Colourful buildings against a blue sky and harbour at Sisimiut, Greenland.
Photo by ten Bruggencate, Rachel. 2019.

Department APOLOGY for legacy of disrespect to Indigenous peoples of Turtle Island

We apologize for the Department’s past complicity in colonial relations with Indigenous Peoples of Turtle Island. We dedicate ourselves to forging new relationships with Indigenous Nations and communities under their guidance.

We apologize for the Department’s past violent actions and inactions with the Indigenous Ancestors and cultural items who are housed in our departmental laboratories.

We grieve at the disrespect that was paid to these Ancestors and cultural items in the many years that they were kept in our laboratories. They were inappropriately removed from the land and the sacred places where they had lain. We apologize for the failure to acknowledge or consult with living descendant populations and Nations at the time when these Ancestors and cultural items were removed from the ground, and for the many years since during which descendant populations and Nations were not consulted. We acknowledge that claiming or accepting stewardship of the Ancestors and cultural items is wrong and that it violates spirits, sacred places, families, and Nations’ sovereignties. This violence has also damaged relationships between the University, its researchers, and Indigenous communities throughout Turtle Island. 

We recognize these complicities with settler colonial violence and genocide, and humbly commit to atoning, listening, being respectful and doing better going forward. We commit to follow guidance from First Nation, Metis, and Inuit Nations and communities to address the violent and traumatic legacy of genocide and colonialism that our stewardship of these Ancestral remains and cultural items represent, and to building respectful relationships with members of descendant communities and Nations of Manitoba and the other areas from which these Ancestors and items have come.

Learn more about the 2024 Respectful Rematriation and Repatriation Ceremony at the University of Manitoba.

Programs of study

Archaeological field schools

Some summers, the Department of Anthropology offers ANTH 3910: Archaeological Field School, giving students the opportunity to gain hands-on experience excavating and analyzing artifacts at a local site.

In the past, our students have uncovered artifacts at significant archaeological sites around Winnipeg, including the Seven Oaks House Museum, Lockport and Upper Fort Garry.

Check back here to see if the course will be offered for the coming year.

Student resources and opportunities

Anthropology Students' Association (UMASA)

UMASA presents talks to explore research, graduate studies and careers. Membership is open to both undergraduate and graduate students. They also offer fun events to help students connect. 

Follow UMASA on Instagram

Follow UMASA on Facebook

Explore your career options in Anthropology

Employers are interested in the skills that anthropology majors tend to possess. These may include:

  • knowledge about biological, ecological, and cultural factors that influence human behaviour
  • theoretical approaches and practical methods for enhancing cross-cultural understanding
  • knowledge of a variety of ethnic groups and cultures
  • skills in social research, qualitative interviewing and fieldwork, as well as quantitative methods
  • a basic understanding of human evolution and genetics
  • experience in writing both descriptive reports and analytical papers
  • the ability to analyze the root causes of social problems, and to work towards solutions with people from a wide variety of cultural backgrounds

Plan your university journey. Get the information you need for academic planning and connect with experiences to develop the knowledge, skills and attributes that employers are seeking. 

View the Anthropology Career Compass

Undergraduate research awards (URA)

Undergraduate students have the opportunity to work with our leading faculty researchers and gain valuable experience.

Learn more and apply for a UM URA


Our department makes use of diverse resources across the university to address a range of research questions and stimulate disciplinary and interdisciplinary research that provides unique opportunities for our students.

Our facilities


The Anthropology Laboratories house cultural heritage uncovered by archaeologists at sites throughout Manitoba. Laboratory staff are currently reviewing what we house and where it came from, so we can work with descendant communities toward the return or respectful care of these belongings. For more information, please see the website for the Respectful Rematriation and Repatriation Ceremony at the University of Manitoba.


State of the art image technology brings great potential to the study of physical anthropology and archaeology. The Bioanthropology Digital Image Analysis Laboratory (BDIAL) was established to integrate 2D and 3D digital imaging techniques for advanced visualization, modeling and interpretation of anthropological data. BDIAL combines bioarchaeological analysis with thin sectioning, digital microscopy and radiology, 3D scanning and rapid prototyping.


Our paleobotanical research facilities consist of a laboratory for extraction of pollen and phytoliths and a comparative collection of pollen, seeds, wood and charcoal which comprise the The C.T. Shay Archaeobotanical Collection. The extensive comparative collection focuses on plant species from the northeastern Great Plains, the Aspen Parkland and the southern Boreal Forest. The Shay Collection also houses microscopes for examination of botanical remains.


Our zooarchaeological facilities include an extensive comparative collection of land and sea mammals, birds, fish and invertebrates and two fume hoods for preparing comparative specimens. The comparative collection houses species local to Manitoba, as well as the Pacific Northwest, Europe and West Asia.


Our thin-section facility contains equipment for thin-sectioning shells, teeth, bones and ceramics. The equipment enables researchers to embed samples in resin (with or without vacuum impregnation), cut and polish sections, mount sections for thin-sectioning, cut thin-sections and polish thin-sections. Equipment for advanced microscopic analysis of thin sections is available in an adjoining dry lab.

Research highlights

News and events

Each year the Department of Anthropology hosts a variety of public lectures and other events. Check back here for updates. 


UM apologizes to First Nations, Metis and Inuit descendant communities

Since 2019, the Department of Anthropology Repatriation Committee has sought and supported an Indigenous-led repatriation process for Indigenous Ancestors and Belongings brought into its labs since its founding in 1962. They have worked closely through the years with the RRRC Council and current and past RRRC co-chairs, including: Camille Callison, Cary Miller, Lorena Fontaine, Pahan PteSanWin, and Lara Rosenoff Gauvin (also Anth). Committee members include: Rachel ten Bruggencate, Kathleen Buddle, Julia Gamble, Derek Johnson, Laura Kelvin and student Savannah Moon. Jonathan Couchman, and students Jenna Berry, Cameron Cannon, Nick Catalano, Amari Dion-Hart, LJ Fulugan, Grace Holmes, Eamon Kuffert, Olajumoke Olalere, and Kyla Shaganash have also been indispensable to the overall work of the RRRC.

Read the article on UM Today


  • Human to Human

    Human to Human is a limited podcast series exploring the topic of 'what is anthropology?' through conversations with students and faculty in the Department of Anthropology at UM. The aim is to demystify what the study of anthropology is for the general public, but also to shed light on what it looks like to study human culture in today’s world, and why anthropological work remains a meaningful field of study.

    Host: Sarah Schur, Arts undergraduate student
    Graphic artist: Chris Mulligan
    The podcast is a limited series of 8 episodes. You can listen on UMFM or where ever you get your podcasts. 

    Listen to the podcast on 101.5 UMFM

  • Words human to human surrounded by emoji style faces in various pastel colours.

Contact us

Department of Anthropology
432 Fletcher Argue Building
15 Chancellor Circle
University of Manitoba
Winnipeg, MB R3T 2N2 Canada