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

Just Posted

Search and rescue crews from all over Vancouver Island responded to calls to assist with the search for a 19 year-old man with medical issues who got lost on trails in the south end of Duncan on Nov. 21. The man was found Sunday morning and taken to hospital for assessment. (Submitted photo)
Duncan man rescued after getting lost on local trails

19-year-old taken to hospital for assessment

New estimated figures from Elections BC peg the number of registered voters in 2020 at 54.4 per cent. (Black Press Media File)
2020 provincial election sets historical low turnout

Just over 1.9 million registered voters cast ballots in 2020

Firefighters try to put out a structure fire on the Island Highway in Nanoose Bay early Saturday morning. (Nanoose Bay Volunteer Fire Department photo)
Horses in nearby stable saved as building burns down in Nanoose Bay

Firefighters called out in the early-morning hours Saturday

A sign outside Ucluelet’s Blue Room on Monday morning advises patrons that the restaurant has gone back to take-out only. (Andrew Bailey photo)
Some Ucluelet restaurants heading back to take-out only as COVID-19 concerns rise

Ucluelet mayor Mayco Noel urges residents to be respectul of business owners’ decisions.

A sign at the entrance to Ty-Histanis asks visitors to stay out of the community during the COVID-19 pandemic. (Andrew Bailey photo)
Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation announces lockdown after member tests positive for COVID-19

Essential travel only and restricted to Tofino and Ucluelet.

People wearing face masks to help curb the spread of COVID-19 cross a street in downtown Vancouver, on Sunday, November 22, 2020. The use of masks is mandatory in indoor public and retail spaces in the province. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. reports 17 COVID deaths, 1,933 new cases as hospitalizations surge over the weekend

There are 277 people in hospital, of whom 59 are in ICU or critical care

Cumberland resident Lorna Clark says she's going to treat herself to a roast beef dinner with all the trimmings, after winning $50,000 on a Bingo Blast scratch ticket. Photo supplied
Cumberland lottery winner says first purchase will be a roast beef dinner

Meanwhile, Victoria woman set to share her $100,000 Season’s Greetings lottery win

Workers arrive at the Lynn Valley Care Centre seniors home, in North Vancouver, B.C., on Saturday, March 14, 2020. It was the site of Canada’s first COVID-19 outbreak in a long-term care facility. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Rapid tests ‘not a panacea’ for care homes, Dr. Bonnie Henry says

B.C. lacks capacity for daily tests of thousands of workers

Capital Regional District Animal Control say an eight-month-old Rottweiler bit a Langford mother and her child near Glen Lake on Nov. 19. (Black Press Media file photo)
Large dog menaces mother and child in Langford

Mother puts three-year-old on top of car to protect him when friendly encounter turns scary

The Victoria Police Department headquarters. (Black Press Media file photo)
Investigation launched into man’s death after arrest in Victoria

IIO investigation to determine if police actions or inaction played a role in the man’s death

(Village of Sayward)
Sayward elects new mayor and two council members

New mayor-elect Mark Baker to end 2020’s revolving door in North Island village

A woman being arrested at a Kelowna Value Village after refusing to wear a mask on Nov. 22.(@Jules50278750/Twitter)
VIDEO: Woman arrested for refusing to wear mask at Kelowna Value Village

RCMP claims the woman was uncooperative with officers, striking them a number of times and screaming

The first phase of the Vancouver Island Motorsport Circuit when it was under construction. The Municipality of North Cowichan denied the VIMC a development permit for phase two of the project. That decision was quashed by the courts. (File photo)
North Cowichan to appeal court’s decision to quash Motorsport expansion denial

Municipality has until Dec. 6 to file appeal to recent court ruling

B.C. Liberal MLA Shirley Bond questions NDP government ministers in the B.C. legislature, Feb. 19, 2020. (Hansard TV)
Cabinet veteran Shirley Bond chosen interim leader of B.C. Liberals

28-member opposition prepares for December legislature session

Most Read