Offering evidence of a First Nation community dating back to 1000 B.C., a site located at Slocan Narrows near Lemon Creek has been the focus of intense archeological research for more than a decade. For the last four years it has also served as the location for an innovative archeological field school.
Co-directed by Hamilton College assistant professor of anthropology Nathan Goodale, the program is located at what is known as the Slocan Narrows Pithouse Village.
Dr. Goodale has been bringing students to his archaeology field school since 2009. He has received support in his work from Hamilton College, the Slocan Valley Heritage Trails Society, Columbia Basin Trust, local Sinixt people, and Selkirk College.
In the summer of 2011, two students from Selkirk College’s University Arts and Sciences program participated in the field school, receiving outstanding training in archaeological excavation techniques, ethnography, linguistics, and oral traditions of the interior Pacific Northwest and Upper Columbia River drainage.
Work at the Slocan Narrows will continue in the summer of 2013 as Dr. Goodale and the rest of his team from Hamilton College will again be offering his archaeology field school.
Dr. Goodale said it is an opportunity to learn state-of-the-art archaeological techniques in an outdoor classroom on an operating field research project and to “contribute to tracking the prehistoric life ways of First Nations people in the Upper Columbia River drainage.”
Dr. Goodale holds a PhD in anthropology from Washington State University and specializes in the prehistory of the Upper Columbia.
Hamilton College, an independent, highly selective, coeducational and residential institution, is one of the nation’s top liberal arts colleges. Originally founded in 1793 as the Hamilton-Oneida Academy and chartered in 1812 as the third oldest college in New York State, Hamilton is today comprised of approximately 1,820 students from nearly all 50 states and approximately 40 countries.
In the summer of 2013, three Selkirk College University Arts and Sciences program students will have the opportunity to be part of this university-transferable field school. These students, along with their Hamilton College colleagues, will gain valuable archaeological experience while earning credits towards a university degree. The experience will offer them preparation for future archaeological field work.
“Through the partnership with Hamilton College, anthropology students at Selkirk College can now participate in a rare opportunity to receive outstanding training in prehistoric archaeology from a college where the vast majority of our students would not have an opportunity to attend otherwise,” said Selkirk College anthropology instructor Lori Barkley.
“For the Hamilton College students, they get to experience this amazing place that we call home, from the perspective of students who live here. The students are contributing to important archaeological research about the area’s indigenous inhabitants and make some great connections along the way. It is a win-win for Selkirk College students.”
Those community members with an interest in this dig or archaeology in general will be pleased to know there will once again be a public archaeology day near the end of the 2013 field season. Students and the field school team will provide a comprehensive tour of the site, providing a rare opportunity for an insider look at the important archaeological work being conducted right here in the Slocan Valley.
Selkirk invites students with the appropriate educational background and interests to contact Lori Barkley at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.