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Land developer and First Nations community fight for site

A First Nations site on Vancouver Island, which dates back 1,800 years, is at the heart of a long-running saga between a developer and a First Nations community.

Another discovery was the remains of a young child wearing a 400-bead, six-string necklace, meaning the child had some hereditary status says McLay, a former president of the Archaeological Society of British Columbia who participated in the 1994 UBC excavations.

But the fate of the site has been hanging in the balance since human bones were first discovered there in 1992. The Cowichan Tribes want it preserved as a heritage site but can’t afford to buy it from developer George Schmidt.

“We owe it to our ancient history to take care of it and learn about it and respect it the same way that people in other countries care for their archaeological heritage.” — Dianne Hinkley

Schmidt’s company Timbercrest Estates Ltd, which has been developing the property since 1972, put construction in the area around the site on hold while archaeological excavations were being carried out.

“My relationship with the Cowichan people is pretty good, but we just haven’t come to any resolution,” Schmidt told the Times Colonist last week. “The provincial government either has to buy it or let us develop it—they can’t let it carry on like this.”

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2 thoughts on “Land developer and First Nations community fight for site

  1. Unfortunate. My experience in CRM archaeology has taught me that the power of money almost always wins over cultural preservation. Only two sites I worked on have been protected, Miami Circle site in downtown Miami and Preacher’s Cave in the Bahamas. Both sited government intervened and preserved the sites. The Canadian govt. Needs to buy that land declaring eminent domain. Good luck. Too bad philanthropist don’t give to us. 🙂

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