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Researchers learning there’s more than meets the eye in ancient clam gardens

A team of researchers from Simon Fraser University has discovered the ancient clam gardens (as seen above, photo courtesy SFU) cultivated by Indigenous people in the Pacific Northwest were a lot more common than once thought, and were artificially created and maintained.

Archaeologist Dana Lepofsky and her colleagues have found evidence of hundreds of clam gardens along the coast from Alaska to Washington.

Lepofsky says the clam gardens, many more than a thousand years old, would have ensured a more bountiful and sustainable harvest.

She says there are also plans to re-construct a clam garden in Gulf Islands National Park.

That project is being led by Parks Canada in collaboration with the Hul’q’umi’num and WSANEC First Nations.

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Parks Canada say the goal is to restore valued cultural landscapes in tandem with local ecosystems.

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