SECHELT, BC, July 23, 2013 /CNW/ - Following their landmark excavation
of an ancient West Coast chief's burial site, archaeologists from the shíshálh Archaeological Research Project will take to the field again this summer to search for 5,000-year-old
artifacts on British Columbia's Sunshine Coast.
Begun in 2009, the shíshálh Archaeological Research Project explores the lives of the shíshálh people who inhabited the inlets of
the northern Salish Sea, an area that had not received the research
attention it deserves until now.
Dr. Terence Clark, Curator of Western Canadian Archaeology with the
Canadian Museum of Civilization, and Dr. Gary Coupland, Professor of
Anthropology at the University of Toronto, will lead a team of
university and high-school students as they dig into the remains of a
fishing village once occupied by the ancestors of today's shíshálh
(Sechelt) First Nation.
A self-governing Nation on the coast of British Columbia, the shíshálh
First Nation is a partner in the project and has been involved in every
aspect, as owners of the heritage properties under investigation and
the stewards of these lands. As the excavation site is near the town of
Sechelt, it is easily accessible to shíshálh First Nation students who
are also participating in the dig.
"Working in partnership with the Canadian Museum of Civilization and the
University of Toronto, we have seen many benefits in our community,"
said Chief Garry Feschuk. "One benefit has been to have our students
immerse themselves in our history and learn about an important academic
pursuit. We are very pleased with the work that has been conducted and
excited about the future."
"When these archaeologists unearth a stone weight from an ancient
fishing-net or a treasure trove of decorative beads in an ancestral
chief's burial site, it represents a tangible connection between us and
the peoples of the distant past," explained Dean Oliver, Director of
Research at the Canadian Museum of Civilization. "These discoveries are
especially poignant for the people of the shíshálh First Nation, whose
ancestors' hands shaped the artifacts that we find today along this
Among the discoveries in the four major settlement sites so far
excavated are 350,000 stone beads, which researchers unearthed in 2010
from the gravesite of an ancient shíshálh chief. That unprecedented
find makes this archaeological site one of the most important in the
Progress on the shíshálh Archaeological Research Project can be followed at shishalharchaeology.wordpress.com/ or secheltnation.ca./
The Canadian Museum of Civilization is the centre for research and
public information on the social and human history of the country.
Located on the shores of the Ottawa River in Gatineau, Quebec, the
Museum is Canada's largest and most popular cultural institution,
attracting over 1.2 million visitors each year. The Museum of
Civilization's principal role is to preserve and promote the heritage
of Canada for present and future generations, thereby contributing to
the promotion and enhancement of Canadian identity.
SOURCE: Canadian Museum of Civilization
For further information:
Media Relations Officer
Chief Garry Feschuk
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