FE1.11 - Funerary Ecologies

Jeff Huggins - Photo by Adam Huggins

Jeff Huggins - Photo by Adam Huggins


Forever is a really long time. This episode is about death, and its transformative power on the landscape. It’s also the last episode of Season 1.

It may be trivial to remind you that death is an unavoidable part of life. However, death is an act that leaves ripples in life. Some may last for thousands of years.⁣⁣

You might expect us to talk about new sustainable burial technologies (See: Jae Rhim Lee & Katrina Spade), and honestly so did we. As we started working on it, we realized that we would rather let TED Talks handle that sort of thing. Instead, this episode takes a broad view through the lens of ritual, urban planning, and ecological entanglements, with a distinct focus on the Salish Sea.

It’s been a huge honour to bring you all of these stories over the past 5 months. This seemed like the most appropriate way to close out our first season. We can’t wait to bring you Season 2!

Show Notes

This episode features Jeff Huggins, Glen Hodges (Manager of Mountain View Cemetery), Paula Jardine (Artist and Co-Founder of the Night For All Souls), and Darcy Matthews (Funerary Archaeologist, Ethnoecologist, and Assistant Professor at the University of Victoria).

Special thanks to Bill Pechet, Amanda Cassidy, Lynne Werker, David Skulski, Riley Byrne, Nicole Jahraus, Conor Fanning, Cassy Allan, Ilana Fonariov, Eleanor Arkin, Andrew Philips, Maceo Quintanar, Hannah Carpendale, Blaine Doherty, Kevin Matheson, Sean Parker, June Moon, Andrzej Kozlowski, Erin Cadwell, Jaclyn Lim, Lauren Magner, Vincent Van Haaff, Schuyler Lindberg, Lindsay Kathrens, Michael Hathaway, Laryssa Gervan, Teresa Maddison, Spencer Stuart, Louise Gadd, Kieran Fanning, Sarah Sax, Zach Bergman, Kirsty Cameron, Michelle Haber, Jake Sigg, Jody Baker, Clare Wilkening, and Jacob Kalmakoff.

Music for this episode was produced by Cat Can Do, Radioactive Bishop, PORTBOU, Selkies, Zeellia, Calvin Cairns, and Sunfish Moonlight.

A lot of research goes into each episode of Future Ecologies, including great journalism from a variety of media outlets, and we like to cite our sources:

Bayliss, Graeme. “Dissolving the Dead.” The Walrus, 26 Mar. 2016, thewalrus.ca/dissolving-the-dead/.

Benesch, Chris. “Bio-Cremation.” Earth's Option Cremation & Burial Services, 12 June 2018, earthsoption.com/blogs/blog-entries/2/Bio-Cremation-Initiative/1/Bio-Cremation.html.

Doughty, Caitlin. From Here to Eternity: Travelling the World to Find the Good Death. Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 2018.

Matthews, Darcy L. “Burial cairn taxonomy and the mortuary landscape of Rocky Point, British Columbia.” University of Victoria, 2006.

Matthews, Darcy L. “Funerary Ritual, Ancestral Presence, and the Rocky Point Ways of Death.” University of Victoria, 2014.

You can subscribe to and download Future Ecologies wherever you find podcasts - please share, rate, and review us.  Our website is futureecologies.net. We’re also on Facebook, Instagram, iNaturalist, Soundcloud and Youtube.  We’re an independent production, and you can support us on Patreon - our supporters have access to cool supporter-only mini-episodes and other perks.

Future Ecologies is recorded on the unceded territories of the Musqueam (xwməθkwəy̓əm) Squamish (Skwxwú7mesh), and Tsleil- Waututh (Səl̓ílwətaʔ/Selilwitulh) Nations - otherwise known as Vancouver, British Columbia.  

This season of Future Ecologies is supported in part by the Vancouver Foundation.  Learn more at https://vancouverfoundationsmallarts.ca/.  

Photo by Luis Alvoeiro Quaresma

Photo by Luis Alvoeiro Quaresma