RICHMOND, B.C. – Vancouver International Airport (YVR) has suspended construction activities on the southern half of Sea Island after discovering what are believed to be Musqueam artifacts on the site.
When the artifacts were discovered, further work was suspended and the Musqueam Indian Band was notified. The artifacts have been sent to a certified archeology and heritage lab for technical assessments, a YVR release said.
“YVR is located on Sea Island, which is the traditional, unceded, and continuously occupied territory of Musqueam. This archeological discovery demonstrates the longstanding and continued tie between Musqueam people and their ancestral territories. For this reason, finding these artifacts is not unexpected and something we plan for together with Musqueam. We are committed to the protection of these artifacts and will continue to work with Musqueam to inform our current and future actions,” said Vancouver Airport Authority president and CEO Tamara Vrooman in a statement.
“Musqueam – our elders, knowledge holders, and staff – will work together with YVR to do the right thing. We recognize this is an important process and are committed to continuing to walk this path together with YVR,” Musqueam Indian Band Chief Wayne Sparrow added.
As part of its sustainability and friendship agreement, Musqueam and YVR identify and protect archeological resources, including the use of historic and recent maps of Sea Island to safeguard key areas of archeological interest and outline protocols for chance finds and how they will be handled.