RCMP hunt for owner of native artifacts

It’s not the kind of thing you usually find in the lost and found. A woman has turned in what appear to be First Nations artifacts to RCMP in the community of Okotoks.

OKOTOKS — It’s not the kind of thing you usually find in the lost and found.

A woman has turned in what appear to be First Nations artifacts to RCMP in the community of Okotoks.

Cpl. Leanne Beattie said the war lance and spear were found in the garbage behind a local business.

“She thought, because of the nature of them, that somebody’s missing these and probably the person that put them there wasn’t the rightful owner,” Beattie said.

“We’ve made some attempts to find the owner. We’ve been unsuccessful. One of the items has a tag on it which makes us believe it’s sort of a collection or artifact.”

Beattie said, although the pieces don’t appear to be old, they are “quite elaborate” and are decorated with leather and beadwork.

“One is labelled as a war lance and the other once didn’t have an identifier on it but it’s a similar object but it’s got a spear on the end of it,” she said.

“This is a guess on my part, but I think they are possibly ceremonial. They’re in quite good condition and there’s quite extensive handiwork on them.”

Police are not releasing photos of the items because they want the owners to be able to describe them and provide proof of ownership before turning them over.

Okotoks, a community of about 22,000, only has a small community museum and RCMP know of no local expert who can give them more information about the items.

“We’re still looking into some options but so far we’ve come up unsuccessful.”

Officials at the Glenbow Museum in Calgary, which has an extensive collection of native artifacts, were unavailable for comment Friday.