Koocanusa

Sedimentary-hosted Copper & Epithermal Gold

The Koocanusa Project is an exciting re-imagining of an ancient geological system located 30km southeast of Cranbrook in British Columbia. The project is road accessible year round and enjoys a favorable position close to infrastructure and supply centers. 

Hosted in some of the oldest rocks in British Columbia, Koocanusa has both sedimentary copper and epithermal gold and mercury showings. Placer gold has been panned from Gold Creek since the 1860's although the source of the gold has not been found. The region was last explored in the 1980's, and since that time equivalent rocks in the United States have been found to host economic copper, cobalt and silver deposits. 

Aeonian is trawling historical data, academic papers and economic assessments of similar projects to build a new model. This coupled with advances in technology, broad geochemical sampling and detailed mapping is increasing our understanding - and the potential - of Koocanusa.

PROJECT OVERVIEW

Highlights:
  • Over 130sqkm of road accessible continuous mineral tenures thirty minutes from Cranbrook, BC.
  • 21km continuous trend of anomalous copper following prospective stratigraphy, with historic surface rock samples returned up to 0.98% copper from sedimentary-hosted units.
  • Western targets associated with known copper-silver showings and down-dip extensions identified during a USGS Critical Minerals survey.
  • Some target zones hosted in equivalent strata to Hecla owned Cu-Ag-Co mines in Montana, 120km south.
 
  • Historic drilling intersected 1.6 meters of 0.85% copper 

  • Visible gold reported in historic (1989) drill core at the Gold Creek showing. Source of gold not yet identified.

  • Historic pan concentrates highlight 7km long anomaly up to 75.46 grams per tonne gold along creek
  • 2020 field work suggests the presence of several potential copper horizons hosted in sandstone units dipping 10-45 degrees that would have been missed by historic exploration / drilling methods.

THE EXPLORATION CONCEPT

The rocks at Koocanusa are part of the Purcell Basin Supergroup which underlie southeastern British Columbia and stretch into Montana and Idaho. There are similarities at Koocanusa to several significant mines in Montana, where Cu-Ag is hosted in porous sandstone beds.

  • Rock Creek (Hecla): Inferred resource (2020) of 100 million tons grading 1.5oz/tn silver, 0.7% copper (148 million ounces of silver and 659 tons of copper).
  • Montanore (Hecla): Inferred resource (2020) of 112 million tons grading 1.6 oz/tn silver and 0.7% copper (183 million ounces of silver and 759,420 tons of copper).

Preliminary prospecting at Koocanusa has highlighted anomalous copper trends that run parallel to bedding in coarser siltstone and sandstone layers, with at least two prospective horizons. In addition to the sedimentary-hosted copper, there is evidence of overprinting epithermal veins which may be contributing to the anomalous historic gold occurrences noted on the claims.  

 

Generalized Cross-Section of the Troy Mine Area 

The Koocanusa Project is an exciting re-imagining of an ancient geological system located 30km southeast of Cranbrook in British Columbia. The project is road accessible year round and enjoys a favorable position close to infrastructure and supply centers. 

Hosted in some of the oldest rocks in British Columbia, Koocanusa has both sedimentary copper and epithermal gold and mercury showings with potential for additional cobalt and silver. Placer gold has been panned from Gold Creek since the 1860’s although the source of the gold has not been found. The region was last explored in the 1980’s, and since that time equivalent rocks in the United States have been found to host economic copper, cobalt and silver deposits that are currently being mined or are in the permitting process.

Aeonian is trawling historical data, academic papers and economic assessments of similar projects to build a new model. This coupled with advances in technology, broad geochemical sampling and detailed mapping is increasing our understanding – and the potential – of Koocanusa.

BETTER LOCATIONS ARE RARE

British Columbia

British Columbia is a province on the west coast of Canada. It is regularly thought of as one of the best mining jurisdictions in the world with its openness to exploration activity and mining coupled with rigorous environmental policy, sustainability programs and First Nations inclusion. 

The Koocanusa Property boasts a fantastic location, road accessible with a long season and with well developed support services and infrastructure close by. 

Access

The closest town to Koocanusa is Cranbrook, which is a 9 hour drive / 1.5 hour flight from Vancouver (4 hour drive or one hour flight from Calgary). From Cranbrook the site is accessed in 45 minutes by Highway 3 then the Newgate-Kikomun Forestry Road. The project area is serviced by an extensive and well maintained network of roads and trails.

