Indigenous Heritage Stewardship and the Transformation of Archaeological Practice: Two Case Studies from the Mid-Fraser Region of British Columbia

Indigenous Heritage Stewardship and the Transformation of Archaeological Practice: Two Case Studies from the Mid-Fraser Region of British Columbia
Indigenous Heritage Stewardship and the
Transformation of Archaeological Practice:
Two Case Studies from the
Mid-Fraser Region of British Columbia
by
Michael A. Klassen
M.A. (Anthropology), Trent University, 1995
B.A. (Hons.), University of Alberta, 1987
Dissertation Submitted in Partial Fulfillment of the
Requirements for the Degree of
Doctor of Philosophy
in the
Department of Archaeology
Faculty of Environment
! Michael A. Klassen 2013
SIMON FRASER UNIVERSITY
Spring 2013
Approval
Name:
Michael A. Klassen
Degree:
Doctor of Philosophy (Archaeology)
Title of Thesis:
Indigenous Heritage Stewardship and the
Transformation of Archaeological Practice:
Two Case Studies from the
Mid-Fraser Region of British Columbia
Examining Committee:
Chair: Dr. David Burley
Professor
Dr. Eldon Yellowhorn
Senior Supervisor
Associate Professor
Dr. George P. Nicholas
Supervisor
Professor
Dr. John R. Welch
Supervisor
Associate Professor
Dr. Marianne Boelscher Ignace
Internal Examiner
Professor
Department of Sociology and
Anthropology, and First Nations Studies
Dr. Charles R. Menzies
External Examiner
Associate Professor
Department of Anthropology
University of British Columbia
Date Defended/Approved: April 16, 2013
ii
Partial Copyright Licence
iii
Ethics Statement
iv
Abstract
Over the past two decades, archaeology in British Columbia has been marked by two dramatic
changes: the steep rise in forest industry-related “cultural resource management” (CRM) and the
concomitant increase in First Nations engagement with archaeology and heritage stewardship.
These trends have led to conflict between indigenous perspectives and CRM practice, but have
also led to alliances and collaborations with archaeologists and the implementation of applied
archaeological approaches. This dissertation addresses the implications of indigenous heritage
stewardship, from the viewpoints of the St’át’imc and Nlaka’pamux nations, in the historical and
contemporary context of CRM practice and applied archaeology in the mid-Fraser region of
British Columbia. To place their engagement in perspective, I consider recent theoretical debates
in community-based and indigenous archaeologies, as well as the development of participatory
action research in archaeology. I also review the involvement of First Nations throughout British
Columbia in CRM, stewardship, heritage legislation, and ethics.
The St’át’imc and Nlaka’pamux case studies presented in this dissertation relate their outlooks on
archaeology and their specific efforts in heritage stewardship, based on literature reviews,
interviews, and direct participation. The St’át’imc case study describes their traditional and
contemporary views on archaeology and stewardship, relates their involvement in archaeology
since the 1970s, and evaluates the process and outcomes of their recent direct involvement in
the business of CRM. The Nlaka’pamux case study recounts their experiences with archaeology
since the late nineteenth century, as well as their more recent confrontations with CRM practice,
and examines their current efforts at defining Nlaka’pamux heritage stewardship, particularly from
the vantage of landscape. The different approaches taken by these two nations have their
strengths and shortcomings, and both continue to aspire to greater participation and authority in
archaeology and heritage stewardship. Most important, the standpoints and strategies of both
nations provide insights into how applied archaeology practice can be transformed to better serve
indigenous heritage stewardship, including in the realms of ethics, indigenous authority, intangible
heritage, and cultural landscapes. I contend that archaeologists can best accommodate these
perspectives through participatory action research and the concept of archaeological praxis.
•
Keywords:
Indigenous archaeology; heritage stewardship; cultural resource
management, applied archaeology; cultural landscape; St’át’imc, Nlaka’pamux;
mid-Fraser region, British Columbia
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Dedication
To Marion,
for her unconditional love, unwavering support, and incredible patience
and to Lily and Grace,
who inspired me to be stronger and to do better
In Memory of
Alison Duncan
1975 – 2008
who represented the future of
Nlaka’pamux heritage stewardship
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Acknowledgements
I am deeply grateful to the Lillooet Tribal Council and Nlaka’pamux Nation Tribal Council
for welcoming me, opening their archives, and supporting my research. In particular,
former Chief Perry Redan and Susan James of the Lillooet Tribal Council, and Chief Bob
Pasco and Debbie Abbott of the Nlaka’pamux Nation Tribal Council, deserve special
recognition for making this dissertation possible from the very beginning.
