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Heritage Act at Centre of Continuing Klappan Dispute

Dogwood Initiative details the latest round in the efforts of Shell to rebuild a road into the Klappan and the efforts of the Klabona Keepers’ to use all means possible to protect Tahltan cultural resources. The BC Heritage Conservation Act — and the provision that archaeological sites are protected as long as they are older than 1846 — is now at the centre of the fight. Specifically: does Shell’s efforts to reroute the washed-out access road damage or destroy a culturally and historically significant trail — and importantly, a trail in use before 1846?

According to Dogwood Initiative, there’s lots of intrigue here including the dueling opinions of two archaeological consulting firms — whether the evidence of an old trail exists or not — and the article raises questions about consultants tailoring their research results to the interests of their clients.

The story includes a detailed map of the area in question. It offers some context for the Canadian Press story that broke last week.

And the entire episode points to the need to revamp the Heritage Conservation Act to provide some meaningful protection for sacred and historical sites that post-date 1846.

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