Touching the past
Area Students take part in first ever Archeo-Blitz
By Jerry W. Kram
It is a hidden gem in our own back yard. The Knife River Indian Village at Stanton is part of the National Park Service and it preserves a key piece of North Dakota history, an important Hidatsa village that was occupied more than 250 years ago.
That hidden gem got some major exposure when more than 300 seventh and eighth grade students from area schools got a chance to work with real scientists at the National Park Service’s first ever ArcheoBlitz. The idea is based on the 10 year old BioBlitz, where young people work with biologists to measure biodiversity in national parks. At Knife River, the students got to do real archeology projects with working archeologists.
"We have about 30 scientists and partners who are here," said Craig Hanson, chief ranger for the Indian Village. "The first two days those scientists worked with students from the local communities. There were some students from Twin Buttes and New Town and also from Hazen, Beulah and Center. What took place was real research in the Village."
Hanson said that for the last four months, a Park Service Ranger has been visiting classrooms in the area preparing the students for the ArcheoBlitz.
"The beauty of it is that they are doing real projects that will create real data that will help the park in the future," Hanson said. "It will help us interpret what we find here and maybe how we manage the park. It’s really good stuff."