Tag Archives: ubc

BC Archaeology Forum 2015 is October 16 – 18 at Musqueam

Just reusing the 2010 Archaeology Forum graphic here.

Just reusing the 2010 Archaeology Forum graphic here.

I think it was the day after the last Musqueam – Lab or Anthropology Archaeology Forum that I had to post this, so time flies, and not always exactly like a banana. In more recent dismal events, my laptop got disturbed, which, even though a quality it now shares with me, has disrupted this blog of the last week or two, not to mention my day job.  Anyway, I wanted to get out this announcment which twoeyes kindly forwarded a week or so ago: the 2015 BC Archy Forum is being co-hosted by the Musqueam Indian Band and the Laboratory of Archaeology at UBC, and runs from Friday October 16 to Sunday October 18.  So, soon.  What follows is the text of their announcement email within UBC circles.

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Public talks in Vancouver and Victoria

Unusual fish hook fashioned from a canine tooth.  Burnaby Narrows, Haida Gwaii, 2012.  Photo by Jenny Cohen.

Unusual fish hook fashioned from a canine tooth. Ca. 3000 years old, Burnaby Narrows, Haida Gwaii, 2012. Photo by Jenny Cohen.

Quick note to say there are two forthcoming public talks that might be of interest to residents of Vancouver or Victoria.  The Vancouver one is by Dr. Ken Ames, Professor Emeritus at Portland State University, speaking at UBC on Thursday October 18th at 11.30.  The Victoria one is by yours truly, speaking to the Archaeological Society of BC on Tuesday October 16th at 7.30.  Details are below. Continue reading

BC Archaeology Forum Program

I’m a big supporter of the B.C. Archaeology forum and posted about it a while back.  The forum is an annual gathering of archaeologists, students, First Nations and others with an interest in B.C. Archaeology. It’s a rare chance for all the different stakeholders to get together, catch up, and socialize.  This year the forum is co-hosted by UBC and the Musqueam First Nation, and will be held near SW Marine Drive (i.e., not on the UBC campus: map).  Since I am getting tons of hits from google queries looking for information about it, and since this can also serve as a reminder to get out to the forum this Saturday, November 6th, I am pasting in the program of events below.

Remember, everyone is welcome.  The registration fee is only 20$, and half that for students.  You can walk up to register on Saturday morning.  It would be most welcome to see lots of public and community members there.

The program (PDF) (I refuse to call it an agenda)  is pasted in below with some comments.

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“Correct Map of the Gold Diggings”: May 20th, 1858

Detail of 1858 Map of Fraser Gold Diggings. Click for full image.

From UBC, this interesting 1858 San Francisco broadsheet “The Pictorial Newsletter of California” (large JPG file).  Most of the text is mundane births and deaths, but the map above from it is a lot of fun.  It’s especially interesting to see the “Cowitchin” Village at New Westminster.  Now, “Cowitchin” was often used as a generic term for many Coast Salish people in the early historic period.  But note too, just upriver at Fort Langley, a “Ninnimuch” Village, presumably Snuneymuxw First Nation, also known historically as the “Nanaimo” people, whose core territory would be on east Central Vancouver Island.  There are lots of reports of Vancouver Island nations paddling up and down past Fort Langley so its not that much of a surprise, but rather a nice testament to the extensive regional trade and, perhaps, permeable social networks in place across the greater Gulf of Georgia. It also makes me think the “Cowitchin Village” might indeed really be Cowichan. It’s notable the “Pinkslitsa River” (Harrison River) is the only lower tributary mapped, probably because it was an important route in and out of the middle Fraser, bypassing the canyon.  It’s a nice map, it’s early, and I’d never seen it before, so thanks to UBC and their Early BC Newspapers page.

Detail of 1858 map showing "Cowitchin" and "Ninnimuch" Villages on Lower Fraser.

From the UBC notes:  Pictorial News Letter of California: for the Steamer John L. Stephens San Francisco: Hutchings & Rosenfield; Charles F. Robbins, Printer, 1858

“Issued exactly one month after the first steamer left San Francisco headed for the Fraser (Bancroft p. 359), this appears to be the first separate publication relating to the Fraser River Gold Rush, and the first map published to illustrate the area for potential gold-seekers.”

You can also download a short PowerPoint file here, and there is an overview essay here.

1973 Aboriginal Perspective on UBC-MOA and SFU archaeology

Excerpt of 1973 Nesika newsletter criticizing MOA and SFU Archaeology. Click to view full page. Scroll down this page for link to plain text.

