Ethnoecological Restoration of lhásem (Fritillaria camschatcensis), an Iconic Plant Food in the Squamish River Estuary, British Columbia

Date and Time: 
Friday, 13 April, 2012 - 17:20 to 17:40
JOSEPH, Leigh -University of Victoria

In recent years there has been a growing interest in the revitalization of traditional knowledge, use and practices pertaining to traditional plant foods by many First Nations in British Columbia. Tidal estuaries are highly productive ecosystems, historically used by coastal First Nations to cultivate plant foods in intensively managed estuary root gardens. Many Indigenous peoples have transitioned rapidly from their traditional diets to ones high in sugar and processed foods. This dietary shift has been accompanied by a decline in the knowledge of tending, harvesting and preparing many traditional plant foods along with an increase in dietary related health concerns. My research focuses on  ethnoecological restoration of a traditional root vegetable, northern riceroot (Fritillaria camschatcensis), Squamish, British Columbia. Lhásemis the Skwxwú7mesh name for northern riceroot. The bulb of this estuarine plant was once common in the Squamish estuary and was a culturally significant plant food for the Squamish People.