- Human Rights

Lyackson is a member of The Hul'qumi'num Treaty Group

Lyackson First Nation Protection of Rights
and Cultural Heritage

1. Type of Project: Research
2. Location of project. Valdes Island, B.C.
3. Scope:
A. Research
i. Goals and objectives

In collaboration with the Lyackson First Nation, we propose to direct an archaeological inventory of Valdes Island to assist the development of a community heritage management plan for archaeological sites within their traditional territory. Funded by a Capacity Initiative Grant from the Department of Indian and Northern Affairs Canada, this research plans to help build the administrative database and personnel needed for the Lyackson First Nation to enact a greater role in managing their ancestral heritage resources in British Columbia, while contributing new direction in our understanding of regional settlement-subsistence patterns on the Northwest Coast. This collaborative study, therefore, presents the opportunity to integrate problem-oriented archaeological research with First Nation community development and heritage conservation in British Columbia.

A) Development of a Lyackson First Nation Community Heritage Management Plan:
Through the interim measures implementing the Heritage Conservation Act (1994), British Columbia recognizes the interest of local First Nations to be consulted in the archaeological permit application process. If the Nisgaa' Treaty is looked to as a model for self-government, First Nations will soon enact an equal, if not greater, role in the management of archaeological sites throughout British Columbia. However, to develop the capacity to enact a greater administrative role, First Nation communities require the information, education and personnel to achieve their long-term goals. Toward this effort, we are collaborating with the Lyackson First Nation to help develop local, community-based stewardship of heritage resources in their traditional territory.

The objectives of the research relating to heritage management and community development involves:
Creating a more comprehensive heritage resource database.

Identifying the location, condition and significance of archaeological resources are necessary preludes for developing effective, long-term management strategies to protect archaeological sites (Lipe 1978; Schiffer 1985). The development of a heritage resource management database for will involve: a) identifying the location and distribution of all archaeological site types; b) assessing their present condition; c) documenting past and current natural and cultural impacts; d) determining their sensitivity to potential future impacts; and e) evaluating their scientific and cultural significance. Drawing upon the results of the inventory, we will identify sensitive heritage areas on Valdes Island (such as sacred sites and rapidly eroding sites), current and potential conservation concerns, and recommend practical measures for developing the community stewardship of these heritage resources.
Promoting First Nation heritage resource management education.

This study provides paid training for at least three local First Nation persons in archaeological field methods and issues of modern heritage resource management issues in British Columbia. Classroom sessions will educate First Nations participants with government heritage legislation, provincial resource management agencies, databases and permit processes, the use of archaeological materials for public education, and stewardship ethics. Field research and laboratory sessions will be used as opportunities to intensively instruct students in archaeological methods and techniques. Participants will become trained to provincial Resources Inventory Committee (RIC) standards. Through further education, these individuals and are expected to take a leading role in future community heritage and the management of their traditional lands and resources.

B) Contextualizing Pre-contact Settlement-Subsistence patterns on Valdes Island.

Prior settlement-subsistence pattern research on Valdes Island focused primarily on the study of shell matrix sites located in the coastal environment (McLay 1999a,b). A major working assumption of this previous research presumed that all sites contained a component dating to the last thousand years contemporary with the Late Phase (1400/1200-200 B.P.). In 2000, the archaeological inventory on Valdes Island proposes to: a) explore a broader range of environments across the island landscape; and b) define pre-contact settlement-subsistence patterns in a regional chronological framework.
Evaluating the potential of interior micro-environments for unrecorded archaeological sites.

Understanding the range of settlement activity and archaeological land-use patterns in interior environments are relatively unexplored on the Northwest Coast. Prior interior sample survey on Valdes Island indicated sites in the interior landscape are small, low in visibility, and very limited-activity in nature. As an island environment and maritime cultures is consistent with maritime economy of Coast Salish culture. However, the Gulf Island Archaeological Survey in 1974 identified 46 interior sites across 17 greater Gulf Islands, and False Narrows Bluff identified a complex of archaeological sites distant from the coastal zone (Curtin 1989, 1998; Wilson 1989). Informants and archival research has suggested the location of unrecorded archaeological sites. More investigation is required for interior micro-environments on Valdes Island is necessary for both research and management purposes. This research is necessary to present a more holistic understanding of land and resource use patterns on Valdes Island.
Sampling selected site types for chronological and other contextual information.

