Dr. Darcy Mathews (Environmental Studies)
Darcy Mathews is an Assistant Professor in the School of Environmental Studies. He is an ethnoecologist and archaeologist who works in collaboration with First Nations communities to understand the deep history of social and ecological relationships between past peoples and their environments. Darcy’s research is multi-disciplinary and collaborative, bolstered by indigenous experts in traditional knowledge, other archaeologists, ecologists, geographers, ethnobotanists, and other specialists. It is through these and other methodological and theoretical approaches that he approaches how people, plants, animals, and places have interacted with one another in myriad ways through time. For example, in concert with the Hakai Institute and the Heiltsuk Nation, research is underway to understand the landscape-scale management of intertidal resources on the Central Coast over the past 5000 years. This includes practices such as building clam gardens, estuarine fish traps, and root gardens. Darcy is also partners with the Songhees Nation and they are working together to understand the deep human and ecological history of Chatham and Discovery Islands. These ancient records are a legacy of Indigenous inhabitation and management of coastal environments which continue to inform the present-day and future meaning and use of these ancestral places. The photo shown here is Darcy digging springbank clover and pacific silverweed rhizomes at Tl’ches (Chatham Island) last fall.