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YVR voluntarily suspends construction activities on South Airfield

Work on the southern half of Sea Island is stopped until further notice while artifacts found on the site are examined

Musqueam Territory / Richmond, B.C. (August 9, 2023): Vancouver International Airport / Aéroport international de Vancouver (YVR) has voluntarily suspended construction activities on the southern half of Sea Island, encompassing its South Airfield, following the discovery of what are believed to be Musqueam artifacts on the site.

At the time of finding, YVR suspended further work and notified Musqueam Indian Band. The artifacts have been sent to a certified archaeology and heritage lab for technical assessments.

“YVR is located on Sea Island, which is the traditional, unceded, and continuously occupied territory of Musqueam. This archaeological discovery demonstrates the longstanding and continued tie between Musqueam people and their ancestral territories. For this reason, finding these artifacts is not unexpected and something we plan for together with Musqueam. We are committed to the protection of these artifacts and will continue to work with Musqueam to inform our current and future actions,” said Tamara Vrooman, President & CEO at Vancouver Airport Authority, operator of Vancouver International Airport / Aéroport international de Vancouver.

“Musqueam – our elders, knowledge holders, and staff – will work together with YVR to do the right thing. We recognize this is an important process and are committed to continuing to walk this path together with YVR,” said yəχʷyaχʷələq, (Chief Wayne Sparrow), Musqueam Indian Band.

As part of its Sustainability and Friendship Agreement, Musqueam and YVR identify and protect archeological resources. This includes using historic and recent maps of Sea Island to safeguard key areas of archaeological interest and outline protocols for chance finds and how they will be handled.

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