Slate Falls: through memory and material
Master of Environmental Studies
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This research addresses the last 100 to 150 years of Slate Falls First Nations’ history through the archaeological and ethnographic study of the Old Slate Falls Village. The village site is located on North Bamaji Lake (Ontario) in the headwaters of the Albany River. Many of the former residents of Old Slate Falls are still living and can recollect their days spent in the old village, this allows the archaeological investigation to be informed by the oral histories of former village residents. The project reported herein assists the community members of Slate Falls to preserve and celebrate their history in this location. It is through knowing one’s past, connections to the land, understanding space and place, and the ability to trace history and lineage, that selfdetermination can be asserted. Archaeological documentation of the cabins and structures in Old Slate Falls offers an overview of the transformation of construction techniques, village layout, and material culture over time in response to rapid changes defining the 20th Century. This data offers supplemental information which will be compared to insights deriving from interviews and reminiscences about life within the village through living memory.