Nancy J. Turner

Nancy J. Turner is an ethnobotanist and distinguished professor in the School of Environmental Studies at the University of Victoria and a research associate with the Royal British Columbia Museum. She has authored, co-authored, or edited many publications in the areas of ethnobotany, traditional ecological knowledge, and sustainable resource use in Canada and British Columbia, including more than 20 books and 40 book chapters.
Ancient Pathways, Ancestral Knowledge: Ethnobotany and Ecological Wisdom of Indigenous Peoples of Northwestern North America
Author: Nancy J. Turner
Format: Hardcover
Volume 1: The History and Practice of Indigenous Plant Knowledge
Volume 2: The Place and Meaning of Plants in Indigenous Cultures and Worldviews

Nancy Turner has studied Indigenous peoples' knowledge of plants and environments in northwestern North America for over forty years. In Ancient Pathways, Ancestral Knowledge, she integrates her research into a two-volume ethnobotanical tour-de-force. Drawing on information shared by Indigenous botanical experts and collaborators, the ethnographic 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 Indigenous 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 knowledge was passed on from generation to generation and from one community to another. To understand the values and perspectives that have guided Indigenous ethnobotanical knowledge 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 ethnobotanical knowledge in the region before and after European contact. The ways in which Indigenous peoples used and interacted with plants - for nutrition, technologies, and medicine - are examined. Drawing connections between similarities across languages, Turner compares the names of over 250 plant species in more than fifty Indigenous 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 Indigenous peoples and their ecologies.

Volume 2 provides a sweeping account of how Indigenous organizational systems developed to facilitate the harvesting, use, and cultivation of plants, to establish economic 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 knowledge can be and are being maintained as living, adaptive systems that promote healthy cultures, environments, and indigenous plant populations.

Ancient Pathways, Ancestral Knowledge both challenges and contributes to existing knowledge of Indigenous peoples' land stewardship while preserving information that might otherwise have been lost. Providing new and captivating insights into the anthropogenic systems of northwestern North America, it will stand as an authoritative reference work and contribute to a fuller understanding of the interactions between cultures and ecological systems.
$125.00

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Food Plants Of Coastal First Peoples
Author: Nancy J. Turner
Format: Paperback
B.C. Science Supplementary Resouce Gr.7- Life Science

This interesting and informative book contains descriptions and photographs of more than 100 edible plants. There is information to help the reader identify the plants, and also how the Coastal First Peoples used it.
$26.95

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Food Plants Of Interior First Peoples
Author: Nancy J. Turner
Format: Paperback
B.C. Science Supplementary Resouce Gr.7- Life Science

This book describes some 300 plant species used by the people of the Okanagan, Thompson, Carrier, Chilcotin, and Kootenay, among others. Detailed botanical descriptions of the plants are accompanied by photographs and notes on their habitat and distribution as well as information on their collection, preparation, and use.
$26.95

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Plant Technology Of First Peoples Of British Columbia
Author: Nancy J. Turner
Format: Paperback
Turner focuses on the plants that provided heat, shelter, transportation, clothing, implements, nets, ropes, and containers in First Nations communities. She also shows how plant materials were used for decoration and ornamentation, as scents, cleansing agents, insect repellants and, in recreational activities.
$27.95

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Saanich Ethnobotany
Format: Paperback
Nancy Turner and Richard Hebda present the results of many years of working with botanical experts from the Saanich Nation on southern Vancouver Island. Elders Violet Williams, Elsie Claxton, Christopher Paul and Dave Elliott pass on their knowledge of plants and their uses to future generations of Saanich and Coast Salish people, and to anyone interested in native plants. Saanich Ethnobotany includes detailed information about the plants that were traditionally harvested to use in all aspects of Saanich life, such as for food and medicines, and to make tools, buildings and weapons. Each plant is listed by its common (English), scientific and Saanich names. Each listing contains a brief botanical description with a colour photograph, where to find the plant and how it was used traditionally by the Saanich people. This important book celebrates the richness and tremendous value of locally based knowledge in a rapidly changing world.
$24.95

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The Earth's Blanket, Traditional Teachings for Sustainable Living
Author: Nancy J. Turner
Format: Paperback
Renowned ethnobotanist Nancy Turner brings together decades of experience working with First Nations in the Pacific Northwest. In The Earth's Blanket, she explores the wealth of ecological knowledge and the deep personal connection to the land and its history that is encoded in indigenous stories and lifeways, and asks what they can teach all of us about living in harmony with our surroundings.

Scholarly in its thinking but accessible in its writing, The Earth's Blanket combines first-person research with insightful critiques of Western concepts of environmental management and scientific ecology to propose how systems of traditional ecological knowledge can be recognized and enhanced. It is an important book, a magnum opus with the power to transform our way of thinking about the Earth and our place within it.
$24.95

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