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14,000 years at "EkTb-9": A Heiltsuk First Nation Village site on Triquet Island, N̓úlawitx̌v.

Wednesday, February 7, at Central Hall

A GauvreauThe Salt Spring Island Historical Society is hosting a presentation highlighting the intersection of archeology and First Nations knowledge at our meeting at Central Hall.
Alicia Gauvreau, a PhD student in the Department of Anthropology at UVic and Fellow of the Hakai Institute, will be speaking about her work at an ancient village site on Triquet Island near Bella Bella in the N̓úlawitx̌v tribal area. "EkTb-9" is a Heiltsuk First Nation village site which has an occupation span of over 14,000 years, making it one of the oldest continuously used sites recognized in North America.
Traditional oral history describes how the ancestors of the Heiltsuk people lived on these islands during the last ice age when the mainland was uninhabitable. With the Hakai Ancient Landscape Archaeology Project (HALAP) team led by Dr. Duncan McLaren, Gauvreau explored layers of shell-midden and peat deposits, some rich with wooden tools and other objects found only in this rare type of “wet-site". In 2016 the team uncovered an ancient hearth 2.5 meters below the surface that was associated with a cache of discarded stone tools fragments. Flecks of charcoal were collected from the hearth and radiocarbon dated, confirming the deep history of the site. This type of scientific data is considered helpful with ongoing treaty and territory negotiations, reaffirming the knowledge imbedded in oral history.
The February 7th presentation will illuminate the various layers excavated at "EkTb-9”, describing some of the methods used as well as the interesting artifacts recovered. Preliminary ideas about resource use and landscape management will be explored, as well as the ways in which this site contributes to a broader understanding of pre-historical human settlement on the Northwest Coast of North America.
The project has been conducted through ongoing collaboration with the Heiltsuk Integrated resource management department (HIRMD) as well as the other Heiltsuk community members.

All are welcome.
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