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Economic Botany

, Volume 59, Issue 2, pp 174–184 | Cite as

Distribution, abundance, and utilization of wild berries by the gwich’in people in the Mackenzie River Delta region

  • Gordon Murray
  • Peter C. Boxall
  • Ross W. Wein
Article

Abstract

This paper examines the abundance and Aboriginal use of botanical non-timber forest products in the Gwich’in Settlement Area in the Northwest Territories, Canada. Informants indicated that wild berries are important to Gwich’in diets and an important factor in culture and traditional land use. People collected mostly cloudberries (Rubus chamaemorus), blueberries (Vaccinium uliginosum), and lingonberries (Vaccinium vitisidaea). The total quantities collected were estimated to be greater than other published accounts of berry gathering by northern Aboriginal peoples in North America. The total collected by the 450 households in the year 2000 was about 16,000 L. Inventories of wild berries on the landscape suggest that substantial quantities could be collected for commercial production, although the between-year supply can show considerable variation.

Key Words

Boreal non-timber forest products Dene Gwich’in wild berries 

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Copyright information

© The New York Botanical Garden 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gordon Murray
    • 1
  • Peter C. Boxall
    • 2
  • Ross W. Wein
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Rural EconomyUniversity of AlbertaEdmontonCanada
  2. 2.Department of Renewable ResourcesUniversity of AlbertaEdmontonCanada

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