Kelsey Pennanen - Archaeologist

Kelsey Pennanen


Kelsey enjoys learning from the past, exploring the Arctic with drones and helicopters, digging at ancient sites, and learning from the land, Elders, and youth.

Kelsey is an archaeologist and educator who grew up on the trapline in northwestern Ontario on Treaty 3. She is passionate about Indigenous heritage protection and decolonization practices and strategies. She completed her Honours Bachelor of Geoarchaeology from Lakehead University in 2016. She continued on and obtained her master’s degree from the University of Calgary focusing on LiDAR documentation of a threatened Indigenous buffalo jump complex in southern Alberta on Treaty 7.

She has worked closely for many years with Blackfoot Knowledge Keepers, Elders, and Educators from Siksika First Nation and Blackfoot Crossing Historical Park to design curriculum-aligned archaeological activities and on-the-land learning experiences for Indigenous and settler students. She has experience conducting archaeological excavations in Italy and Belize, and within Canada in Nunavut, Northwest Territories, Yukon, Ontario, and Alberta.

Her current dissertation research focuses on the use of UAV (drone) platforms for documentation of built cultural heritage features in association with ice patch sites in the high-alpine mountainous regions of Yukon territory to meet the research objectives of three self-governing First Nations.

In her downtime, Kelsey enjoys time with her family, camping with her corgi Hank, waterskiing, fishing, baking Finnish foods, and spending time in the sauna.