Association of Professional Archaeologists

Latest News

  • 21 May 2020 5:36 PM | Anonymous

    Members can now contribute to discussions about personal protective equipment, locations to access washrooms and food while on the road, and more -- to help keep everyone current who is participating in archaeological assessments during the pandemic.

    Please contribute the information that you have, and subscribe to specific discussion topics to stay current!

    "Eyes on the Ground" H&S Forum -- Go!

  • 08 May 2020 3:36 PM | Anonymous

    We are very pleased to report that as of this morning, and pursuant to several of our discussions with the Ontario Homebuilders Association, we now have a legal letter in hand which identifies archaeology as a preparatory study for essential construction activity.  This letter was shared with us in recognition of our profession being an important part of the development industry and needing definition under Emergency Regulations.  

    Head to the Covid-19 tab for members to read more.

  • 07 May 2020 8:46 PM | Anonymous

    Various examples of health and safety protocols are now being added to the Covid-19 library of resources. 

    Log in to head to the Covid-19 tab.

  • 07 May 2020 12:20 PM | Anonymous

    Yesterday's Ontario Government release widens permitted construction activity to include the beginning of below grade condos and apartments and continuance of above-grade projects. Again, there is no specific mention of pre-approval support or preparation studies such as archaeology.  This is more than likely a significant oversight on the part of those drafting these documents.  In fact, we located today on a government website a definition of site preparation activity and servicing which clearly does not include work such as ours.  We are seeking clarification from government and the housing industry.  We will post new information tomorrow.

    Members can

    Link to the original Government news release.

  • 29 Apr 2020 7:45 AM | Anonymous

    Members now have access to a compilation of Covid-19-related resources on a dedicated tab, including this week's Provincial Framework for Reopening.  The resources in this tab will continue to be added to, for easy reference.  Log in to visit the Covid-19 tab in the Member Resources section.

  • 20 Apr 2020 7:18 PM | Anonymous

    APA's Covid-19 Archaeology Implementation Task Force:

       First, we want to assure members that we are constantly working on issues even if this is not immediately visible to you – as in the Duty to Consult and Obligation to Engage, Investigation committee proceedings on behalf of members, planning workshops and First Nation sessions, etc.  But we do appreciate your suggestions.  On this particular issue with Covid-19, we believe that legal advice is a second-best choice when what is needed is pro-active “essential” designation of our field work. This petition is in process as we speak with a special APA Task Force in place and connecting.

       Since there are ample financial measures now from the Federal Government to ensure at least short-term business survival, and APA has directed you to these, as well as to informational seminars, there is no current reason for archaeological work to take place other than for the essential services noted by the province.  We urge you to stay home unless you are part of an essential project.

      Some of you may not know that substantial fines are already being levied by inspectors in the construction industry as well as to environmental and other firms who have been operating without clear definition and even with essential definition but without adequate Health and Safety protocols in place. 

       APA is pursuing a more definitive status for our profession and projecting what protocols need to be in place for a return to work in the period after the peak of the epidemic.  We will advise as soon as we have concrete information to share.

        We definitely appreciate helpful suggestions.  Please touch base via


    The following was made available for APA's members through Jessica Foster at the O'Keefe Accounting Group (

    As you may be aware, the Federal Government has recently made several important announcements regarding COVID-19 programs.

    Members, please check your email inbox which includes an attached summary of changes and further resources for Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS).

  • 08 Apr 2020 8:24 PM | Anonymous

    APA circulated an email to its members today with some information and guidance for businesses and individuals during the pandemic. 

    If you didn't receive your copy, send an email to


    - temporary reduction of APA membership fees

    - postponement of payments for the group insurance plan

    - resources from an accountant to help navigate government relief programs and other financial advice

  • 27 Mar 2020 12:01 PM | Anonymous

    From: Archaeology (MHSTCI)  ~~   Friday, March 27 at 11:49am

    To: All Licencees

    Subject: COVID-19 emergency order and Indigenous community engagement

    On Monday the province issued an emergency order to close at-risk workplaces and encourage non-essential businesses to find ways to help their employees work from home. This order will remain in effect for 14 days with the possibility of extension as the pandemic situation evolves. A list of essential businesses can be found here.    

