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Clam Gardens: Aboriginal Mariculture on Canada's West Coast

For many years, archaeologists were unaware of the ancient clam terraces at Waiatt Bay, on Quadra Island. Author Judith Williams knew no differently until she was advised of their existence by a Klahoose elder named Elizabeth Harry (Keekus). By liaising with other observers of clam gardens in the Broughton Archipelago and conducting her own survey of Waiatt Bay and Gorge Harbour on Cortes Island, Williams has amassed evidence that the rock structures seen only at the lowest tides were used by native peoples for the purpose of cultivating butter clams.

Her research does much to challenge the notion of pre–contact West Coast indigenous peoples and hunters–gatherers alone. The clam gardens whose existence she reveals here might also be unique in the world.

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