Heiltsuk stone fish traps: Products of my ancestors' labour

Authors: White (Xanius), Elroy

Issue Date: 2006

Abstract: This thesis presents the results of systematic research on Heiltsuk stone fish traps, which are poorly understood in academia. My research objective is unique in that I de-emphasize empirical data such as length, width, and height in favour of the view that these stone fish trap are products of my ancestors’ labour. My main goal was to work with the Heiltsuk political and cultural entities and 12 Heiltsuk oral historians to employ an Internalist archaeology investigation of a selective fishery system that began in antiquity. I linked oral history to ethnographic narratives about this ancient fishing technology. Using a novel method of videography, I captured 42 trap sites on video in order to become familiar with their locations, variations and their correlations of salmon to streams and rivers where a stone fish trap is found. I returned in August 2005 to map nine of them, especially the ones familiar to Heiltsuk oral historians.

Keywords: Heiltsuk Nation; Internalist archaeology; oral history; traditional fishing technology; videography

Description: Thesis (M.A.) - Department of Archaeology - Simon Fraser University