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$400,000 for Tse’k’wa

The funding will be used over the next three years to further development of a museum and interpretive centre. 
A view from inside Tse’K’wa, an ancient cave and national historic site at Charlie Lake. (Creative Commons CC BY-SA 4.0)

Ovintiv has publicly announced $400,000 in funding to aid development of the Tse’k’wa National Historic Site in Charlie lake. 

The announcement was made on June 21 in partnership with the Tse’k’wa Heritage Society, as part of their National Indigenous People’s Day celebrations. 

One of the few indigenous managed national historic sites, also known as the Charlie Lake Cave to many, the site is jointly owned by the Doig River, Prophet River, and West Moberly First Nations. 

“We are so grateful to have community partners to help us achieve our vision of a world class historic site,” said Society President Gary Oker in a press release. 

A BBQ lunch, traditional drumming, and more festivities were held during the announcement, welcoming the public to a new interpretive trail with indigenous signage and archaelogical displays. An amphitheatre, dome, picnic area, and interpretive centre are also under construction. 

Further in the press release, Mary Grant, Ovintiv’s Vice President of Communications and Sustainability, said “Ovintiv is honored to contribute to the Tse’k’wa Heritage Society and is committed to building strong and respectful relationships with our Indigenous partners and communities. We are proud to support Indigenous culture today and its preservation for future generations.”

The funding will be used over the next three years to help the society reach its vision of a visitor-ready museum and interpretive centre. 

Tse’K’wa means rock house, and though well-known to local residents and First Nations, the cave was only discovered by archaeologists in 1974 and then excavated in the early 1980s. 

All told, the site contains 12,000 years of history, spanning from the ice age to modern day. The first new dig in 30 years was held last summer, picking up where Simon Fraser University (SFU) professor and bone expert Dr. Jon Driver left off in the 1990s.  

A brief second field school was completed this past May with UNBC and SFU, prepping for another potential dig next year. 

Tom Summer, Alaska Highway News, Local Journalism Initiative. Have a story idea or opinion? Email

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