SoJs summarize all historical resources data pertaining to specific project lands and adhere to a format specified by the HRMB. Information to be included may pertain to archaeological sites, palaeontological resources, Historic structures, Aboriginal traditional use sites, or any combination of these. SoJs make recommendations or “justifications” as to the historical resources potential of Project lands. All known historic sites within or adjacent to the proposed development will be plotted via GIS on suitably scaled background maps or overhead imagery and will be superimposed over project maps showing the Project footprint. This geographical information, coupled with additional data regarding site significance, sensitivity, and complexity, and an assessment of the degree of previous HRIA investigations will be summarized in the SoJ and enable us to evaluate where field historical resources assessments are recommended and/or may be required by the HRMB, if any. SoJs are submitted in conjunction with an HR Application.

In an effort to reduce paperwork, the HRMB has requested that consultants restrict the use of SoJs only to the largest and most complicated projects or when “new” information can be provided therein. However, many of our clients continue to request SoJs because of the many potential benefits of preparing this type of overview, such as:

valuable contribution to early constraints and scouting exercises
valuable contribution to risk analyses
provide insight to project managers or stakeholders as to why HRIA work is needed, rather than relying on recommendations or requirements with no supporting documentation
justify both scope and costs of such work to project managers and their superiors
allows us to recommend a more targeted, efficient HRIA rather than simply having the HRMB issue a blanket HRIA covering an entire project area
can provide justification for no HRIA requirement where in a professional’s opinion it is not needed, but otherwise might get flagged for an HRIA