Archaeological Impact Assessment for the New Trades Shop and Health Centre and Lot #504 in Fort Simpson

Kristin Soucey (NWT Archaeologist’s Permit 2015-020)

At the request of the Government of the Northwest Territories, Blyth & Bathe, in partnership with Circle CRM Group Inc. (Circle), conducted a Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) survey in advance of three proposed developments within the community of Fort Simpson. The GPR survey, which took the better part of a week to complete, was led by Dominic LaCroix (Circle) with assistance from Adam Bathe (Blyth & Bathe), John Blyth (Blyth & Bathe) and Kristin Soucey (Circle). The purpose of the GPR survey was to determine the presence or absence of unmarked human burials within the project boundaries, as the projects are in close proximity to historic graveyards.

Two projects were next to the Sacred Heart Roman Catholic Cemetery and a total of four possible burials were identified within these two project footprints. The third project was situated next to St. David’s Church Anglican Cemetery. A total of six possible burials were identified during the GPR survey.

Avoidance by project redesign is the management recommendation for the ten possible burials. If that is not possible then construction monitoring by a qualified archaeologist is recommended.

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