Event Title

Coastal root garden cultivation on the Coast Salish: The case of Tl’chés, Songhees First Nation territory.

Streaming Media

Presentation Abstract

Coastal root gardens are areas of coastal marshland from which First Nations people on the Northwest Coast of North America traditionally cultivated gardens of Pacific silverweed and springbank clover. These plants, and the productive ecosystems they inhabit, were carefully managed through a variety of methods such as weeding, transplanting, and tending to the soil. Though these garden sites have been the subject of limited study on the central and northern coast of British Columbia, they remain under-represented in our understanding of traditional Coast Salish eco-cultural management practices. Furthermore, there has been no systematic study of the ecological and archaeological attributes that might differentiate a cultivated and managed area from unmanaged sites. Bridging this gap, we have identified a possible root garden on the archipelago of Tl’chés, off the southern tip of Vancouver Island. In partnership with the Songhees First Nation­, we combine archaeological, ecological and soil research to better understand this garden and its position within the larger Tl’ches biocultural landscape. The study of this site will expand understandings of Coast Salish cultivation practices and increase our ability to identify these fragile coastal sites in the absence of community or traditional knowledge, thereby promoting their re-integration within contemporary Indigenous restoration and management practices. Furthermore, by identifying archaeological and ecologically detectable attributes of coastal root gardens, we can further advocate for their protection under existing heritage legislation.

Session Title

First Nations and Tribal Nearshore Resource Management for Cultural Ecosystems, Part 2: a focus on diverse nearshore species and communities

Conference Track

Shellfish

Conference Name

Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference (2020 : Online)

Document Type

Event

SSEC Identifier

2020_abstractID_2324

Start Date

21-4-2020 9:00 AM

End Date

22-4-2020 4:45 PM

Genre/Form

conference proceedings; presentations (communicative events)

Subjects – Topical (LCSH)

Indians of North America--Ethnobotany--Northwest Coast of North America; Coastal ecology--Northwest Coast of North America

Geographic Coverage

Salish Sea (B.C. and Wash.); Northwest Coast of North America; Songhees First Nation

Rights

Copying of this document in whole or in part is allowable only for scholarly purposes. It is understood, however, that any copying or publication of this document for commercial purposes, or for financial gain, shall not be allowed without the author's written permission.

Type

Text

Language

English

Format

application/pdf

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Apr 21st, 9:00 AM Apr 22nd, 4:45 PM

Coastal root garden cultivation on the Coast Salish: The case of Tl’chés, Songhees First Nation territory.

Coastal root gardens are areas of coastal marshland from which First Nations people on the Northwest Coast of North America traditionally cultivated gardens of Pacific silverweed and springbank clover. These plants, and the productive ecosystems they inhabit, were carefully managed through a variety of methods such as weeding, transplanting, and tending to the soil. Though these garden sites have been the subject of limited study on the central and northern coast of British Columbia, they remain under-represented in our understanding of traditional Coast Salish eco-cultural management practices. Furthermore, there has been no systematic study of the ecological and archaeological attributes that might differentiate a cultivated and managed area from unmanaged sites. Bridging this gap, we have identified a possible root garden on the archipelago of Tl’chés, off the southern tip of Vancouver Island. In partnership with the Songhees First Nation­, we combine archaeological, ecological and soil research to better understand this garden and its position within the larger Tl’ches biocultural landscape. The study of this site will expand understandings of Coast Salish cultivation practices and increase our ability to identify these fragile coastal sites in the absence of community or traditional knowledge, thereby promoting their re-integration within contemporary Indigenous restoration and management practices. Furthermore, by identifying archaeological and ecologically detectable attributes of coastal root gardens, we can further advocate for their protection under existing heritage legislation.