Presentation Abstract

Tsleil-Waututh are ‘the People of the Inlet’ and have occupied and used the lands and waterways surrounding Burrard Inlet since time out of mind. Approximately 90% of the Tsleil-Waututh diet was derived from marine resources of Burrard Inlet. Bivalve shellfish were a major component, and consistent staple, of that diet. This is supported by the richness of archaeological evidence throughout Burrard Inlet, including village sites, midden sites, processing sites, and at least one identified clam garden site. Due to contamination and sanitation concerns, the federal government closed Burrard Inlet to bivalve shellfish harvesting in 1972. The loss of a safe bivalve harvest resulted in social, economic, cultural, and ecological damages for Tsleil-Waututh. In October 2016, after working with various federal departments for over ten years, Tsleil-Waututh Nation (TWN) conducted its first sanctioned harvest since the shellfish closure. Burrard Inlet has not been opened for general bivalve harvesting. TWN is working under a tightly managed and monitored Food, Social, Ceremonial harvest plan specific to one site. However, it is a significant milestone and the Nation strives to expand harvesting opportunities. TWN is pursuing several different avenues to restore clam beds in Burrard Inlet. At some sites, TWN strives to restore clam beds for the purpose of consumption, while other sites are considered valuable for the ecosystem services provided by bivalves. TWN seeks to present an overview of: the steps taken to achieve an upgraded classification for the harvest site; the impacts of the bivalve closure on Tsleil-Waututh and the Burrard Inlet ecosystem; related aspects of the TWN Burrard Inlet Action Plan and future restoration priorities; and research conducted on restoring clam beds under increasingly acidic conditions in Burrard Inlet.

Session Title

Restoring Shellfish Harvesting Beaches in the Transboundary Salish Sea

Keywords

Tsleil-Waututh Nation, Shellfish restoration, Burrard Inlet

Conference Track

SSE1: Habitat Restoration and Protection

Conference Name

Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference (Seattle, WA : 2018)

Document Type

Event

SSEC Identifier

SSE1-105

Start Date

5-4-2018 10:00 AM

End Date

5-4-2018 10:15 AM

Type of Presentation

Oral

Contributing Repository

Digital content made available by University Archives, Heritage Resources, Western Libraries, Western Washington University.

Geographic Coverage

Salish Sea (B.C. and Wash.)

Rights

This resource is displayed for educational purposes only and may be subject to U.S. and international copyright laws. For more information about rights or obtaining copies of this resource, please contact University Archives, Heritage Resources, Western Libraries, Western Washington University, Bellingham, WA 98225-9103, USA (360-650-7534; heritage.resources@wwu.edu) and refer to the collection name and identifier. Any materials cited must be attributed to the Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference Records, University Archives, Heritage Resources, Western Libraries, Western Washington University.

Type

text

Language

English

Format

application/pdf

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Apr 5th, 10:00 AM Apr 5th, 10:15 AM

Tsleil-Waututh Nation: restoring shellfish harvest opportunities in Burrard Inlet, Canada

Tsleil-Waututh are ‘the People of the Inlet’ and have occupied and used the lands and waterways surrounding Burrard Inlet since time out of mind. Approximately 90% of the Tsleil-Waututh diet was derived from marine resources of Burrard Inlet. Bivalve shellfish were a major component, and consistent staple, of that diet. This is supported by the richness of archaeological evidence throughout Burrard Inlet, including village sites, midden sites, processing sites, and at least one identified clam garden site. Due to contamination and sanitation concerns, the federal government closed Burrard Inlet to bivalve shellfish harvesting in 1972. The loss of a safe bivalve harvest resulted in social, economic, cultural, and ecological damages for Tsleil-Waututh. In October 2016, after working with various federal departments for over ten years, Tsleil-Waututh Nation (TWN) conducted its first sanctioned harvest since the shellfish closure. Burrard Inlet has not been opened for general bivalve harvesting. TWN is working under a tightly managed and monitored Food, Social, Ceremonial harvest plan specific to one site. However, it is a significant milestone and the Nation strives to expand harvesting opportunities. TWN is pursuing several different avenues to restore clam beds in Burrard Inlet. At some sites, TWN strives to restore clam beds for the purpose of consumption, while other sites are considered valuable for the ecosystem services provided by bivalves. TWN seeks to present an overview of: the steps taken to achieve an upgraded classification for the harvest site; the impacts of the bivalve closure on Tsleil-Waututh and the Burrard Inlet ecosystem; related aspects of the TWN Burrard Inlet Action Plan and future restoration priorities; and research conducted on restoring clam beds under increasingly acidic conditions in Burrard Inlet.