HOUSTON, B.C. – British Columbia’s energy regulator says Indigenous artifacts found at the construction site of a contentious pipeline project were likely not in their original location.
A hereditary house group of the Wet’suwet’en First Nation complained last month that supporters recovered two ancient stone tools and observed other artifacts at the site where Coastal GasLink is building a natural gas pipeline.
The company suspended work on the line, which is a key part of a $40-billion LNG Canada project in northern B.C., while the BC Oil and Gas Commission investigated.
The commission says in an information bulletin that investigators observed stone artifacts on top of frozen clay soils and the provincial government is now working toward returning the items to the appropriate Indigenous communities.
It says the soils upon which the artifacts were found would not typically contain any such cultural artifacts, and this was likely not their original location.
The commission adds it cannot make a definitive determination about exactly where the artifacts originated, and the two that the Wet’suwet’en house group said supporters had recovered were not present.