discipline    best.    He    was    also    very    involved    in    an administrative   capacity   with   a   number   of   archaeological   organizations including   the   Canadian   Archaeological   Association   (of   which   he   was   the founding   president),   the   Ontario   Archaeological   Society,   the   Society   for American   Archaeology,   the   Council   for   Canadian   Archaeology,   and   the Ontario    Council    for    Archaeology.    Likewise,    for    two    terms    he    was    a Member   of   Council   for   Academy   II   of   the   Royal   Society   of   Canada   to which   he   was   elected   a   Fellow   in   1980   and,   for   four   years,   he   was   a member   of   the   Board   of   Directors   of   the   London   Museum   of   Archaeology (now the Museum of Ontario Archaeology). Second,   he   took   on   a   professorial   role   when   he   accepted   invitations   to teach,   on   a   visiting   basis,   at   the   University   of   Toronto   and   the   Université de   Montréal   (he   was   also   a   Conjunct   Professor   at   Trent   University   but never   taught   a   class   there).   He   loved   the   lively   interplay   of   ideas   and debate   and   since,   like   the   best   of   professors,   he   was   always   open   to learning   himself,   it   is   likely   that   he   profited   as   much   from   these   classes   as did   the   students.   Certainly,   he   was   revitalized   by   them.   As   an   external examiner,   he   evaluated   more   than   a   dozen   French   and   English   language master’s   and   doctoral   theses   at   universities   stretching   literally   from   one coast   to   the   other,   including   theses   authored   by:   José   Benmouyal   (Ph.D.), Claude    Chapdelaine    (Ph.D.),    Hugh    Daechsel    (M.A.),    Laurent    Girouard (M.A.),    Walter    Kenyon    (Ph.D.),    René    Levesque    (M.A.),    Marcie    Madden (M.A.),   Roger   Marois   (Ph.D.),   William   Noble   (Ph.D.),   Peter   Ramsden   (Ph.D.), Priscilla    Renouf    (M.A.),    Huguette    Trudeau    (M.A.),    and    Barbara    Winter (Ph.D.).   In   one   instance,   he   even   prevailed   over   a   student’s   own   academic advisor   in   support   of   a   thesis.   Several   students   who   worked   during   the summer    months    at    the    Archaeological    Survey    of    Canada    (ASC)    were provided with free room and board at the Wright residence. Third,    Wright    translated    the    specialist    literature    of    the    discipline    into formats     accessible     to     interested     lay-people.     Volumes     like     Ontario Prehistory:   An   Eleven-Thousand-Year   Archaeological   Outline   (1972f   ),   Six Chapters   of   Canada’s   Prehistory   (1976c),   and   Québec   Prehistory   (1979b) became   best-sellers   and   can   still   be   found   in   museum   gift   shops   and undergraduate   classrooms   to   this   day.   The   more   recently   published   A History   of   the   Native   People   of   Canada   series   was   also   intended   to   be accessible   to   interested   members   of   the   general   public.   In   part,   these works   were   created   for   Canada’s   taxpayers   who   had   paid,   knowingly   or not,   for   his   opportunity   to   do   archaeology.   In   part,   too,   they   were   written with    the    full    understanding    that    future    support    of    this    nature    would depend    in    large    measure    on    the    awareness    of    Canadians    of    their archaeological    past.    And,    finally,    as    syntheses    of    the    diverse    and unordered   research   efforts   of   himself   and   other   scholars,   they   served   the discipline   of   archaeology   by   looking   at   the   “big   picture”   and   making   a   first attempt   to   understand   how   it   all   works   together.   He   was   very   pleased when   other   scholars   also   took   up   this   task   as   reflected,   for   instance,   in “Archaeology   of   Southern   Ontario   to   A.D.   1650:   A   Critique”   (1990b)   and William   D.   Finlayson’s   Iroquoian   Peoples   of   the   Land   of   Rocks   and   Water, A.D.   1000–1650:   A   Study   in   Settlement   Archaeology   (1998)   to   which   he wrote the foreword. Wright    considered    himself    extremely    fortunate    to    have    joined    the discipline   of   archaeology   when   he   did.   Indeed,   his   tenure   at   the   Museum coincided   with   a   period   in   Canadian   archaeology,   spearheaded   in   large part     by     the     Archaeological     Survey     of     Canada,     that     witnessed     a fluorescence   of   fieldwork   across   the   country,   the   employment   of   new   and exciting    research    strategies    and    interpretations    made    possible    by    the rapidly        expanding        database,        and        the        establishment        of resources—including      research      grants      and      a      Palaeoenvironmental Laboratory   at   the   ASC—that   betokened   an   ever-brightening   future   for   the discipline.   Shortly   after   he   joined   the   Museum,   he   was   given   a   piece   of advice   by   that   doyen   of   Canadian   Anthropology,   Diamond   Jenness,   who urged   him   to   “go   and   do   better”.   He   did,   and   I   know   that,   at   one   now   with the   ancestors   whose   interests   he   worked   so   hard   to   serve   in   his   life,   it would be his wish for those of us who remain to do the same. © Joyce M. Wright