For First Nations

The Archaeology Branch recognizes the historical, cultural, scientific, spiritual and educational value of B.C.'s archaeological heritage to First Nations and Indigenous Peoples. 

First Nations help to protect archaeological sites by contributing traditional knowledge, values, and participating in the consultative process. This page provides information and resources to help First Nations in their archaeological work.

Last updated: February 9, 2021

Access to systems, data and site records

The archaeology branch administers 3 systems that provide archaeological data to qualified parties: 

  1. Archaeological Permit Tracking System (APTS)
    • An online client portal that professional consulting archaeologists use to submit applications and manage files throughout their lifecycles.
  2. Provincial Archaeological Report Library (PARL)
    • An online permit report library that First Nations and other authorized users can log in to and search, view, download, or order archaeological reports.
  3. Remote Access to Archaeological Data (RAAD)
    • An online GIS application that First Nations and other authorized users can access to view, select, and download spatial and tabular data about archaeological sites in B.C.

To obtain access to our systems or data, you will have to submit a signed form to the Archaeology Branch. The Request System Access page contains the latest form, and will help you apply for the access you need.

First Nations can also request archaeological information like data and site records directly from the branch. This is especially useful if you do not have systems access, or need a very large amount of information downloaded to a data file.

Archaeology branch newsletters

The Archaeology Branch provides 3 newsletters for individuals that regularly participate in the archaeological consultative, permitting, or data submission processes.

Our Indigenous newsletter provides routine updates to Indigenous leadership and First Nation referrals staff responsible for responding to Heritage Conservation Act (HCA) referrals. Other government agencies with responsibilities under the HCA and/or Indigenous relations and reconciliation are also welcome to subscribe. 

To sign up, email archaeology@gov.bc.ca and provide the following information for each individual requesting access:

  • Name of Band, Nation, Council, Organization or Affiliation:
  • First Name
  • Last Name
  • Email Address

The Resource Inventory Standards Course (RISC)

The Resource Inventory Standards Course (RISC) is a five day workshop designed to introduce field technicians to the discipline of archaeology. The course covers basic site identification, survey, and recording skills, and includes class and field components. The Archaeology Branch works directly with the BC Association of Professional Archaeologists to coordinate the delivery of the course.

Please contact the Archaeology Branch via email (archaeology@gov.bc.ca) for the current list of qualified instructors, or the BCAPA (https://www.bcapa.ca/archaeology/risc/) for more information.

Unrecorded sites and the archaeological site inventory

First Nations can incorporate information on unrecorded sites into the archaeological site inventory. Once in the inventory, this information is used in land and development planning. See The British Columbia Archaeological Site Inventory and the Provincial Heritage Register Policy for more information.