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People of the Saltwater: An Ethnography of Git lax m’oon

Charles Menzies

University of Nebraska Press, 2016

People of the Saltwater explores the history and people of Git lax m’oon (Gitxaała Nation). Gitxaała Nation has called the rugged north coast of British Columbia home for millennia, proudly maintaining its territory and traditional way of life. People of the Saltwater first outlines the social and political relations that constitute Gitxaała society. Although these traditionalist relations have undergone change, they have endured through colonialism and the emergence of the industrial capitalist economy. It is of fundamental importance to this society to link its past to its present in all spheres of life, from its understanding of its hereditary leaders to the continuance of its ancient ceremonies. Menzies then turns to a discussion of an economy based on natural-resource extraction by examining fisheries and their central importance to Gitxaała’s cultural roots. Menzies’s firsthand account describes the group’s place within cultural anthropology and the importance of its life ways, traditions, and histories in nontraditional society today.

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