First Nations Consultation & Land Use Studies (TLU/TK)

Atlatl views First Nations engagement as a necessary and complementary aspect to archaeology. This is achieved through Consultation and Traditional Land Use studies that involve traditional knowledge studies, Elder interviews, archival research, and site visits. Occasionally, discussions over maps, photos, and construction plans are not enough to fully understand the project’s anticipated impacts to traditional use areas. In this case, we arrange for participants from local Bands to visit and view the area of the proposed development. This allows them to identify areas of concern or cultural significance more readily, giving you concrete specifics when looking at mitigation, avoidance, or compensatory options. We will help coordinate between you and the relevant Bands to carry these studies out in a timely fashion that keeps your project on track.

We strive to engage with First Nations communities, training members to be fully active participants on archaeological studies and excavations; an initiate that has been well-received. This mutually beneficial relationship allows archaeologists to better understand some of the ephemeral cultural activities being carried out on-site and aids First Nations communities in understanding the archaeological process and regulations. It provides skill-building within the community for future projects and enables them to participate in a process directly linked to their cultural heritage. Archaeologists, First Nations communities, and our growing understanding of the past all benefit in the interpretation of site discoveries and provide guidance when culturally sensitive materials are encountered.

We have seen first-hand how this style of engagement helps open and facilitate communications and understanding between the client and local Bands. Open communication is often the best way to satisfy both the client and the Bands, ensuring that all concerns are fully addressed and that the proposed project is completed in a timely, ethical, and satisfactory fashion.