Local Resources

Cranbrook and the surrounding area has a long history of mining and forestry services and is therefore extremely well set up for supplies, services and experienced personnel. North of Cranbrook in Kimberly, the Sullivan Mine operated for over 90 years, whilst Teck has a large coal operation to the east at Sparwood. The area has active interest groups including the East Kootenay Chamber of Mines and the regional government office for the Ministry of Energy, Mines and Resources. 

Climate and Physiography

Cranbrook features a humid continental climate, and  Environment Canada reports Cranbrook as having the most sunshine hours of any BC city. It is fairly dry throughout the year,  experiences some of the lightest wind speeds year-round, has few foggy days, and has among the highest average barometric pressure of any city in Canada.  Mean daily temperatures range from −8.3 °C (17.1 °F) to 18.2 °C (64.8 °F).  Overall, its climate is extremely similar to that of Kelowna, in the nearby Okanagan Valley to the west – especially in regard to precipitation patterns and total monthly accumulation. 

The Kootenay Region is mountainous; encompassing four maintain ranges, from east to west: the Rocky Mountains, the Purcell Mountains, the Selkirk Mountains, and the Monashee Mountains. The natural features of the region contribute to an economy strongly rooted in natural resources (e.g., forestry, mining, hydroelectric power generation, and tourism).

A high level of biodiversity exists in the region. Plant communities include species such as western hemlock, western red cedar, and lodgepole pine. Wildlife is diverse, characterized by some specific species that have close association with areas of low human influence such as: grizzly bear, gray wolf, marten, wolverine, and mountain caribou, as well as many others.

The Koocanusa Project has a range of environments from open grassland, selectively logged areas to more densely wooded slopes. Active logging has created hundreds of kilometers of truck-accessible trails which makes access and exploration of the property easy. (Photo from Twin 5 target area, taken by A. Randell on October 6th 2020) 

EXPLORE THE HISTORY OF KOOCANUSA

Over 1.4 Billion Years of History

The rocks at Koocanusa formed during a period that geologists call “The Boring Billion”, which was a time when plate tectonics were just getting started and simple life was establishing itself. The video by PBS is a great introduction to this special era in Earth history, which was anything but boring!

We also provide you a timelines which offers insights to recent and historical activity on the site, as well as proving a window into deep time to explore the formation of the Koocanusa project. 

For more information on the geology specific to the project, visit the “Rock Room” section below.

LOOKING TO THE FUTURE

With the initial prospecting of Koocanusa completed and viable targets established, the next steps for the project will be to develop a detailed exploration assessment program:

  • Desktop (off-season 2021-2022)
    • Further compilation of historical data
    • Tracking and tracing historic core which we believe is stored in a yard near Cranbrook
    • Mineralogical and metallurgical studies from rock samples collected during site work
    • Conversion of field data into interpretations and detailed zone maps and sections
    • Additional staking if merited
  • Exploration

    • Localized soil sample grids over anomalous copper stratigraphic horizons and epithermal signatures to better define strike length and connectivity potential
    • Methodical regional reconnaissance, structural mapping and sampling
    • Replicate pan concentrate sampling along Gold Creek and tributaries. This includes mapping through catchments to assess potential gold source rocks.
    • Ground based geophysical surveys to better define sub-surface targets
    • Enhanced mineralogical and petrographic studies of host lithologies
  • Environmental & Socioeconomic

    • Establish dialogue with the Ktunaxa First Nations, specifically their Land Stewardship Guardian. 
    • Establishment of wildlife recording protocol, especially in relation to Grizzly and winter ungulate ranges.
    • Water testing in areas of known anomalous mercury to achieve baseline and potential “predisturbance” data.
    • Work with local forestry companies to share access and develop programs based around new trail development.
    • Applications for permits to allow for low-impact trenching or geoprobe exploration1
11th June, 2021
10th March, 2021
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Summer 2006
Summer 1991
1989 - 1990
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80 Million Years Ago
1,400 Million Years Ago
1,425 Million Years Ago
1,500 Million Years Ago

DISCOVER THE PROJECT WITH US

This interactive map allows you to explore the property with us. As we collect data in the field or acquire knowledge through research we update the map so you get to see all the data in one place.

Tips
  • Clicking on a layer or feature will “pop up” more information.
  • You can view additional layers by accessing the legend (>>) in the top left corner. Turn layers on and off using the check boxes.
  • Zoom in and out of the map using the +/- symbols. 
  • Note that some layers will only be visible when at a suitable zoom level.
Note

The geological layer has been provided by the BC Geological Survey and was completed on a regional level and as such is a generic view and will not necessarily align with field observations. We will be updating this with more accurate and high resolution maps as field investigation progresses. 

