Nancy Turner Source: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nancy_Turner

Nancy J. Turner
Nancy Turner ethnobotanist.jpg
Berkeley, California
Alma materUniversity of British Columbia
Known forcompendium of aboriginal culture
and plant lore in British Columbia
AwardsR.E. Schultes Award (1997)
Order of British Columbia (1999)
Canadian Botanical Association’s
Lawson Medal (2002)
William L. Brown Award (2008)
Scientific career
InstitutionsSchool 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.[1] 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.[2] 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.[1]

Order of British Columbia[edit]

The Government of British Columbia admitted Nancy Turner to the Order of British Columbia in 1999 and describe her, her work, and her contributions as follows:[3]

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.


Books written[edit]

  • Turner, Nancy J. (1995). Food Plants of Coastal First Peoples. Royal British Columbia Museum Handbook series. UBC Press. ISBN 0-7726-5627-4.
  • Turner, Nancy J. (1997). Food Plants of Interior First Peoples. Royal British Columbia Museum Handbook series. UBC Press. ISBN 978-0-7726-5846-3.
  • Turner, Nancy J. (1998). Plant Technology of First Peoples in British Columbia. Royal British Columbia Museum Handbook series. UBC Press. ISBN 0-7718-8117-7.
  • Turner, Nancy J. (2005). Plants of Haida Gwaii. Winlaw, B.C: Sono Nis Press. ISBN 1-55039-144-5.
  • Turner, Nancy J. (2005). The Earth's Blanket, Traditional Teachings for Sustainable Living. Vancouver: Douglas & McIntyre. ISBN 1-55365-081-6.
  • Turner, Nancy J. (2014). Ancestral Pathways, Ancestral Knowledge: Ethnobotany and Ecological Knowledge of Indigenous Peoples of Northwestern North America. 2 vols. Kingston and Montreal: McGill-Queen's University Press. ISBN 978-0-7735-4380-5.

Books edited[edit]

  • Deur, Douglas & Turner, Nancy J. (eds.) (2005) Keeping It Living, Traditions of Plant Use and Cultivation on the Northwest Coast of North America. Vancouver: UBC Press and Seattle: University of Washington Press.
  • Turner, Nancy J., Marianne B. Ignace and Sandra L. Peacock, editors. (2016) Secwepemc people and plants : research papers in Shuswap ethnobotany. Tacoma, WA : Society of Ethnobiology, 2016. ISBN 978-0-9887-3305-3.

Articles online[edit]


External links[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Exploring Ethnobiology II: Nancy Turner", 27 July 2010, Pdtail, Retrieved 17 May 2016
  2. ^ University of British Columbia's Department of Botany webpage Retrieved 23 April 2008
  3. ^ a b 1999 Recipient: Nancy J. Turner – Victoria | Order of BC Retrieved 24 April 2008
  4. ^ a b c University of Victoria Media Release Retrieved 27 April 2008
  5. ^ "The 2008 William L. Brown Award". William L. Brown Center for Plant Genetic Resources. Missouri Botanical Garden. 2014. Retrieved 31 March 2014.