This is interesting, from the newsletter Nesika: Voice of B.C. Indians Vol. 2 No. 1 (February 1973), Page 6:

MONEY FOR BOAT: There is money to fund a boat to take archaeology students up and down our coastline to dig up the bones of our grandfathers and sift, sort, and label sacred objects from our burial grounds, but no money for us to treat our heritage with the dignity it. deserves?

This can only refer to the former pride and joy of the SFU department of Archaeology, the motor vessel Sisiutl.

That page from Nesika has two interesting articles.  One argues for the creation of a Cultural Centre at Hesquiat, while the other passionately objects to the millions spent on the UBC Museum of Anthropology and the above-mentioned Sisiutl.  Click on the image above for a legible image of the entire text, or click here for a transcript.  It is chastening to see the eloquence and power of these arguments from almost 40 years ago.  Hesquiat still has no Cultural Centre so far as I know while the Museum of Anthropology just wrapped up a 60+ million dollar renovation and SFU Archaeology has what amounts to their own, brand-new building as well, at what I hear was a cost of about 5 million dollars.

HESQUIAT BAND CULTURAL CENTRE

Lack of funds hit by Chief Rocky Amos

VANCOUVER (Staff) — After Indian Affairs had denied a request for funds for the Hesquiat Cultural Centre due to lack of funds, Band Chief Rocky Amos told the department that “we cannot accept the limitation of funds as valid.” Pointing to the $10 million available to a museum to house Indian artifacts at UBC and to other reports of funds granted for more white people to study Indians, Chief Amos wrote DIA: “It is difficult to follow the line of thinking that makes money available to exhibit our inheritance to city based people and when the rightful heirs to these very artifacts ask for assistance to house their history in an area where it will be meaningful to them, they are denied. “We of the Hesquiat Band are not unique and we have proven we can do it. Now we are made to crawl on our stomachs begging for funds to house our heritage. My pride is aching from begging but my pride also screams in agony when our people are forced into whitemen’s museums to see their inheritance.”

As the second article concludes in terms it is hard to argue with:

If there is money available for museums to store stolen work, then there is money available for museums to be built where that work belongs. With the children and grandchildren of the artists who represented a culture and society which has not, despite all efforts, conveniently died.

First custom built archaeology research vessel in North America: The Sisiutl. Recently scrapped by SFU. Source: American Antiquity.

PS: kudos to the Union of BC Indian Chiefs for putting so much archival information online.  In related news, I previously linked to the archives of the Native Voice, which is another great resource for understanding First Nations politics and which also contains intriguing aboriginal perspectives on the practice of BC Archaeology.

Upcoming musical about Wilson Duff (!)

John Mann of Spirit of the West in "Beyond Eden"

I can hardly believe this, but the Vancouver Playhouse is mounting a new musical based on an event familiar to to all students of archaeology and anthropology n BC.  The musical stars John Mann from the band Spirit of the West.  From Tom Hawthorn’s blog:

Written by Bruce Ruddell with musical direction by Bill Henderson, formerly of Chilliwack, the musical premieres on Jan. 16 at the Vancouver Playhouse. The musical is based on a 1957 expedition to the Queen Charlotte Islands by the archeologist Wilson Duff and his Haida friend, the artist Bill Reid.

Mr. Mann portrays a character based on the archaeologist, a man who travelled to Haida Gwaii to preserve totem poles, which he bought for $50 each. These can now be seen at the Royal B.C. Museum in Victoria and the Museum of Anthropology in Vancouver.

“Off the top he believes his job is to keep those poles alive because you can learn from them,” Mr. Mann said. “If they rot, they’re lost, they’re gone forever. No one will be able to study them.

“In the course of those three days, his mind is changed. Then all hell breaks loose.”

This is remarkable and interesting on a number of levels.   I’d love to see it.

Wilson Duff was one of the first modern Anthropologists and Archaeologists to work in British Columbia and it seems he had just got started when he died by his own hand in 1976, at the age of 51.

Speaking of dSpace

The Globe and Mail has a story on the (in progress) digitization and internet posting of UBC’s complete run of over 35,500 theses and dissertations – with an arch response by SFU’s Dean of Libraries (or whatever).  As I’ve been noting, numerous other universities have these schemes as well, usually some flavour of the dSpace software package. Typically, University of Toronto calls it T-Space.  Dissertations there do not seem to be online unless you are a library card holder, though strictly speaking they are not in T-Space either I don’t think.  Nonetheless, they obviously have a digital copy mounted on a server.

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