THE ROCK ROOM

Ancient Basins

The rocks of the Purcell Supergroup cover an area of approximately 15,000 square kilometers from southwest Alberta, southeastern British Columbia and then extending to northwestern United States (Idaho and Montana where it is termed the “Belt Supergroup”). 

The layers were deposited in a rift basin that had formed between the ancient North American craton and another, smaller landmass which collectively formed the Columbia / Nuna supercontinent. The rocks are some of the oldest in British Columbia, with the majority being deposited between 1,470 and 1,365 million years ago. At its maximum, the rocks of Purcell have a thickness of over 10,000 meters and host several economically important mines such as the Sullivan Mine north of Cranbrook. 

The Belt-Purcell Basin was likely a “pull-apart” basin along a back-arc strike-slip fault system (Ross and Villeneuve, 2003). The volcanic centers of the basin were from a western source which could now be located in Australia, China or Siberia. 

Depositional Settings

The earliest rocks observed at Koocanusa are the sediments of the Creston Formation on the western side of the property.

The east is dominated by younger rocks of the Sheppard and Gateway Formations, underlain by Nicol Creek Basalts. Evidence from the field suggests submarine eruptions (pillow lavas) and flows on land (vesicular lava). Sandstone beds have been observed between flows complete with ripple marks implying that the area was inundated by seawater periodically. 

The basalt rocks eventually give way to the totally shallow marine environment of the Sheppard Formation. These include fine-grained silts, stromatolites and limestone. At the top of the Sheppard Formation, layers of dolomite persist before passing into the silt and sandstones of the Gateway Formation. These layers also contain features such as mud (desiccation) cracks, salt (halite) casts, rip-up clasts, ripple marks and even rain drop imprints, all formed within a shallow lagoonal environment prone to “drying out”.

The Gateway rocks give way then to purple-red (oxidized) sands of the Phillips Formation which are highly distinct due to their colour. These were deposited by a river one the foreshore of a shallow sea, possibly in a delta. 

The entire stack shows a change from a dry, volcanic environment to one of active shallow seas and coastal features. This is a “transgressive” sequence, either caused by rising sea-levels or the sinking of the basin floor at the time. This is most abrupt at the Nicol Creek – Sheppard interface, as sedimentary layers above this suggest receding / shallowing water levels. 

Koocanusa Copper

Copper mineralization has been observed at a variety of locations across the property. The most notable are the copper carbonates and oxides (malachite, azurite, chrysocolla) which form green stains on surfaces and along fractures. Within fresh rock we observe chalcopyrite and chalcocite mineralization. 

The “copper fronts” are associated with sandstones or dolomitic units, although weaker mineralization has also been observed in chert and mudstone. Manganese dendrites, cubic pyrite, magnetite and garnets are all accessory to the copper fronts and are good pathfinders in the field. 

Above: Copper from the Koo Trend

Azurite and malachite staining around weathered sulphide blebs in a dolomitic rock unit. This was one sample collected within a 130 metre mineralized road section within the main Koo Trend. 

Phillips Formation

The Phillips formation is a relatively minor bed at Koocanusa and has only been observed in the southwestern part of the property. 

It comprises of a purple to red, fine-grained and micaceous sandstone with occasional argillite layers nearer the top of the formation. 

Volcanic ash from the equivalent formation in the United States (the contiguous Bonner Formation) has a Uranium-Lead isotopic age of 1,401 million years (+/- 6 million years). 

Gateway Formation

The Gateway Formation overlies the Sheppard Formation. It is comprised of fine-grained, light grey-green siltstone and sandstone with minor dolomitic limestone. The base of the Gateway Formation is marked by the first occurrence of salt casts, mud cracks, and rip-up clast beds within siliceous fine-grained sediments that overlie the massive dolomitized limestone beds that mark the top of the Sheppard Formation. Sedimentary facies of the Gateway Formation fine upwards from predominantly fine-grained sandstone at the formation base to fine-grained siltstone and argillite at the formation top.

Right: Sample Station CCU076.

Medium grained buff coloured sandstone with numerous garnets. This unit is porous and has allowed fluids to transition through, forming not only the garnets but also contributing to the copper anomalies.

Below: Sample Station AR21KOO020.

Cherty siltstone with loose bands of cinnabar (mercury), found within zone of historical copper anomalies.

Sheppard Formation

The Sheppard Formation is comprised of fine-grained sandstone and dolomitic limestone, and unconformably overlies the Nicol Creek Formation. Sedimentary facies of the Sheppard Formation grade from siliciclastic sediments at the formation base, to stromatolitic and oolitic, dolomitic limestones at the top. A series of massive stromatolitic and oolitic dolomitized limestone beds mark the formation top.  

