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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Eating Gitxaała, being Gitxaała : food and cultural security Gendron, Danielle Renee


In this thesis, I explore the significance of a territory-based food system to an Indigenous culture. In particular, I work to provide an understanding of the myriad of ways in which the Gitxaała food system and its related practices contain cultural ways of knowing and being that is specific to Gitxaała Nation, a First Nation located on the North coast of what is known today as British Columbia. The fieldwork for this thesis was conducted at a time when multiple economic projects are being proposed/pursued in Laxyuup Gitxaała; the perceived ways in which such projects will alter the territory and Gitxaała’s relationship with it have created a sense of fear among the Gitxaała people. Gitxaala food is used as the vehicle through which such fears for the future of Gitxaala Nation is discussed. Ultimately, this thesis examines how Gitxaala food reflects and reveals how Gitxaała people understand themselves as a unique Nation and differentiate themselves from others. I argue that the Gitxaała food system and all of its related practices acts as a method of cultural security.

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