Marmot Trap Triggers in the Royal B.C. Museum Ethnology Collection

May 28, 2019. By Grant Keddie. Introduction Marmots were hunted in many parts of British Columbia for their furs and their fat content. Both Coastal and Interior peoples went into the mountains every fall to hunt them. Some First Nations continue to hunt marmots. See Appendix 1, First Peoples and Marmots of British Columbia, for a detailed overview of the role of marmots in Indigenous societies. Deadfall traps and snares of various sizes were used for catching most species of mammals as well as birds. There are several types and sizes of artifacts in this general category of trap devices that were used by the Tlingit and their inland relatives for trapping mainly marmots and ground squirrels. Small deadfall trap … Continue reading “Marmot Trap Triggers in the Royal B.C. Museum Ethnology Collection”

Indigenous Peoples and Potato Cultivation

February 3, 2023. By Grant Keddie Introduction During the early period of European exploration and settlement, on what became the Colony of Vancouver Island, outsiders often spoke of the great skills of indigenous people in acquiring specific foods. However, the planning that went into Indigenous resource management practices was not recognized. Activities such as the organizing and placing of tied fir branches in inlets to collect herring eggs were not recognized as a form of aquaculture – which today they would be. Just as today we use the term oyster farms, would we not have to call the latter practice herring egg farming? The bias of Europeans as to what they considered forms of farming was clearly toward land-based agriculture. … Continue reading “Indigenous Peoples and Potato Cultivation”

The Early Introduction of Iron Among the First Nations of British Columbia

2006. By Grant Keddie This article documents both the historical and archaeological evidence for the movement of European manufactured iron goods across Canada from the 16th to 18th centuries and overviews the late 18th century accounts of Iron observed in the possession of First Nations in British Columbia. Introduction It is a commonly held belief that iron was not used by aboriginal peoples of British Columbia before the arrival of Europeans in the late 18th century. The evidence indicates that this is not the case. The following is an overview of the evidence for the movement of iron from various directions toward British Columbia in the period before European contact and during the very early contact period. After 1799 the … Continue reading “The Early Introduction of Iron Among the First Nations of British Columbia”