On Wednesday morning, June 26, 2019, human remains were discovered at the site of the Victoria Street West Improvements Project by construction crews working in the area.
Upon making the discovery, the project team followed the archeological protocols that are required for this project. The RCMP, representatives from Tk’emlúps te Secwe̓pemc (TteS), and Golder Associates were called in to control the site and it was determined the origin of the remains are not modern.
“The City is committed to following the Heritage Conservation Act and, more importantly, working closely with TteS to protect cultural heritage. We’re guided by protocols on site and will continue to work with TteS as they determine next steps,” said Darren Crundwell, the City’s Capital Project Manager.
The area is cordoned off and security has been put in place at the find site.
“We are committed to dealing with these remains with the utmost respect and care, and also with a sense of urgency in accordance with our commitments to the TteS,” said Kamloops Mayor Ken Christian.
Work is currently progressing on the Victoria Street West project, recognizing a 50 metre buffer zone around the find site. The City anticipates construction will continue as expected next week, while respecting the TteS Ancestral Remains Policy and Procedures.
“We appreciate the immediate actions taken by the project team and are fully aware of the steps that have been taken, which are in line with our policies,” said Chief Kukpi7 Rosanne Casimir.
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The City recently signed a Letter of Understanding (LOU) recognizing the ongoing commitment to working collaboratively with the TteS on cultural heritage protocol and education in our communities. The City and TteS intend to work in the spirit of cooperation and in partnership, with demonstrated respect and commitment to preserving and promoting Secwe̓pemc values, including the protection of TteS cultural heritage resources. Both parties are meeting later today related to this LOU.