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Young Oneidas Resume Archaeological Dig For History

Oneida, NY (WIBX) – An archaeological project undertaken by young Oneidas is happening near the Village of Wampsville.

It’s part of the Youth Work Learn Program, which is in its 17th year of giving Native American students, hands-on life and work experiences.

Randy Phillips is Assistant Director of Education for the Oneida Nations. He said, “It’s a tedious difficult thing to do; archaeology. And, it isn’t always great stuff you find, but you find what you find and the best thing about this program is the kids are actually finding their own history–it’s Oneida history, their family history.

One student, 14-year-old Josie Gibson says she feels enriched by the experience. “It makes me feel like I’m doing what my ancestors did back in the days,” she said. Jesse Bergevin is the Historical Research Specialist leading the dig to identify 8 remaining Long Houses used by Oneida Indians between 1550 and 1575. He said, “As far as finding stuff related to that Long House–finding some features, some post molds–it’s been pretty productive. Artifacts; not as productive as it was last year, but I think we found quite a few though, we’ve got a couple of pretty full bags.” “It feels good to know that I’m the one finding it,” said 14-year-old Tala Brooks who adds that she appreciates learning about her ancestors. Some of the artifacts found so far include, pottery pieces, tools, and remnants of the Long Houses used by Oneidas who inhabited the area in the mid 1500s.

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