Cultural keystone places and landscapes as Pathways to Reconciliation on Southern Vancouver Island, BC, Canada.

Date and Time: 
Thursday, 17 March, 2016 - 11:15
, Pamela - University of Victoria

What do metaphors such as "cultural keystone places" and "cultural landscapes" have to contribute to the resolution of Aboriginal rights and title?  Since the earliest contact between European settlers and First Nations peoples in British Columbia (BC), there has been no common agreement on land ownership and associated resource use. With the recent recommendations of the report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and several Aboriginal rights legal precedents, there is a renewed urgency to resolve these longstanding disputes equitably. This paper argues that we need to find new ways to acknowledge and incorporate traditional plant knowledge meaningfully in planning and management. In collaboration with the T’Sou-ke First Nation on southern Vancouver Island, I will suggest how ethnobotanical research can be used to better articulate cultural keystone places and cultural landscapes and how this research, in turn, can make a substantial contribution to the larger discourse around Indigenous Peoples’ rights and title.