FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – A rezoning application has been submitted to the Peace River Regional District to restore and protect the previously known Charlie Lake Caves, now Tse’K’wa land, by establishing an Indigenous cultural museum.
Gary Oker, President of Tse’K’wa Heritage Society, shares the Tse’K’wa holds deep historical and cultural importance. The goal is to recreate the space to what it would have looked like in the stone age, to include an amphitheatre space as well as buildings to display the vast collection in 1000 piece range of found artifacts from the site.
Oker says it would become a space for ceremonies, drumming and different things could be shared such as food, traditional song and stories for people to come and enjoy the history. It is important to Oker to increase the visibility of the indigenous people in the area.
March 18th, 2019 there will be an open house at the Charlie Lake Community Hall. As the proper steps are being taken to rezone the land, Oker wants an opportunity to share with the Community what the vision for the land will be.
The Simon Fraser University recognized Tse’K’wa as a significant space because of the historical content that was found and unearthed as it was being studied by the University.
Oker said this will be a place that provides an opportunity for school children to come and learn as well as being a point of interest for tourism and visitors to the area and passing along the Alaska Hwy.
To date, the biggest challenge Oker says they face is the defacing of the caves and he hopes that with the development of the site the cultural importance will be recognized so everyone can enjoy the land.
Also represented is Diane Bigfoot, Director from Profit [Prophet] River and Laura Webb, Director from West Moberly.