Selkirk students uncover local history

Selkirk College’s School of University Arts and Sciences, in partnership with the Anthropology Department at Hamilton College (Clinton, N.Y.), has provided an exciting opportunity for students to uncover their local history.

Selkirk College’s School of University Arts and Sciences, in partnership with the Anthropology Department at Hamilton College (Clinton, N.Y.), has provided an exciting opportunity for students to  uncover their local history.

A hands-on Archeology Field School will take place at Slocan Narrows Pithouse Village (near Lemon Creek) in southeastern British Columbia from June 18 to July 29.

With support from the Slocan Valley Heritage Trail Society, Columbia Basin Trust and Sinixt First Nation, Hamilton College has been bringing field school students to the area since 2009. This year, Selkirk will join forces with Hamilton College; enabling two local students to attend the field school and providing logistical benefits and access to various, relevant partnerships.

“It’s great to have a local connection,” explains Hamilton College Field School Co-Instructor, Alissa Nauman. “Our partnership with Selkirk will encourage more awareness throughout the region and the knowledge we gain throughout the six weeks will be more deeply ingrained and beneficial because of its direct involvement.”

Nathan Goodale, who holds a PhD in Anthropology from Washington State University, emphasizes the purpose of the field school as a venue “to train students in excavation, survey, equipment used in mapping, as well as the archeology, ethnography and oral tradition of the interior Pacific Northwest.” Upon the completion of this course, students will be eligible to be employed in the field as archeologists.

“This is something I’ve always wanted to do and I’m thrilled to have the opportunity!” says Selkirk student Melissa Koftinoff. “Not only does it fit with my school and career plans, but it also will allow me to honour the history and people who lived in this area.”

Melissa is of Doukhobour heritage and plans to pursue studies in anthropology at University of Victoria in the fall. She recently graduated from Selkirk College with an Associate of Arts and General Studies degree and a Liberal Arts Diploma in Peace Studies.

Fourteen of the 30 pithouses located at the site have been dated through radiocarbon dating. During 2011, the field school will focus on dating the remaining houses in the village. Articles such as bone fragments, including beaver digits, have been found, with some dating back 3,000 years.

The site (1.5 km north of Lemon Creek) will be open for an “Archeological Interpretation Event” on July 24 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Archeologists Nathan Goodale, Allissa Nauman and the Hamilton College/Selkirk College field school students will be on hand to provide n intimate and detailed tour of the site. A barbecue lunch will be provided and included as part of the tour. As the cost of the event is provided up front by the Slocan Valley Heritage Trail Society and Hamilton College, a suggested minimum donation is requested to help cover the costs of the event.

For more information on the event, visit slocanvalleyrailtrail.ca/news.php .

/Submitted by Selkirk College

 

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