Left: Large Stromatolite

The sample shown here represents one of the larger stromatolites found on the property. When complete, it would have been about 40cm in diameter and stood 30cm tall off the seabed.

Vein Styles

A wide range of veins occur across the property, from thin quartz-carbonate stockworks to half-meter-wide quartz / barite / magnetite veins. 

The majority of the large vein systems have been observed in the Nicol Creek Basalts where the brittle rocks allowed for the formation of wider fractures. In the overlying Sheppard Formation, these veins quickly become more diffuse as fluids pass into porous sandstones or the reactive dolomites. The theory is that these veins are “synsedimentary”, i.e. they are forming at the same time as the sediments are deposited and so these rocks do not have a brittle fracture. 

The veins observed in outcrop contain extensive mineralization and oxidized “ghosts” of crystals, sometimes replaced by later infill. Studies are underway to determine the full mineralogy, genesis and potential of these veins. 

Nicol Creek Formation

The Nicol Creek Formation is comprised of amygdaloidal and phenocrystic basalt flows, shallow marine volcaniclastic to siliciclastic sediment, and minor tuff. Zircon from a rhyolitic tuff within the contiguous Purcell Lava in the USA has a U-Pb age of 1443 +/- 7 Ma.

THE MAP ROOM

EXPLORE! 

A range of maps, images and sections are presented in this section.

You can browse all maps, or sort using the headings at the top of the section. 

THE GREEN ROOM

WILDLIFE

The Koocanusa Project lies in an area of wooded slopes, open grassland (from previous logging) and valleys with streams, and so like with any other exploration project, impacts on wildlife has to be considered.

The BC Government lists several species of note that are present in the area, with a focus along Gold Creek. Where possible, we are avoiding a conflict between these known zones and staking activity but are aware that ranges are not fixed and so need to be considered in the future. 

The species mentioned are listed below:

Snowberry: a member of the honeysuckle family and is an important plant for browsing animals such as deer, sheep, elk and moose. The berries are high in saponins which are toxic to some animals but are consumed by bird species and bears. The shrub can provide good cover which is important for ground nesting birds, rabbits or other small mammals. 

Balsamroot: a member of the sunflower family and grows in clumps up to 75cm tall. It can take 5-10 years to establish itself but once settled becomes a strong and drought-resistant plant, and can withstand “top burning” through forest fires. It is a food for grazing animals and its tough leaves make it resistant to trampling. 

Balsamroot also has uses amongst First Nations, as a food source or as a cure for headaches when the roots are burned. 

Lewis’s Woodpecker: This is a large species of woodpecker, measuring up to 11 inches in length. 

It is locally common and the species is ranked as “Least Concern” by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. It has a wide range of food habits, from the traditional “boring” into trees, to catching flying insects in mid-air and consuming berries and fruits. 

They nest within hollow dead tree branches and typically lay between 5-9 eggs per year.

Western Screech Owl: This is a small species of owl, which comes in several colour morphs varying from grey to brown. 

It is locally common and the species is ranked as “Least Concern” by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.

This owl species breeds in open wooded areas and along forest edges, using holes in trees as natural dens, including those opened by woodpeckers. 

They feed on small animals such as mice and frogs, but can also swoop to catch insects in flight. They have excellent night vision and are most active at dawn, dusk or during the night. 

Williamson’s Sapsucker: This is a medium-sized species of woodpecker, found in open coniferous forest areas. They nest within tree hollows and often return to the same location each year. 

The species is ranked as “Least Concern” by the International Union for Conservation of Nature, but due to logging is “under pressure” in areas of British Columbia.

Sapsuckers feed on conifer sap as their main food source, but also take insects and berries outside of the breeding period.

Grizzly Bears

The local Grizzly Bear population is part of a transnational group that ranges across the Canada-US border and is largely fragmented due to human activity.

The BC government outlines an area of Grizzly habitat that passes between the Lilo and Twin 5 areas of the property and as such further staking in that zone will be restricted to avoid future habitat conflicts. 

We understand however that ranges are not fixed and so are using documents produced by the “Trans-Border Grizzly Bear Project” which offer further insights into the local population. Their goal is to use scientific research to reduce human-caused mortality, enhance and re-establish inter-population connectivity, improve habitat security and educating the public. 

To date, no Grizzly bears have been sighted at Koocanusa, although we remain diligent in order to protect the animals and not to disturb their natural activities.

