YWL Archaeological Dig Underway Near Wampsville
Wampsville, NY (WIBX) - An archaeological dig near the Village of Wampsville is being conducted by students taking part in the Oneida Nation Youth Work Learn Program. Mandi Beauvais is an intern charged with leading the group excavating two test units to identify the 8 remaining long houses used by native Americans. Beauvais says its also about learning about their peoples history. "Even more than just the data that we find we're figuring out more about ourselves and our identity as a people because over the years we've actually lost a lot of that but the more we find, is the more we find out about ourselves," she said.
She says the students are looking for historical pieces. "There's actually 8 remains of long houses, so we're actually at the lower end of one of them, and we're just looking for like post molds and like pottery and stuff like that," she said. YWL is a paid program designed to teach Oneida Nation students aged 13 to 21, life, work and educational skills.
Jesse Bergevin is a historical research specialist with the program. He said the program is in its 16th year of giving young Oneidas hands-on life and work experiences. He says the dig gives a historical perspective to the students. "It gives a better sense of the archaeology component and the history component, and a sense of the depth of time that the Oneidas have been here," he said. He says the program itself teaches them an array of work skills. "It gives them an opportunity to learn the discipline of being at work, working everyday, doing different tasks, following directions and it gets them out of the house and learn to work as part of a team outside of sports," he said.