2011 Sunshine Coast

In the summer of 2011 our local B.C. field school was once again held on the Sunshine Coast. This was the fourth year of research done in collaboration with the Tla’amin First Nation as part of a multi-year research program in Archaeology and Heritage Stewardship (co-lead by Drs. John Welch and Dana Lepofsky). The overall goal of the research program is to conduct archaeological and heritage research that is meaningful to and driven by Tla’amin community needs and desires. This collaborative project has focused on a comprehensive study of Tla’amin history through integrating archaeological evidence, traditional knowledge and archival materials. Since the project’s inception, this approach has continued to create opportunities for community engagement, information sharing and fostering mutually-beneficial partnerships between Tla’amin and SFU communities and beyond. In addition to contributing to the development of a research strategy, the Tla’amin Nation also generously provided support in the form of equipment, housing, and knowledgable field researchers throughout the course of the field season.

The 2011 field school component focussed on archaeological excavation of the Cochrane Bay site, and was directed by Dr. Bob Muir and Nyra Chalmer (SFU graduate student). The Cochrane Bay site is a pre-contact residential site situated in Malaspina Inlet, North of Powell River. The information collected during excavations of Cochrane Bay will form the basis of Nyra’s MA thesis. Twelve SFU undergraduates participated in the program and despite a distinct lack of sunshine, managed to contribute to an exceptionally productive and enjoyable field season. In addition to the excavations at Cochrane Bay the students also had the opportunity to contribute to other aspects of the overall research project including a regional inventory of archaeological sites (directed by SFU PhD student Chris Springer); the mapping and investigation of intertidal fish traps (directed by University of Alberta PhD student and SFU alumna Megan Caldwell); and contributed to the Willingdon Beach Park, Aboriginal Day celebrations where they presented information about archaeology, artifacts, stone tool manufacturing and intertidal fish traps to children from throughout the Powell River School District.

Bob Muir, Nyra Chalmer and Dana Lepofsky

Community Day

Research Vessel Archaeonaut