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Archaeology & Anthropology Field Schools

Canada - Yukon College Field School in Subarctic Archaeology and Ethnography

Archaeology Field School Location and Dates

Application Deadline
Start Date 2010-06-02
End Date 2010-07-19

Multiple Sessions yes
Multiple Session information Non credit Research Internships are available June through August - contact Norm Easton for more details
Archaeology Field School Location
Whitehorse and Beaver Creek, Yukon Territory, Canada and Northway and Tetlin, Alaska, USA

Archaeology Field School Tuition and Credits

Sponsoring College/Institution
Yukon College, Whitehorse, Yukon Canada White River First Nation, Beaver Creek, Yukon Canada
Academic Credit
6 University Transfer Credits. 3 additional credits are available for participants who extend their stay a further 3 weeks for completion of Analytical Methods course.
Archaeology Field School Tuition
$450.00 for 6 University Transfer Credits
Archaeology Field School Room and Board
In field subsistence and travel included in Field School Activity Fee of $1550.00. Participants are responsible for R/B in Whitehorse.
Archaeology Field School Travel
Participants responsible for travel to Whitehorse; field transportation supplied by program.
Additional Information on Tution/Room and Board/Travel Costs
Total Field School costs = $2,000.00 ($450.00 Tuition and $1,550.00 Activity Fee). By special arrangement International Fees are waived for this summer program. Additional Misc. costs (laundry, entertainment, nights out) borne by participants will vary dependent on their pursuit, circa $40.00 to $100.00 per week.

Archaeology Field School Description

In collaboration with the White River First Nation of Beaver Creek, Yukon, and the Village Councils of Northway, Tetlin, and Tanacross, Alaska, Yukon College offers an exciting and unique opportunity to participate in ethnographic and archaeological research in the Upper Tanana River watershed, location of southeastern Beringia and the region containing some of the oldest human occupation sites in the Americas. During summer 2010, continuing excavation at the Little John site will focus on recovery of the 14,000-year-old Pleistocene levels with faunal remains from the site, further investigations of Holocene occupations, and documentation of contemporary and traditional land use, language, and culture. This joint White River First Nation - Yukon College project involves students and local First Nation youth and elders in integrated investigations of the region's history, language, and culture. Community-based archaeology camps with Northway and Tetlin Native Alaskan villages are also planned for August. Field school students will receive training in all aspects of archaeological excavation, survey, and field laboratory techniques, ethnographic observation through participant observation, developing field notes, and primary analytical techniques. Field lectures will cover a range of topics as detailed in the sample course outline. The outline also contains an sample itinerary of scheduled field activities. The detailed 2010 course outline will be posted in March 2010. Our host community of the White River First Nation of Beaver Creek, Yukon is comprised of Upper Tanana and Northern Tutchone Athapaskan Dineh, who are actively engaged in maintaining their culture and language. They welcome our students into the daily life of their community as we participate in language lessons, subsistence and culture camps, sacred potlatch ritual, baseball and horseshoe tournaments, guest instruction by respected Elders, and interaction with local youth participants. In return we perform a variety of community service works as we engage in the continuing social process of generalized reciprocity that defines the Dineh Way. The interdisciplinary and community based nature of the Yukon College Field School in Subarctic Archaeology and Ethnography makes our program a unique and life-changing experience for participants. The wonder of the landscape and generosity of its occupants - human and non-human - will bring a new and profound appreciation to students of the continuing vitality and resilience of Dineh culture on the Yukon - Alaska Borderlands.

Archaeology Field School Additional Information

Archaeology Field School Type
Prehistoric and Historic Archaeological Survey and Excavation. Archaeological Geology. Contemporary Ethnography
Time Period
Cultural Occupations from c. 14,000 years bp through to the Historic Period. Paleontological deposits back to c. 42,000 years bp.
Field School Setting/Conditions
The principal field camp is on-site at the Little John site, about 14 miles north of the village of Beaver Creek, Yukon, directly accessible from the Alaska Highway. The camp is a Wilderness Setting, but close to medical attention, provisions, and other village facilities (laundry, showers, etc.) Participants need to be physically fit to participate in the daily activities of wilderness camping.
How is the project area accessed each day
Via automobile along the Alaska Highway.
What is the daily schedule for the field school
8:30 am to 5:00 pm with siesta, six days per week. Regular evening lectures and field cateloguing.
Number of years this Archaeology Field School has been in operation
First offered 1994
Is there a professional certification for this field school
Directors and Instructors
Norman Alexander Easton - Principal Investigator and Primary Instructor. - Professor Easton has been conducting interdisciplinary research with the Dineh of the Borderlands since 1991 and teaching at Yukon College since 1986. Additional Guest Instructors and Lecturers will be regularly visiting the field site. Confirmed participants to date include: - Dr. James Dixon, University of New Mexico, Alaska Ice Patch and Beringia specialist - Dr. Richard Reger, Quaternary Geologist - Dr. David Yesner, University of Alaska Anchorage, faunal specialist - Paleontologist Vance Hutchinson, Tulane University and Yukon College - Archaeologist Greg Hare, Yukon Heritage, PI of Yukon Ice Patch Research - Dr. Grant Zazula, Yukon Paleontologist - Upper Tanana Elders will be regular visitors and instructors in language, history, and culture of the Borderland Dineh - Visiting specialists in surficial geology and geomorphology from Yukon Geological Survey and Carleton University
Specialized skills you will have the opportunity to learn
In addition to techniques in basic archaeological survey and excavation and ethnographic documentation students will have the opportunity to work with visiting specialists in their respective fields.
On rain days will there be lab work?
Assignment of day's duties will vary depending on weather, project, and community considerations.
Will there be additional organized activities?
Yes. Regular participation in community events, such as potlatches, baseball, horseshoes, Canada Day parade, evening soirees and cultural gathererings are required of all participants. In addition, all participants are expected to contribute some community service to our host community, such as assisting at potlatches, community subsistence camps, Elder's needs, community gardens, etc.
Will there be additional organized activities?
Yes. Regular presentations by the course instructor and visiting specialists will occur 3 times weekly.
Is travel restriced during free time?
There is a camp curfew of midnight, unless otherwise extended by the Instructor.

Other resources students will find useful
Trailer of short film production on the project can be found at: Course Instructor - Project Director Bio at:

Archaeology Field School Contact Information and Website

Field School Website:

Field School Contact Information

Norman Alexander Easton Lecturer in Anthropology and Northern Studies School of Liberal Arts Yukon College, Whitehorse, Yukon Canada Y1A 5K4 867-668-8770

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