NANAIMO, B.C. — Members of a Nanaimo First Nations group are outraged after crews contracted by BC Hydro damaged a documented ancient rock art site during work last week.
Douglas White, chief of the Snuneymuxw First Nation said the damage is disrespectful of native heritage and he doesn’t understand how crews could make the mistake, since existing petroglyph rock art sites are documented and protected by legislation.
Petroglyphs can be more than 2,000 years old and typically feature etched drawings that serve as a record of First Nations history on the surface of flat bedrock sandstone.
“This is a notoriously well-known site,” White said. “I don’t understand this to be a mistake that can be made … this is the kind of desecration where I would expect charges to be laid.” Read more.
The return of the bones of 11 Sto: lo ancestors from UBC Friday could one day help other First Nations get their ancestral remains back from other institutions.
The Sto: lo bones were returned during a ceremony at the Sto: lo Research and Resource Management Centre (SRRMC), marking a major milestone in a five-year process that has involved UBC, Sto: lo Nation, Sto: lo Tribal Council and other Sto: lo First Nations.
The remains had been held at UBC’s Laboratory of Archaeology starting in the 1950s. Because the founder of the lab, Charles Borden, was the only resident archaeologist in B.C. at that time, people who found remains on farms and construction sites routinely boxed them up and sent them to UBC. Read more.
PRINCE GEORGE, B.C. - Along the banks of B.C.’s Babine River sits an archeological treasure trove, an ancient village that may have been used as a crossroad for First Nations dating back more than 1,300 years.
While the Babine Lake First Nation knew their ancestors’ village was there, it’s untilled ground for archeologists.
Before the arrival of Prof. Farid Rahemtulla and his crew from the Department of Anthropology at the University of Northern British Columbia, experts hadn’t searched the site.
“It’s just one of those places that hasn’t really been explored very well in terms of archaeology,” Rahemtulla said in an interview.
The village site is about 100 kilometres from Smithers in B.C.’s northern Interior. Read more.
A six-tonne boulder covered in aboriginal engravings is finally being returned to the B.C. Interior, bringing closure to a first nations community whose territory it was taken from nearly 90 years ago.
“It was taken during a time when we didn’t have a say and we had no rights, but now times are changing and we can help undo the wrongs of the past,” said Phyllis Webstad, a member of the Stswecem’c Xgat’tem First Nation, who is coordinating the repatriation. “It’s healing for us.”
The petroglyph-covered rock, which is carved with images of serpents, deer and elk, was uncovered along the Fraser River by a gold prospector in 1925, and moved to Vancouver’s Stanley Park a year later. Read more.
A massive Southwestern Ontario wind turbine project is uncovering ancient signs of the region’s first people, findings that could affect future projects.
Archeological studies required before wind turbines can be built have turned up evidence of First Nations’ activity just after the glaciers retreated at the end of the last Ice Age.
In what’s considered a rare find, archeologists working on the K2 Wind Farm project north of Goderich found hand-fashioned stone tools and artifacts in Ashfield Colborne Wawanosh Township from the so-called Paleo-Indian period - 10,000 to 12,000 years ago, when the area had a harsh, tundra-like environment.
Other archeological work in preparation for wind farms has turned up later native artifacts and items from early European settlement.
“This speaks to the use of our homelands for thousands of years. It’s a piece of the historic record,” said Dean Jacobs, director of the Walpole Island First Nation Heritage Centre. Read more.
Two studies led by scientists from the University of Pennsylvania and National Geographic’s Genographic Project reveal new information about the migration patterns of the first humans to settle the Americas. The studies identify the historical relationships among various groups of Native American and First Nations peoples and present the first clear evidence of the genetic impact of the groups’ cultural practices.
For many of these populations, this is the first time their genetics have been analyzed on a population scale. One study, published in the American Journal of Physical Anthropology, focuses on the Haida and Tlingit communities of southeastern Alaska. The other study, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences,considers the genetic histories of three groups that live in the Northwest Territories of Canada.Establishing shared markers in the DNA of people living in the circumarctic region, the team of scientists uncovered evidence of interactions among the tribes during the last several thousand years. Read more.
Members of the Musqueam First Nation marched through southwest Vancouver streets Thursday morning to demand protection of an ancient village and burial site.
The band and their supporters say a condo development is threatening an aboriginal village and burial ground considered one of the most important archeological sites in Canada.
Work is underway at the site of the 3,000-year-old Marpole Midden, on the 1300-block of S.W. Marine Drive, to build a five-storey commercial and residential complex along the banks of the Fraser River.
But the Musqueam band says human remains have already been unearthed and urgent action is needed to protect the site.
Band members have reportedly offered up a different piece of land in exchange for protecting this piece in dispute, but the province won’t sign off on the deal. Read more.
VANCOUVER A rare First Nations artifact worth about $1.2 million has been returned to British Columbia after more than 230 years.
The ceremonial club, which was carved from yew wood in the shape of a hand holding a sphere, was presented by the Nuu-chah-nulth people of Vancouver Island to explorer Capt. James Cook in 1778.
It was recently bought through a private dealer in New York and donated to the Museum of Anthropology at the University of B.C.
The club was the last remaining object from Cook’s personal collection not housed in a museum, and it will be the only such item to be on public display in Canada. Read more.