My patient mentors, Marie Barney of T’it’q’et and John Haugen of Lytton First Nation,
were indispensable guides, helping me navigate through the complex history, traditions,
and relationships of their respective nations. Gilbert Solomon of Xeni Gwet’in first
encouraged me to try and see the indigenous landscape.
I would also like to acknowledge all of my Northern St’át’imc and Nlaka’pamux
colleagues and collaborators for sharing their knowledge, skills, and memories:
From the St’át’imc Nation: Chief Art Adolph, Terry Adolph, Dean Billy, Larry Casper,
Sam Copeland, Chief Michelle Edwards, Andrea Fenton, Randy James, Darwyn John,
Chief Garry John, Albert Joseph, Ervin Joseph, Rodney Louie, Brenda McDonald,
Gerald Michel, Marilyn Napoleon, Cathy Narcisse, Ida Peter, Grand Chief Desmond
Peters Sr., John Terry, Chief Saul Terry, and Kenny Thomas.
From the Nlaka’pamux Nation: Romona Baxter, Harold Bobb, Mel Bobb, Christine
Brown, Jim Brown, Mike Campbell, Chief Phillip Campbell, Amy Charlie, Barry Charlie,
Jeanie Charlie, Marion Dixon, Alison Duncan, Karen Dunstan, Ruby Dunstan, Alfred
Higginbottom, Alexander Hobart, Chief James Hobart, Serena Hunsbedt, Deb McIntyre,
Bernie Paul, Beverly Phillips, Raymond Phillips, Teresa Raphael, Byron Spinks, and
Chief Janet Webster.
Special thanks to family, friends and colleagues that assisted and encouraged me
throughout this long process, and to those that shared information and provided
comments: Dr. Ursula Arndt, Chris Arnett, Dr. Jack Brink, Rick Budhwa, Tawnya Collins,
Dr. Sean Connaughton, Pauline Douglas, Dr. Howie Harshaw, Alan Klassen, Jessie
Kleeberger, Dr. Andrea Laforet, Dr. Marty Magne, Dr. Nancy Mahony, Kelly Pearce,
Bruce Petch, Dr. Rudy Reimer, Cam Robertson, Jim Spafford, Susan Tanco, Dr. Wendy
Wickwire, my brothers, and especially my mother, Mary Klassen.
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I would like to thank the staff, faculty, and graduate students at the SFU Department of
Archaeology. In particular, I would like to acknowledge the help, advice, and
encouragement of Robyn Bannerjee, Dr. Dave Burley, Merrill Farmer, Dr. Ross
Jamieson, Dr. Dana Lepofsky, Peter Locher, Laura Nielsen, Shannon Wood, and the
SFU grad cohorts of 2004 and 2005.
I am enormously grateful to my “dream team”–my supervisor Dr. Eldon Yellowhorn, and
my committee members Dr. George Nicholas and Dr. John Welch–for their wisdom,
patience, and careful attention to detail. I would also like to thank my external examiners,
Dr. Charles Menzies and Dr. Marianne Ignace, for their thoughtful comments.
SSHRC, SFU Grad Studies, SFU Department of Archaeology, NNTC, Lytton FN, and
Parks Canada provided financial support.
This dissertation would not have been possible if not for Parminder Parhar and the staff
of Renaissance Coffee, the BBC, HBO, and the creators of Lost.
