The 2009 conference theme speaks to Toronto's place in the Great Lakes and its role as an early centre of interaction, exchange and trade between Aboriginal and European nations at the beginnings of the "New World Experience" for this part of the continent. It further speaks to the persistent frontier defined by the Great Lakes and the St. Lawrence River, and to the conflict between Aboriginal, French, British, American, and Canadian peoples over territory now divided by the Canada-United States border. The conference theme also invites topics beyond a regional focus, since Conflict and Trade, in the broadest application of the concepts, are universal dimensions of past and present life. Likewise Borders, to constrain, separate, and transcend, is a concept that plays out across the entire human experience, such as between urban and rural life, between genders, age and ethnicities enhancing identity, between the disciplines of archaeology, anthropology and history, between underwater and land based archaeology, and between the archaeologist and others who also claim an interest in and ownership of the past.
We hope that you will visit us in Toronto, a city that both celebrates and transcends its past and global present with vibrant and diverse museums, galleries, neighborhoods and cuisines that showcase all of the world's cultures that now call Toronto home.