By Heather Ramsay-Human remains were found last week as workers dug a trench to connect a resident’s water line to the main line by the beach in Queen Charlotte.
Heritage Coordinator Elizabeth Bulbrook with Haida Heritage and Forest Guardians took over the site on Friday afternoon (Sept. 1).
She pointed to a blackened layer in the approximately three-foot trench, saying it was a potential hearth site. There is also a distinct shell layer.
She and other volunteers including her sister, Jenny Bulbrook, are sifting through the debris looking for other artifacts associated with the remains.
Andrew Yeates, Queen Charlotte administrator, said the men running the backhoe stopped digging as soon as they noticed what they believed to be bone fragments.
Mr. Yeates was called and he immediately called the Council of the Haida Nation.
Ms Bulbrook, who has a Master’s degree in archaeology, says the first step was to ensure the remains were human and not animal, then the police were called in. Next they determined the remains were not recently deceased.
The bones are being left where they were found as Ms Bulbrook works.
“Any one who comes across human remains should leave them in situ and contact the CHN immediately,” says Ms Bulbrook.
She is hoping to send samples from the fire pit in for radiocarbon dating, but this is a very expensive process. The CHN will look to the Village of Queen Charlotte for financial support.
She says once the site has been studied a Haida ceremony will be held and the remains will be reburied.
Mr. Yeates says the village will do no further digging at the site. The work was part of the water meter installation project. He says they will find another way to complete the work.
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