The Williams Lake Indian Band is thrilled after receiving an artifact found by a former Williams Lake resident. (Rebecca Dyok photo)

B.C. First Nation reunited with artifact 13 years after found in Williams Lake

The spearhead is believed to be 2,600 to 4,000 years old

A piece of history has been returned to the Williams Lake Indian Band 13 years after it was a discovered in the garden of a former Williams Lake resident.

The artifact was kept stashed in a trinket box after Cheryl Engemoen and her husband Ernie unearthed it in 2007 from their North Lakeside Drive property.

It was delivered from Summerland via courier and arrived at the WLIB downtown office in Williams Lake on Friday, June 12.

After opening the package, Sugar Cane Archaeology determined it is most likely a spearhead from the Shuswap Horizon Period between 4,000 to 2,600 BP (before present).

Archaeological field supervisor, Brittany Cleminson, said this period is associated with the Plateau pithouse tradition of pithouses which would have often been seen around the area.

The spearhead appears to be made out of dacite which is a fine grain volcanic rock often found around the Canadian Plateau, she added.

“We’re going to do a little more research just to make sure we’re right about it being from the Horizon Period and then we’re going to submit it to an appropriate repository.”

Because the artifact was not identified on WLIB reserve land it is not under federal jurisdiction but the provincial jurisdiction of the B.C Archaeology Branch and Heritage Conservation Act.

This means the WLIB will have to submit the artifact to an approved repository as they continue to work towards building their own.

“Once that’s completed we’re going to look towards bringing artifacts home,” Cleminson said.

She encourages others to do the same as Engemoen and if they have any artifacts or happen to discover one to reach out to WLIB.

“That way we can continue to piece together those missing puzzle pieces that form the cultural heritage of the Williams Lake area,” she said.

Read More: Former Williams Lake resident returns artifact to local First Nation


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