Volume 1: The History and Practice of Indigeus Plant Kwledge Volume 2: The Place and Meaning of Plants in Indigeus Cultures and Worldviews Nancy Turner has studied Indigeus peoples' kwledge of plants and environments in rthwestern North America for over forty years. In Ancient Pathways, Ancestral Kwledge, she integrates her research into a two-volume ethbotanical tour-de-force. Drawing on information shared by Indigeus botanical experts and collaborators, the ethgraphic and historical record, and from linguistics, palaeobotany, archaeology, phytogeography, and other fields, Turner weaves together a complex understanding of the traditions of use and management of plant resources in this vast region. She follows Indigeus inhabitants over time and through space, showing how they actively participated in their environments, managed and cultivated valued plant resources, and maintained key habitats that supported their dynamic cultures for thousands of years, as well as how kwledge was passed on from generation to generation and from one community to ather. To understand the values and perspectives that have guided Indigeus ethbotanical kwledge and practices, Turner looks beyond the details of individual plant species and their uses to determine the overall patterns and processes of their development, application, and adaptation. Volume 1 presents a historical overview of ethbotanical kwledge in the region before and after European contact. The ways in which Indigeus peoples used and interacted with plants - for nutrition, techlogies, and medicine - are examined. Drawing connections between similarities across languages, Turner compares the names of over 250 plant species in more than fifty Indigeus languages and dialects to demonstrate the prominence of certain plants in various cultures and the sharing of goods and ideas between peoples. She also examines the effects that introduced species and colonialism had on the region's Indigeus peoples and their ecologies. Volume 2 provides a sweeping account of how Indigeus organizational systems developed to facilitate the harvesting, use, and cultivation of plants, to establish ecomic connections across linguistic and cultural borders, and to preserve and manage resources and habitats. Turner describes the worldviews and philosophies that emerged from the interactions between peoples and plants, and how these understandings are expressed through cultures' stories and narratives. Finally, she explores the ways in which botanical and ecological kwledge can be and are being maintained as living, adaptive systems that promote healthy cultures, environments, and indigeus plant populations. Ancient Pathways, Ancestral Kwledge both challenges and contributes to existing kwledge of Indigeus peoples' land stewardship while preserving information that might otherwise have been lost. Providing new and captivating insights into the anthropogenic systems of rthwestern North America, it will stand as an authoritative reference work and contribute to a fuller understanding of the interactions between cultures and ecological systems.
Nancy J. Turner is Distinguished Professor and Hakai Professor in Ethnoecology in the School of Environmental Studies at the University of Victoria.