Unist'ot'en Question BC Energy Regulator Findings on Artifacts

A Wet'suwet'en house group says BC's energy regulator has ignored whether Coastal GasLink had a role in displacing cultural artifacts at a pipeline construction site southwest of Houston.

CGL says it's been approved to resume work at the site -- after the BC Oil and Gas Commission determined Indigenous artifacts found there were likely not in their original location.

The Unist'ot'en clan reported last month that supporters recovered two ancient stone tools -- and saw other artifacts at the site.

The company suspended preparatory work there while the commission investigated.

In an information bulletin, the commission says investigators observed stone artifacts on top of frozen clay soils, which would not typically contain such cultural artifacts.

The commission says it can't be sure where the artifacts originated.

In a response online -- the Unist'ot'en clan agreed the artifacts were not found where their ancestors left them -- but the site had been heavily disturbed by Coastal GasLink bulldozers -- and they're upset by any implied suggestion that its members might have lied about the artifacts.

The Unist'ot'en also say bulldozers had heavily disturbed some artifacts and said any archaeological work done on their territory should include members of the nation.

Coastal GasLink says on its website that it's preparing to resume work in the area, and has contracted a qualified archeologist to develop an appropriate mitigation plan that would follow strict protocols in the event of further discoveries at the site.