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Authors

John R. Triggs

Abstract

Between 1780 and 1810 the Missis~auga, a member of the Algonquian speaking family of native groups in southern Ontario, experienced the disintegration of a 150 year old subsistence economy based on aseasonal round of hunting, gathering, fishing, and participation in the fur trade. Faced with a decreasing demand for furs and the loss of land through a series of surrenders to the Crown, the Mississauga were excluded from participation in the new agricultural economy, and within a period of two decades they bet;ame a marginalized people within Upper Canadian society. Excavations at the Beasley site, in Hamilton, Ontario provide an opportunity to examine the Mississauga during this turbulent period in their history. Analysis of artifact assemblages from selected stratigraphic contexts at the site provides unique insight into adaptations occurring at this time. An analysis of glass trade beads, miscellaneous trade goods, native-made lithics, ceramics and faunal remains suggests that despite experiencing cultural upheaval the Mississauga were able to preserve elements of their traditionallifeways and ethnic identity.

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