M.A. Theses: Morgan Ritchie, 2010

From House to Watershed:  The Cultural Landscape of the Sts'ailes People

This study explores the long and close relationship between the Sts'ailes people and their cultural landscape centred in Harrison Watershed in Southwestern B.C.  Archaeological, geographic, environmental, and ethnohistoric data are used to assess Sts'ailes social organization and social relations.  Working under the assumption that spatial distance is a reflection of social distance, the patterning of houses and settlements reveal five social units: the tribe, the extended settlement community, the settlement community, the local group, and the household.  Examination of these social units provides insight into how people within them interacted socially, economically, and politically and how each unit had an important role within pre-contact Sts’ailes society.  At the settlement stage, major social changes are evident ~1,200 cal. B.P., based on the co-utilization of both plank houses and pithouses and large variation in house size.  This study demonstrates the values of exploring cultural landscapes at various social and spatial scales.