Human skeleton unearthed in Metlakatla during home renovations

A human skeleton was unearthed in Metlakatla a few weeks ago.

A human skeleton was unearthed in Metlakatla a few weeks ago.

According to the Prince Rupert RCMP, the remains were discovered when someone dug through a basement wall to repair a sewer line.

When the skeletal remains were found, the band called the RCMP and gave forensic investigators photographs of the skeleton for them to analyze. Investigators determined that the bones are very old and do not match up with any missing persons reports.

David Archer is a local archeologist who has worked in the Prince Rupert area for several years, and teaches and Northwest Community College. While he wasn’t been told about the find, he says that he’s not surprised that human remains would be found underneath the modern-day Metlakatla Village.

“There are two archeological sites in the current area of Metlakatla Village, so it’s not at all unusual if there’s any kind of construction work or disturbance of the ground in that area that human remains might turn up,” says Archer.

Archer says that deposits in the Metlakatla area can be up to 5,000 years old and that most of the human remains found around Prince Rupert are typically 1,500 to 3,000 years old.

“Its definitely a problem when you have an active community on top of an archeological site, people can’t do very much without disturbing the ground in one way or another,” says Archer.

According to the police, the bones were left where they were found and reburied after the photos were sent to the investigators.

The Prince Rupert Northern View tried repeatedly to ask the Metlakatla Band for information or comment about the archeological find but they declined comment on the subject.