Letters: Check the history

History of T'Sou-ke First Nation food gathering in focus

Reading the T’Sou-ke tribal chief’s excellent presentation of facts rebutting Matt Lambert’s attack on their aquaculture project at Anderson Cove, I remember a story by the person of tribal background who started restaurants in Vancouver decades ago.

She told of how at age nine she hated her task of carrying stones to enhance the family’s “clam garden,” many decades ago, but her mother gave her no choice. The family was farming clams, in a simple way – is that what the T’Sou-ke tribe is now doing?

Lambert should read the history of Sooke, in which people who moved from Victoria complained about the smoke from tribal people burning underbrush to enhance berry production. And of the Garry Oak meadows environmentalists consider mystical – created by felling trees with fire to create more interface periphery where animals they harvested lived and more open space for edible plants like Camus lilies of the safe colour. Meadows maintained with fire to suppress growth of new trees.

Lambert talks as though the T’Sou-ke’s tribal ancestors were simple hunter-gatherers, but in reality they were also basic farmers.

Keith Sketchley

Saanich