A Pictograph panel found near Tlowitsis traditional territory near Kalogwis is attached in the archaeological report produced by the First Nation’s guardian watchmen. Photo courtesy, Brodie Guy

A Pictograph panel found near Tlowitsis traditional territory near Kalogwis is attached in the archaeological report produced by the First Nation’s guardian watchmen. Photo courtesy, Brodie Guy

Tlowitsis First Nation records 370 archaeological sites on traditional territories across B.C.

The Nation’s guardian watchmen mapped sites for research and to protect them from human disturbances

Tlowitsis First Nation has recorded 370 archaeological sites within their traditional territories spread around the coast of northern Vancouver Island, Johnstone Strait and mainland inlets

In a report, the First Nation guardian watchmen and archaeologists from Inlailawatash – a Vancouver based, Tsleil-Waututh Nation-owned archaeology firm–highlighted numerous sites of cultural importance in their territories.

Between 2016 and 2019, Tlowitsis Guardians visited 130 recorded and newly identified sites to assess their locations and overall site condition. In 2018 and 2019 the Guardians assessed 63 previously recorded sites and also identified 29 new ones.

The new sites included unique burial-box sites with grave goods, pictographs, village and defensive sites.

Th work was done to ensure that these sites are protected from human or natural disturbances and to take care of the Tlowitsis heritage. These sites are important to the First Nations as they are considered a physical and spiritual link to their ancestors.

“We know that our ancestors lived on our traditional lands for more than a thousand years. When we look at the evidence that is left behind by our ancestors, it gives us a better understanding of how they lived, and it also helps us fill in the missing pieces of the picture of how we got to where we are now,” said guardian watchman, Gina Thomas, who led the expedition.

Through activities like site data collection and evaluating vulnerability and site sensitivity based on previous reports produced by the Inlailawatash, the team was able to identify that most previously registered sites were only partially documented. As a result there was a danger in under-representing the size and significance of these sites.

The report also identified that one of the discovered burial sites – that holds a burial box and ancestral remains within a rockshelter– were significantly disturbed and threatened. The team discovered that the rock wall covering the remains was disturbed and the box was destroyed.

Another site at Bowers Island in Chatham Chanel that contains dozens of stacked fish weirs, over 30 cleared canoe runs, shell midden, house depressions and harvestable plants is under research by the team as they believe it will help expand knowledge of the Tlowitsis’ past.

Doing what we can as Guardians to protect and document our past from natural and human impacts is important to us because our people have suffered many injustices since the time of contact,” said Thomas in the report.

“By working with non-Indigenous people that share our passions of the past can help bridge some of that ill will. I believe we can help each other gain knowledge that is more robust and encompassing by sharing our different views.”

CultureFirst Nations

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Kendra Thomas from Warmland Women’s Support Services invites Cowichan residents to find out more about youth sex trafficking with an online event Nov. 16, 2020. (File photo)
Learn more about youth sex trafficking with ‘Love Bombing 101’

Nov. 22-28 is Victims and Survivors of Crime Week

Pnina Benyamini loved to be around people and people loved her. (Photo submitted)
Many facets to energetic Chemainus woman’s legacy

Benyamini taught yoga, belly dancing and more to an adoring public

Windy conditions in Nanaimo’s Lost Lake area. (News Bulletin file photo)
Wind warning issued for the east coast of Vancouver Island

Environment Canada says people ‘should be on the lookout’ for adverse weather conditions

Ladysmith Mayor Aaron Stone has been re-elected as chairman of the board at the CVRD. (File photo)
Aaron Stone re-elected as chairman of the Cowichan Valley Regional District

Blaise Salmon, director for Mill Bay/Malahat, elected as new vice-chairman

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature, Nov. 23, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C. daily COVID-19 cases hits record 941 on Tuesday

Further restrictions on indoor exercise take effect

(Pixabay.com)
Man, 28, warned by Kootenay police to stop asking people to marry him

A woman initially reported the incident to police before they discovered others had been popped the question

Winston Blackmore (left) and James Oler (right) were sentenced on separate charges of polygamy this week in Cranbrook Supreme Court.
No more charges expected in Bountiful investigation, special prosecutor says

Special prosecutor says mandate has ended following review of evidence from Bountiful investigations

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

(Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Refuse to follow B.C.’s mask mandate? Face a $230 fine

Masks are now required to be worn by all British Columbians, 12 years and older

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Parksville’s French Creek Harbour experienced a diesel spill on Nov. 23 after a barge and fishing vessel collided. (Mandy Moraes photo)
Coast Guard cleans up diesel spill in Parksville’s French Creek Harbour

Barge carrying fuel truck collides with fishing vessel

Stock photo
Senior from Gibsons caught viewing child porn sentenced to 10 months

74-year-old pleaded guilty after police seized 1,500-2,500 images

BC Teachers' Federation President Teri Mooring is asking parents of school-aged children to encourage the wearing of masks when possible in schools. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito)
LETTER: Teachers union encourages culture of mask wearing in B.C. schools

BCTF President Teri Mooring asks parents to talk with children about wearing masks in school

Most Read