Richard J. Hebda is a curator of earth history and botany at the Royal BC Museum and adjunct professor of biology and earth ocean sciences at the University of Victoria. He was a key contributor to Jack Lohman's Treasures of the Royal British Columbia Museum and Archives (RBCM 2015), a lavishly illustrated coffee table book with sub-sections also written by Steven Point, Martha Black, Grant Keddie and Gary Mitchell. $39.95 978-0-7726-6830-1

Review of the author's work by BC Studies:
Saanich Ethnobotany: Culturally Important Plants of the WSANEC People


Kwd?y Dn Ts'nch?: Teachings from Long Ago Person Found:

In 1999, a human body was found in a melting glacier in B.C.'s Tatsenshini-Alsek Park by three sheep hunters. Radiocarbon dating of the deceased, nineteen-year-old male near the Yukon border determined he died between 170 and 300 years ago (circa 1720-1850 AD).

Scientists say he was travelling in late summer based on pollen and seeds found in his clothing and gut. Minerals from the water he was drinking helped identify which trail route he was following from coastal Alaska to the interior.

Stable isotope analysis shows he grew up eating a marine diet, most likely on the Alaska coast, but that in the last year of his life his diet was largely inland food.

The belongings found with his body included a walking stick, knife, robe made from about 95 arctic ground squirrel skins sewn together with sinew and the man's remarkably well-preserved hat woven from spruce root.
Similar gopher skin robes are still made by the Champagne and Aishihik people today, and spruce root hats are made by the Tlingit in Alaska.
Subsequent DNA testing of 240 volunteers from First Nations and Tribes in the areas surrounding his discovery revealed 17 of them were related to the man through their maternal line. For the first time in archaeology it was possible to combine DNA and cultural information to identify the man's matrilineal clan.

These findings were first discussed at a scientific conference in Victoria in 2008.

The full story is now told in Kwd?y Dn Ts'nch?: Teachings from Long Ago Person Found (Royal BC Museum $49.95) edited by Richard J. Hebda, Sheila Greer, and Alexander P. Mackie.

In the Southern Tutchone language, the term Kwd?y Dn Ts'nch? means 'Long Ago Person Found.'

The book project is a collaboration between the Champagne and Aishihik First Nations, the Royal BC Museum and the BC Archaeology Branch. The book demonstrates how it is possible for archaeologists to work with First Nations while addressing both cultural and scientific needs. Co-editor Alexander P. Mackie is the brother of Richard Mackie, editor of The Ormsby Review. 978-0-7726-6699-4


Saanich Ethnobotany: Culturally Important Plants of the WSANEC People (Royal BC Museum, 2012) with Nancy J. Turner. $24.95 978-0-7726-6577-5

A Field Guide to Edible Fruits & Berries of the Pacific Northwest (Harbour 2014) $7.95 978-1-55017-646-9 / Pamphlet

Kwd?y Dn Ts'nch?: Teachings from Long Ago Person Found (Royal BC Museum Press, 2017) $49.95 edited by Richard J. Hebda, Sheila Greer and Alexander Mackie.

[BCBW 2017]