WATER PROTECTION

Selenium

Lake Koocanusa is a waterbody formed in 1972 when the Libby Dam was constructed in Montana, blocking the Kootenay River and forming a lake almost 150 kilometers long and straddling the Canada-USA border. 

The lake has recently come under scrutiny due to elevated levels of selenium entering along the Elk River. The selenium originates from waste rock piles around the Teck coal mines located over 100 kilometers to the east. Sampling programs in Idaho in 2019 found that certain fish species had elevated selenium in their reproductive organs, well in excess of EPA limit. 

At the mouth of the Elk River in BC, the levels started to exceed guidelines in the 1990s and today is four times the highest allowable levels set by the Province. The levels become more diluted towards Gold Creek but still hover around the acceptable limits.

BC, Montana and First Nations scientists are in agreement that the desirable level should be one part per billion, half of the current BC guideline. 

Teck recognizes the issue and has robust plans to create water treatment facilities to reduce the selenium leaving their workings and entering waterways. This is covered in their “Elk Valley Water Quality Plan”, where the construction of two water treatment facilities would treat 17.5 million liters of water a day initially, rising to 47.5 million liters a day by 2021. 

Mercury

Mercury is an element that has been noted historically in the project area, specifically in showings of the mineral cinnabar. 

Mercury is generally liberated from rocks when they are broken up. The element settles into water where bacteria change it to methylmercury which in turn is taken up by aquatic organisms. The mercury binds in the muscles of fish and so gradually accumulates, and cannot be removed by cooking or cleaning. 

Mercury is generally rare geologically, but in areas around gold mineralization can build up to significant levels. Occurrences of cinnabar were noted during prospecting in the area in the 1960’s to the 1980’s around the Frankie showing in the north-eastern part of the Koocanusa Project.

Mitigation

Recognizing these factors is the first step in a process. No work has been completed historically to understand the distribution of both selenium and mercury within the rocks of the immediate project area, or if it is entering the drainages and waterways. Gold Creek passes through the project and enters Lake Koocanusa about 11 kilometers downstream.

Current understanding is that the incidence of these elements is negligible, but Aeonian is undertaking additional geochemical studies on rocks collected from the site in 2020 to gain a better understanding of potential. Future work on site would involve the collection of water samples from drainages to test what, if anything, is actually entering the waterways through natural erosional processes. 

We will update this section as information becomes available.  

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CARBON MONITORING

As part of our commitment to learn about our impact on climate change, we are monitoring emissions based on all work at about Koocanusa, from direct field activity to desktop work. We do this by tracking fuel use, computer time and waste disposal, then apply standardized calculations to track the amount of carbon dioxide produced, which we then convert to a carbon weight. To read more about our Carbon planning, visit this page

Carbon Calculation

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Operational Carbon

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Human Carbon

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Environmental Carbon

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TOTAL CARBON

Offset Costs

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Carbon Tax Cost

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Tree Planting Scheme Costs

Notes

  • Carbon Calculation is based off carbon dioxide being 3.67 times heavier than carbon.
  • Offset costs based on 2022 Canadian Carbon Tax goals of $50 per ton carbon ($0.05c per kilogram).
  • Tree planting costs based on one tree per 100kg carbon, at $6 per tree.
  • Amounts based on work during 2021. These amounts will be updated to reflect carbon impacts on a regular basis. 

FIRST NATIONS

First Nations peoples share a common interest in the protection and conservation of the land, and therefore are an integral part of any planning or development. The Koocanusa claims lie within traditional territories or treaty lands of the Ktunaxa Nation and the Shuswap Indian Band. 

Please note that the nations listed below represent those listed by the government as having a potential interest in the area at the time of staking. We endeavor to ensure that all groups are included in our consultations. 

  • Ktunaxa Nation
  • Ktunaxa Creation Story
  • Secwépemc Nation
  • Shuswap Indian Band
The Ktunaxa Nation

The Ktunaxa (pronounced "k-too-nah-ha") people have a traditional territory covering over 70,000 square kilometers within the Kootenay region which historically included parts of Alberta, Montana, Washington and Idaho, with a history stretching back over 10,000 years. 

The Ktunaxa have lived off the land for generations, seasonally migrating through the Traditional Territory to follow vegetation and hunting cycles. All food, medicine and material for shelter and clothing has been derived from nature. 

European settlement in the late 1800's, followed by the establishment of Indian Reserves led to the creation of the current Indian Bands, with the Tobacco Plains Band closest to Koocanusa on the eastern shore of the lake.  

