Walking island shorelines, you can often find black ashy soil
with layers broken seashells. Archaeologists call these "shell
middens," and they are sites that testify to the richly sustaining
ecosystems in our islands. They mark the Coast Salish peoples'
continual inhabitation of the islands, dating from recent history
to more than 9,000 years ago. For more information about
middens, visit Working Effectively with Aboriginal
If you find a shell midden (protected by BC legislation), cairn,
or artifacts on your property, leave everything where you found it
until an archaeologist can look at it with you. Call the
Archaeology Branch at (250) 953-3334 and take photographs if you
can, for your own records and for research.
For more info about your role in protecting middens and other
cultural sites, please visit www.for.gov.bc.ca/archaeology/faq.htm