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Tla’amin Nation working with developers after ancestral remains found

A significant archaeological site has been found on ʔayhos (Savary Island – pronounced “ay-hos”) and Tla’amin Nation is working closely to protect the remains.

The burial was found during an archaeological study related to a proposed residential development on the island, according to the Nation. They say the island was heavily used by their ancestors.

“We were not surprised by the discovery of our ancestor on the island. This island has been heavily utilized and occupied since time immemorial,” said Tla’amin Nation executive council member Erik Blaney.

“Our ancestors not only placed our loved ones to rest on the island, but families were also raised here, wars fought, resources utilized and managed.

“We are working closely with the site developer to take care of our ancestor and enable the build to continue.”

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Archaeologists working with the Nation say the island was one of the many preferred mortuary landscapes of the Nation.

Tla’amin Nation lands director Denise Smith says education about the island is key to protecting the cultural resources.

“Developments carried out in the past did not follow the strict regulations that are in place today and we feel that education is key,” said Smith.

“ʔayhos remains an important place to us, and we encourage members of the public to come forward in good faith when they discover evidence of our ancestors on their property.”

The Nation says the property owner is working closely with them to establish appropriate protection for the ancestor and future development will consider the area’s sensitivity.

The island is named after a double-headed serpent, and the Nation says it is a constant reminder to their people not to take too much.

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