Relatives of the Deep: The Ethnoecology of a Lekwungen Archipelago in the Salish Sea

Archived video recording of this talk.

Tl’ches is an island group in the Salish Sea near present-day Victoria. As Songhees Nation reserve land, it is an archetypal Cultural Keystone Place inhabited by Lekwungen-speaking families for generations. This talk highlights ongoing community-based archaeological and historical ecology research regarding this archipelago as an ecosystem shaped by millennia of indigenous resource management and subsistence practices. Important resource sites such as blue camas prairies, tidal marsh root beds, culturally managed trees, and clam beds are currently being investigated, as are substantial historic and archaeological village sites. Tl’ches offers a complex and robust human and environmental record—it is a legacy of millennia of sustainable Indigenous inhabitation and management.

About the Speaker

Darcy Mathews, Speaker
Darcy Mathews
Assistant Professor, University of Victoria

Dr. Darcy Mathews is an ethnoecologist and archaeologist, who works in collaboration with First Nations communities to understand the deep history of social and ecological relationships between past peoples and their environments. His research is multi-disciplinary and collaborative, including partnerships with indigenous experts in traditional knowledge, other archaeologists, ecologists, geographers, ethnobotanists, and other specialists. It is through these and other methodological and theoretical approaches that he approaches how people, plants, animals, and places have interacted with one another in myriad ways through time.

Environmental Speaker Series

The Environmental Speaker Series is hosted by the College of the Environment at Western Washington University.

The Series is free and open to the public. Talks are held each Thursday at 4:30 pm in Academic Instructional Center West room 204 - AW-204. Talks will also be streamed via zoom. Register with the Alumni Association for the zoom link. Paid parking is available in lot C.

Learn more about the Environmental Speaker Series
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