Press Release:– The Saint Lucia National Trust has identified further evidence of the lifestyles of the indigenous people on the site at Cas en Bas which has been earmarked for development by Cabot (Saint Lucia).
More artifacts were unearthed during an archaeological dig in an area designated as the Archeological Priority Area at Cas en Bas, during the second visit of the Archaeologist Dr. Reginald Murphy: 14th- 28th 2021.
Due to the substantial amount of work planned during this short period, the Saint Lucia Archaeological and Historical Society (A&HS) approached the Saint Lucia National Trust for assistance with volunteers.
Given that the Trust and the A&HS have been advocating since 2019 for the conduct of a thorough Archaeological investigation of this important site prior to development of the 300-acre site by Cabot (Saint Lucia), the Trust rallied to ensure the necessary voluntary support was available.
The Trust wishes to reiterate that the organization has to date, not been formally engaged by the relevant authorities, at any point of Dr. Murphy’s assignment -from field work through to the presentation of findings.
However, as the organization with a legal mandate to promote the preservation of objects of archaeological, historic or traditional interest, it was important to assist.
Members of the Trust, A&HS and the public were able, during this phase of the investigation, to get further insight into the historical importance of this site which is a possible first contact site between the Kalinago and Europeans.
During the archaeological dig, evidence of the Kalinago diet, their utensils and tools were found, as well as several decorative pieces of pottery.
This second trip of the archaeologist was longer and allowed for some valuable and much needed interaction with the public enabling them to convey their concerns in relation to the significant socio-cultural contribution of the area.
The Trust is aware that due to time limitations, Dr. Murphy was only able to focus on a portion of the priority area identified in the earlier Environmental and Social Impact Assessment Report, and he was also unable to undertake investigations of other possible Kalinago settlement sites within the development area, including at Secret and Donkey beaches.
The Trust reiterates that the Act that created the Saint Lucia National Trust charges the organisation to, inter alia, locate, list and promote the preservation of objects of archaeological interest and to act in an advisory capacity to government.
We therefore urge the Development Control Authority to engage the Trust in this ongoing process to ensure that the historical assets of Saint Lucia are protected and preserved, not only for our generation, but for generations to come.
The Trust was pleased to be able to work in partnership with the A&HS and thanks Dr. Reginald Murphy for ensuring that all volunteers were oriented in the investigation approach and for providing a wealth of information on the importance of documenting, protecting and promoting the unique history of the Caribbean Region.
In accordance with our legal mandate, we look forward to receiving his report from this second visit and to further consultation with the broad group of stakeholders, to develop a sustainable future for this important heritage site, for the continued enjoyment and education of all.
The Trust thanks its members, members of the A&HS and the general public who volunteered their time to support this invaluable work.
The developer Cabot (Saint Lucia) owns around 300 acres of land adjacent to some 60 acres of the Queen’s Chain.
The Archeological Priority Area is located largely within the Queen’s chain, and still more archaeological investigation is required to ensure that areas of national significance are identified.
As such, and in fulfillment of Saint Lucia’s obligations under the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and for the benefit of the State, the Trust urges the Government to work with the relevant referral agencies, the developer and stakeholders to ensure that the areas of importance within the Archeological Priority Area are properly defined, set aside and developed as a Place of Learning and Memory, to serve as a place for education and reflection by residents and visitors alike.
Its development as a Place of Learning and Memory has the potential to generate much interest, creating new and diverse opportunities for employment, entrepreneurship and interpretation.
Such an approach would be a significant demonstration of Government’s willingness to work with all stakeholders including agencies, developers and public interests, in pursuit of responsible, inclusive development.
This would ensure that our unique history is not erased but safeguarded and promoted to tell the unfolding story of Saint Lucia.
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