Yellowknife Bay Archaeology Project

Glen MacKay (NWT Archaeologist’s Permit 2014-014)

In 2014, Glen MacKay from the Prince of Wales Northern Heritage Centre (PWNHC) continued an archaeological survey of the Yellowknife Bay area in collaboration with the Yellowknives Dene First Nation (YKDFN). The goal of the project is to record archaeological sites in and around Yellowknife Bay, which will facilitate their protection when land use activities are proposed in the area, and to learn more about the culture history of the region.

The archaeological work under this permit consisted of recording and mapping the features at the camp site for the Burwash Mine. This camp was used from 1935-36 to support gold mining on the high bedrock ridge to the north of the campsite. The remains of the camp consist of at least 7 building foundations, which include a mess hall, bunkhouse, assay lab, and warehouses. Historic artifacts are scattered throughout the camp area, and include fragmented drill core, core boxes, cans, a stove, and other assorted items. The foundation of the assay lab contains a small concrete pedestal that may have served as a platform for a piece of assay equipment, such as a balance or small crusher. Ryan Silke of the PWNHC, and Fred Sangris and Randy Freeman of the YKDFN participated in this project.

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