What is NOGAP?

The Northern Oil and Gas Action Plan (NOGAP)

The Northern Oil and Gas Action Plan (NOGAP) was to increase the capability of government to assume its responsibilities vis--vis the environment in the event of large-scale developments of oil and gas resources in the Canadian Beaufort Sea region. This goal followed a flurry of impact assessment activity in the early 1970's and the Berger Inquiry (1976). In the early 1980's the Beaufort Sea Environmental Assessment Panel recommended that the Canadian federal government fund a long-term project to acquire the environmental information it needed to make informed decisions.

The NOGAP Archaeology Project

NOGAP Research Sub-Areas:

1-Yukon Coastal Plain and Herschel Island
2-Mackenzie Delta
3-Tuktoyaktuk Peninsula and Eskimo Lakes
4-Horton River/Cape Bathurst Peninsula
5-Southwest Anderson Plain
6-Lancaster Sound/South Devon Island

The NOGAP Archaeology Project was developed in a coordinated fashion with the participation of all concerned and pertinent federal and territorial government agencies. This brought together representatives of the Yukon Heritage Branch, the Prince of Wales Northern Heritage Centre (Yellowknife, N.W.T.), and the Archaeological Survey of Canada (Canadian Museum of Civilization). At the Canadian Museum of Civilization a strong emphasis was placed on broad-scale site inventories during the first four years of the NOGAP Archaeology Project (1985-1988). This work was carried out in all three major areas which could eventually be involved in oil and gas exploration and transportation: the Beaufort Sea (Areas 1-4), the Mackenzie Valley (Area 5) and Lancaster Sound (Area 6). In the second half of the project (1990-1994), the work shifted to the testing and excavation of particular sites, and the analysis and publication of these results.

For its part, the Yukon Heritage Branch conducted a detailed study of the heritage resources on Herschel Island and, in collaboration with the ASC-CMC, an overall survey of the historical heritage resources of the Yukon Coastal Plain. The Prince of Wales Northern Heritage Centre focussed its attention on an accelerated study of Mackenzie Inuit prehistory as found along the eastern edge of the Mackenzie Delta. It also undertook, in the context of a series of field-school programmes, the training of northerners in the techniques of archaeological surveys and excavations.

A hallmark of our strategy was to deal with generic, i.e. regional, archaeological problems rather than addressing issues related to site-specific project proposals such as found, for example, in actual pipeline or highway construction. In this manner, the results are broadly applicable and provide a crucible into which development-specific data can be integrated.The intrinsic value of archaeological resources can only become a useable reality through interpretation, integration into a larger body of historical knowledge, and dissemination to both specialized and generalized audiences.