Kwijika M‐59 Heritage Survey

Michelle Wickham (NWT Archaeologist’s Permit 2007-018)

In August and September of 2007, on behalf of Petro Canada, at the request of Northern EnviroSearch Ltd., Bison Historical Services Ltd. carried out a survey for heritage sites near the Keith Arm portion of Great Bear Lake in the NWT. Investigations were aimed at satisfying two objectives: a pre‐impact examination of areas that may be impacted by the 2007/2008 development activities and the re‐visit of all known sites within 150 metres of the proposed development to ensure they will be avoided by current development activities.

Investigations were carried out by Michelle Wickham and Robert Steinhauser of Bison Historical Services Ltd., assisted by Morris Modeste of Deline, who acted as wildlife monitor and local advisor. Fieldwork was based out of Deline and carried out by helicopter and on foot. Investigations were focused around the southern shore of Great Bear Lake (Keith Arm), and inland toward the M‐59 lease area.

The proposed Petro Canada M‐59 exploratory well will be drilled during the winter of 2007‐2008. Disturbances will include the well site, the associated camp, and an access road linking the well site to the existing winter road to Tulita. Approximately 40 km of the proposed overland access route will require new cut, while 55 km follows an existing 6 metre access road and will only have to be widened 8 to 12 metres.

Five known sites were re‐visited; none of these sites will be impacted. Three previously un‐recorded heritage resource sites were identified during these investigations; they will not be impacted by the current development.

The entire access road and M‐59 lease location was examined from the air as well as on foot. Several exploratory shovel tests were excavated in areas thought to exhibit moderate to high potential for encountering undisturbed heritage resources. No new heritage sites were identified within the proposed Petro Canada Kwijika M‐59 development area.

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