Proposed K’asho Got’ine Highway

Murray Lobb (NWT Archaeologist’s Permit 2011-013)

An Archaeological Impact Assessment (AIA) was conducted near Fort Good Hope, Northwest Territories for the proposed K’asho Got’ine Highway (KGH). This fieldwork was conducted by Murray Lobb M.A. of AMEC Environment and Infrastructure under archaeological permit 11-013.

The proposed highway would upgrade the winter road from Norman Wells to Fort Good Hope into a year round road and then construct a new road northward toward Little Chicago. The goal of this fieldwork was to relocate and re-examine 13 known archaeological sites that are on or near the proposed KGH route. In addition, 6 other archaeological sites were to be examined at borrow sources if time was available. These 19 sites consisted of paleontological sites, historic structures, historic trails, and pre-historic archaeological sites.

The fieldwork was conducted from July 12th to the 16th, of 2011. The field program was carried out by hiking, boat, and helicopter at various points during the survey. Twelve sites on the main KGH route were revisited. Four of the sites were determined to be located outside of the KGH right-of-way. A new paleontological site was also recorded during a survey of the Jackfish Summer Trail (MbTb-12). Unfortunately, due to helicopter issues, the rest of the archaeological sites, one on the proposed KGH and six in borrow source locations could not be revisited.
Approximately 80 artifacts were recovered during the AIA consisting of fossils and stone tool debitage. Debitage is the bi-product from stone tool manufacturing. The new artifacts are from four of the archaeological sites surveyed this past summer. In addition, one of the sites (MbTb-11) featured the remnants of at least two hearths on the Jackfish Summer Trail. It is hoped that this past year’s fieldwork will lay the groundwork for any future development of the KGH and borrow sources.

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