Ray Le Blanc Honored at Archaeology Conference

Former Anthropology Professor Raymond Le Blanc Honoured at Archaeological Conference

Jennifer Hallson - 24 May 2016

This year the Canadian Archaeological Association's meetings were held in Whitehorse, Yukon from May 4-7. At these meetings, emeritus Anthropology professor Dr. Raymond J. Le Blanc was honored with a full day session of presentations. These talks were given by former students, colleagues, and friends who had all been influenced by Dr. Le Blanc.

Dr. Le Blanc worked in the University of Alberta's Department of Anthropology from 1987 to 2013. He served as acting chair from 2004-2005 and again from 2006-2007. His courses included Introduction to Anthropology and Introduction to Archaeology, where he taught students about the history, methods, and bigwigs (or beards) of archaeology. He also taught more advanced courses such as Stone Tools, North American Prehistory, Boreal Forest Archaeology, Settlement Archaeology, CRM Archaeology, and Archaeological Methods. For four years he taught the department's field school. His favourites were Introduction to Archaeology and North American Prehistory, but also enjoyed Boreal Forest Archaeology and Stone Tools, where his expertise was.

While listening to the presentations in Whitehorse it was evident that early in his career Dr. Le Blanc fell in love with the north and its archaeology, and he passed this along to his students. Many of the presenters during his session were former graduate students who followed him into the north and continue to work there today. He supervised to completion 12 MA students and 8 PhD students.

Repeated throughout the presentations was gratitude for Dr. Le Blanc's mentorship and friendship. Many presenters skipped the typical academic presentation in lieu of showing old photos of being in the field or office with Dr. Le Blanc, and cracking jokes about his gruff exterior but teddy bear interior.

Dr. Le Blanc contributed a great deal of knowledge to boreal forest and northern archaeology, with select publications including The Rat Indian Creek Site, Archaeological Research in the Lesser Slave Lake Region: A Contribution to the Pre-Contact History of the Boreal Forest of Alberta, and The Crane Site & the Palaeoeskimo Period in the Western Canadian Arctic.

See https://canadianarchaeology.com/caa/sites/default/files/annual-meeting/2016/caa_2016_program_abstracts.pdf for the CAA conference program with the session schedule and abstracts from Dr. Le Blanc's session.