Remains discovered at construction site near Victoria believed to be ancestral

Human remains unearthed

Human remains discovered by construction workers near Victoria on Monday are believed to be ancestral.

Saanich Police responded to the scene near Cordova Bay Park, after a report that remains had been found under the boulevard next to the roadway. A large development project is underway.

The area is known to have First Nations remains, so representatives of the Tsawout and Songhees Nations are present on-site as part of the construction process, said Const. Markus Anastasiades.

Police determined the person had likely died from something other than natural causes.

Experts from the University of Victoria and staff from the archaeological company working for the developer confirmed the remains are of ancestral origin.

Mavis Underwood, a Tsawout First Nation councillor, said the area is known to the First Nation and the discovery is part of their history.

“One of the worst things is to erase our history,” Underwood said.

“This is a place where developers have been pulling Indigenous bodies out of the ground for decades now,” said University of Victoria anthropology professor Brian Thom.

“We will have to find a way to treat the remains in a dignified way. This is someone’s ancestor that is being disturbed.”

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