• Name: Paul McLerran
  • Locations:Virginia, United States
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Thursday, January 06, 2005

Dig Spotlight: Breathing the Air of the Pacific Northwest

This past weekend I took some time with my family to visit the National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, D.C. An impressive museum, I came away inspired to know more about the cultural history of our Native Americans, the changes they endured and the impact they have had on our society. One particular exhibit focused on the Yakama Indians, whose reservation is located in south central Washington State. The exhibit related much about how this great people managed their natural and cultural resources, which was an education for me. I'm planning a trip back to that part of the country at some point in the not-too-distant future. Having been born in Washington State and lived there a substantial portion of my life, I can say that it is one of the most beautiful places on earth.

If you're interested in doing a little archaeology in these parts, soak in the air and beauty of the Pacific Northwest with this adventure: Dr. Astrida Blukis Orat is investigating historic homesteads and other settlements as part of a study to collect data and answer questions about the transition from North American Indian forest life to modern forest management practices. You can contribute by joining as a member of an Earthwatch team of volunteers who will map, survey, and excavate this summer near the Sauk River in the Skagit River Basin of Washington State. The field season for this project runs from June 20 to September 23, 2005, but you can participate as a member of the team for much shorter sessions during the field season. There is a participation fee for each session. For more information, go to


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