Cultural Resource Management, Traditional Territories & Archaeology

Andrew JohnsonNatural Resources, Online Courses Comments

Cultural Resource Management - Environmental Monitoring - Northern BC Stream

Can Ya Dig It?

Modern-day Indiana Jones do exist! But before we dive into the exciting topic of Archeology we must take a look at cultural resource management. Cultural resource management is the management of impacts of modern-day activities on our cultural resources. Primarily, Archeology is the focus of most of the cultural resource management projects that are being carried out. In case you’re unsure of what Archeology is – it is defined as the scientific study of past cultures, where remains that people have left behind are examined.

As you may very well know, B.C. is divided into traditional territories. Traditional territories are defined as areas that are historically used by First Nations and many times, often overlap with other First Nation areas that also claim for historical usage. Did you know that traditional territories are different than treaty lands? Treaty lands are actually under a different legislation that has alternate jurisdictions and applicable laws.

As an Environmental Monitor it is always vital to know which traditional territory you are working in, because you and the project crew must acknowledge and respect that you are visitors upon the land.

When working on a project, Archeologists can be very significant to the project’s work because they are used to locate, monitor and record archeological resources in order to protect them. This is important due to the fact that Archeological resources are non-renewable resources and therefore need to be protected in order for society to learn from them.

History of Archeology in B.C.

Did you know that Archeology first flourished in the 1900’s, then again in the 1940’s? From the 1940’s until the 1970’s Archeology remained quite popular and well-funded. However, after this time, Archeological research significantly declined due to legislation that was passed in the 1980’s which inhibited recreational Archeology. This legislation was created to enforce that permitting requires professional Archeologists to conduct Archeology work on a project site.

When Archeologist are working on a project site they will work most closely with the First Nations who’s traditional territory is involved, this is due to the fact that the First Nations will naturally house most of the relevant historical information.

What to learn more about Archeology on project sites? Check out the Introduction to Environmental Management course included in UNBC Continuing Studies’ Environmental Monitoring certificate.