The only chronological information for Valdes Island derives from the salvage excavation of DgRv-9, near Blackberry Point (Apland 1980). To assess the significance of archaeological sites, dating information is required to place sites in a chronological framework. Cannon (2000) has provided an interesting paper indicating that sites relate to the sea level change on the coast. The specific relations between sea level changes and archaeological site location have not been definitively explored on the coast (Carlson and Hobler 1994), although it is suggested that due to sea level rise most sites date to the last thousand years. Collecting basal dates for archaeological sites on the coast would place the colonization of Valdes Island, the establishment of village sites, range of size classes. Thompson's research suggests that only in the Late Phase were diversified site types occur, indicative of a collector pattern. However, Matson and Coupland 1995:363 suggest this pattern begins in the Locarno Beach Phase. The development of a collector strategy with permanent base camps may date to even earlier to the Charles Culture (4500- 3500 B.P.) with evidence for permanent house structures at Xay:tem and Maurer sites in the Upper Fraser Valley.

ii. Significance of proposed project.

Understanding pre-contact settlement patterns The academic significance of the project involves
a) past land use and use of interior environments.
b) obtain chronological information for contextualizing prehistory of the Gulf of Georgia region.

The interior land use is poorly understood. Although a lot of forestry work has been conducted, little information in a comprehensive manner to understand the nature of settlement-subsistence patterns. Understanding how First Nation populations utilized the interior landscape. In 1996, coastal survey identified the majority of sites on Valdes Island were oriented of the coastal environment (McLay 1999a;1999b)

The academic significance of this archaeological research will be to: 1) enhance our archaeological database for the island interior landscape; 2) expand our understanding of the range of activities on the island environment; and 2) collect chronological information to observe change in settlement-subsistence patterns through time. for the early colonization of Valdes Island. Address questions of sea level change. Early occupation of Valdes Island. Thompson Cannon

The social significance of the project is to address the need within the First Nation community to gain the capacity to protect their historical and sacred sites.

The Traditional Use Study directed by the Hul'quim'inum Treaty Group collected important ethnographic data that demonstrates the historical use of our lands and resources. However, the results of the study identified several notable gaps in the data collected. The results of this Traditional Use Study indicated that very little information exists on the use of interior forested environments. The study also noted very few traditional place names in areas where archaeological resources are abundant. Therefore, it is apparent that there existed a greater intensity and diversity of past uses of Valdes Island that cannot be documented through traditional knowledge alone. In collaboration with university archaeologists, we determined that only a fraction of the heritage resources on Valdes Island are currently identified. We require an enhanced database to prepare for the management of our lands and protect all of our First Nation heritage sites. The social significance of the project is to guidelines will be created to establish a First Nation heritage agency that can implement protective measures for managing First Nation heritage resources on Valdes Island. The aim of this archaeological research is to develop a heritage management plan.

First Nation community-based management plan can be used to recommend educational and economic opportunities, promote First Nation heritage on Valdes Island, including potential directions for academic research, public education efforts and avenues for cultural tourism. The creation of a heritage management plan will further assist in the development of co-management economic industry plans on Valdes Island, including forestry, fisheries, recreational sport and tourism industries. The heritage management plan may also be used as a model for neighboring First Nation groups.
iii. Proposed research plan and methodology.

Our archaeological inventory of Valdes Island in 1996 used a very basic stratified sampling design, differentiating between the coast and interior landscapes. As a 100% sample of the 50m wide strip of coastline is considered sufficient, it is the interior landscape which requires the further inventory research. Prior survey research to sample the interior landscape utilized a mininum three person crew to traverse a 50m-wide transect oriented west to east which cross-cut the range of the interior micro-environments. In this season, we propose to focus our attention on sampling the range of these micro-environments. Using computer TRIM maps, aerial photos and personal familiarity with the landscape, GPS will be used to locate our map the area of microenvironments, including river valleys, lakes, marshes, cuestas, and forested areas. Non-linear transects will be sample each type of microenvironment. Non-linear sampling techniques have been developed and utilized effectively in forested environments in Mesoamerica for the past decade. Generally, transects are closely-spaced pedestrian traverses, utilizing a minimum of three person crew spaced 10-15m apart.
Creek valleys, lakes, swamps, meadows, forests, talus slopes, cuestas.

1b SHOVEL TESTING FOR LOW-VISIBLITY, NON-SITES IN FORESTED ENVIRONMENTS As few archaeological sites are considered very low-visibility in forested environments, a systematic program of shovel-testing will be used along these transects as a second stage of sampling. A statistics program to gauge the using the median site size of shell midden sites on Valdes Island as 500m2, it is suggested that to be effective, a shovel test frequency of 1 shovel test per every 20m will be an effective technique to discover low-visibility and buried archaeological deposits.

