To date, very little is known archaeologically about First World War-era internment camps, especially in Canada, where this history was actively erased through the destruction of the Federal Internment records in the 1950s. Archaeologists can play a fundamental role in contributing knowledge where oral and documentary evidence is lacking. This can be undertaken through a triangulation of data sets commonly used by conflict archaeologists. This thesis focuses on one of Canada’s twenty-four WWI internment camps: the Morrissey Internment Camp. Through GPR survey and excavation, archival records retrieval, and oral histories, a critical theoretical lens was applied to the stories of the internees—immigrants from the multinational Austro-Hungarian, German, and Ottoman Empires—and their guards at the Morrissey Internment Camp. The material record adds a new line of evidence, contributing to a more nuanced perspective that aids in reducing the gaps in this dark facet of Canadian history.
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Thesis advisor: Jamieson, Ross
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