In 2014-2015, Inlailawatash completed an Archaeological Overview Assessment (AOA) and Archaeological Impact Assessment (AIA) for FortisBC’s Eagle Mountain – Woodfibre Gas Pipeline Project. These two phases of investigation provide a comprehensive understanding of archaeological sites in the development area.
The overview assessment analyzes archaeological site potential, drawing on a number of complementary datasets including indigenous place names, ethnographic records, site inventories, LIDAR, aerial photography, and potential models. This work informed the testing strategy for the AIA—a rigorous pedestrian survey and shovel testing regime along the entirety of the 52 kilometer long project corridor. This process revealed eight previously unknown archaeological sites and provided accurate descriptions of all potential archaeological landforms in the corridor. In order to better understand the nature of each newly identified site, several methods of analysis were used, including detailed site mapping, XRF lithic sourcing, lithic typology, paleobotany, zooarchaeology, micromorphology, and radiocarbon dating. The data gathered during this intensive investigation revealed new insight into Salish high-elevation landscape use and inter-village travel corridors. A report for this work is forthcoming, but the team presented preliminary results at the 2015 Northwest Coast Anthropology Conference in Eugene, Oregon.