2. CORING SHELL MATRIX SITES FOR BASAL CHRONOLOGICAL INFORMATION Following the methodology outlined by Cannon (2000), we propose to utilize a soil corer to collect deep, soil samples for C-14 dating material from deep, shell middens on Valdes Island. Cannon's (2000) research used a JMC Environmentalist's Sub-surface Probe manufactured by . The JMC Probe measures only 4cm in diameter was limited to extract enough carbon material for AMS dates. The probe was not useful for collecting subsistence information.

The machinists at the Earth and Ocean Science Centre at UBC has helped design and fabricate a soil corer specific for this project, which will measure 10cm in diameter enough to gain carbon material for conventional dates and subsistence information. Similar to the JMC Probe, a transparent internal plastic sleeve will extract intact stratigraphic information from selected shell matrix sites. The corer is driven into the subsurface soil using a post-hole driver and will be extracted with a mechanical winch. The intact soil core will be delivered to the laboratory and analyzed in the laboratory. Carbon information will be extracted from the basal layer of the core to date the initial occupation of the site. Subsistence information will be analyzed to observe the range of species exploited and observe change and continuity through time. This chronological and subsistence information will be used for understanding the scientific and cultural significance of sites, develop information for community and public education, and academic research and land claim research.

Unvierstiy of for the early colonization of Valdes Island. Funds are presently available for approximately 30 convential C-14 dates or 12 AMS dates.

3. TEST EXCAVATIONS Test excavations will provide select sites will test the range of site types to understand their nature. Features intended to be tested include a range of shell midden size classes, rock shelter habitations, cultural depressions, and a defensive earthwork.

Research access to Valdes Island is unrestricted. The majority of Valdes Island is Lyackson First Nation reserve and Weyerhaeuser Ltd., has gratefully granted permission to access their lands in advance. Permission to access recreational private properties are in process.

iv. Relation of project to previous work or other work in progress.

In 1996-1997, I completed fieldwork on Valdes Island which explored how shell matrix site locations varied in relation to the environment. A major assumption of this research was that all sites tested (although limited to the topmost layer) dated to the late pre-contact era, or Late Phase (1400-1200- 200 B.P.). The sampling of the size range of shell midden sites on Valdes Island to obtain basal dates will observe whether sites date to , as Thompson (1978) settlement pattern research suggests that a greater range and number of sites date to the late pre-contact era. How settlement-subsistence patterns vary with time is currently unknown in the Gulf of Georgia region. Matson and Coupland (1995) suggest using the number of excavated sites in the region expands in the last thousand years; however, there sampling of sites was largely biased toward excavated sites. A systematic sampling of basal dates will begin to gain the database needed to begin understanding historical changes in settlement variability through time. The exploration of the range of site types, including the range of shell midden size classes (see 1996 research), the ethnohistoric village sites at Cardale, Shingle and Porlier Pass, the defensive earthwork at Cardale Point, rockshelter habitations, cultural depressions, .

4. Disposition of materials collected
Grant Keddie, Royal British Columbia Museum, has given his support for the final disposition of all archaeological materials collected during this project.

5. Financial support This research is supported by a Department of Indian and Northern Affairs Capacity Initiative Grant awarded to the Lyackson First Nation for $74, 698.00.

6. Schedule of fieldwork and analysis Fieldwork intends to begin by July 3, 2000, and continue over a three month period until late August. Laboratory analysis and report writing will continue to January, 2001. A final report will be submitted to the Archaeology Branch by July 1, 2001.

7. Field personnel
The principal directors of this field project are Eric McLay, M.A. (UBC 1999) and Colin Grier, PhD Candidate (University of Arizona State 2001). Neil Miller, M.A. (Malaspina 2000) of the Penalakut Tribes will further assist in the field direction and report writing. The First Nation members selected by the Lyackson First Nation include Stewart Thomas, Robert Laing and Kimberly Williams.

8. Previous permits held by applicant
Eric McLay 1996-125; 1996-289; 1999-364.

9. Applicant's resume

I certify that I am familiar with the provisions of the Heritage Conservation Act of British Columbia, and that I will abide by the terms and conditions listed on the front hereof, or any other conditions the Minister may impose, as empowered by said Act.

Date .. June 2, 2000
Eric McLay, M.A.
3084 West 3rd Avenue, Vancouver, B.C. V6K 1N1
(604) 734-7994

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