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Signal Hill being used for disc golf despite cultural concerns

Village of Pemberton, regional district and Lil'wat Nation ask users to find new location

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A registered archaeological site sacred to the Lil'wat Nation continues to be used as a disc golf course despite it being decommissioned in 2010.

That's according to a news release from the Village of Pemberton, the Lil'wat Nation and the Squamish Lillooet Regional District, which is asking for the community's help to stop the use of the Signal Hill site for disc golf. "The Signal Hill Registered Archaeological Site had been the site of an unsanctioned disc golf course, and was decommissioned in 2010 by the Lilwat Nation and SLRD," the release said.

"Since then, some users have continued to trespass over the site and have reinstalled the disc golf course. Golfers, hikers and all other recreational users are asked to respect this unique and culturally significant site by staying out of the fenced area and observing the posted signs."

Lil'wat Nation Chief Lucinda Phillips said the site is the historical location for "istkens," or pithouses traditionally used by Lil'wat families in the winter months. Istkens were traditionally built in circular holes about two-metres deep with an opening at the top that fire could pass through.

Today, depressions in the ground remain from the days that the Lil'wat located istkens there.

"We've always known we had cultural sites, we have istken pits there," Phillips said. "Some of them are registered archaeological sites. The whole Frisbee golf course is right in the middle or in and around the whole area, so we've been trying to work with any and all the organizers of the Frisbee golf course to try and move their golf course."

Phillips warned that trespassing on an archaeological site carries a fine of up to $50,000 or two years in jail.

The news release went on to say that the Lil'wat Nation and the regional district have worked together to fence the site and educate visitors with interpretive signage, asking that the archaeological site be respected.

The Village of Pemberton, meanwhile, has worked with golfers to find an alternate facility, with the news release adding that a grant obtained from the Whistler Blackcomb Foundation could allow the Village to build a new facility after consultation with disc golfers.

 

 

 

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