Heritage Conservation
| Heritage Conservation Poster |

What is an archaeological site?

  • The remnants of human activity
  • Places where people:
    • Lived, worked & played
    • Hunted animals
    • Quarried minerals
    • Harvested timbers
    • Collected shellfish & berries
    • Held ceremonies
    • Buried their dead

  • Over 32,000 sites have been recorded in BC so far; more than 50 in Tla'Amin Territory
Archaeological Sites are Heritage Sites!

  • According to Provincial Law heritage sites are land that has historic cultural, aesthetic, scientific or educational value to BC, a community, or First Nations
  • This includes archaeological sites, heritage wrecks, and historic buildings


 ©2012 SFU Archaeology &
Tla'amin First Nation

Fish trap, Bella Coola, BC


Why protect sites?

  • People have lived in BC for at least 12,000 years; they left no written records for 98% of this time
  • Oral traditions and archaeology are great ways to understand how people lived in the past
  • Sites are non-renewable resources; they cannot be remade or recreated. Once sites are destroyed we lose this precious link to the past... Forever!

Who protects sites?

  • First Nations, local communities, the RCMP, and the Archaeology Branch
  • The Archaeology Branch encourages and facilitates the protection, conservation, and public appreciation of BC’s archaeology


Desolation Sound pictograph

Underground Houses, Desolation Sound

How are sites protected?

  • The Heritage Conservation Act designates and protects archaeological sites in BC dating before 1846, as well as post-1846 burial places and rock art having "historical or archaeological value". The Act applies to archaeological sites on both public and private land.
  • The Act prohibits the alteration, destruction, and excavation of sites without a permit
  • Penalties for violating the Act are up to $50,000 and/or two years in prison for individuals, and up to $1,000,000 for a corporation


| Heritage Conservation Poster |