Call, Don’t Dig

Archaeological Law in Canada

The law is clear. A suspected archaeological site must be reported.



The reason?

“The analysis of items left by previous generations, in the soil or underwater, is often the only way modern Canadians can understand how over 700 generations lived both before and after contact between Europeans and First Nations. Sometimes, items that would look insignificant to most people today actually contain clues which, to a trained archaeologist, are like an open book. In certain crucial respects, the soil of Canada is itself a kind of archive of our collective past.

That is why it is so important for archaeologists to be notified and involved whenever the land is about to be disturbed by a major project. It also explains why, when the soil gives up its secrets accidentally (revealing artifacts or, more dramatically, human remains), this represents a remarkable and precious opportunity to learn about the past. The context — like the position of artifacts in relation to one another — can also offer clues which are as essential to an archaeological investigation as a crime scene is to a police investigation” – from Unearthing the Law – Archaeological Legislation on Lands in Canada
Who to report to
(sites added as needed)
Image: Supreme Court of Canada building, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. By D. Gordon E. Robertson (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 ( or GFDL (], via Wikimedia Commons