Monitoring - Cultural Resources

Aulavik Cultural Resources Monitoring

Rationale

Head Hill cultural site.
Head Hill cultural site.

Monitoring cultural sites helps to ensure the sites are protected and the important artifacts they may contain are not damaged or lost. Nasogaluak, M'Clure's Cache and Head Hill are three large cultural sites in Aulavik National Park. Nasogaluak cultural site consists of approximately 100 stone structures including tent rings, caches, akatut (areas paved with large, flat slabs of stone) and wind breaks. The M'Clure's Cache site has the remains of a cache built by Robert M'Clure and his crew when they wintered in Mercy Bay from 1851 to 1853. The Head Hill site consists of at least 43 identifiable features, including tent rings and hearths, and the remains of an estimated 800-1000 muskoxen. These sites are monitored to identify threats to the sites, to determine if the sites have changed and to recommend actions that can be taken to protect the sites.

Objectives

  • To identify impacts to the cultural resources at Nasogaluak, M'Clure's Cache and Head Hill cultural sites.
  • To monitor changes to these cultural sites.
  • To recommend actions to protect these cultural sites.

Methods and Information Collected

Nasogaluak Cultural Site:

  • The Nasogaluak cultural site is located on the east bank of the Thomsen River approximately 8 km south of Green Cabin. The site is monitored every year during routine park patrols.
  • Five photographs are taken of specific features from designated photopoints.
  • Measurements are taken to determine if items at the site have been moved.
  • Fragments of grey quartz sandstone are counted.

M'Clure's Cache Cultural Site:

  • M'Clure's Cache cultural site is located along the western shore of Mercy Bay. The site is monitored every 2-3 years during routine park patrols.
  • Photographs are taken at 9 photopoints. These photos are compared with existing photos of the site to determine if there are any major changes to the artifacts and to the overall site.
  • Barrel parts are counted in three areas.
  • The condition of 3 selected artifacts is described.

Head Hill Cultural Site:

  • The Head Hill cultural site is located at the junction of the Muskox and Thomsen rivers. The site is monitored every year during routine park patrols.
  • Photographs are taken from 3 photopoints to determine if the site has changed.
  • The distance from reference points to artifacts is measured to determine if the artifacts have been moved.
  • A count of muskoxen skulls is conducted by walking along transects.

Years of Data

  • Nasogaluak: 1997, 1999, 2000, 2001
  • M'Clure's Cache: 1997, 2000
  • Head Hill: 1997, 1999, 2000, 2001

Results

Nasogaluak Cultural Site:

  • The site was visited on June 26, 2001.
  • Photographs indicate that there have not been any identifiable changes to the site since 1997.
  • Measurements indicate that items at the site have not been moved.
  • The technique of counting grey quartz sandstone artifacts within a designated plot needs to be reviewed.

M'Clure's Cache Cultural Site:

  • The site was not monitored in 2001.
  • Counts of barrel parts have been inconsistent between years and needs to be reviewed.
  • The condition of 3 artifacts that are monitored have not changed since 1997.
Counting grey sandstone fragments at Nasogaluak cultural site.
Counting grey sandstone fragments at Nasogaluak cultural site.

Head Hill Cultural Site:

  • The site was visited on July 14, 2001.
  • A caribou antler was moved to a different location in the site in the past 5 years. The artifact may have been moved so that it was in a better position to be photographed.
  • The technique of counting muskoxen skulls in a known area needs refinement.

Contacts

Cathy Cockney
Cultural Resource Management Officer
Parks Canada Agency
P.O. Box 1840
Inuvik, NT X0E 0T0
Phone: (867) 777-8803
Fax: (867) 777-8820
Cathy_Cockney@pch.gc.ca