A few weeks back, Gary was invited to a very special place for the Kwanlin Dun people. For thousands of years, their ancestors have hunted caribou on high mountain ice patches where the caribou go to escape the flies in the summer. Now, due to climate change, these ice patches are melting and revealing artifacts that are some of the most well preserved specimens archaeologists have ever seen in this part of the world.
The ice has preserved organic materials that are thousands of years old, and normally have long disappeared. They have found projectiles with actual feather fletchings still on them! They have found moccasins, arrows, bone tools, and have even found and entire person. The quality and amount of discoveries has created a whole new type fo archaeology that now looks into melting ice patches specifically.
One of the best parts of the day for Gary, was hanging out with an elder that used to come to hunt in this very spot with her family, but hand't been there in over 40 years! Gary was lucky enough to hear her stories of walking all the way there with only the things on their back so they would have room to pack the dried meat all the way back to their home at Fish Lake.
What an incredible experience, to not only be at that important archeological site where people have been hunting caribou for thousands of years, but then also to be there with an elder who actually hunted there with her family as a child, watching caribou just hanging out on those same ice patches today...
Huge thank you to the Kwanlin Dun First Nation for having us out on their traditional territory to help them document such an important part of their history. It was truly an honour and un-unforgettable experience.