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Parks Canada construction paused after workers find bone and other objects

Despite a groundbreaking ceremony held four days earlier, construction of the new Administration and Visitors Centre was brought to a halt on May 8 upon the discovery of several objects - with one identified as a bone.

NIPIGON — Construction in Nipigon has been halted after a bone was found in material excavated from a work site.

Finn Way General Contractor Inc., based out of Thunder Bay, had commenced work on the new Parks Canada facility in Nipigon on May 8 when the bone and additional objects were discovered.

The town of Nipigon recently held a groundbreaking ceremony on May 4 for the Lake Superior National Marine Conservation Area Administration and Visitors Centre.

Other than the bone, additional objects unearthed were dated to the mid-to-late 20th century and included vintage glass bottles and housewares, among other things.

Lisa Nyman, the site supervisor for the project, spoke to Dougall Media and provided a statement on behalf of Parks Canada regarding the situation.

She noted that while forensic experts have identified the bone as non-human in origin, Parks Canada will consult with the Red Rock Indian Band moving forward.

“Archeological assessments are done prior to construction as part of the impact assessment. When artifacts are located after construction has begun, Parks Canada follows the guidance of terrestrial archeology professionals and, for this particular project, recommendations from Red Rock Indian Band to inform us on the appropriate course of action.

"Parks Canada is working with Red Rock Indian Band to hire an environmental monitor for the remainder of the excavation,” Nyman said.

She added that Parks Canada’s work at the site is a reflection of their commitment to the appropriate management, protection, and conservation of heritage resources and will continue to work collaboratively – not just with the Red Rock Indian Band but all local communities, partners, and stakeholders on the $37-million project.

Construction has now resumed and is still expected to meet its target completion date in 2026.

Austin Campbell, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

About the Author: Austin Campbell, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Austin Campbell is a local journal initiative reporter covering stories in the Superior North region.
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