First Nations communities have surrounded the Strait of Georgia for thousands of years.
Aboriginal peoples have a unique knowledge about our local environment, built and accumulated by the experience of many generations of living in close contact with nature. The value and importance of their traditional knowledge is increasingly being recognized.
We are interested in gathering traditional and historical ecological and environmental knowledge, and hope that providing a means of documenting such information would also encourage future research collaboration, incorporation of this knowledge into ecological and environmental research, management planning and implementation.
First Nations Ecological Knowledge
We are currently approaching First Nations around the Strait of Georgia. Our project aims to document the valuable information that many First Nations Elders hold about the Strait of Georgia ecosystems, including changes that they have seen in species composition and abundance, run timing, climate change, predator-prey relationships and habitat. Our project uses videography to document any First Nation peoples that are interested in sharing this valuable information with us. We are also interested in documenting the traditional fisheries that were practiced by First Nations since time immemorial, such as the reef net fisheries, weir fisheries and other sophisticated methods that allowed First Nations to fish in a sustainable manner, and to carefully monitor the status of local salmon populations.
The following maps on the B.C. government site show the First Nations around the Strait of Georgia: those on the Vancouver Island side, and those on the Mainland side.
Coast Salish Gathering
B.C. Treaty Commission
Ministry of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation
Government of British Columbia – First Nation Communities interactive map
Government of Canada- Considering Aboriginal Traditional Knowledge in Environmental Assessments
Assembly of First Nations Ethics Guide on Research and Aboriginal Traditional Knowledge
First Peoples’ Map of B.C.
Native Land Digital interactive map
British Columbia Assembly of First Nations