Clam Gardens - Early Mariculture in BC

05/29/2008 7:30 pm
05/29/2008 9:00 pm


SPEAKER: Dr. John Harper "Clam Gardens - Early Mariculture in BC"
7:30PM, Thursday, May 29th, 2008
Early History Gallery (upstairs), Vancouver Museum
1100 Chestnut Street, Vancouver, B.C.

In the early mid 1990s, coastal habitat surveys of the British Columbia coast, specifically the Broughton Archipelago, revealed hundreds of stone-wall features in the lower intertidal zone. The origin of these shore-parallel features could not be explained by natural processes, and archaeological literature was no help in identifying the features. John Harper's talk chronicles the search for these features' origin, the eventual identification or their origins – clam gardens – and collaboration with Kwakwaka'wakw elders, who worked on the clam gardens and who knew the Kwakwala names and songs about clam gardens. This talk provides a first-hand account of the storyline of the National Geographic movie: Ancient Sea Gardens, Mystery of the Pacific Northwest. Clam gardens have now been identified from Sitka, Alaska to Saanich Inlet in BC.

Dr. John Harper (Ph.D.) is President of Coast and Ocean Resources Inc., Sidney, and adjunct professor in the School of Earth and Ocean Sciences, University of Victoria. His coastal mapping and collaborative research with First Nations has helped lead to the recent fascinating rediscovery of the ancient clam gardens of the Pacific Northwest Coast.