Kwey! We are an Indigenous archaeological field school with the hope of becoming an established program. Our pilot season was ran in Summer 2021. 

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Recent Activity

August 8th, 2022
Kwey! Last week we wrapped up at our last site and have relocated to a new one. We have been surface collecting on the shores, in addition we have been lending a helping hand to the NCC with their annually held public dig. In our own traditions we have started to routinely open the site with a ceremony that includes a song, a prayer, and a smudge. At the beginning of August we opened the site for the NCC. This is to give thanks to Mother Earth in guiding us to help reclaim our lost traditions and heritage, as well as asking our ancestors for guidance and in giving thanks.
This week we have testimonies from the students about our ceremony and what it means to them. Jennifer Tenasco and Kyle Sarazin are both 2nd year students from the 2021 and 2022 field season.
Jennifer Tenasco: “For me, this ceremony is important because I feel in this way, we are honouring our ancestors. Our ceremony comes from the heart and our drumming, songs and prayers do as well. And I really hope in some way we are guided through this.”
Kyle Sarazin: “It has been an honour to be able to participate in the ceremonies and to be able to share medicine with the others by providing the smudge. I find it to be a uniquely grounding experience, it is a great way to set the tone going forward with the archaeology and the discoveries we are about to make.”
August 1st, 2022
Kwey! During the week leading up to August 1st we relocated to a new site. It has produced large amounts of natural chert and historical artifacts.
We have also started to surface collect at a near by beach, where we found pottery, points and other types of material for stone tools. The students really liked surface collecting as it has produced many artifacts for them. In addition to all we’ve been doing we have been joined by 5 more students. 1 student joined from Pikwàkanagàn and 4 students joined from Kitigàn Zìbì, they all have adapted well in identifying chert, profiling walls, and the basics of digging a 1m x 1m hole.
Emma Logan and Jade Rogers-Baptiste have provided testimonies so far on their experience within the field school. Both are first year students for the 2022 season.
Emma: “Uncovering artifacts that were once used by my ancestors has had a positive impact on me this summer. It is so interesting to hold something in your hand that was created over a thousand years ago and gives a feeling of connection towards the land and past ancestors. I learn a lot about the history of the land and areas in Algonquin territory.”
Jade: “I am very grateful to have this amazing opportunity and experience . I find this really helps me connect to my ancestors, and learn more about my people. I believe this is also a very good way of healing. As people who have lost almost everything it is great to reclaim our own history ,and I feel we are on an important path to healing as a nation. This job has helped me alot feeling more connected to my roots, I am very grateful.”
1st Photo
Category: Decorated clay pot
Comments: Clay pot rim sherd with castellations, circular puntates and vertical lines. Saint Lawrence Iroquois, 500-600 years old.
2nd Photo
Category: Knife with usewear
Material: Kichisippi Chert
Comments: Tool of the moment. Heat altered.
2nd Row/1st photo
Category: Backknife
Material: Kichisippi Chert
Comments: Multitool, used also as concave side scraper and perforator.
Last photo
Category: Microscraper
Material: Onondaga Chert
Comments: Relatively frequently found in middle woodland sites of the National Capital Region (Kabeshinan). The function of these small tools is unknown however, we know they have been used.
June 6th, 2022
We started excavation at the park just a little west near the Champlain Bridge on June 6th.
To draw upon some updates the crew of students have successfully opened up 1m x 1m squares near a very situated bike path. During this we’ve been able to develop skills in Public relations, since many of the passerbyers come by to talk and ask about what we are doing. To give insight on our progress, we have partnered returning students with first year students to help develop the skills required for excavation of artifacts, such as the techniques for troweling. This year we are focusing on “on-the-job” training. We want the skills to develop but the theory to be passed along organically. As soon as the new students had the knowledge to carry out their tasks they then went on to start digging in individual squares. When the students start discovering artifacts it strengthened their skills required to identify the artifact, as well as to identify what material the artifact was crafted out of.
With the type of artifacts that were found and with multiple test pits we were able to have possible interpretations of what the site could’ve been 3000 years ago. The students that hail from the different communities bonded during conversations about the differences and similarities in their respective communities. As the weeks went on, the new students developed many skills required to be an archaeologist (note taking, digging, terminology, measuring, safety, etc.)