Indigenous Oral History and Settlement Archaeology in Barkley Sound, Western Vancouver Island

Date

2015

Authors

McKechnie, Iain

Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title

Publisher

BC Studies

Abstract

This article examines Nuu-chah-nulth oral histories in an archipelago on the exposed west coast of Vancouver Island, as well as the place names embedded within them, to evaluate Indigenous timelines of sequential and overlapping historical events alongside archaeological sequences of settlement. I specifically compare these distinct datasets in order to evaluate the ages of occupation in settlements in close proximity to each other as well as temporal trends within these large settlements. I observe oral historical sequences and the archaeological settlement chronology to show overlapping and complementary patterns that document the growth, expansion, and dynamically shifting residence patterns at multiple village sites over the past twenty-five hundred years. I argue that this comparison adds historical detail and an Indigenous perspective to an archaeological settlement history at an intergenerational scale and enriches interpretations of the relationships between spatially associated archaeological sites within a contact-era Nuu-chah-nulth local group territory along the outer coast of British Columbia.

Description

Final published version with publisher permission - OA on archives.

Keywords

oral history, Archaeology, Placenames, Northwest Coast, Indigenous knowledge, coastal archaeology, shell midden, Nuu-chah-nulth

Citation

McKechnie, Iain (2015) Indigenous Oral History and Settlement Archaeology in Barkley Sound, Western Vancouver Island. BC Studies (187):191–225.