A memory place

This is a must-read for those interested in native traditions and archaeology. From the Vancouver Sun: A Memory Place.

The goal was to connect those stories with the evidence in the archeological record. The archeology revealed very quickly the truth of the spoken record.

For Washington, the experience was life-altering.

"I’ve started to look at the land in a whole different way since the dig," Washington said. "A lot of the things that I saw in the inter-tidal area before never really seemed natural, but I didn’t quite understand what they were."

The Tla’Amin did considerable renovation to their physical environment, including the construction of dozens of pools along the beach, clearly visible today, that were used to farm shellfish and trap fish.

"It didn’t just take a month or a year, it took generations to construct these traps," Washington said. "I can see now the intricate systems they had set up to provide for their families."

By piling beach rock in rings and clearing dish-like depressions in the inter-tidal area, the Tla’Amin could trap huge numbers of fish as the tide receded.

"It was like going to the fridge," she said. "When you needed something fresh for dinner it was right there for you." [continue]

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