Archaeological Impact Assessment of Courageous Lake Project

Lisa Seip (NWT Archaeologist’s Permit 2011-006)

In 2011 Rescan Environmental Services Ltd. undertook archaeology baseline studies for the Courageous Lake Project under Northwest Territories Class #2 Archaeologist’s Permit 11-006. This work was a continuation of the baseline studies conducted in 2010 under Northwest Territories Class #2 Archaeologist’s Permit 2010-015. Permit holder Lisa Seip directed the field work and was assisted by archaeologists Sean McKnight and Vanessa Neuman, and First Nation assistants Nazon Goulet and Ryan Mercredi. Work was focused around the southern end of Courageous Lake and the areas surrounding Matthews Lake.

Community meetings were conducted between March 15th to 20th, 2011 with the Lustel K’e Dene, the Tlicho, the North Slave Métis Alliance, and the Yellowknife Dene. Topics discussed included archaeological baseline studies conducted in 2010 and archaeological studies proposed for the current year. Community site visits were held between August 22nd and August 25th, 2011 and included members of the North Slave Métis Alliance, the Northwest Territory Métis Nation, the Tlicho, and the Lustel K’e Dene. Both meetings and site visits allowed community members to learn about and provide feedback regarding the baseline programs to date.

The field work resulted in the recording of 55 new archaeological sites including 32 lithic sites, 13 rock cairns, one rock feature site, eight multi-component sites (containing a combination of lithics, rock cairns, other rock alignments, and/or historic features), and one site containing a modified piece of caribou antler. Additionally one previously recorded site, LbNw-3 containing two grave sites, was revisited and found to be in good condition. Additional archaeological studies are planned for 2012.

Avoidance is the preferred management recommendation for all sites and if avoidance is not possible then systematic data recovery is recommended. As the project is currently in the design phase no impacts are anticipated this year.

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