Protecting archaeological sites and resources

The Sunshine Coast Regional District (SCRD) recognizes that the shíshálh Nation, Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Úxwumixw, and other Nations have occupied and used these lands for thousands of years.

Heritage sites found throughout First Nations territories are an important historical and cultural connection to the land. Even if a site is not registered on or around a property, it does not mean that there are no archeological artifacts present that would make a site a protected archaeological site. All archaeological sites are protected by the BC Heritage Conservation Act.

Many First Nations have individual policies governing archaeological resources, some which may spatially overlap with one another. It is important to understand the territory(ies) your development is within, and which policies are relevant.

Preparing for ground disturbances

Request archaeological information about your property

  • Find out if your home is located within or near a registered archaeological site protected under the Heritage Conservation Act.
  • Submit an inquiry to the Provincial Archaeology Branch of the Province.

What’s required
It is illegal to disturb archaeological sites (registered or unregistered), without having the appropriate permits in place.

It is the responsibility of the landowner/developer to fulfill all requirements under the Heritage Conservation Act, including construction or renovations that involve ground disturbance. First Nations may have recommendations or requirements for archaeological assessments in addition to Provincial requirements.

For applications to the SCRD for new water or wastewater services, the associated archaeology process will be managed by the SCRD and paid for by the landowner/developer as part of the required works and services. Archaeology assessment costs can vary depending on the level of site assessments required, and the resulting measures required before, during or after the completion of any work, the location, and the available data.

Get permits
The BC Archaeology Branch is responsible for issuing Heritage Conservation Act permits required to conduct archaeological studies.


Hire an archaeologist
Archaeological studies identify and assess archaeological sites to determine whether proposed ground disturbance will, or has the potential to, impact archaeological sites.

Contact a local consulting archaeologist with experience in the area for direction early in the project planning phase. Consulting archaeologists can be found through the BC Association of Professional Archaeologists.

Encountering suspected archaeological materials
If known or suspected archaeological resources are encountered during ground-disturbing activities (e.g.: artifacts, human or animal bone, etc.), you must stop all work in the immediate area and contact the Provincial Archaeology Branch for further direction at 250-953-3334.