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Grant supports Fort St. Joseph open house

June 21, 2010

KALAMAZOO--An $8,100 grant from the Michigan Humanities Council will support an open house for Western Michigan University's Fort St. Joseph Archaeological Project in August.

The Aug. 14-15 event will be held in Niles, Mich., and will focus on "Women of New France." Events and demonstrations will pay particular attention to how colonial women lived and worked in the 1691-1781 period and the importance of their role on the frontier. Attendees will be able to watch archaeologists excavate and screen for artifacts, listen to lectures about women in New France by project researchers and guest speakers, and interact with knowledgeable living history re-enactors.

The open house, now in its fifth year, has attracted thousands of visitors to see an actual archaeological dig in progress. For more information on the project and how to attend, visit wmich.edu/fortstjoseph.

"The open house is the highlight of one of the premier public archaeology programs in the Midwest," says Dr. Michael Nassaney, principal investigator and professor of anthropology. "Conducted in conjunction with the WMU archaeological field school, the program was founded in 1976 and is celebrating its 35th year, making it one of the longest-running programs in the country,"

This is the second year Fort St. Joseph received funding from the Michigan Humanities Council for its summer open house. The program was awarded $6,000 in 2008. Other sponsoring organizations include the City of Niles, the Society for Colonial Wars, the Quebec Government and the Office of the State Archaeologist in the Michigan State Housing Authority.

WMU's 2010 grant is a part of a total $154,525 in grants made by MHC this year to support 13 public humanities projects in Michigan. The grants emphasize collaboration among cultural, educational, and community-based organizations and institutions to serve Michigan citizens with public humanities programming. Organizations awarded grants will generate an additional $358,580 in cost-share and other revenue in support of the projects. In all, 19 applications were received that would have generated $715,874 in activity.

"The Michigan Humanities Council is pleased to provide significant funding to many community projects that promote the examination of culture and the understanding of sense of place," said Janice Fedewa, executive director of the Michigan Humanities Council. "We look forward to partnering with these communities to create quality cultural programs."

The Michigan Humanities Council, founded in 1974, is the state's independent, Non-profit affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities. For more information, visit michiganhumanities.org.

For more information about Fort St. Joseph, contact Dr. Michael Nassaney at michael.nassaney@wmich.edu or (269) 387-3981.

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Media contact: Deanne Puca, (269) 387-8400, deanne.puca@wmich.edu

WMU News
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Western Michigan University
Kalamazoo MI 49008-5433 USA
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