ASBC Victoria talk: Tue Feb 18, Nicole Westre on Hiikwis Fauna

UVIC Students excavating at Hiikwis Site, Barkley Sound.

UVIC Students excavating at Hiikwis Site, Barkley Sound.

They didn’t do it just for the Halibut: A faunal analysis of the Hiikwis site complex (DfSh-15 & DfSh-16), Barkley Sound.

Nicole Westre

Tuesday, February 18, 2014, 7:30 pm
Cornett Building B129
(North End of Cornett building)
University of Victoria

As always, the ASBC talks are free and open to the public.


The Hiikwis site complex (DfSh-15 and DfSh-16) consists of two village sites in inner Barkley Sound, occupied continuously for nearly 3000 years until the 1900s. Excavated between 2008 and 2010, the site complex has gained attention as the only Barkley Sound village site to contain a significant flaked stone assemblage in late contexts. My talk, however, focuses on sampled vertebrate faunal remains recovered from the site, which are unique among Barkley Sound sites as well. The bird and whale assemblages will be discussed, as will salmon exploitation. In general, Barkley Sound sites suggest that salmon did not become an important resource in the area until only about 800 years ago. This observation challenges the idea that complex Northwest Coast societies emerged as a result of salmon preservation for winter consumption as long as 3500 years ago. Does the Hiikwis site complex follow the typical Barkley Sound pattern, or do the bones tell a different story?

Nicole is currently completing a Master’s degree in Anthropology at the University of Victoria, focusing on faunal analysis. She received her BA in Anthropology from Vancouver Island University in 2010. She volunteers weekly in the Royal BC Museum’s comparative faunal collection and has conducted field work in Barkley Sound, Nanoose Bay, and on the island of Menorca, Spain.

For information, phone 384-6059, or

  • e-mail
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Room B129, Cornett Building, University of Victoria.

Please note that you have to pay for parking at UVIC in the evenings – it’s about 2.00$ or 2.25$ as a flat rate for the whole evening.  Use the machines that dispense paper tickets.  Actual meters are in force 24 hours/day.

Note the bus loop, above, if you are arriving that way.

3 responses to “ASBC Victoria talk: Tue Feb 18, Nicole Westre on Hiikwis Fauna

  1. Absolutely fascinating. I wish I could be at the talk. This blows away another myth.


  2. really sorry I missed this talk, congrats Nicole!


  3. Is there a paper associated with this talk? Some of us would like to learn more, but are not in the Victoria area.


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