Slocan Narrows archaeological project gets students hands-on with history

Selkirk College

Hamilton College’s Slocan Narrows Archaeological Project has returned to the shores of the Slocan River bringing post-secondary students from across the continent to excavate and document history uncovered in a cluster of First Nations pithouses.

Selkirk College’s Reyna Brown is a local student participating in the archeological dig taking place this year. Uncovering links to the past provides a new perspective on the lands in which she grew up and valuable experience as she pursues a degree in Anthropology.

“That this is offered here is very cool,” Brown says. “I am the only student that comes from this area. I grew up in the Slocan Valley and I’m really at home in the area. I love these mountains and I’ve spent most of my life hiking around in them… but I’ve never really considered what lies underneath.”

Brown had never really considered herself interested in history either. Then, one day her Grade 12 Social Studies teacher at Self Design High engaged the class in a World War Two lesson that awakened an appreciation for the past. The historic battle went from something read about in text books to a living exercise that had everyone imagining they were involved.

“My teacher brought everything to life and it got me thinking of history in a new way,” Brown says. “Suddenly, I was fascinated. I couldn’t stop reading. I was inspired by finding connections between history and current events.”

Devouring history, Brown’s eagerness led her to Selkirk College where she enrolled in the School of University Arts & Sciences focusing on Anthropology. Her first year of post-secondary complete, the 20-year-old is currently the youngest student on location at the Slocan Narrows Archaeological Project.

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