M.A. Theses: Amanda L. Marshall, 2002

Culturally Modified Trees of the Nechako Plateau: Cambium Utilization Amongst Traditional Carrier (Dakhel) Peoples

Ethnographic and archaeological data are used to demonstrate the significance of cambium utilization within the seasonal round of Carrier First Nations of the Nechako Plateau. Evidence of cambium use is found today in the form of Culturally Modified Trees (CMTs), which are to date, the most common archaeological subsistence feature found in the province of British Columbia (BC). This research investigates how CMTs fit into Carrier archaeology, and what type of information they can tell us about Carrier subsistence. Oral histories from several Carrier elders convey the importance of cambium use, and demonstrate that this resource was not used only as an emergency food. Elders explain that cambium was one of a variety of foods that the Carrier would consume over the course of the year, and contributed to the seasonal round by providing a desert and a delicacy filled with nutrients, flavour, and body cleansing attributes. Dendrochronological dates, CMT frequency data, and descriptive data are analyzed from two sites, GgSp-55 and FjSg-12 in the Carrier region.