forest gardens

Forest Gardens with Chelsey Armstrong

Forest gardens look and feel different than the forests farther from home or what one normally encounters on the NW Coast. Professor Chelsey Armstrong and her colleagues refer to these forests as novel ecosystems that have no natural analog - composed of communities of species that result from human agency, ecosystem engineering and the introduction of wildcrafted species from nearby regions. While Western science is catching up about these ecosystems, the original and contemporary Indigenous scientists have always known these forests have existed.

Professor Chelsey Armstrong is a historical ecologist and archaeologist based out of Ts'msyen Laxyuup in northwestern British Columbia. She studies human land-use in the past and how those dynamics relate to the present — particularly towards Indigenous sovereignty and socially informed environmental justice and reclamation. Chelsey is assistant professor and director of the Historical and Ethnoecological Research (HER Lab) in Indigenous Studies at Simon Fraser University.

Editing for this episode provided by the wonderful Katie Dunn

Armstrong, C. G., Miller, J., McAlvay, A., Ritchie, P. M., & Lepofsky, D. (2021). Historical Indigenous Land-Use Explains Plant Functional Trait Diversity. Ecology and Society, 26(2).

Historical and Ethnoecological Research (HER) Lab>

Indigenous Peoples in British Columbia Tended ‘Forest Gardens’ from Smithsonian Magazine

'Forest gardens’ show how Native land stewardship can outdo nature from National Geographic

Unearthing the Work of Indigenous Master Horticulturalists from The Tyee

‘Forest gardens’ planted by Canada’s Indigenous people before the 1800s still benefit ecosystems today from Popular Science

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