Archaeology in Laxyuup Gitxaała: Connecting with Community through Teaching

I went to my first North West Anthropological Conference today and thoroughly enjoyed myself.  I only participated for one of the conference’s three days of programming, but it was well worth it.  However, before heading over to the conference I did a slow and easy 6km run along the Fairhaven to Bellingham waterfront on a fabulous running trail (see route details at bottom of post).

Most of the papers that I watched were on wet site archaeology.  Informative and engaging.  In the session that my paper was in there were two herring papers and one on clam gardens: all quite informative.  My own paper focused on the archaeological work that we have been doing through the Gitxaała Environmental Monitoring office for about five years now.  My primary focus of this paper was on community engagement through teaching and learning.

ABSTRACT:  Since 2009 Gitxaala Nation and UBC have been involved in a collaborative archaeology and traditional knowledge research project.  This project builds upon a long standing socio-cultural research collaboration.  As part of the project, which involves documenting Gitxaala village sites not previously recorded or describe in the archaeological literature, project team members have engaged community youth through hands on applications of research techniques.  This presentation documents the nature of the engaging, highlights some of our research results, and explores the importance of making connections with youth and community members as a driving force in new archaeological investigations. 

[PDF of the powerpoint presentation.  Photo credits: John Irons and Charles Menzies]