Relatives of the Deep: The Ethnoecology of a Lekwungen Archipelago in the Salish Sea

Darcy Mathews

Assistant Professor, University of Victoria

Start Time & Date

Start Time & Date

Archived video recording of this talk.

Tl’ches is an island group in the Salish Sea near present-day Victoria. As Songhees Nation reserve land, it is an archetypal Cultural Keystone Place inhabited by Lekwungen-speaking families for generations. This talk highlights ongoing community-based archaeological and historical ecology research regarding this archipelago as an ecosystem shaped by millennia of indigenous resource management and subsistence practices. Important resource sites such as blue camas prairies, tidal marsh root beds, culturally managed trees, and clam beds are currently being investigated, as are substantial historic and archaeological village sites. Tl’ches offers a complex and robust human and environmental record—it is a legacy of millennia of sustainable Indigenous inhabitation and management.

Darcy Mathews, Speaker

<p><strong>Dr. Darcy Mathews</strong> is&nbsp;an ethnoecologist and archaeologist, who works in collaboration with First Nations communities to understand the deep history of social and ecological relationships between past peoples and their environments.&nbsp;His&nbsp;research is multi-disciplinary and collaborative, including partnerships with indigenous experts in traditional knowledge, other archaeologists, ecologists, geographers, ethnobotanists, and other specialists. It is through these and other methodological and theoretical approaches that he approaches how people, plants, animals, and places have interacted with one another in myriad ways through time.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p>

More Information

The Huxley Environmental Speaker Series is hosted by Huxley College of the Environment at Western Washington University.

The Series is free and open to the public.

Location & Time

Presentations are held each Thursday at 4:30pm On-campus and ONLINE.


Due to the pandemic, the in-person presentations are not open to the public. However, the talks will be live-streamed ONLINE for the off-campus audience.


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