Archaeological Investigations as part of the MGM Energy 2007 Summer Field Assessment Program

Alan  Youell (NWT Archaeologist’s Permit 2007-013)

On behalf of KAVIK‐AXYS Inc., as agents for MGM Energy Corp. (MGM Energy), FMA Heritage Resources Consultants Inc. conducted archaeological investigations for five proposed drilling locations (well pad and flare stack pad) and one barge landing site associated with the MGM Energy 2007 Summer Field Assessment Program. The investigation is part of a larger program of biophysical study that is designed to assess potential future development locations. The specific purpose of the archaeological study in this MGM Energy 2007 Summer Field Assessment Program was to identify archaeological, historical and traditional land use sites at the proposed drilling and barge landing sites.

To conduct the assessment, archaeologist Alan Youell was assisted by wildlife monitor Rufus Tingmiak of Inuvik. Field reconnaissance consisted of pedestrian traverse, surface examination and shovel testing to determine the presence of unrecorded archaeological or cultural sites. Shovel tests were excavated at 6 proposed development locations.

The areas investigated during the archaeological assessment of the MGM Energy 2007 Summer Field Assessment Program included the exploratory sweet natural gas drilling locations identified as Atik, Aput, Ellice Deep, Ellice Shallow and Langley South, as well as a barge landing location. All potential developments are located on the outer western Mackenzie Delta, on Langley and Ellice Islands adjacent to either the Reindeer or Arvoknar channels of the Mackenzie River. The Atik location, which is the southernmost of the five, lies slightly north of the Reindeer Channel on an unnamed island immediately southwest of Langley Island. The Atik barge landing is located on the northwest bank of the Reindeer Channel. The Aput drill location lies on the south end of Ellice Island, north of the Reindeer Channel. The Ellice Shallow and Ellice Deep drilling locations are both on Ellice Island. Both drilling locations are adjacent to a large unnamed lake. The Langley South drilling location, which is the easternmost of the five, lies southeast of the main Arvoknar Channel on Langley Island.

All of the drilling locations and the barge landing were found to be located on areas of relatively active alluvial plain that is subject to seasonal flooding. Continuous remodelling of this area, combined with shallow sediments and underlying waterlogged clays and silty clays, rendered the locations as possessing a low potential for the identification of archaeological or cultural sites. Surface inspection and shovel testing of the development footprints did not succeed in identifying any archaeological or cultural sites.

(Edited by Shelley Crouch, Prince of Wales Northern Heritage Centre)