Archeologists have dated an ancient Heiltsuk village site to over 14,000 years old.
Alisha Gauvreau is a Ph.D. student at the University of Victoria and is a Hakai Institute scholar, she’s part of the team that uncovered the ancient items.
She says this research is important because it provides more evidence of a “kelp highway” to the Americas after the last ice age.
Gauvreau adds this type of research is a collaboration with academia and Indigenous oral histories.
William Housty who is Heiltsuk says the findings back up what they’ve long known.
Beyond confirming their oral history, both Gauvreau and Housty say having this evidence will be important in any future rights and title claims.
Housty says their oral history describes the area as being ice free with a constant sea level, allowing Heiltsuk ancestors to survive.
Gauvreau adds the area would have looked much like the tundra or the Canadian shield with small stunted plant life, rather than the lush coastal forests that are there now.