Archaeology and oral history at the Stanley Mission old village
VanderZwan, Karmen Renae
The Stanley Mission Old Village site (GiNd-11) is located in northern Saskatchewan along the Churchill River. The mission settlement, established in 1851, was situated on the north shore of the river and consisted of several buildings, including Holy Trinity Anglican Church, the parsonage, the schoolhouse, numerous Cree cabins, and the Revillon Frères complex. Previous investigations at the site, both surface surveys and excavations, yielded many artifacts and a Cree cabin foundation. The modern-day settlement of Stanley Mission is now positioned on the south side of the Churchill River, but the history of the community remains rooted at its original location. The only surviving features there are Holy Trinity Church and the cemetery. This thesis focuses on the archaeological data collected from the 2006 and 2007 field seasons during which a Cree cabin was excavated revealing building remains and producing thousands of artifacts. The historical research in this thesis draws upon the information gathered from the oral history interview sessions with local Elders conducted in 2001 and 2006. As well, other sources such as trader and missionary journals, archival photographs, and historic maps were consulted to establish a more holistic and complete history of the mission presenting the views of both local Cree people and Europeans. The information acquired from all lines of evidence was integrated to gain a better understanding of life at Stanley Mission during the later 1800s through to the 1970s. This included daily activities within the community, items purchased at the trading posts, the organization and layout of the Cree cabins, cabin construction, and a specific emphasis on one cabin once thought to be owned by Murdoch McKenzie. After a thorough examination it has been determined that the cabin in question is older than previously thought and likely was one of the first cabins built at the mission.
DegreeMaster of Arts (M.A.)
DepartmentAnthropology and Archaeology
ProgramAnthropology and Archaeology
CommitteeMeyer, David; Maingon, Alison; Calder, Robert
Copyright DateSeptember 2010