viii
Table of Contents
Approval...........................................................................................................................ii
Partial Copyright Licence ................................................................................................iii
Ethics Statement .............................................................................................................iv
Abstract........................................................................................................................... v
Dedication.......................................................................................................................vi
Acknowledgements ........................................................................................................vii
Table of Contents............................................................................................................ix
List of Tables ................................................................................................................ xiii
List of Figures ...............................................................................................................xiv
List of Acronyms ...........................................................................................................xvi
A Note on Terms .......................................................................................................... xvii
Chapter 1. From Open Conflict to Wary Alliance ...................................................... 1
The Problem ................................................................................................................... 2
The Case Studies ........................................................................................................... 5
The St’át’imc and Nlaka’pamux ....................................................................................... 8
The Mid-Fraser Region ................................................................................................. 11
Situating My Position..................................................................................................... 13
Organization ................................................................................................................. 17
Chapter 2. Community Participation and Indigenous Sovereignty in
Archaeological Practice ......................................................................... 19
Community-based Archaeologies.................................................................................. 20
The Parameters of Community Archaeology ........................................................ 22
Implications for Practice ....................................................................................... 25
Problematizing “Community” ................................................................................ 26
Collaborative Practice .......................................................................................... 29
From Participation to Control ................................................................................ 30
Indigenous Archaeologies ............................................................................................. 32
Problematizing “Indigeneity” ................................................................................. 34
Archaeology of Opposition ................................................................................... 36
From Theory to Action .......................................................................................... 39
Participatory Action Archaeologies................................................................................ 40
Action Archaeologies............................................................................................ 41
Participatory Action Research .............................................................................. 42
Collaborative Inquiry............................................................................................. 45
Chapter Summary: Models of Community Engagement ................................................ 48
Chapter 3. First Nations and Archaeological Practice in British Columbia ......... 51
Transformation in Context ............................................................................................. 52
First Nations and Heritage Legislation in British Columbia ............................................ 55
The Archaeological and Historical Sites Protection Act ........................................ 56
The Heritage Conservation Act of 1977................................................................ 57
“Project Pride” and the Amended HCA ................................................................. 59
The First Nation Critique ...................................................................................... 61
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First Nation Responses to Legislation and CRM ........................................................... 63
The Delgamuukw Case ........................................................................................ 64
Challenging Heritage Legislation .......................................................................... 65
First Nations and Forestry .................................................................................... 70
Transforming Practice in British Columbia ............................................................ 74
From Adversaries to Advocates............................................................................ 80
Ethics and Heritage Stewardship .................................................................................. 81
Conservation Archaeology and Legislation........................................................... 82
Accountability and Responsibility to Communities ................................................ 84
Chapter Summary: Prospects for a Sea Change........................................................... 87
Chapter 4. The St’át’imc Nation and Archaeology.................................................. 89
Research Methods ........................................................................................................ 90
Traditional Perspectives ................................................................................................ 93
Contemporary Perspectives .......................................................................................... 96
St’át’imc Perceptions of Archaeology ................................................................... 96
Archaeology and Heritage .................................................................................... 98
Heritage Places and the Land ............................................................................ 100
Perceived Benefits and Drawbacks of Archaeology............................................ 103
Heritage, the Law, and St’át’imc Sovereignty ..................................................... 107
Archaeology and Landscape .............................................................................. 110
The Rise of St’át’imc Nation Archaeology ................................................................... 111
Personal Encounters with Archaeology .............................................................. 111
The Stl’atl’imx Heritage and Resource Inventory Project .................................... 121
“Delgamuukw Inn”: The CP 146 Blockade .......................................................... 128
Showdown at Junction Creek ............................................................................. 136
Chapter Summary: Outcomes and Aspirations............................................................ 138
Chapter 5. St’át’imc Case Study: Heritage Stewardship and the Forest
Industry ................................................................................................. 140
The LTC Cultural Heritage Team ................................................................................ 141
LTC Heritage Assessment Process .................................................................... 142
Strengths and Challenges .................................................................................. 144
From Nation to Community................................................................................. 151
Evaluation of the 2000-2003 LTC Process ......................................................... 154
St’át’imc Archaeology and National Unity .................................................................... 161
St’át’imc Heritage Initiatives ............................................................................... 162
A Strategy for St’át’imc Heritage Stewardship .................................................... 167
Reconciling Archaeology and Indigenous Authority..................................................... 172
The Place of Archaeologists............................................................................... 172
Implications for Archaeological Practice ............................................................. 174
