ANTH Colloquia Series 2021-22: Dr. Darcy L. Mathews, “Relatives of the Deep: The Ethnoecology of a Lekwungen Archipelago in the Salish Sea”

Thursday November 4, 2021
12:30 PM - 2:00 PM

Zoom Link for Virtual Attendees:

Meeting ID: 693 2316 8033
Passcode: 670928


Dr. Darcy Mathews is 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. His research is multi-disciplinary and collaborative, including partnerships with indigenous experts in traditional knowledge, other archaeologists, ecologists,, ethnobotanists, and other specialists. It is through these and other methodological and theoretical approaches that he investigates how people have interacted with plants, animals, and places through time.


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, and culturally managed trees 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 an eco-cultural legacy of sustainable Indigenous inhabitation and management.