Bulkley Valley Research Centre - Science in the Public Interest

Mapping of Historic Berry Patches in Gitxsan Traditional Territory

Project Reference Number: 2007-19

Project Status: Complete

Led by: Rick Budhwa, Crossroads Cultural Resource Management, Smithers

Gitxsan Forest Enterprises Inc., Hazelton; Aya'Wakw West Resource Group; South Hazelton

Funder: Ministry of Forests, Transfer Agreement

This contract is associated with the Northwest Forest Restoration and Enhancement Program (NWFREP) of the Gitxsan/BC Government Short-Term Forestry Agreement.  NWFREP is a four-year joint planning process involving Skeena-Stikine and Kalum Forest Districts, Gitxsan Administrative Watershed facilitators and the Gitxsan Treaty Society.  Its purpose is to identify and address forest restoration and enhancement priorities in Gitxsan territories with Kalum, Nass, Cranberry and Kispiox Timber Supply Areas.

One NWFREP objective is to ensure that qualified Gitxsan contractors and individuals are provided with work opportunities within their traditional territories.  For this particular contract, work will be completed with the assistance of a Gitxsan "Clan worker" who will assist in research work and/or perform other contract duties (e.g. meeting facilitator, translator).

The activities will be:

Phase 1:

  • Review existing literature, including Delgamuukw case files and other scientific research, for information pertaining to the locations of all historic berry patches within the Gitxsan traditional territories.
  • Prepare base maps to support Phase 2.  Base maps to show approximate boundaries of berry patches according to literary sources, and key reference features including streams, lakes, wetlands, cultural trails, and old village sites with their place names.
  • Prepare a short summary report describing issues encountered during Phase 1, limitations on Phase 1 products, and recommended steps for Phase 2.

Phase 2:

  • Engage Gitxsan chiefs and elders - those with knowledge of the location of historic, actively managed berry patches - in a process resulting in the fine-tuning of the boundaries of berry patches shown on base maps, and the capture of additional important managed berry patches on base maps.
  • Create a database of literary and oral information regarding the locations, and, if available, the relative value (in a Watershed context) of berry patches.
  • Compile a digital map of historic berry patch locations based on literary and oral sources of information (linked to the database).

Related Reports

Publication Date Report Title Authors
July 2007 The Importance, Traditional Use and Locations of Various Berry Species within the Gitxsan Traditional Territory Rick Budhwa
November 2007 Gitxsan Historical Berry Patch Locations (Literature Review and Oral Information) Rick Budhwa