In 1970 the Ktunaxa Nation Council was formed to promote the political and social development of the Nation. In 1991 the Council's name was changed to Ktunaxa / Kinbasket Tribal Council (K/KTC) to reflect the origins of the two language groups (Ktunaxa and Secwepemc) in the Traditional Territory. In 2005, the Council's name was changed to the Ktunaxa Nation Council (KNC).

The goals of the KNC include the promotion and preservation of Ktunaxa traditional knowledge, language, culture, community and social development, as well as wellness, land and resource development, economic investment and self-government. 

The KNC is accountable to the Chiefs and Council of the Ktunaxa Nation. 

The Ktunaxa have a established Land and Resources Stewardship program, which includes guardians to monitor and ensure that standards of care are respected. The aim of the stewardship is to help restore, reclaim, mitigate and preserve the land and resources and Ktunaxa aboriginal rights from past and present activities. This includes: 

  1. Assessing, avoiding or mitigating, and monitoring potential impacts to lands and resources;
  2. Increasing compliance with Ktunaxa Nation values, policies and regulation; and,
  3. Soliciting input from Ktunaxa Nation Citizens on lands and resources values.

The Lands Stewardship Guardian reviews land use applications and identifies the potential impacts to Ktunaxa values on the land. The work with Ktunaxa citizens, over government and industry groups to foster an holistic approach to development which incorporates the stewardship principles. The guardian also performs a monitoring role on the land, working with developers to ensure understanding and compliance. 

The Ktunaxa Creation Story

In ancestral times referred to by the Ktunaxa as the animal world, there were references made many times by the Creator to when there will be ʔaqⱡmaknik̓ (people).

At that time, there was some disturbance caused by a huge sea monster known as Yawuʔnik̓, who killed many of the animals. A council was called by the Chief animal, Naⱡmuqȼin. Naⱡmuqȼin was huge. He was so tall that he had to crawl on is hands and knees, for if he stood up his head would hit the ceiling of the sky.

It was decided that Yawuʔnik̓ had to be destroyed. A war party was formed. Yawuʔnik̓ plied the Kootenay and Columbia River System including Columbia Lake and Arrow Lakes.

Yawuʔnik̓ was sighted in the Columbia Lake near Yaqa·n Nuʔkiy and the chase was on. At that time, the Kootenay River and the Columbia Lake were joined. As the chase proceeded, Naⱡmuqȼin gave names to many locations along the Kootenay River, Kootenay Lake, Arrow Lakes and the Columbia River.

Yawuʔnik̓ was pursued down the Kootenay River past the Wasa sloughs, now called Wasa, BC. Skinkuȼ got into trouble here when he fell into the river and had to be rescued by Wasa, (horsetail).

The chase went by where the St. Mary̓s River empties into the Kootenay River. ʔaq̓am, where the St. Mary̓s Reserve is now located, then on down river to Kank̓ak (spring) where Mayuk (weasel) joined the war party. There were animals on both sides of the river as the chase continued, and among the party was a parasite, ʔa·kukⱡakuwum, who had to be carried on the backs of other animals. His name was Ȼ̓umtus and he was mean and bossy. The other animals grew tired of his nagging and dumped him into the river at a place now known as Yaqakiⱡ wat̓mitquⱡiⱡki Ȼ̓umtus.

Leaving the land of the Eagle, ʔa·knuqⱡuⱡam̓ʔamak̓is and into the land of the woodtick, Ȼam̓na ʔAmakis, past Wasaʔki (Waldo) then on past the now 49th Parrallel and then past Kaxax (Turtle), now underwater, near Rexford, Montana. The chase went on by ʔa·kiʔyi (jennings) and on by ʔaqswaq (libby) then into Skinkuȼ ʔAmakis (the land of Coyote), past ʔaq̓anqmi (Bonners Ferry, Idaho) then northerly past the now international boundary into ʔaȼpu ʔamakis, the land of the Wolverine, past Yaqa·n Nuʔkiy (Creston, BC) then up the Kootenay Lake past ʔaq̓asqnuk, (Kuskannok, BC). The chase went on by ʔAkuqⱡi (Akokli Creek), past Ksanka Creek. The Yawuʔnik̓ chose to follow the Kootenay River past ʔaqyamⱡup (Nelson, BC). The chase was now in Miȼ̓qaqas ʔamakis (the land of Chickadee).

