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Plant Cultivation on the Northwest Coast: A Reconsideration
Journal of Cultural Geography (2002)
  • Douglas Deur, Portland State University
Conventional wisdom suggests that the peoples of the Northwest Coast did not cultivate plants prior to European contact. Considerable evidence suggests the contrary, however, particularly the well-documented practice of estuarine root gardening among the Kwakwaka'wakw and other indigenous peoples of the region. These gardens were maintained through transplanting, weeding, selective harvesting, soil modifications, and the production of mounds or low terrace-like structures within individually demarcated root plots. The scholarly oversight of these practices can be attributed to a number of biases rooted in the colonial and academic agendas of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. In turn, scholarly legitimation of the region's "nonagricultural" label has served to undermine indigenous land claims on estuarine sites into the present day.
  • Agricultural history,
  • Northwest Coast (North America) -- Environmental aspects
Publication Date
Citation Information
Deur, D. (2002). Plant Cultivation on the Northwest Coast: A Reassessment. Journal of Cultural Geography. 19(2): 9-35.