Mapping Kwakwa̱ka̱ʼwakw Place Names




Bailer, Chloe

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This research, conducted within the Northern Vancouver Island Archaeology and Paleoecology Project (NVIAPP), critically examines the translations of Kwak’waka place names by Boas and Hunt, highlighting the challenges of capturing the full linguistic nuance of the language. These literal translations offer intriguing insights into the landscape, but some may mask deeper metaphorical meanings. The dataset, presented in QGIS shapefile format, enhances archaeological investigations by providing contextual information rarely accessible for pre-twentieth century Kwakwaka’wakw territories. Incorporating Kwak’wala and English labels, the shapefile offers versatility for researchers to toggle between languages and filter data, facilitating a comprehensive understanding of the place names. Future research should explore and expand upon the translations, working in collaboration with the U’mista Cultural Society’s contributions. This geospatial and cultural knowledge is part of a larger effort to enrich the tapestry of Indigenous heritage on Vancouver Island, and the rest of British Columbia.



Kwak'waka'wakw, Traditional ecological knowledge (TEK), Archaeology, Franz Boas, George Hunt, QGIS Mapping