    What does this mean for the archaeology sector?

    All archeological licensees, archaeology sector organizations and businesses, are expected to comply with the Emergency Order requirements, as appropriate.

    Business owners must take the necessary steps to keep their employees, clients and customers safe, and ensure that they are following the Emergency Order and the advice of Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health. 

    Business owners should review the list of essential business which are authorized to stay open, determine whether they fit into any of the categories and, if they do, make a business decision as to whether to stay open and/or adapt their operations. Business owners are encouraged to speak with their legal representative to determine whether their business falls within the definition of an essential business.

    Businesses who have questions about closures of at-risk workplaces or how the emergency order impacts their business or employment can call the Stop the Spread Business Information Line at 1-888-444-3659.  Help is available from Monday to Sunday, from 8:30a.m.―5:00p.m.

    For information on COVID-19, visit the Ministry of Health’s website.


    What does this mean for the Archaeology Program Unit?

    Ontario’s Past Portal (PastPort) remains accessible 24 hours a day. The Archaeology Program Unit continues to operate with staff working remotely. We continue to:

    • issue and renew archaeological licences
    • assign PIF numbers to projects
    • review archaeological reports
    • process archaeological report due date extension requests
    • process expedited review requests for archaeological assessment reports
    • respond to requests for technical advice
    • carry out all other business functions


    Contacting Archaeology Program Unit staff

    If you need to reach a member of the Archaeology Team, please email them, copying Copying will help us ensure you will receive a response, in the event that the person you are trying to reach becomes unavailable.


    License reporting deadlines

    At this time, report filing deadlines remain in effect, but please notify the program should meeting deadlines become challenging for you or your company. You may continue to formally request extensions where needed through PastPort.  


    Indigenous community engagement

    All Ontarians, including Indigenous communities, are currently facing unique challenges as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. It must be recognized that the pandemic situation may affect an Indigenous community’s capacity to be engaged on archaeological projects or have Field Liaison Representatives participate in archaeological fieldwork.

    In response to COVID-19, many band councils have chosen to close their offices temporarily. Meetings and gatherings across the province have been cancelled, including those in First Nation communities. Some First Nations have declared a state of emergency in response to COVID-19 and/or are self-isolating. 

    Despite the current pandemic, consultant archaeologists must continue to meet all applicable standards for Indigenous community engagement under the 2011 Standards and Guidelines for Consultant Archaeologists. 

    When planning Indigenous community engagement on a project, archaeologists should give consideration to an Indigenous community's capacity to be engaged during this emergency. Band council offices may not be open to receive requests for engagement, community consultation meetings may be cancelled, and human resource capacity, already a challenge for many Indigenous communities, may be stretched further. Lack of responses to engagement notices or meeting requests at this time should not be interpreted as a refusal or lack of interest to participate in the engagement process. 

    Flexibility is key to ensuring meaningful community engagement processes continue. The following are some suggestions, but it is best for archaeologists to speak with Indigenous communities to determine how they would like to be engaged at this time:

    • Extend the time for Indigenous communities to respond to engagement requests 
    • Offer virtual opportunities for communities to participate in engagement
    • Offer regular teleconference updates about the archaeological work
    • Offer "physical distance" monitoring opportunities
    • Discuss other engagement opportunities suggested by Indigenous communities
    • Postpone archaeological projects where engagement is not feasible at this time

    If you have any questions or concerns, please email

    Thank you,

    The Archaeology Program Unit

    Ministry of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries

  • 26 Mar 2020 10:54 AM | Anonymous

    Occasional Papers No.1, 2 and 3 are now available to non-members in full-colour .pdf format for a nominal fee of only $10 each ~

    ~ head to the 'APA Publications and Reports' tab to see the abstracts and to access the online store

    Note: APA Ontario members have free access to these excellent publications -- join now to access the myriad of member benefits!

  • 17 Mar 2020 10:20 AM | Anonymous

    ~ the next workshop of Plants and Archaeology set for March 22nd is now planned for May 3rd ~

    There is one spot left in this final session of the archaeobotany workshop series. Email if you would like that spot!

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