Anthropology, in general, has recently been working toward reworking their systems to be better suited to the needs of descendent communities. Bioarchaeology, however, has been slower to adopt these efforts. In the spirit of reconciliation, it is important for all disciplines to self-reflect and critique the colonial systems that have been institutionalized their teaching and research. This paper serves as a theoretical exploration into the current practice of bioarchaeology and seeks to provide a theoretical model that could contribute toward the decolonization of the discipline to be appropriate for application in Canada. It discusses how to better orient theory to compliment ancestral knowledge and reorganize bioarchaeology so that it could be more useful to responding to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada Calls to Action (2015) and benefit the needs of descendants. It will proceed by reviewing the integration of social theory in bioarchaeology, providing a critique of the biocultural approach, and finish by proposing a theoretical model that seeks to contribute to the ongoing decolonization of bioarchaeology. The model that this paper proposes serves is a suggestion of how to better structure and conduct a project including ancient human remains to better optimize the application of archaeological theory as a compliment to traditional knowledge. It is formed on the bases of theories of personhood, shared histories, behavioral archaeology, and biocultural approaches to provide a pragmatic synthesis of theory for a community driven bioarchaeology.
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