Nancy J. Turner
|Alma mater||University of British Columbia|
|Known for||compendium of aboriginal culture |
and plant lore in British Columbia
|Awards||R.E. Schultes Award (1997)|
Order of British Columbia (1999)
Canadian Botanical Association’s
Lawson Medal (2002)
William L. Brown Award (2008)
|Institutions||School of Environmental Studies, |
University of Victoria;
Department of Botany,
University of British Columbia (adjunct)
Nancy Jean Turner (born 1947) is a notable North American ethnobiologist, originally qualified in botany, who has done extensive research work with the indigenous peoples of British Columbia, the results of which she has documented in a number of books and numerous articles.
Turner was born in Berkeley in California in 1947 but moved to British Columbia when she was five. She obtained her doctorate in Ethnobotany after studying the Bella Coola, Haida and Lillooet indigenous groups of the Pacific North-West. She works by interviewing the groups' elder members to identify their names for plants and their uses. Comparison and scientific analysis of this data has enabled her to draw conclusions. Turner's research identified not only the role that plants have had in these group's culture but also the effects that indigenous people have had historically on the landscape of Canada.
Nancy J. Turner ... is an internationally-distinguished scholar and scientist who has devoted her life to documenting the endangered knowledge of First Nations. As a pioneer in ethnobiology, her more than 25 years of research have focused on the diverse interactions of First Peoples in British Columbia with the ecosystems they depended on and the critical role of plant resources for foods, medicines and materials. Her research will be seen as a most valuable compendium of aboriginal culture and plant lore in British Columbia.