The village of Kaslo has been ordered to temporarily suspend building a public boat launch on Kootenay Lake after artifacts were found during construction.

Kaslo, B.C.Kaslo, B.C.

Eric Forgeng, a heritage resource specialist with B.C's Archaeology Branch, said excavation had begun in one of the lake's bays when stone tool fragments were noticed by a First Nations monitor at the water's edge.

"The monitor... stopped the project and contacted an archaeologist friend of his who was in the area who came out and confirmed that these were in fact artifacts," he said.

Forgeng says the bay was used by the Ktunaxa (Kootenay), Okanagan and Shuswap First Nations long before colonial contact.

The stone fragments will be curated and the village will need a permit to keep building its $14,000 boat launch.

"They are not planning to do any more ground alteration in the area... They have to get a permit under the Heritage Conservation Act for them to proceed."

Forgeng says his department, the Archaeology Branch within the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations, should be able to grant the permit in time for the village to start building its launch before the summer boating season.

Corrections

  • An earlier version of this story mis-identified the archaeologist quoted as Peter Forgeng. Eric Forgeng is, in fact, the heritage resource specialist with the B.C. Archaeological Branch who was quoted in the story.
    Apr 20, 2013 10:40 PM PT
With files from the CBC's Bob Keating