Dana Lepofsky is an archaeologist interested in the many dimensions of human-environmental interactions. Her research program is focused on documenting ancient resource and environmental management systems of Northwest Coast Peoples.
She is fortunate to collaborate with and learn from First Nations knowledge holders throughout the coast and academic researchers from diverse disciplines. She has learned that true collaboration means working past the fundamental differences in language, culture, and worldview that are common among both academics and non-academics. Furthermore, creating innovative, non-trivial ways of integrating knowledge is requisite for documenting ancient forms of resource management.
As an archaeologist, she has the natural and social science training and experience to facilitate this kind of cross-fertilization of ideas. She is particularly interested in situating the ecological knowledge of the past in current social and ecological contexts.
Her research on traditional management systems is focused on ancient clam gardens in Quadra Island (in Coast Salish and Kwakwaka’wakw territories) and in the Central Coast (in Heiltsuk territory, www.clamgarden.com), the use and management of herring (www.paci cherring.org), and documenting management and use in culturally valued landscapes in Heiltsuk and Gitga’at territories.