The event was held at the Slocan Narrows Pithouse Village and showcased the student’s discoveries through informative lectures given by the site’s director, Hamilton College professor Nathan Goodale, as well as guided tours to highlight what was learned over the summer.
Selkirk field school student, Micheline Marr, discusses the student's new discoveries with participants at the recent open house.
Open house highlights opportunities and discoveries
Hamilton College partners with Selkirk College to provide spaces for both Selkirk and Hamilton College students, and since June 10, they have been on site training in archaeological excavation techniques, ethnography, linguistics, and oral traditions of the interior Pacific Northwest and Upper Columbia River drainage. Professor Goodale has been working with his co-director, Hamilton College visiting instructor of anthropology, Alissa Nauman, to provide the students with an outstanding learning opportunity.
“My goals have been to document the archaeology of First Nations in the Slocan Valley, help preserve cultural heritage, and educate students and local residents about the area’s history and prehistory,” said Nathan. “With the help of the students, I want to develop a better understanding of the pre-history of the Upper Columbia River system, bridging the knowledge gap between it and adjacent systems such as the Fraser River.”
This summer, student Micheline Marr from Selkirk participated in the field school. “This has been an amazing opportunity for me,” said Micheline. “This summer, for the first time ever, we have excavated one of the largest and oldest pit houses in the Upper Columbia region, which is 22 metres in diameter, approximately 380 square metres and dates back 2700 years. This open house event was a great way to show people what we’ve been working on and what the school has to offer.”
Selkirk College Anthropology Instructor Lori Barkley said, “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. The students are contributing to important archaeological research about the area’s indigenous inhabitants and making some great connections along the way.”
Field school students share interesting information on what they've learned from the 2700 year-old pithouse this summer.
Involving the community
Saturday’s open house was an interactive event and provided opportunities for participants from around the area to learn about the school’s significant finds and get excited about archaeology. The event also helped raise money for the Slocan Valley Heritage Trail Society, with proceeds from the BBQ going towards interpretive signage and other enhancements along the Slocan Valley Rail Trail.
Participants of all ages get some hands-on experience and learn about the school's significant finds over the summer.
Building on strategic directions
Participating in the open house and highlighting the work of the school builds on Selkirk's strategic directions to increase enrolments, and engage the wider community in learning and developing innovative programs and services.
For more information, please contact David Feldman, School Chair at 250.365.1331.