The Ethnohistory Field School is a fabulous opportunity for history and other graduate students to live and work in partnership with the Stó:lō – the indigenous people who have made the Fraser River Valley and Fraser River Canyon home for thousands of years. It is a partnership between the University of Victoria, the University of Saskatchewan, the Stó:lō Research and Resource Management Centre, Stó:lō Nation and the Stó:lō Tribal Council and is the only graduate ethnohistory field school in North America.

          Every second spring since 1998 graduate students and faculty from the Universities of Victoria and (since 2002) Saskatchewan move into Stó:lō territory, board for a week with Stó:lō families, and live the rest of the month-long field period in a longhouse. Working together with Stó:lō mentors, staff and elders, students work on a research project that the Stó:lō have identified as important to them.

           For the student participants, this kind of hands-on, participatory, live-in-the-community research is education in its truest sense. Students not only learn about history and ethnohistorical methods (which are practical and employment skills) their worlds are expanded, attitudes transformed and relationships forged. For its contribution to education, reconciliation and ethnohistory the Field School won the 2016 Hackenburg Memorial Award from the Society for Applied Anthropology. At the feast that closed the 2017 field school Stó:lõ elders gave the school a name in their language, Halkomelem. The name – Xwelalámsthóxes – means ‘He/she called us to witness’.

           On this website you can see the results of this fruitful collaboration, including the research projects that have been completed, the publications that have grown out of these projects, a photo archive of field schools past, and a list of the alumni.

           Click here to see a short video about the Field School.