The discovery of human remains put a sudden stop to work replacing a catch basin near Ogden Point at Dallas Road and Montreal Street.
First Nations representatives were contacted, said city spokeswoman Katie Josephson, after the remains were uncovered Tuesday afternoon.
The area is known to archeologists as the site of early human settlement. Remains were discovered in 2009, just across the street from the current site. At that time, city crews were working on a sewer. After an archeologist examined those remains, the bones were wrapped in a blanket and placed back in the ground.
“We’ve notified and talked to the chiefs and representatives of the Songhees First Nation and Esquimalt First Nation,” Mayor Dean Fortin said. “Obviously, it’s of great importance to them and it it’s of great importance to us, the City of Victoria, that we deal with this appropriately, sensitively and with full respect.”
The city is also taking guidance from Golder and Associates and the excavated pit will be secured until further notice, he said. “We recognize that these are traditional territories of First Nations and we, unwittingly at times, disturb some of these ancient burial grounds. We have a responsibility to treat it appropriately.”
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