Nancy Turner

Nancy Turner is an ethnobotanist, Distinguished Professor Emerita, Fellow of the Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation and former Hakai Professor in Ethnoecology with the School of Environmental Studies, University of Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. She has worked with First Nations elders and cultural specialists in northwestern North America for over 50 years, helping to document, retain and promote their traditional knowledge of plants and environments, including Indigenous foods, materials and traditional medicines. She has been formally adopted into Haida, Kwakwaka’wakw, Songhees and Nisga’a families. Her two-volume book, Ancient Pathways, Ancestral Knowledge: Ethnobotany and Ecological Wisdom of Indigenous Peoples of Northwestern North America (July, 2014; McGill-Queen’s University Press), represents an integration of her long term research. She has authored or co-authored/co-edited 30 other books, including: Plants of Haida GwaiiThe Earth’s Blanket; “Keeping it Living”: Traditions of Plant Use and Cultivation on the Northwest Coast of North America (with Doug Deur); Saanich Ethnobotany: Culturally Important Plants of the WSÁNEC’ People (with Richard Hebda), and Food Plants of Coastal First Peoples, and over 150 book chapters and papers. Her most recent edited volume is Plants, People, and Places: the Roles of Ethnobotany and Ethnoecology in Indigenous Peoples’ Land Rights in Canada and Beyond (2020). She has received a number of awards for her work, including membership in Order of British Columbia (1999) and the Order of Canada (2009), honorary degrees from Vancouver Island University, University of British Columbia, University of Northerm British Columbia and Simon Fraser University; the Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences’ Canada Prize in the Social Sciences for Ancient Pathways, and The Royal Society of Canada’s Innis-Gérin medal.

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