Invitation to discuss the archaeological sites on your property

Dear Island Landowner,

I am reaching out to you both as a Lasqueti resident and on behalf of the Xwe’etay/Lasqueti Archaeology Project (www.lasquetiarc.ca ). You are one of the landowners on the island who has an archaeological site on your property that is registered in the Province’s database.  As you likely know, our project seeks to find ways to honor and protect Indigenous heritage on the island and beyond.  We do this by bringing some of the First Nations who have connections to the island together with Lasqueti islanders.  We are exploring the island’s archaeological heritage and hopefully also creating better actions and policies for heritage protection – that honor the varied identities and histories of this island. 

 

In that spirit, I am writing to see if you’d like to informally chat about the site(s) on your property or about anything related to the archaeological heritage of the island.  I’d also be happy to chat about legal and ethical responsibilities in heritage protection, however, talking with me in no way commits you to be involved in the project in any way.  This informal chat will not be recorded in any way as project information – although of course we certainly welcome any participation going forward.  My hope is our discussion will help you feel excited about the archaeological heritage that you are currently stewarding. I have already chatted with many island landowners who have sites on their property (including my own land group) and they are keen to know more.

 

Many landowners do not know that they have a registered archaeological site on their property because it is not listed in the land title (but it should be, in my opinion).  However, it is a landowner’s right to have this information and it can be requested here:  https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/industry/natural-resource-use/archaeology/private-commercial-or-development-property.  As a professional archaeologist, I have access to this information and would be happy to share with you a map and any information I have about the archaeological heritage on your property.  Also, if you’re interested in finding out more about the rights and responsibilities of people who steward archaeological sites -- or about the island’s Indigenous heritage more generally, please visit  https://www.lasquetiarc.ca/faqs

 

I welcome hearing from each of you.  Please forward this note to anyone in your family and/or land group.  Note that I have just sent this note to the Lasqueti landowners whose emails I already have access to and who have recorded sites on their property.  I do not have emails for all landowners who have sites on their property.  In the future, I hope to contact those folks in other ways. Please feel free to forward my note to any friends who you think may not have heard from me but would be interested in this subject.

With warm wishes,

Dana

Department of Archaeology, Simon Fraser Univeristy

Xwe’etay/Lasqueti Archaeology Project

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