At Kik̓siⱡuk, (Castlegar, BC) Yawuʔnik̓ went north into the Arrow Lakes, past ʔakink̓aʔnuk (Arrow Rock) where arrows were shot into a crevice in the rock. If the arrow was true, the journey continued, if the mark was missed, beware, danger ahead. The arrow was true and the journey continued past Ȼaⱡnuʔnik̓ (Nakusp) then up past Ktunwakanmituk Miȼ̓qaqas (Revelstoke, BC) where the Columbia River flows into the Arrow Lakes, then up and around The Big Bend then down past ʔaknuqⱡuk (Golden, BC) past Yaknusuʔki (Briscoe, BC) then on past Yakyuȼki. The chase carries on through Kwataq̓nuk (Athalmere) then past Kananuk (Windermere, BC) past ʔakiskq̓nuk (Windermere Lakes), then back into the Columbia Lake, Yaqa·n Nukiy, (Canal Flats, BC). This completed the cycle of the chase.

Yawuʔnik̓ would once again escape into the Kootenay River and the chase would go on. The chase would go on and on. Every time the war party thought they had Yawuʔnik̓ cornered, Yawuʔnik̓ would escape again.

One day sitting on the riverbank observing the chase was a wise old one named Kik̓um. Kik̓um told Naⱡmuqȼin, you are wasting your time and energy chasing the monster. Why not use your size and strength and with one sweep of your arm, block the river from flowing into the lake and the next time the monster enters the lake you will have him trapped? Naⱡmuqȼin took the advice of Kik̓um and did as he was told. The next time Yawunik̓ entered the lake, he was trapped.

Having successfully corralled Yawuʔnik̓, a decision had to be made as to whom the honor of killing Yawuʔnik̓ would be bestowed upon. The honor was awarded to Yamakpaⱡ (Red-headed Woodpecker).

When Yawuʔnik̓ was killed, he was taken ashore and butchered and distributed among the animals. There remained only the innards and bones. The ribs were scattered throughout the region and now form the Hoo Doos seen throughout the area.

Naⱡlmuqȼin then took the white balloon-like organ, known as the swim bladder, and crumbled it into small pieces and scattered it in all directions saying, ̓These will be the white race of people ̓. He then took the black ingredient from the inner side of the backbone, the kidney, and broke it into small pieces and scattered them in all directions declaring, ̓These will be the black race ̓. He then took the orange roe and threw the pieces in all directions saying, ̓These will be the yellow race of people ̓.

Naⱡmuqȼin looked at his bloody hands and reached down for some grass to wipe his hands. He then let the blood fall to the ground saying, ̓This will be the red people, they will remain here forever ̓.

Naⱡmuqȼin, in all the excitement, rose to his feet and stood upright hitting his head on the ceiling of the sky. He knocked himself dead. His feet went northward and is today know as Ya·ⱡiki, in the Yellowhead Pass vicinity. His head is near Yellowstone Park in the State of Montana. His body forms the Rocky Mountains.

The people were now keepers of the land. The spirit animals ascended above and are the guiding spirits of the people.

The Secwepemc People, known by non natives as the Shuswap, are a Nation of 17 bands occupying the south central part of the Province of British Columbia, Canada. The ancestors of the Secwepemc people have lived in the interior of BC for at least 10,000 years. At the time of contact with Europeans in the late 18th century, the Secwepemc occupied a vast territory. The Nation was a political alliance that regulated use of the land and resources, and protected the territories of the Shuswap. Although the bands were separate and independent, they were united by a common language - Secwepemctsin - and a similar culture and belief system.

The Secwepemc [pronounced suh-wep-muh] territory covers a vast area; approximately 180,000 square km. The territory, traditionally, was an extensive and varied environment, although much of the territory today is destroyed by forestry, mining, mass scale tourisms, and other commercial developments.

 

QWENQWENT

The concept of Qwenqwent refers to humility and human dependency and is key to understanding all legal principles and practices of respectful relations. In the context of lands and resources, qwenqwent includes recognizing the significance and power of land, resources and non-human beings in relationship with people.

Qwenqwent- means to be pitiful, humble. Recognizing humans place amongst non-human life forms and recognizing the need to be humble and respectful to the fruits of the earth.

(from UVic SNTC Law Book 2018)

The Shuswap Indian Band (kǂitqatwumǂaʔt) is a member of the Shuswap Nation Tribal Council and also of the Ktunaxa Kinbasket Tribal Council, located in the East Kootenay Region, with their main administrative center in Invermere. They are ethnically Secwepemc peoples, although are separated by the Selkirk Mountains from other Secwpemc bands. 

DATA CENTer

Aeonian believes in transparency and therefore is happy to provide data collected from the project for general review and use. We especially encourage the use of the data for educational purposes and welcome questions about the property or ideas for projects to be completed on site. We will endeavor to update the files as soon as new information becomes available. 

