Heritage Resources  /  Documents / Archaeology



Archaeology is the discovery, recovery and reconstruction of the lifeways of ancient peoples. In southwestern Manitoba, it begins with the Precontact (Pre-European) Period record from the first of the First Nations, the Clovis hunters of 11,500 years ago, through to the appearance of the first Europeans, La Verendrye's exploration party of 1738. Throughout this time there is a dynamic record of changing groups, migration, trade, changing land use, changing technology and changing cultural identification.

Then there is the Protocontact Period, dating ca. AD 1650-1750, when local First Nations were utilizing items traded from European fur traders to the south and east. The fur trade period, dated ca. AD 1750-1875 locally, includes the rise and spread of fur trade activities and the rapidly changing lifestyles of various First Nations including the Nakota (Assiniboins) whose homeland included this area, Dakota and Lakota, Anishinaabe (Ojibwa) and Metis. Finally, there is the more recent Postcontact Period, including homestead developments, local industrial developments such as coal mining, and community developments.

In so many shapes and places, the past is all around us waiting to be rediscovered, interpreted and understood. It is our legacy to preserve and protect this history for the generations to come.