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Revamping the BC Heritage Act

BC MLAs and others are trying to revise the BC Heritage Act. The Act protects archaeological sites in the province. Of note, Hupacasath (Port Alberni) Chief Judith Sayers and member of the group working on revisions notes some of the problems with the Act as it exists now:

“What’s really broken [in the Act] is that first nations have no role, no say in protecting our heritage,” she said.

“The Heritage Act has no enforcement capacity whatsoever,” she said. “And it ignores artifacts and culturally sensitive sites other than the discovery of human remains.”

Sayers also notes that the Heritage Act has no capacity to protect sacred sites without physical remains.

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2 Comments

  1. George T. Williams wrote:

    The protection of aboriginal archaeological finds on what is now deemed as CROWN Land are non-existent. Mining companies dare not reveal any finds for fear of a halt to mineral extraction.
    REMAX and other land development sectors, are allowed to take with no real concern of Land Claims nor Treaty Processes in place.
    Water, human’s most valuable resource is being divied up with Povincial Governemt Policies with littl or no input by First Nations.
    If you, the general public feel vindicated by Nature’s natural process of the storm that changed the Stanley Park – take a walk through logged out clear cut forests in North Central BC [Northern BC], that is a man made disaster. Now, compare what the clear cuts by Weyerhouser, CanFor and other giant forest related indudustries to the meager sneeze of Stanley Park knock down.

    No matter which government is elected into office; BC [and the rest of the other Provinces & Territories] must take the lead to address these inconsistencies of policies that govern archaeological finds with a sincere effort to throughly research major finds to better reflect the First Peoples of this domain.
    Congradulations to the Squamish for their stance in the 1920’s to give them the rightful power to govern themselves as they have prior to the first ever European contact. The European concept of individual ownership is opposite to that of the sharing of common interests for the betterment of all MUST be written and recognized in the Laws and Courts of Canada.

    Sincerely,

    George Williams
    Moricetown, BC
    Wet’suwet’en Territories

    Monday, December 17, 2007 at 3:51 pm | Permalink
  2. I am anxious, George, to see how the MLAs and others on the committee will be able to revamp the heritage act to take your concerns into account. Thanks for your thoughts.

    Monday, December 17, 2007 at 3:55 pm | Permalink

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  1. […] the entire episode points to the need to revamp the Heritage Conservation Act to take sacred and historical sites that post-date 1846 into […]