Access

You are not currently logged in.

Access your personal account or get JSTOR access through your library or other institution:

login

Log in to your personal account or through your institution.

Frank G. Speck's Contributions to the Understanding of Mi'kmaq Land Use, Leadership, and Land Management

Janet E. Chute and Frank G. Speck
Ethnohistory
Vol. 46, No. 3 (Summer, 1999), pp. 481-540
Published by: Duke University Press
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/483200
Page Count: 60
  • Download ($15.00)
  • Cite this Item
Frank G. Speck's Contributions to the Understanding of Mi'kmaq Land Use, Leadership, and Land Management
Preview not available

Abstract

In 1914 Frank G. Speck began studying what he perceived to be a Mi'kmaq family hunting territory system involving individual ownership and inheritance in the male line. When combined with more recent investigations into Mi'kmaq fishing and sea mammal hunting, his accounts of Mi'kmaq land tenure provide an important starting point for any comprehensive analysis of a traditional economic system that is both old and ecologically sophisticated. Although Speck's work examined only late-nineteenth- and early-twentieth-century territorial systems, ethnohistorical research has revealed evidence for the operation of a precursor institution in the Atlantic region at least two centuries earlier. Recent land use surveys-so vital to the modern northeastern comprehensive claims process-adopt the concept of the family hunting territory as an invaluable guide in on-the-ground mapping procedures. Yet the use of the concept as an analytical tool, particularly in the applied context, has been criticized by ethnohistorians (among them, Diamond Jenness, Eleanor B. Leacock, Edward S. Rogers, and Bruce Bourque). How traditional is a system, these scholars ask, that may have had its origins in the European fur trade? This article begins by investigating the concept's controversial history in order to gain new insights into its use, as well as its limitations, as a scientific construct. Was the system a mere epiphenomenon of the fur trade, as some scholars submit? Or did it, as others argue, constitute a unit of aboriginal management that has an enduring value in applied studies? Did allocation of land by chiefs and councils, known to have occurred in the seventeenth century, later become supplanted by land inheritance? Furthermore, what was the relationship between the changing nature of leadership's territorial prerogatives and the development of Mi'kmaq political institutions? It has been nearly eighty years since Speck first coined the phrase family hunting territory system. For both academic and practical reasons it seems appropriate that the origins, developments, and controversies associated with this concept be traced, and its applicability tested, so that its significance may be weighed in the historical balance.

Page Thumbnails

  • Thumbnail: Page 
[481]
    [481]
  • Thumbnail: Page 
482
    482
  • Thumbnail: Page 
483
    483
  • Thumbnail: Page 
484
    484
  • Thumbnail: Page 
485
    485
  • Thumbnail: Page 
486
    486
  • Thumbnail: Page 
487
    487
  • Thumbnail: Page 
488
    488
  • Thumbnail: Page 
489
    489
  • Thumbnail: Page 
490
    490
  • Thumbnail: Page 
491
    491
  • Thumbnail: Page 
[492]
    [492]
  • Thumbnail: Page 
493
    493
  • Thumbnail: Page 
494
    494
  • Thumbnail: Page 
495
    495
  • Thumbnail: Page 
496
    496
  • Thumbnail: Page 
497
    497
  • Thumbnail: Page 
498
    498
  • Thumbnail: Page 
499
    499
  • Thumbnail: Page 
500
    500
  • Thumbnail: Page 
501
    501
  • Thumbnail: Page 
502
    502
  • Thumbnail: Page 
503
    503
  • Thumbnail: Page 
504
    504
  • Thumbnail: Page 
505
    505
  • Thumbnail: Page 
506
    506
  • Thumbnail: Page 
507
    507
  • Thumbnail: Page 
508
    508
  • Thumbnail: Page 
509
    509
  • Thumbnail: Page 
[510]
    [510]
  • Thumbnail: Page 
511
    511
  • Thumbnail: Page 
512
    512
  • Thumbnail: Page 
513
    513
  • Thumbnail: Page 
514
    514
  • Thumbnail: Page 
515
    515
  • Thumbnail: Page 
516
    516
  • Thumbnail: Page 
517
    517
  • Thumbnail: Page 
[518]
    [518]
  • Thumbnail: Page 
519
    519
  • Thumbnail: Page 
520
    520
  • Thumbnail: Page 
521
    521
  • Thumbnail: Page 
522
    522
  • Thumbnail: Page 
523
    523
  • Thumbnail: Page 
524
    524
  • Thumbnail: Page 
525
    525
  • Thumbnail: Page 
526
    526
  • Thumbnail: Page 
527
    527
  • Thumbnail: Page 
528
    528
  • Thumbnail: Page 
529
    529
  • Thumbnail: Page 
530
    530
  • Thumbnail: Page 
531
    531
  • Thumbnail: Page 
532
    532
  • Thumbnail: Page 
533
    533
  • Thumbnail: Page 
534
    534
  • Thumbnail: Page 
535
    535
  • Thumbnail: Page 
536
    536
  • Thumbnail: Page 
537
    537
  • Thumbnail: Page 
538
    538
  • Thumbnail: Page 
539
    539
  • Thumbnail: Page 
540
    540