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The history of Coast Salish “woolly dogs” revealed by ancient genomics and Indigenous Knowledge

Lin, Audrey T., Hammond-Kaarremaa, Liz, Liu, Hsiao-Lei, Stantis, Chris, McKechnie, Iain, Pavel, Michael, Pavel, Susan sa'hLa mitSa, Wyss, Senaqwila Senakw, Sparrow, Debra qwasen, Carr, Karen, Aninta, Sabhrina Gita, Perri, Angela, Hartt, Jonathan, Bergström, Anders, Carmagnini, Alberto, Charlton, Sophy, Dalén, Love, Feuerborn, Tatiana R., France, Christine A. M., Gopalakrishnan, Shyam, Grimes, Vaughan, Harris, Alex, Kavich, Gwénaëlle, Sacks, Benjamin N., Sinding, Mikkel-Holger S., Skoglund, Pontus, Stanton, David W.G., Ostrander, Elaine A., Larson, Greger, Armstrong, Chelsey G., Frantz, Laurent A. F., Hawkins, Melissa T. R. and Kistler, Logan 2023. The history of Coast Salish “woolly dogs” revealed by ancient genomics and Indigenous Knowledge. Science 382 (6676) , pp. 1303-1308. 10.1126/science.adi6549

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Ancestral Coast Salish societies in the Pacific Northwest kept long-haired “woolly dogs” that were bred and cared for over millennia. However, the dog wool–weaving tradition declined during the 19th century, and the population was lost. In this study, we analyzed genomic and isotopic data from a preserved woolly dog pelt from “Mutton,” collected in 1859. Mutton is the only known example of an Indigenous North American dog with dominant precolonial ancestry postdating the onset of settler colonialism. We identified candidate genetic variants potentially linked with their distinct woolly phenotype. We integrated these data with interviews from Coast Salish Elders, Knowledge Keepers, and weavers about shared traditional knowledge and memories surrounding woolly dogs, their importance within Coast Salish societies, and how colonial policies led directly to their disappearance.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Published Online
Status: Published
Schools: Biosciences
Publisher: American Association for the Advancement of Science
ISSN: 00368075
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 23 January 2024
Date of Acceptance: 25 October 2023
Last Modified: 24 Jan 2024 01:02

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