Kakisa Archaeology Project

Glen Mackay (NWT Archaeologist’s Permit 2011-010)

The Prince of Wales Northern Heritage Centre conducted a community archaeology project in partnership with the Ka’a’gee Tu First Nation in 2011. The goal of the project was to assist the community to document cultural values in the Ka’a’gee Tu Candidate Area, which is being considered for protection as a National Wildlife Area through the NWT Protected Areas Strategy. Over three days in July, archaeologists from the Prince of Wales Northern Heritage Centre worked with Ka’a’gee Tu elder Gabe Chicot to document important cultural places around Kakisa Lake.

A previous archaeological survey was conducted around Kakisa Lake in the late 1970s. We relocated several of the archaeological sites recorded during that survey in order to evaluate their conditions and determine more precise locations for these sites using GPS. These sites included two log cabin villages that were occupied in the 40s and 50s, and a lithic scatter located on the Muskeg River (which flows into the east side of Kakisa Lake). A small test excavation at the latter site indicates that it contains at least two precontact components. We also recorded two new sites: a precontact lithic scatter, and a historic fish camp. We hope to conduct more extensive surveys of Kakisa and Tathlina Lakes in future seasons.

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