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The Gitga’at – Simon Fraser University (GSAHP) Archaeology and Heritage Project: Developing Community-based Heritage Management Strategies in Gitga’ata Territory

Author(s): Nyra Chalmer ; Spencer Greening ; Chris Picard ; Ginevra Toniello ; Dana Lepofsky

Year: 2017

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Summary

The Gitga’at First Nation, traditionally known as the Gitga’ata, of the Tsymsyen peoples on the Northwest Coast of British Columbia is facing major marine developments in their ancestral territory, most notably tanker traffic related to several crude oil and liquefied natural gas export projects. While the Gitga’ata hold extensive oral knowledge about their history and past landscape use, until recently, little was known about the territory archaeologically. To address this knowledge gap, in 2013 the Gitga’at – Simon Fraser University Archaeology and Heritage Project (GSAHP) was initiated to collect baseline archaeological data to inform decision-making related to development and community-driven research initiatives.

Over the last several years, the GSAHP research team has investigated over 150 coastal archaeological sites, contributing significantly to our understanding of the Gitga’ata eco-cultural landscape. Many of these culturally significant places are touchstones of Gitga’ata identity, representing an unbroken connection between Gitga’ata people and their ancestors and illustrating the inextricable link between community well-being and their eco-cultural landscape. Through connecting archaeology with community knowledge and oral history, the nation is taking a proactive approach and developing holistic, long-term heritage management strategies reflecting their community’s values in the face of developments taking place in Gitga’at ancestral territory.


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The Gitga’at – Simon Fraser University (GSAHP) Archaeology and Heritage Project: Developing Community-based Heritage Management Strategies in Gitga’ata Territory. Nyra Chalmer, Spencer Greening, Chris Picard, Ginevra Toniello, Dana Lepofsky. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 430242)


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Spatial Coverage

min long: -169.717; min lat: 42.553 ; max long: -122.607; max lat: 71.301 ;

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 17278

Arizona State University The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation National Science Foundation National Endowment for the Humanities Society for American Archaeology Archaeological Institute of America