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The Southwest Saskatchewan Archaeological Society (SWSAS) held its first meeting on 1982 February 11, at the Swift Current Composite High School with a presentation was made by Tim Jones and Wayne Pendree. In attendance were 25 from Swift Current and 11 other communities in the southwest. Sandra Hill volunteered to be the president of the group and other executive positions were determined at a subsequent meeting. A constitution was drafted and approved within the next two months. The SWSAS agreed to become a chapter of the Saskatchewan Archaeological Society (SAS).
The chapter became very active in short order. In 1984, members participated in archaeological investigations at the Niska site near Aneroid, under the direction of David Meyer, and at the Sheep Camp site on the shore of the South Saskatchewan River, led by Ingrid Cazakoff. The chapter also hosted the Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the Saskatchewan Archaeological Society in the spring of 1984.
In 1988, chapter members mapped stone circles at Vallee St. Claire in the Lac Pelletier district, south of Swift Current. A report, authored by Sandra Hill, was published in 1989. The SAS AGM was again held in Swift Current in 1988.
A portable library was developed to collect books, reports and other paper documents of archaeological interest, which has continued to grow through the years.
The chapter applied for and received permits to undertake supplemental investigations at the Heron-Eden site southeast of Leader in 1989 and 1990. Grant funds supported the cost of radiocarbon assessments at the University of Saskatchewan, provided by Urve Linnamae and staff.
In 1993 the chapter constructed a portable archaeology display. It has been used in subsequent years to attract and inform the public at several venues in Swift Current during Archaeology Week, Heritage Day and on other occasions. The chapter has also collaborated with the Swift Current Museum and Swift Current Public Library to mount displays and support presentations by speakers, aboriginal performers and the Festival of Ancient Technologies on several occasions in the past 25 years.
A chapter brochure was published in 1994 and has been used since that time to inform the public and attract new members.
Under the direction of veteran member, Ruth Heron, the chapter mapped stone cairns near Battrum from 1996 to 1998. Assistance was provided by the SWSAS when stone circles were mapped near the Hughton Medicine Wheel, an initiative of the West Central Chapter of SAS.
For several years the May chapter meeting was held in Shaunavon to support the membership from that community. A June picnic was often held at Joe and Laureen Gowan’s property on a bend of Swift Current Creek, in the presence of stone circles and other indicators of an aboriginal presence.
While experiencing ebbs and flows in membership, the chapter still has a core of archaeology enthusiasts. At present, all members of the SWSAS reside in Swift Current. Meetings and programs are held at the Swift Current Museum. The chapter registered as a non-profit corporation in 2009.
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2017/11/20 - Last Revision
Maintenance is the responsibility of the Collections Officer, Swift Current Museum.