Historically and into the present day, herring and herring roe (tskah and xs’waanx) have provided the Tsimshian people of British Columbia with a range of food resources, both the fish itself—fresh, dried, or smoked—and the roe in several forms. But indigenous use has narrowed since the arrival of non-indigenous peoples. In this talk, Charles Menzies, a professor of social anthropology at the University of British Columbia, will describe the causes and implications of this narrowing of herring use among the Tsimshian, discussing the topic through archaeological, ethnographic, and indigenous-knowledge approaches.
Dr. Menzies was formerly a commercial fisherman, and his research is predominantly fisheries-related, involving both indigenous and non-indigenous communities on the north coast of British Columbia. He also produces and directs documentary films, primarily about fishing communities.