In the shadow of the St. Joachim Church in Pointe-Claire, archaeologists are unearthing the history of one of Canada's earliest settlements.

Archaeologists have dug up old coins, pencils, pipes and even human remains in 18 dig sites over the past three weeks.

The Mohawk (Kanien’kehá:ka) territory of Skaniatara:ti, now called Pointe-Claire, was colonized by French settlers in 1698. The Saint Joachim Parish was established at that time and is the foundation of the early buildings archaeologists are finding, while the city makes road construction plans.

"The Pointe is a historical site," said Pointe-Claire Mayor John Belvedere. "It's been here for over 300 years. We want to redo the infrastructure. We want to redo the streets down here, and in order to redo the streets, we have to do an archaeology dig in order to try to trace back the history the best we can."

The archaeological finds, though exciting, make construction move slowly with crews needing to stop whenever anything is discovered.

"They're not going to be able to save it all, they're not going to be able to remove it all, but the important thing is if we can map it out and record it, then that once again will be recorded in the history of Pointe-Claire," said Belvedere.

All finds will be sent away for analysis and eventually put on display for Pointe-Claire residents to discover for themselves.