Routes, Crossroads, and Control Points: Defining Gateway Communities on the Northwest Coast
Publication Type:Conference Paper
Examination of three villages on the central and south coasts of British Columbia illustrates their potential role as gateway communities. Their locations at the interface between environmentally or culturally defined regions, on routes travelled for resource acquisition or cultural interchange, explain a prominence that exceeds the economic or environmental potential of their locales. The village of Namu, within traditional Heiltsuk territory on the cental coast, and the Coast Salish village of Xway xway, in what is now Stanley Park, are situated at crossroads linking travel routes north and south and between inner and outer coastal zones. While it is unlikely these villages exerted direct control over routes, their locations conceivably created and sustained social protocols for visiting and gifting while on route to further destinations. The central coast Wuikinuxv (Oweekeno) village of Cockmi, in contrast, is strategically located to control a key point of entry to Rivers Inlet.