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History Native American

Plant Technology of the First Peoples of British Columbia

by (author) Nancy J. Turner

Royal BC Museum
Initial publish date
Sep 1998
Native American, General
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Sep 1998
    List Price

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In her third ethnobotany handbook, Nancy Turner focuses on the plants that provided heat, shelter, transportation, clothing, tools, nets, ropes, containers—all the necessities of life for First Peoples. She describes more than 100 of these plants, their various uses and their importance in the material cultures of First Nations in British Columbia and adjacent lands in Washington, Alberta, Alaska and Montana. She also shows how First Peoples have used plant materials to make decorations, scents, cleaning agents, insect repellents, toys and many other items.

About the author

Nancy J. Turner is an ethnobotanist, and Distinguished Professor Emerita, School of Environmental Studies, University of Victoria, Canada. She has worked with First Nations elders and cultural specialists in northwestern North America for over 50 years, helping to document, retain and promote their traditional knowledge of plants and environments, including Indigenous foods, materials and traditional medicines. Her two-volume book, Ancient Pathways, Ancestral Knowledge (July, 2014; McGill-Queen’s University Press), integrates her long term research. She has authored or co-authored/co-edited 30 other books, including: Plants of Haida Gwaii; The Earth’s Blanket; Keeping It Living (with Doug Deur); Saanich Ethnobotany (with Richard Hebda), and Food Plants of Coastal First Peoples, and over 150 book chapters and papers. Her latest edited book is Plants, People and Places: the Roles of Ethnobotany and Ethnoecology in Indigenous Peoples’ Land Rights in Canada and Beyond (2020). She has received a number of awards for her work, including membership in Order of British Columbia (1999) and the Order of Canada (2009), honorary degrees from University of British Columbia, University of Northern British Columbia and Vancouver Island and Simon Fraser Universities.

Nancy J. Turner's profile page

Editorial Reviews

"This excellent field guide to many plants native to British Columbia emphasizes the traditional technological uses of plant materials by the First Peoples of the region...This well-organized, clearly written book contains a wealth of fascination information for both the ethnobotanist and the interested layperson."—Nikki Tate-Stratton, Canadian Book Review Annual

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