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 Featured Title
Haida Gwaii
Human History and Environment from the Time of Loon to the Time of the Iron People
Daryl Fedje   Rolf Mathewes  

$97.00 Hardcover
Release Date: 12/5/2005
ISBN: 9780774809214    

$37.95 Paperback
Release Date: 7/1/2006
ISBN: 9780774809221    

448 Pages

Pacific Rim Archaeology series


About the Book

The most isolated archipelago on the west coast of the Americas, inhabited for at least 10,500 years, Haida Gwaii has fascinated scientists, social scientists, historians, and inquisitive travellers for decades. This book brings together the results of extensive and varied field research by both federal agencies and independent researchers, and carefully integrates them with earlier archaeological, ethnohistorical, and paleoenvironmental work in the region. It imparts significant new information about the natural history of Haida Gwaii, also known as the Queen Charlotte Islands, and the adjacent areas of Hecate Strait. Chapters analyze new data on ice retreat, shoreline and sea level change, faunal communities, and culture history, providing a more comprehensive picture of the history of the islands from the late glacial through the prehistoric period, to the time of European contact, known to the Haida as the "time of the Iron People."

Much of the archaeological work was conducted with the direct participation of members of the Haida Nation. As a complement to the scientific approach of the research, two chapters provide a Haida perspective, explaining the value of traditional oral records and recounting several oral histories, including that of Taadl, the loon, which takes us back to the beginning of time.

This volume is a veritable compendium of knowledge, out of which emerges the human and environmental history of Haida Gwaii and its dynamic landscape. Haida Gwaii will be of interest to scholars and students in archaeology and anthropology, and those with an interest in the environmental and cultural history of Haida Gwaii.

About the Author(s)

Daryl W. Fedje is an archaeologist with Parks Canada in Victoria, British Columbia.

Rolf W. Mathewes is Professor of Biological Sciences at Simon Fraser University.

Table of Contents

Illustrations / vii

Foreword by Guujaaw / xii

Foreword by Knut Fladmark / xiv

Preface and Acknowledgments / xvii
Daryl W. Fedje and Rolf W. Mathewes

A Note on Radiocarbon Dating / xxi

Part 1: Paleoenvironmental History / 1

1 Late Quaternary Geology of Haida Gwaii and Surrounding Marine Areas / 7
J. Vaughn Barrie, Kim W. Conway, Heiner Josenhans, John J. Clague, Rolf W. Mathewes, and Daryl W. Fedje

2 Hecate Strait Paleoshorelines / 21
Daryl W. Fedje, Heiner Josenhans, John J. Clague, J. Vaughn Barrie, David J. Archer, and John R. Southon

3 Terrestrial Paleoecology of Haida Gwaii and the Continental Shelf: Vegetation, Climate, and Plant Resources of the Coastal Migration Route / 38
Terri Lacourse and Rolf W. Mathewes

4 Vegetation History of Anthony Island, Haida Gwaii, and Its Relationship to Climate Change and Human Settlement / 59
Richard J. Hebda, Marlow G. Pellatt, Rolf W. Mathewes, Daryl W. Fedje, and Steven Acheson

5 The Evolution of Endemic Species in Haida Gwaii / 77
Tom Reimchen and Ashley Byun

6 History of the Vertebrate Fauna in Haida Gwaii / 96
Rebecca J. Wigen

Part 2: Haida Traditional History / 117

7 Tllsda Xaaydas K'aaygang.nga: Long, Long Ago Haida Ancient Stories / 121
Kii7iljuus (Barbara J. Wilson) and Heather Harris

8 Taadl, Nang Kilslaas, and Haida / 140
Nang Kiing.aay7uuans (James Young)

Part 3: Haida History through Archaeological Research / 145

9 Overview of Cultural History / 154
Daryl W. Fedje and Quentin Mackie

10 Millennial Tides and Shifting Shores: Archaeology on a Dynamic Landscape / 163
Daryl W. Fedje, Tina Christensen, Heiner Josenhans, Joanne B. McSporran, and Jennifer Harding

11 Kilgii Gwaay: An Early Maritime Site in the South of Haida Gwaii / 187
Daryl W. Fedje, Alexander P. Mackie, Rebecca J. Wigen, Quentin Mackie, and Cynthia Lake

12 Test Excavations at Raised Beach Sites in Southern Haida Gwaii and Their Significance to Northwest Coast Archaeology / 204
Daryl W. Fedje, Martin P. Magne, and Tina Christensen

13 Raised Beach Archaeology in Northern Haida Gwaii: Preliminary Results from the Cohoe Creek Site / 245
Tina Christensen and Jim Stafford

14 The Graham Tradition / 274
Quentin Mackie and Steven Acheson

15 Gwaii Haanas Settlement Archaeology / 303
Steven Acheson

16 Shoreline Settlement Patterns in Gwaii Haanas during the Early and Late Holocene / 337
Alexander P. Mackie and Ian D. Sumpter

Conclusion: Synthesis of Environmental and Archaeological Data / 372
Daryl W. Fedje and Rolf W. Mathewes

References / 376

Notes on Contributors / 402

Index / 407


This book is tight, well edited, and descriptive. It brings together informationand thinking across all of the project’s disciplines […] The research reported in [Haida Gwaii] sets a high standard for fieldwork and reportage […] Like the research it reports, this book is interdisciplinary, focused and methodologically sophisticated. It deserves to be ready by nyone working on the Northwest Coast, western North America, and north Pacific, coastal archaeology or with an interest in the Late Pleistocene/Early Holocene eras.
--Kenneth M. Ames, Canadian Journal of Archaeology, Vol. 30, No.2, 2006

Haida Gwaii as a whole is well-written and dense with data…it presents a valuable case study of interdisciplinary research in the paleoenvironmental sciences and archaeology. This is a book that should be read by all scholars of Northwest Coast prehistory.
—Catherine Carlson, BC Studies, No. 152, Winter 2006-2007

First Nations and scholars such as those working in the fields of archaeology and paleoecology have sometimes found it difficult to find common ground, so it is refreshing to find that Haida Gwaii, edited by Daryl W. Fedje and Rolf W. Mathewes, successfully unites the perspectives of these groups. ... For scientists, this volume assembles detailed and careful reports of amazing scope and depth. ... The richness of the record uncovered so far promises that future findings will be worth waiting for....
- Margaret Seguin Anderson, UNBC, Pacific Northwest Quarterly, Vol. 98, No. 3, Summer 2007

Sample Chapter

Front Matter and Chapter One

Related Topics

Native Studies > Canada
Aboriginal Studies
BC Studies
BC Studies > Archaeology
BC Studies > Native Studies

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