Proposed Abstract Title

Clam gardens: Stories about eco-cultural revival in the Salish Sea

Type of Presentation

Oral

Session Title

Strengthening Connections to Place in Changing Times: Clam Garden Knowledge, Research, and Stories

Location

2016SSEC

Description

For the first time in centuries, clam gardens in the Salish Sea are buzzing with life once again. Elders and youth, knowledge holders and scientists, are coming together to restore clam gardens, and along with them, revive language, connections to place, and the ecosystem. Together we are learning about this eco-cultural worldview and how it supports resilient interaction with the natural world.

These stories will center on the exploration of the ecological and societal role of clam gardens through collaboration with Indigenous communities in the Salish Sea. Through the lens of eco-cultural sustainability, biophysical and human dimensions of clam gardens will be examined, emphasizing the reciprocal feedbacks that exist between people and place, and the role that clam gardens play in challenging outdated and simplistic views of Northwest Indigenous societies. Clam gardens will be used as an example of a shifted baseline; specifically, how nearshore management was previously both more active and transboundary compared to the modern context where a border creates highly asymmetrical governance.

Specific examples will be drawn from a six-year joint project between Parks Canada and WSANEC and Hul’q’umi’num Nations to restore and manage beaches. This project experimentally restores clam gardens and revitalizes First Nations' cultural practices in the Gulf Islands National Park Reserve. These clam gardens are becoming a nexus of rediscovery and learning and are bringing together people of all ages, from different Nations, professions and disciplines.

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Clam gardens: Stories about eco-cultural revival in the Salish Sea

2016SSEC

For the first time in centuries, clam gardens in the Salish Sea are buzzing with life once again. Elders and youth, knowledge holders and scientists, are coming together to restore clam gardens, and along with them, revive language, connections to place, and the ecosystem. Together we are learning about this eco-cultural worldview and how it supports resilient interaction with the natural world.

These stories will center on the exploration of the ecological and societal role of clam gardens through collaboration with Indigenous communities in the Salish Sea. Through the lens of eco-cultural sustainability, biophysical and human dimensions of clam gardens will be examined, emphasizing the reciprocal feedbacks that exist between people and place, and the role that clam gardens play in challenging outdated and simplistic views of Northwest Indigenous societies. Clam gardens will be used as an example of a shifted baseline; specifically, how nearshore management was previously both more active and transboundary compared to the modern context where a border creates highly asymmetrical governance.

Specific examples will be drawn from a six-year joint project between Parks Canada and WSANEC and Hul’q’umi’num Nations to restore and manage beaches. This project experimentally restores clam gardens and revitalizes First Nations' cultural practices in the Gulf Islands National Park Reserve. These clam gardens are becoming a nexus of rediscovery and learning and are bringing together people of all ages, from different Nations, professions and disciplines.