A Camp is a Home and Other Reasons Why Indigenous Hunting Camps Can’t Be Moved Out of the Way of Resource Developments


  • Thomas (Tad) McIlwraith Douglas College, New Westminster, BC


Tahltan Athapaskans at Iskut Village, British Columbia have been challenged by resource developers to explain why hunting camps cannot be moved away from mining activities in the Klappan River watershed. In response, Iskut people tell that hunting camps are homes where family histories are shared, hunting activities are conducted, and gender roles are taught and reinforced. This article builds on Heidegger’s notions of dwelling and building, and the anthropological literatures on place and home, to elaborate on Iskut peoples’ insistence that their camps are enduring places, used indefinitely by both the living and the spirits of their ancestors. The implications of Iskut perspectives for development activities are explained as well.

Author Biography

Thomas (Tad) McIlwraith, Douglas College, New Westminster, BC

Thomas (Tad) McIlwraith is a cultural anthropologist in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at Douglas College in New Westminster, British Columbia.






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