I'm having a difficult time seeing this as a part of a tool handle based on how intricate the work is. I had it suggested that it could be a part of a "Medicine Stick", or ceremonial object of some sort. The inside has been carved out so clearly something went into it or through it and i was wondering if that something could have been decorative as well like tassels.Hot dang, I would love to come search this location with you... Very interesting find indeed, and very well could be a First Nations artifact. Have you had any luck in identifying the base material?
I'm entertaining the ideas of the gents above of the tool handle theory, I'm having a hard time with what type of tool this would be a handle for, looking at the pic's.
Really trying to imagine what the other half of this handle would look like...would it be the female half of what we're looking at now? And if so, the two handles would mesh together to be lashed together, how would there be any way for a tool to be held between with that ridge that runs from stem to stern? I'm imagining a tang type tool, but what would the tang look like? I don't know, I'd like to see the piece up close. What are your thoughts?