Working with University of Calgary graduate students Madisen Hvidberg and Kelsey Pennanen, students in Mrs. Esterhuizen's Grade 10 social studies classes at Ernest Manning High School engaged in some hands on archeology as part of learning about our past on Treaty 7 Territory. Students learned about how oral history and archeology work together to tell us stories about the place in which we live, and help inform our decisions about the future. Utilizing the scientific method, students worked with a variety of actual artifacts and stratigraphy to determine the order of historical events, how artifacts were constructed and the rich history that exists in Southern Alberta.
One student said that “dirt!" was the most fascinating thing they learned about, and that they “didn't know that stratigraphy was a thing and it was so fascinating and that we could learn so much about an area just from the layers in the ground". Other students commented that it was interesting to see the amount of research archeologists do to determine an object's use, how important context was, and that things like stone tools weren't just “arrowheads, but had a variety of purposes". Looking at prehistoric pottery, students learning about the extensive influence of Blackfoot culture, and had the opportunity to discuss the role that oral history plays in providing us critical context about the past.
Many thanks to Madisen and Kelsey, as well as the Public Archeology Program at the University of Calgary, for coming in to our classes for such a hands on experience!