The Clam Garden Network: Exploring the social and ecological contexts of clam management in the past, present, and future

Dana Lepofsky, Simon Fraser University

Part of the 2022 Archaeology Roadshow




Clam gardens are one of a suite of ancient mariculture practices used by the Indigenous Peoples of the Northwest Coast to increase the abundance and accessibility of clams. By bringing together traditional knowledge with that of western science, researchers in the Clam Garden Network have learned that these innovative rock-walled terraces were built from Alaska to Washington State beginning 4000 years ago. Today, Native Americans and First Nations are revitalizing these ancient practices as a way to honor their heritage, enhance food security, and assert their traditional rights to manage resources in their own territories.

Biographical Information

Dana Lepofsky is a professor in the Department of Archaeology, at Simon Fraser University. She conducts archaeological and ethnoecological research that spans disciplines and communities and that situates the knowledge and experiences of the past in current social and ecological contexts. She believes strongly that studying archaeology is a privilege and that this privilege is squandered if we do not fully embrace the degree to which the practice of archaeology is intertwined with current social issues.