Since I lasted posted about the field school I am putting together, I’ve made two trips out to the indigenous host community. Last week, I participated in a information meeting in which community members were introduced to the idea of having students living on their reserve next summer. The assembled group – small but supportive – asked several questions about the benefits of a field school. They then contributed to a growing list of topics they would like to see researched by field school students.
Because of the public meeting, and my current goal of making information about the field school available (particularly to community members), I am able to identify the Splatsin community at Enderby, British Columbia as the hosts of the Splatsin-Douglas College Field School.
The Splatsin are Sewepemc (Shuswap) speaking people. They are an interior Salish community in the north Okanagan, north of Vernon. Topics of research interest to them, as identified last week, include broad categories like culture, language, and identity. But, more specifically, there’s a push for research on topics related to ethnohistory and land use.
I am working with the members of the Splatsin Rights and Title Department to bring the field school together. We are aiming at May and June, 2011 for the first field school session. The program for students will include two weeks in the classroom at Douglas College, four weeks on the reserve at Enderby, and two more weeks at Douglas College.
Next steps for me: 1) ethics review for the field school course and 2) setting up a field school website that will be of interest and use to both students and community members.