CITIZEN UPDATE: TLAGA GAAWTLAAS 2019.10.22

Tuesday, October 22, 2019

CITIZEN UPDATE: TLAGA GAAWTLAAS

On October 12, a public meeting took place in Gaw Tlagee. Some 100 Island citizens spent their Saturday afternoon learning about the history of the logging issue behind New Town and discussing next steps. This cut block was approved by the province without CHN consent.

Since the injunction was granted, CHN Cultural Feature crews, joined by a registered professional archaeologist, continued surveying the proposed cut block at Tlaga Gaawtlaas. It has been confirmed that this specific region contains seven additional culturally modified trees, including bark strip trees, a planked tree and test holes missed in the original archaeological impact assessment. There are also previously unidentified monumental cedars and yew patches within the licensed cut block. These cultural and natural treasures are invaluable to Haida communities and were previously disqualified or missed by the original archaeological report. The archaeologist has completed a report on the preliminary phase of an Archaeological review and verification of Cultural Heritage Features within or near part of the proposed cut block (DEL007).

The CHN has notified the BC Archaeology Branch of the imminent threat to Haida history, heritage, and cultural features. A second Stop Work Order has been requested from the Archaeology Branch to protect the recently identified and confirmed features. Along with the Stop Work Order, the CHN has requested a new archaeological impact assessment to document all the cultural features in this area.  

The preliminary phase of CHN archaeological and cultural work wrapped up on October 18, and while we await a response from the Archaeology Branch, elected Haida Nation representatives are in communications with the Province of BC and O’Brien and Fuerst Logging to seek a resolution. Working with Village Councils and Island citizens, CHN is exploring all options to resolve this matter and safeguard Tlaga Gaawtlaas.

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