Sambaa K’e Archaeology Project

Glen MacKay (NWT Archaeologist’s Permit 2008-007)

Glen MacKay of the Prince of Wales Northern Heritage Centre continued an archaeological survey of the traditional land use area of the Sambaa K’e got’ine (Trout Lake People) under NWT Archaeologist’s Permit 2008-007. Edward Jumbo (Sambaa K’e Elder), Margaret Jumbo (translator) and Jessica Jumbo (research assistant) were partners in this project. Several community students also participated in the fieldwork.

A collaborative effort between Elders, students and archaeologists, the Sambaa K’e Archaeology Project involves visiting important cultural places, identified by the Elders of the Sambaa K’e Dene Band, and documenting them as archaeological sites. The project has a strong educational component with high school students from the community receiving instruction in archaeological survey methods and learning about important cultural places from their elders.

We recorded nine new archaeological sites and revisited four previously recorded archaeological sites during the project. The sites recorded consist primarily of precontact lithic scatters and sites containing artefacts from the historic period. Interesting sites include a place called Tsıh Mı̨ı̨́ where people used to extract a red mineral for use as a pigment, and the location of an intact birch toboggan (approximately 75 years old) found on the bank of Trout River.

(Edited by Shelley Crouch, Prince of Wales Northern Heritage Centre)