Waterfront work halted after midden discovery

Work on a boat ramp near the Sidney North Saanich Yacht Club has been stopped

Work on a boat ramp near the Sidney North Saanich Yacht Club has been stopped as the B.C. Archeology Branch looks into the presence of a First Nations midden at the site.

Elected Chief Vern Jacks of the Tseycum First Nation says there is a midden there, uncovered by the work, and that could mean the project will not proceed.

“The archaeology branch (of the B.C. Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resources) is involved now,” Jacks said. “They will have to hire a consultant and work with us to go through (the midden) and determine what’s there.”

Middens, Jacks said, are common throughout the area. They are, in general, deposits of shells and other artifacts indicating past human occupation of an area. Jacks added they can sometimes indicate a nearby grave site. An investigation of this area will now have to be done, he said.

The District of North Saanich was informed of the work and after visiting the site discovered the work was being done without a development permit and that some shells had been uncovered. Chief Administrative Officer Rob Buchan says the District issued a stop work order to the Oak Bay Marine Group, adding they will now have to work with the Archeology Branch to determine the scope of the midden. The company will also have to obtain the proper work permits from the municipality, should the project proceed.

Calls to the Oak Bay Marine Group for comment were not returned.

“The entire foreshore is a higher probability area for these sorts of things,” Buchan said.

Jacks is concerned the work was done without any consultation with the local First Nation. He said it seems that sort of thing is on the rise and has asked for a meeting with the minister or the Archaeology Branch.

“It’s starting again,” Jacks said. “No one is consulting with local First Nations.”

He added if developers were doing that, they would have better local information before they start digging.

While not a written policy, Buchan said it’s standard practice for the District of North Saanich to ask developers who are planning work in the foreshore areas to consult with the province. The District, Buchan continued, has a GIS map showing high-resource probability areas that workers need to know about.

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Comments are closed

Just Posted

Oak Bay Grade 8 students end time at Monterey with drive-through goodbye

School holds socially-distanced completion ceremony

CRD warns of toxic algae bloom at Thetis Lake Regional Park

Visitors advised to avoid swimming in lake, keep pets out of water

Saanich police, pound respond to possible cougar sighting

Cougar possibly seen in area of 4500-block of Chatterton Way

New exhibit at Point Ellice House examines history of waste, water and privilege

Night soil scavengers in the 19th century would collect human waste and dump it around the city

VIDEO: Musqueam Chief captures captivating footage of bald eagle catching meal

‘This is why we have chosen to live here since time immemorial,’ Chief Wayne Sparrow’s nephew says

Migrant workers stage multi-city action for full status amid COVID-19 risks

‘COVID-19 has exacerbated an existing crisis’

Okanagan school drops ‘Rebels’ sports team name, citing links with U.S. Civil War

Name and formerly-used images “fly in the face” of the district’s human rights policy, says board chair

PHOTOS: B.C.’s top doc picks up personalized Fluevog shoes, tours mural exhibition

Murals of Gratitude exhibit includes at least one portrait of Henry alongside paintings of health-care workers

In troubled times: Independence Day in a land of confusion

Buffeted by invisible forces and just plain worn out, the United States of America celebrates its 244th birthday

Stop enforcing sex work laws during COVID-19, advocates say

There are provisions in Canada’s prostitution laws that make workers immune from prosecution, but not from arrest

Liberal party finished 2019 having spent $43 million, raised $42 million

All political parties had until midnight June 30 to submit their financial reports for last year

B.C. teacher loses licence after sexual relationships with two recently-graduated students

The teacher won’t be allowed to apply for a teaching certificate until 2035

White-throated sparrows have changed their tune, B.C. study unveils

Study marks an unprecedented development scientists say has caused them to sit up and take note

Most Read