Digging up history in Creighton and Denare Beach

Dig out that old artifact – the best and brightest archaeologists from Manitoba and Saskatchewan will descend on Creighton and Denare Beach.

The two provinces’ archaeological societies are holding a joint conference in Denare Beach. There will be a public event at the Creighton Community Centre from 7-10 p.m. Sept. 20, where archaeologists will be on hand to identify artifacts from the community. There will also be a showing of The Peddlers, a 1964 film featuring Denare Beach legend Harry Moody.

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Les Oystryk, a board member with the Northern Gateway Museum, said this is the first conference either society has held in the north. Oystryk is helping organize the event and will be presenting to the archeologists about the local history during the conference.

“The archaeological societies would like to have people bring any archeological artifacts or any items they would like to have looked at, or talk about,” he said.

“Some people have collections of artifacts they’ve collected locally, or maybe elsewhere.”

Oystryk said the showing of The Peddlers is a first for the community. He couldn’t find anyone in the area who has seen the film before.

“We’re going to be talking quite a bit about the archaeology of Beaver Lake throughout the conference,” Oystryk said.

“We’re really, really pleased the societies have chosen us for the conference this year.”

Oystryk hopes the location of the conference will spur additional resources and excavations in sites throughout the area.

The Northern Gateway Museum displays many different archaeological finds from around the area, with Oystryk saying there is more to be discovered.

“I’m hoping that some of the archaeologists who will be attending and some of the students who will be attending might take an interest in pursuing more formal archaeological excavations on Beaver Lake,” he said.

“There’s a lot of sites that have never received formal archaeological studies. They’ve been identified, we know where they are, but doing a full archaeological study is pretty serious, so we’re hoping to see some more interest.”

Oystryk said he was most looking forward to making connections and networking with the broader archaeology community during the conference.

While the public events are focused earlier in the week, as the conference moves forward there will be different paper presentations from archaeologists at Rocky View BnB in Denare Beach.

“Some of the best experts from the University of Saskatchewan will be there,” Oystryk said.

“Archaeology isn’t one of those hot topics, but we think it’s very important to the history of the north.”

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