Oct 17, 2021

By Jeremy Logan

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The Canadian government is set to return an ancient stone knife found during renovations on Parliament Hill to the stewardship of First Nations whose ancestors it belonged to.

The four-thousand-year-old knife is not the first Indigenous artifact unearthed there, but it is the first to be returned to the Algonquin nations who consider the Ottawa region to be unceded territory.

Archeologists found the small stone knife, which has lost its handle, buried in the ground during the renovation of Centre Block, which is not set to reopen for about another decade.

The Kitigan Zibi Anishinabeg and the Algonquins of Pikwakanagan First Nations are to share stewardship of the ancient artifact, which will eventually be displayed in Centre Block.

Ian Badgley, manager of the archeology program at the National Capital Commission, says the decision is historic because it shows the government recognizes pre-contact use of Parliament Hill by Indigenous Peoples.

While work on Centre Block continues, the knife, shaped from chert found in Ontario and New York state, will be shown in Indigenous communities, including schools.

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