Food Plants of Coastal First Peoples

UBC PressSKU: 0774805331

Nancy J. Turner
Grade Levels:
Ten, Eleven, Twelve, Adult Education, College, University
Pacific NW
Book Type:
UBC Press

Sale price$26.95


Food Plants of Coastal First Peoples is an easy-to-use handbook published by the Royal British Columbia Museum. Originally issued in 1975 this handbook will appeal to the general public user interested in knowing more about the edible wild plants of coastal British Columbia used by the First Nations. First Nations along the coastal region includes: the Haida, Coast Salish, Nuu-chah-nulth, Kwakwaka'wakw, Nuxalk, Heiltsuk, and Tsimshian. The author is an ethnobotonist teaching at the University of Victoria. Her original research combined personal interviews with First Nations Elders with consulting earlier anthropological references. The handbook provides botanical information and usage for more than 100 food plants that live along the British Columbia coastal region. Each entry contains either a colour or black and white photograph of the plant, other names the plant is called, the plant's habitat, the plant's distribution in British Columbia, and Aboriginal use of the plant. The food plants are organized into categories that include: seaweeds, ferns and their relatives, conifers, and flowering plants. Introductory sections discuss the geography of the region, First Nations, harvesting and preparation of food plants, plants used throughout the seasons, food etiquette, and trading of food plants. One appendix provides a brief list of non-native food plants used by First Nations that such foods as potatoes, turnips, onions, and rice. The second appendix provides important information about poisonous plants. This section includes a colour photo and a detailed description of each plant. The book includes a glossary, index, and bibliographies. Unfortunately the book does not include the names of the plants in Native languages and does not provide information about the spiritual connection to food. Despite this minor oversight, the book is a valuable field guide to the many food plants of the Northwest Coast.

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