Archaeology volunteers present the Archaeology of the Lower Fraser River school programs to elementary students, in Grades 4 to 7, throughout the school year (September to mid-December; January to early June). The 50-minute Live Digital Program is offered the third Wednesday of each month in the morning (10 am or 11 am) and in the afternoon (1 pm or 1:30 pm). The In-person Program is 90 minutes long and is offered the remaining Wednesdays in the morning (10:00 am) and in the afternoon (12:15 pm).
Prior to the arrival of the students (to the Laboratory of Archaeology or to their virtual participation) volunteers prepare and set up the space and materials for the programs. When students arrive, they are welcomed, instructed on appropriate behavior and rules, and then engage in the prepared activities with the museum teaching materials.
Archaeology volunteers help students discover the rich, 9,000-year history of the First Nations people in southwestern BC by learning about their homelife, tools and technologies. This behind-the-scenes program includes an introduction to authentic tools and materials used for fishing, hunting, woodworking and homelife. In addition, the students who participate in the in-person Program learn to make a rope bracelet from raffia using traditional techniques based on bark rope making.
Archaeology volunteers have the opportunity to participate in the Laboratory of Archaeology (LOA) activities in addition to the school program.
Archaeology volunteers come from a wide variety of backgrounds. The ideal volunteer should:
- Enjoy working with children
- Have a strong interest in First Nations cultures and issues, both historic and contemporary
- Have a strong interest in archaeology
- Be flexible and patient and willing to work with children of various ability levels
- Have an interest in museums
- Be able to volunteer on Wednesdays during regular school hours
- Experience working with children is an asset
All new archaeology volunteers are required to attend all three sessions of MOA 101: Introductory Training Seminar. Dates will be announced during our active recruitment period. Training will continue with Archaeology Committee members and staff after MOA 101.
Training includes archaeology orientation sessions to teach the necessary content for delivering the school programs. These sessions are conducted by staff and usually require one to two days of training, after which ongoing hands-on training will take place during the program through observation and teamwork with experienced Archaeology Committee volunteers. Volunteers will learn to deliver both in-person and digital school programs including the set-up of teaching materials and equipment, information content and how to present belongings for the digital version and for the hands-on activity with actual archaeological belongings where students will act like an archaeologist. Volunteers will learn to guide students to make a bracelet using the First Nations’ method of twining.
Once training is complete, volunteers are asked to commit to learning and presenting at least one of the programs (in-person or digital) and be available either for the morning or afternoon session each week on Wednesdays.
- 2 years on the Archaeology Committee
- Wednesdays: either morning or afternoon sessions
- Attendance at the General Meetings which take place six times a year on Monday afternoons in September, November, January, March, April and May
- Attendance at 2–3 Archaeology Committee meetings per year, which usually take place before some General Meetings