Revisiting “Dm Sibilhaa'nm da Laxyuubm Gitxaała (Piicking Abalone in Gitxaała Territory)”: Vindication, Appropriation, and Archaeology


  • Charles R Menzies Gitlxaała Nation / University of British Columbia



Abalone, Indigenous Theory, Northwest Coast, archaeology, Gitxaala, shellfish


This paper explores the question "why does abalone appear absent from mainstream archaeological findings?" This question is approached from within an explicitly Indigenous framework wherein tools of mainstream disciplines, such as archaeology, are appropriated within the Indigenous framework (rahter than the otherway around). Drawing upon material evidence of abalone shells found in context in an ancient Gitxaała village the author documents a lacunae within mainstream archaeological thought. This paper also highlights the relevance of Indigenous research frameworks toward decolonizing mainstream social science.

Author Biography

Charles R Menzies, Gitlxaała Nation / University of British Columbia

My primary research interests are the production of anthropological films, natural resource management (primarily fisheries related), political economy, contemporary First Nations' issues, and maritime anthropology. I have conducted field research in, and have produced films concerning, north coastal BC, Canada; Brittany, France; and Donegal, Ireland. Key projects include founding and directing the Ethnographic Film Unit at UBC, authoring a weblog in support of public education, establishing an online journal, New Proposals, and acting as the coordinator of an ecological anthropology research group at UBC, Forests and Oceans for the Future.