Archaeological Impact Assessment for Chedabucto Lake/Whitebeach Point

Julie Ross and Shannon Allerston (NWT Archaeologist’s Permit 2014-010)

Golder Associates Ltd. (Golder) was retained by Aurora Geosciences Ltd. to complete an Archaeological Impact Assessment (AIA) in the Chedabucto Lake/Whitebeach Point area. The project area encompasses approximately 195 km2 and is located approximately 50 km west of Yellowknife. The AIA was carried out for Aurora Geosciences Ltd. on behalf of Husky Oil Operations Limited (Husky). One hundred proposed drill location were included in the assessment. Paul Mackenzie and Fred Sangris of the Yellowknives Dene First Nation (YKDFN) acted as field assistants and wildlife monitors and each contributed their knowledge to identifying and interpreting archaeological and land use sites. Site visits with representatives of Tłı̨chǫ communities, the YKDFN and the North Slave Métis also occurred.

Nineteen previously unrecorded archaeological sites were documented as a result of the AIA. Though site composition varied, the main components include lithic scatters and cores of primarily quartz and chert, formed chert tools, several tent rings, camp/cabin foundations, and axe-cut trees. Six previously recorded sites, including a previously recorded shipwrecked barge, KcPj-1, were also revisited and evidence of ongoing traditional use activities are extensive within the project area along the shores of Great Slave Lake and Chedabucto Lake. Three formed tools were collected. Coastal areas, the shoreline of Chedabucto Lake, and river ridges in the region are considered to be of high archaeological potential. Sand dunes, exposures, and open areas subject to erosion are also of high archaeological potential. The majority of these features are located within 500 m of the coast.

Avoidance is the preferred management recommendation for all recorded sites. If avoidance is not possible, then systematic data recovery including follow-up archaeological studies is recommended.

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