Dr. Nancy Turner is a distinguished professor at UVic and the Hakai Chair of Ethnoecology.
I had the good fortune almost 20 years ago to attend Dr. Turner’s environmental studies course on ethnobotany, the study of plants in the traditional contexts of the people who use them.
When we attended traditional activities like a beach pit cooking it was possibly my first (non museum) introduction to living, breathing First Nations culture. We made many things with our hands in her class, like pine needle baskets. But this was not your stereotypical basket weaving course, the kind you’d sign up for to pad your course load.
This is a woman who has dedicated her life’s work to understanding and championing Traditional Ecological Knowledge. This is her personal website.
Traditional Ecological Knowledge (or TEK) is deep understanding and knowledge of a land and its flora and fauna, gained and passed on through many generations by its inhabitants.
Forests and oceans for the future (http://www.ecoknow.ca/index.html) is the work of a broadly attended research group. It is a website that presents itself as a database or repository of digitized TEK. People from many different agencies and communities were brought together to create it, including members of the Gitxaala Nation and UBC faculty.
It provides many resources (including lesson plans for teachers) with the goal of discovering TEK solutions to many natural resource challenges.