Food Plants of Interior First Peoples

Nancy J. Turner


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“We are truly fortunate that Nancy Turner has shared her years of research on the food plants important to BC’s First Peoples. I would urge everyone interested in natural history, botany or the long aboriginal traditions regarding edible wild plants to acquire this excellent handbook.” – Andrea Schluter, Discovery, Vancouver Natural History Society.

“Judge this book by its cover! It looks good enough to eat!” – Michele M. Wollstonecroft, The Midden.

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1997, paperback, 224 pages

colour photographs

ISBN 978-0-7726-5846-3

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For centuries, First Peoples in the interior of British Columbia and adjacent territories in Washington have harvested a variety of wild plants for food. Berries, nuts, roots, greens, mushrooms, lichens and tree cambium (the succulent inner bark) were important parts of First Peoples’ diets. In this best-selling book, renowned ethnobotanist Nancy Turner describes more than 150 plants traditionally harvested and eaten by First Peoples east of the Coast Mountains in British Columbia and northern Washington and Montana. Each description includes information on where to find the plant and a discussion on traditional methods of harvesting and preparation.

Food Plants of Interior First Peoples, along with its companion on coastal peoples, has two purposes, as the author states in her introduction: “to inform the public of the wide variety of edible plants in the privince; and, for those interested in aboriginal history and culture, especially aboriginal people, to provide specific information on plants used by individual groups and the different methods employed for harvesting and preparing them.”

Royal BC Museum Handbook.

About the Author

Dr Nancy J. Turner is distinguished and Hakai professor in ethnoecology in the School of Environmental Studies at the University of Victoria. She has published several books and numerous articles on ethnobotany and First Nations issues. She has received numerous awards for her work and is a member of the Order of Canada and the Order of British Columbia.

Other books by Nancy J. Turner:
Saanich Ethnobotany: Culturally Important Plants of the WSÁNEC People
Food Plants of Coastal First Peoples
Plant Technology of First Peoples in British Columbia



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