Archaeological Assessment of Dominion Diamond’s Jay Project Footprint 2014

Julie Ross and Brent Murphy (NWT Archaeologist’s Permit 2014-019)

Golder Associates Ltd. (Golder) was retained by Dominion Diamond Ekati Corporation (Dominion Diamond) to complete an Archaeological Impact Assessment (AIA) for proposed infrastructure associated with the Jay Project. The AIA focused on the proposed Jay Project infrastructure footprints, including a waste rock storage area, dike alignment, roads, pipelines and power lines and proposed expansions to the Misery Camp. Dominion Diamond summer students Jeffrey Mantla, Yellowknives Dene First Nation (YKDFN) community member, and Tyanna Steinwand, Tłįchǫ community member, acted as field assistants. A site visit with representatives from the YKDFN contributed to the incorporation of community knowledge into identifying and interpreting archaeological sites. Site visit participants included Peter Sangris, Jonas Sangris, Jonas Noel, James Sangris, Lena Drygeese and Randy Freeman.

As a result of the AIA, nine previously recorded archaeological sites were revisited and two previously unrecorded sites were identified. Five revisited sites are within 500 m of the Project footprint (LdNs-2, LdNs-3, LdNs-4, LdNs-5, and LdNs-16) and four sites were revisited as part of an archaeological site visit with the YKDFN (LdNs-8, LdNs-11, LdNs-30, and LeNs-4). Two previously unrecorded archaeological sites (LdNs-52 and LdNs-53) were documented as a result of the AIA. Both sites were identified within the proposed Jay Waste Rock Storage Area. LdNs-52 consists of two stone features, possible caches and LdNs-53 consists of a collection of quartz flakes that may represent a potential workshop or camp site. LdNs-52 was mitigated during the AIA.

Avoidance is the preferred management recommendation for all sites. If avoidance is not possible, then systematic data recovery is recommended. Additional archaeological studies are planned to mitigate disturbance to site LdNs-53.

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