Historical Ecology of Laxgalts’ap – Remembering Indigenous Knowledge in a Gitga’at Cultural Keystone Place

Date and Time: 
Friday, 12 May, 2017 - 08:30
, Spencer - Gitga'at First Nation
, Dana - Simon Fraser University
, Bryn - University of British Columbia
, Nancy - University of Victoria

Historical Ecology is ideally situated to blend the past with the present by integrating knowledge and worldviews from diverse academic and non-academic communities.  Blending this approach with Indigenous knowledge plays an increasingly vital role in academic scholarship, Canadian law and policy, and the environmental awareness. We describe how our research team, composed of ecologists, archaeologists, ethnoecologists, and ethnographers, is documenting people’s long-term knowledge of and interactions   with Laxgalts’ap – a cultural keystone place of Gitga’at First Nation, in Northern British Columbia. Through interviews in Sm’algyax and English, archaeological survey and excavation, we document how Gitga’at identity is embedded in the landscape.  The results of the project will eventually be presented in a multi-layered web site that represents the many dimensions Gitga’at’s place-based identity. Through this project, we reflect on the process of strengthening rights, title, resource management, and language revitalization by incorporating Gitga’at knowledge and methodologies into historical ecological research.