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McMaster research project ‘giving life back’ to Neutral nation food and eating practices – The Spec

August 3, 2023

The pilot project involves ancient cooking vessels and pottery sherds that have long been stored in the basement of McMaster Innovation Park

A research project at McMaster University is shining a light on the food and eating practices of a lost Indigenous community as it works to decolonize the practice of archeology in Ontario.

The pilot project hinges on ancient cooking vessels and pottery sherds, some of which were unearthed from the ground by Mac faculty nearly six decades ago.

For years, they’ve been kept in boxes in the basement of the McMaster Innovation Park.

But now, the pieces are being given new life as a team of university researchers and members of local Indigenous communities use them to learn about the Neutral nation.

The lesser-known Indigenous group lived in what is now the Hamilton-Niagara area and into western New York prior to the mid-17th century. Researchers believe they either died out or were assimilated into nearby groups.

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