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Date of Award
Department or Program Affiliation
Department of Anthropology
Master of Arts (MA)
Koetje, Todd A.
Ek, Jerald D.
Young, Kathleen Z.
This study braids qualitative and quantitative views of CMT studies to explore meanings and relationships with Culturally Modified Trees (CMT) with a concern for the ethnographic perspective currently absent in dominant structures. This research showcases community value when combining different CMT ontologies (Stillaguamish and Western Academic Definitions). Ethnohistorical methods and grounded theory help organize semi-structured interviews at five previously recorded archaeological CMT sites. There is a lack of feedback concerning Indigenous philosophy about classifying eco-facts or vivio-facts, specifically CMT. This study comprises an interdisciplinary team within the Stillaguamish Cultural Resources Department to reassess five previously documented cedar use sites in the Stillaguamish River Watershed in Washington State. Culturally Modified Trees are part of a larger picture layered underneath artificial landscapes and boundaries created by Western thinking. In this space of acknowledgment, we can engage the perspective of Indigenous land stewards who are the keepers of this intellect. Culturally Modified Trees are a rich topic that does not align neatly with Western archaeological training or “black box” thinking. This paper calls for a methodological change and seeks first-hand guidance from Indigenous knowledge keepers about the domains in which CMT ontology reflects coordinated care in and around traditionally managed landscapes.
Memory, Acknowledgement, Community-Involvement, Archaeology, Transparency, Culturally Modified Trees
Western Washington University
Subject – LCSH
Trees--Symbolic aspects--Washington (State)--Stillaguamish River Watershed; Archaeology--Washington (State)--Stillaguamish River Watershed; Stillaguamish Indians; Ethnoscience--Washington (State)--Stillaguamish River Watershed
Stillaguamish River Watershed (Wash.)
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Maloy, Kelsey, "Culturally Modified Trees in Western Washington: Impact and Perspective from the Stillaguamish Cultural Resources Department" (2023). WWU Graduate School Collection. 1222.