Origin of Muskrat Falls artifacts yet to be determined

A representative with Nalcor Energy says the origin of the ancient artifacts discovered at the Muskrat Falls hydroelectric development site has yet to be determined.
Nalcor says it has yet to determine the origin of the nearly 40,000 artifacts discovered at the Muskrat Falls site. (CBC)

A representative with Nalcor Energy says the origin of the ancient artifacts discovered at the Muskrat Falls hydroelectric development site has yet to be determined.

However, Gilbert Bennett, vice-president of the Lower Churchill Project, said the company believes most of the roughly 40,000 artifacts unearthed so far in construction of the mega-project belong to the Innu.

But NunatuKavut members said last week that some of the more recent discoveries made are likely southern Inuit.

Bennett said archeologists are still in the stage of collecting items, and have not determined the history of the items yet.

"Over the next year or two there will be a detailed assessment done on everything that's been taken out of the field, so I don't think anybody has made any final determination as to the nature of every artifact or every historic resource that's been identified and collected from the field," he said.

"We've identified historic resources in the area in the past, and we have an obligation to make sure that those are recovered, catalogued and preserved, and then turned over to the province so that they can be kept for the future, and for future research."

Bennett said the process the company will be taking next will likely take a couple of years to complete.

NunatuKavut members said they are concerned that only Innu members have been involved up until this point, when the origin of the artifacts hasn't been determined yet.

Bennett said all of the artifacts will be turned over to Newfoundland and Labrador once they are all collected.

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