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

North Cowichan considers extending tax payment deadline by two months. (File photo)
North Cowichan considers extending deadline for property tax payments

A two-month deadline extension to Sept. 1 gets three readings

John Horn is leaving his position as executive director of the Cowichan Housing Association. (File photo)
John Horn leaving Cowichan Housing Association

Will take on role as executive director of John Howard Society in Nanaimo

Cowichan Tribes Chief William Seymour has taken a medical leave of absence but expects to return soon. (Citizen file)
Chief William Seymour takes leave from office

Seymour will return once fully recovered

A cougar was sighted in the 500 block of Cedar Avenue in Duncan on May 6 at about 9:30 p.m. (Facebook)
Cougar sighted in residential Duncan

Spotted in the Cairnsmore neighbourhood

The Lake Cowichan branch of the Royal Bank of Canada is closing. (Google)
Lake Cowichan’s RBC branch will close in November

RBC says banking needs will still be met

(The Canadian Press)
Trudeau won’t say whether Canada supports patent waiver for COVID-19 vaccines

‘Canada is at the table to help find a solution’

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

A sign indicating face coverings are required by the establishment is pictured on the front door of a business in Vancouver, B.C., Friday, April 9, 2021. COVID-19 cases have been on a steady increase in the province of British Columbia over the past week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
A sign indicating face coverings are required by the establishment is pictured on the front door of a business in Vancouver, B.C., Friday, April 9, 2021. COVID-19 cases have been on a steady increase in the province of British Columbia over the past week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. to start releasing neighbourhood-specific COVID numbers after data leak

Documents obtained by the Vancouver Sun show cases broken down by neighbourhoods

Ladysmith RCMP safely escorted the black bear to the woods near Ladysmith Cemetary. (Town of Ladysmith/Facebook photo)
Black bear tranquillized, relocated after wandering around residential Ladysmith

A juvenile black bear was spotted near 2nd Avenue earlier Friday morning

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix update B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature, April 29, 2021. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 case count creeps up, seven more deaths

445 people in hospital, 157 in intensive care

Summerland’s positive test rate is much higher than surrounding local health areas, according to internal BC CDC documents. (BC CDC)
Summerland 3rd behind Surrey, Abbotsford in daily per capita COVID-19 cases

Interior Health is rolling out additional vaccine availability to the community

Amazon is pausing its Prime Day marketing event in Canada this year amid ongoing COVID-19 outbreaks at its facilities in Ontario. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Amazon Prime Day halted in Canada due to COVID-19 outbreaks in warehouses

The event was postponed to protect the health and safety of employees and customers, the company says

Ally Thomas, 12, seen in an undated family handout photo, died on April 14 from a suspected overdose. Her family says they are frustrated more public supports weren't available when they tried to get her help. THE CANADIAN PRESS
Minister says suspected overdose death of 12-year-old pushing B.C. to ‘do better’

Minister Sheila Malcolmson of Mental Health and Addictions says the government is working ‘as hard as we can’ to build a system of care for youths

At this Highway 3 check point, police officers will be asking for identification from drivers, documentation regarding the driver’s name and address, and the purpose for the driver’s travel. (RCMP)
No fines handed out at 1st COVID-19 roadblock as checks move across B.C.

Cpl. Chris Manseau says a total of 127 vehicles were stopped at a roadblock in the Manning Park area

Most Read