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The history of Coast Salish "woolly dogs" revealed by ancient genomics and Indigenous Knowledge.

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posted on 2024-01-19, 14:08 authored by Audrey T Lin, Liz Hammond-Kaarremaa, Hsiao-Lei Liu, Chris Stantis, Iain McKechnie, Michael Pavel, Susan sa'hLa mitSa Pavel, Senaqwila Sen’ákw Wyss, Debra qwasen Sparrow, Karen Carr, Sabhrina Gita Aninta, Angela Perri, Jonathan Hartt, Anders Bergström, Alberto Carmagnini, Sophy Charlton, Love Dalén, Tatiana R Feuerborn, Christine AM France, Shyam Gopalakrishnan, Vaughan Grimes, Alex Harris, Gwénaëlle Kavich, Benjamin N Sacks, Mikkel-Holger S Sinding, Pontus Skoglund, David WG Stanton, Elaine A Ostrander, Greger Larson, Chelsey G Armstrong, Laurent AF Frantz, Melissa TR Hawkins, Logan Kistler
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.


Crick (Grant ID: CC2109, Grant title: Skoglund CC2109) Wellcome Trust (Grant ID: 217223/Z/19/Z, Grant title: WT 217223/Z/19/Z) European Research Council (Grant ID: 852558, Grant title: ERC 852558 - AGRICON)


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