DATA DOWNLOADS & LINKS

2020 Geological Observations (Excel Spreadsheet)

This spreadsheet contains all field observations made during site visits in 2020. Currently contains data for 136 field stations, including lithological, structural and mineralogical observations. Station numbers relate to chips in the 2020 sample library.

File Updated: 17th November 2020

2020 Geochemical Results  (Excel Spreadsheet)

This spreadsheet contains assay data for all samples collected on the site in 2020. There are a total of 55 samples with UTM data and measurements for 34 elements. Chips from each sample can be viewed in the 2020 sample library

File Updated: 17th November 2020

Chip Sample Library

This links to a page of high quality sample images. Each sample is a representative chip from each field station / sample that can be viewed with an in-browser magnifier for detailed study.

Page Updated: 23rd June 2021

2020 Samples: CCU001 – CCU050

2020 Samples: CCU051 – CCU102

2020 Samples: KOOSD001 – KOOSD021

2021 Samples (to date)

2020 GIS Files  (Shapefiles)

This zip file contains various shapefiles for infrastructure, environmental, geological and geochemical data. These can be processed in ArcGIS, QGIS or Google Earth.

File Updated: 17th November 2020

Early QEMSCAN  (Excel)

This file contains assay reconciliation and modal data for six samples collected on the first prospecting trip in 2020. Also includes two field scans mappings minerals and alteration within the volcanics. 

File Updated: 19th January 2021

Sheppard Formation rocks above the Nicol Creek Basalt contact. Extensive chlorite formation along fracture surfaces. Buff siltstones and maroon mudstones.

REFERENCES & ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

References

Bapty, M., 1991,  Assessment Report on Reconnaissance Prospecting, Lilo Group, LL1 – LL12: BC Geological Branch Assessment Report 21726

Klewchuk, P., 1991, Assessment Report on Soil Geochemistry, Geological Mapping and October 1990 Airborne Geophysical Survey, Gold Creek Property: BC Geological Branch Assessment Report 21294

Gardner, D. W., 2008, Sedimentology, Stratigraphy, and Provenance of the Upper Purcell Supergroup, southeastern British Columbia, Canada: Implications for Syn-depositional Tectonism, Basin Models, and Paleogeographic Reconstructions: University of Victoria MSc Thesis

Hartlaub, R. P., Davis, W. J., Dunn, C. E.,  2011, The Characteristics, origin and exploration potential for sediment-hosted Cu+/-Ag mineralization in the Purcell Supergroup, Canada: Geoscience BC Report 2011-16

Hoy, T., 1993, Geology of the Purcell Supergroup in the Fernie West-half Map Area, Southeastern British Columbia: Ministry of Energy, Mines and Resources, Mineral Resources Division, Geological Survey Branch, Bulletin 84

Kennedy, C., 2006, Assessment Report Prospecting Program, Mad Hat, Fort Steele Mining Division: BC Geological Branch Assessment Report 28482

Klewchuk, P., 1989, South Kootenay Goldfields Assessment Report on Diamond Drilling Gill and Flathead Mineral Claims: BC Geological Branch Assessment Report 18748

Klewchuk, P., 1991, Assessment Report on Soil Geochemistry, Geological Mapping and October 1990 Airborne Geophysical Survey, Gold Creek Property: BC Geological Branch Assessment Report 21294

McDonald, L., 2009, Survey of Selenium in Water, Zooplankton and Fish in Lake Koocanusa, British Columbia, 2008: Elk Valley Selenium Task Force

Napolean, V., 2018, Secwépemc Lands and Resources Law Research Project Shushwap Nation Tribal Council & Indigenous Law Research Unit Team, University of Victoria

Proctor, M., Servheen, C., Kasworm, W., Radandt, T., 2008, Habitat security for grizzly bears in the Yahk Grizzly Bear Population Unit of the south Purcell Mountains of southeast British Columbia: The Trans-Border Grizzly Bear Project March 2008 Report

Raffle, K. J., 2018,  Assessment Report for the Robocop Property, Southeastern British Columbia: BC Geological Branch Assessment Report 37745

Ryley, J., Klewchuk, P., Bapty, M., 1990, Property Development Report, Gold Creek for South Kooteney Goldfields Inc.: BC Geological Branch Assessment Report 19965

Acknowlegdements

Precision Petrographics, Langley, BC.Thin sections for mineralogy studies

SGS Labs, Burnaby, BC. QEMSCAN, mineralogy studies and assaying

SGDS Hive – Geological consulting services, claims acquisition

Below BC – Specimen photography, regional collections and data

Ktunaxa First Nation – ecological, land use and history information