About The Project|
The Tla’amin-Simon Fraser University
Archaeology and Heritage Stewardship Program
The Tla’amin-Simon Fraser University Archaeology and Stewardship Program is a community-based, participant-driven exploration of what archaeology can do. We are learning how archaeological sites, perspectives, practices, and data can be employed in land and place histories, in revitalizing ecosystems and stewardship traditions, and in intercultural reconciliation. We are seeking to create conditions that promote Indigenous control over heritage and destiny.
Overarching Program Goals
Operating since 2007 under the authorities of a Sliammon Band Council resolution, BC Archaeology Branch Permits, and SFU Research Ethics Board approvals, the Program includes seven-week, for-credit field schools, coupled with diverse research and outreach initiatives to create unprecedented opportunities for integrated regional study of Tla’amin oral traditions and archaeological and archival materials. Building upon a baseline commitment to a mutually beneficial, open-agenda partnership, the Program is fostering relationships and yielding information pertaining to ancient and recent Tla’amin sites and landscapes. As laboratory analysis proceeds, we will continue to work with the Tla’amin Treaty Society, Tla’amin Health, and others to maximize and harmonize overlap between program objectives, Tla’amin interests and needs, and broader goals of making the world a better and healthier place for future generations. The Sliammon Band Council voted unanimously to authorize and support the field school through 2013.
Exchanges of information, ideologies, and methodologies relating to cultural and environmental heritage stewardship have led to the identification of six Program goals:
- To sustain collaborations between Tla’amin First Nation, the SFU Department of Archaeology, and other partners;
- To explore and enhance knowledge about Tla’amin lands and heritage through heritage site and object identification, documentation, and investigation;
- To train Tla’amin youth and SFU students in archaeology and heritage stewardship;
- To increase awareness and knowledge about Tla’amin history both within the Tla’amin community and in regional, academic, and resource management communities;
- To facilitate exchanges of information and experience among Tla’amin Elders, youth, and SFU;
- To advance to Tla’amin goals of self-governance, self-determination, and self-representation.
We are committed to continual, collaborative Program planning to develop personnel, data bases, and tools appropriate to the long-term stewardship of Tla’amin cultural and biophysical heritage.