Two stones found near Houston, B.C. (Unist’ot’en Camp)

Northern B.C. First Nation clan says ancient tools found at pipeline work site

Archeologists from the Smithsonian Institute estimate one of the stones found dates back up to 3500 years

Coastal GasLink says it has suspended pipeline work south of Houston, B.C., while claims of the discovery of Indigenous artifacts on the site are investigated.

The company says it has cordoned off the area, requested that a qualified archeologist visit the site and the B.C. Oil and Gas Commission will conduct another site visit to investigate the claims.

It says an archeological impact assessment for the site was approved in 2016, but the company and its archeologists were not able to conduct on-site fieldwork during the regulatory and permitting process due to road access issues.

In a statement, Unist’ot’en clan spokeswoman Freda Huson says their members have been combing the company’s construction site for a proposed man camp since heavy machinery turned up the forest floor.

The statement says supporters recovered two stone tools on Wednesday and archeologists from the Smithsonian Institute estimate one dates back up to 3500 years.

It says additional stone tools were observed and recorded but the scale and scope of the work requires assistance from professional archeologists.

READ MORE: Coastal GasLink stops work to investigate archaeological find

READ MORE: Coastal GasLink warned by EAO

In an open letter with Huson, archeologists Chelsey Armstrong of the Smithsonian Institution and Ginevra Toniello of the Tsleil-Waututh First Nation call for a review of the archeological overview assessment and all archeological permits granted to the company in the territory.

The newly found artifacts reveal that archeological heritage is clearly present and that any assessment should be conducted in consultation with the clan, says the letter addressed to the archeology branch of the B.C. Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations.

The Coastal GasLink pipeline would transport natural gas from northeastern British Columbia to LNG Canada’s export terminal in Kitimat on the coast.

In January, the area was the site of a blockade against the pipeline where police moved in and arrested 14 people.

The company says it has approval to build the pipeline from First Nations along the pipeline, but some Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs say they haven’t given their consent.

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Energy efficiency session at the Nelson Public Library

Nelson Hydro customers who are seniors are now eligible for free weatherization upgrades

Local Parachutes for the Planet visit B.C. Legislature

Nelson students made parachutes to push for climate change action

LETTER: Fix the potholes

From reader Bob Johnson

Kootenay Co-op Radio calls for support to avoid deficit

The annual funding drive is important to the station’s financial health

VIDEO: Protesters in Penticton gather to rally against sleeping-on-sidewalk bylaw

The proposed bylaw would outlaw sitting or lying on the city’s downtown sidewalks

Raptors beat Bucks 100-94 to advance to franchise’s first-ever NBA Finals

Leonard has 27 points, 17 boards to lead Toronto past Milwaukee

Third person charged in death of B.C. teen Bhavkiran Dhesi

Inderdeep Kaur Deo facing charge of accessory after the fact to murder

Kamloops girl, 9, recovering from carbon monoxide poisoning now out of ICU

Her mother who was sleeping in the same tent with her did not survive

‘I think he’s still alive’: B.C. mom pleads for help finding son last seen a month ago

Family offering $5,000 reward for information leading to the safe return of Tim Delahaye

New poll suggests one-third don’t want politicians to wear religious symbols

Local politicians shouldn’t be allowed to wear hijabs, crucifixes or turbans on the job, survey suggests

Raptors fans far from home adjust plans to watch pivotal playoff game

Raptors currently lead the playoff series 3-2, and a win Saturday would vault them into NBA finals

Five takeaways from the Court of Appeal ruling on B.C.’s pipeline law

It’s unclear how many tools are left in B.C.’s toolbox to fight the project

Kootenay man arrested and charged in 2015 murder

Nathaniel Jessup 32 of Creston has been charged with the second-degree murder of Katherine McAdam and offering an indignity to a body.

Most Read