BC Hydro has apologized for drilling in an important Treaty 8 Tribal Association archaeological site.
Last July, members from the Site-C team were conducting geotechnical investigation work in the area.
Spokesperson David Conway says the team changed locations at last minute, in an effort to reduce environmental impact. Conway says the team did not check the mapping correctly, and accidently drilled in the archaeological zone.
He says the team immediately stopped working as soon as they realized they were drilling in a culturally sensitive area. They also notified members from Treaty 8 and the archaeological branch in Victoria.
Then, BC Hydro hired an archaeological firm to conduct a study on the extent of damage. Conway says the study concluded that no scientifically important archaeological artifacts were found at the site.
Now, BC Hydro recently met with members from Treaty 8 to issue a formal apology.
He says it was also an opportunity for the Site-C team to hear directly from Treaty 8, in regards to the importance of the archaeological sites to First Nations.
In a Treaty Eight Tribal Association news release, Chief Liz Logan calls the apology "An important first step, to acknowledge our Treaty Rights in the area."
She also says Hydro outlined steps taken to prevent similar incidents in the future.
They include the appointment of on-site external environmental managers and archaeologists, who have authority to stop any Hyrdo work, in the area.