Wednesday, June 5, 2019
With financial support from the Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences’ International Keynote Speakers Support Fund
Dr. Charlotte Coté grew up on the tsuma’as (Somass) River, which flows a few hundred yards behind her family home in Tseshaht on Vancouver Island. The tsuma’as streams through her people’s territory like a life vein, bringing the precious miʕaat (sockeye salmon) that nourish and feed their community. Traditional foods firmly ground Indigenous peoples to place; to the lands and waters that connect them figuratively, literally, and culturally. Salmon is integral to Tseshaht spiritual and cultural identity and plays a major role in community nutritional health and the health of the ecosystem. Dr. Coté will discuss how Tseshat are enacting food sovereignty using the metaphor of the Communal Fish Pot to demonstrate how by harvesting, preparing, eating, and sharing salmon, community members reinforce their cultural ties to the miʕaat their salmon relatives, to tsuma’as, and to each other.
- Charlotte Coté, Associate Professor, University of Washington, Department of American Indian Studies