facebook app symbol  twitter  linkedin  instagram 1
LAKE WACCAMAW, N.C. — The Waccamaw Siouan Indian Tribe helped archaeologists excavate a 28-foot canoe out of Lake Waccamaw on April 12 that is believed to be at least 1,000 years old. Local reports state that the canoe was found while three teenagers were swimming in the lake during the summer of 2021.

The Waccamaw Siouan Indian Tribe of North Carolina is one of eight state-recognized American Indian tribes in North Carolina. They call themselves “People of the falling star” because of their history near Lake Waccamaw. Their oral history tells that the lake was created long ago when a meteor crashed into the earth, and nearby waterways flowed into the crater, causing a unique blue-green appearance, unlike other lakes in the area. 

Waccamaw Siouan Chief Michael Jacobs told Fox News that the canoe supports the tribe’s oral history that they have been there for thousands of years. 

“For years and years, we’ve always been questioned about our history and where we come from and who we are,” Jacobs said at the excavation. “Now, we have physical history to back it up.”

Never miss Indian Country’s biggest stories and breaking news. Sign up to get our reporting sent straight to your inbox every weekday morning. 

Eli Hill, one of the teenagers who found the canoe while swimming, said he initially thought it was a log, but when he tried to pick it up, he couldn’t. 

Hill’s family contacted the North Carolina Office of State Archaeology, which sent a team to examine the canoe and move it under a dock until it could be safely excavated. 

According to reports, dozens of tribal citizens of the Waccamaw Siouan Indian Tribe observed the canoe excavation, along with community members and other news media. The canoe was immediately placed in a chamber, covered and dried with towels and wrapped in plastic to prevent further deterioration. The canoe will be treated with chemicals in a lab to be preserved for future observation. 

The canoe will be displayed during an open house at the Queen Anne’s Revenge Conservation Laboratory in Greenville, N.C., on April 22.

Native News Online previously reported on canoe excavations. Last year, the Ho-Chunk Nation of Wisconsin pulled a second canoe out of Lake Mendota that is at least 1,000 years old. 

More Stories Like This

Potential First Native American Federal Judge in Oklahoma Advances Toward Senate Confirmation
Photos from the 2023 White House Tribal Nations Summit
Native News Weekly (December 10, 2023): D.C. Briefs
December 10th is the 75th Human Rights Day
Vice President Harris Addresses Indian Boarding Schools at the White House Tribal Nations Summit

In a world filled with inaccurate narratives about Native Americans, we spotlight the overlooked, unheard and underrepresented stories that are often overlooked by the mainstream media. Our journalism is free for all to read, but it is not free to produce. Your donation provides the much-needed financial support for us to produce inclusive Indigenous journalism that inspires, informs and uplifts Native Americans. Thank you for being a force behind our work. Together, we are rewriting the narrative.
About The Author
Author: Darren ThompsonEmail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Darren Thompson (Lac du Flambeau Ojibwe) is a staff reporter for Native News Online who is based in the Twin Cities of Minnesota. Thompson has reported on political unrest, tribal sovereignty, and Indigenous issues for the Aboriginal Peoples Television Network, Indian Country Today, Native News Online, Powwows.com and Unicorn Riot. He has contributed to the New York Times, the Washington Post, and Voice of America on various Indigenous issues in international conversation. He has a bachelor’s degree in Criminology & Law Studies from Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.