Chapter Summary: From Practice to Power ................................................................ 176
Chapter 6. The Nlaka’pamux Nation and Archaeology......................................... 178
Looting and Collecting (1877–1927)............................................................................ 181
Culture History and Resource Management (1961–1980)........................................... 190
Nlaka’pamux Activism and Archaeology...................................................................... 195
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CN Rail Twin-Tracking (1983–1988) .................................................................. 197
The Stein Valley (1984–1988) ............................................................................ 201
NNTC Heritage Research (1987–1994).............................................................. 218
The Nlaka’pamux and Forestry Archaeology (1994–2004) ................................. 222
Chapter Summary: Renewal and Transformation........................................................ 226
Chapter 7. Nlaka’pamux Case Study: Tradition and Landscape in Heritage
Stewardship .......................................................................................... 229
Nlaka’pamux Perspectives on Archaeology and Heritage ........................................... 232
Research Methods ............................................................................................. 232
Nlaka’pamux Heritage ........................................................................................ 235
Protecting Heritage............................................................................................. 238
Traditional Teachings ......................................................................................... 239
Threats and Challenges ..................................................................................... 241
Priorities for Preserving Heritage........................................................................ 243
The Role of Communities and the Nation ........................................................... 245
Decision-making and Implementation................................................................. 246
Collecting Intellectual and Cultural Property ....................................................... 246
Consequences ................................................................................................... 247
Knowledge and Traditions, Places and Landscape ............................................ 248
The Stein-Botanie National Historic Site Project.......................................................... 250
National Historic Site Designation and the Stein-Botanie ................................... 254
Co-management and Multiple-use...................................................................... 256
The Nlaka’pamux Landscape ............................................................................. 261
Heritage, Landscape, and Archaeology .............................................................. 265
Chapter Summary: Landscape and Practice ............................................................... 270
Chapter 8. Discussion: Indigenous Aspirations, Better Practices ...................... 271
Measuring Indigenous Engagement ............................................................................ 271
Participation and Authority.................................................................................. 275
Situating St’át’imc and Nlaka’pamux Practice..................................................... 276
The Evolution of Practice ............................................................................................ 281
Ethics and Stewardship ...................................................................................... 282
Authority and Ownership .................................................................................... 286
Intangible Heritage ............................................................................................. 291
The Indigenous Landscape ................................................................................ 295
Chapter Summary: ...................................................................................................... 299
Chapter 9. Conclusion: From Practice to Praxis.................................................. 301
Practice: The Aspirations of the St’át’imc and Nlaka’pamux ........................................ 302
Praxis: The Responsibilities of Archaeologists ............................................................ 305
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References Cited....................................................................................................... 308
Appendices ............................................................................................................ 351
Appendix A.
St’át’imc Consultants, Topics, and Research Agreement ................................... 352
St’át’imc Consultants .......................................................................................... 352
Generalized St’át’imc Conversation Topics ........................................................ 353
LTC Research and Information-Sharing Agreement ........................................... 354
LTC Letter of Approval ....................................................................................... 356
Appendix B.
Nlaka’pamux Participants and Research Agreement.......................................... 357
Participants in Nlaka’pamux Heritage Meetings and Community Workshops ..... 357
NNTC Research and Information-Sharing Agreement........................................ 359
NNTC Letter of Approval .................................................................................... 361
!
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List of Tables
Table 1.
Historical Development of Heritage Legislation in British Columbia .............. 56
Table 2.
First Nation Legal Challenges to Provisions and Application of the
HCA............................................................................................................. 66
Table 3.
St’át’imc Definitions of Archaeology.............................................................. 97
Table 4.
St’át’imc Conceptions of Heritage................................................................. 98
Table 5.
St’át’imc Heritage Places on the Land. ....................................................... 102
Table 6.
St’át’imc Perspectives on the Benefits of Archaeology. .............................. 104
Table 7.
St’át’imc Perspectives on Potential Drawbacks of Archaeology. ................. 106
Table 8.
St’át’imc Comments on the Heritage Conservation Act and
Regulations. .............................................................................................. 108
Table 9.
Definition of Cultural Heritage in Draft St’át’imc Land and Resource
Code ......................................................................................................... 111
Table 10. Strengths and Challenges in the LTC Heritage Assessment Process. ....... 147
Table 11. Forestry Assessment Results in Northern St’át’imc Territory, 19942003. ......................................................................................................... 156
Table 12. Comparison of Industry/MoF and LTC Assessment Results. ..................... 158
Table 13. Questions used in the Nlaka’pamux Community Heritage Workshops. ...... 234
Table 14. NNTC Workshop Participants. ................................................................... 235
Table 15. NNTC Community Participation. ................................................................ 235
Table 16. Categories and Components of Nlaka’pamux Heritage. ............................. 236
Table 17. Indigenous Participation in Heritage Stewardship. ..................................... 278
Table 18. Indigenous Authority over Heritage Stewardship........................................ 279
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List of Figures
Figure 1.
Generalized location of St'åt'imc and Nlaka'pamux territories. ....................... 9
Figure 2.
Fraser Canyon near Lytton, looking north from the Stein River. ................... 12
Figure 3.
Fountain Valley near Lillooet, looking west towards the Fraser River........... 13
Figure 4.
Collaboration as a continuum of practices, adapted from ColwellChanthaphonh and Ferguson (2008b:11). ................................................... 30
Figure 5.
Northern St'át'imc communities in relation to Nzwat/Msut (CP 146),
Junction Creek, Pavilion Creek, and Slok/McKay Creeks. ........................... 91
Figure 6.
Albert Joseph in the field, 1999.................................................................. 122
Figure 7.
Marie Barney of the SHRI team testing a housepit, Leon’s Creek,
1995. ......................................................................................................... 125
Figure 8.
The LTC heritage team in the field, 2001 (left to right, John Terry,
Ervin Joseph, Terry Adolph). ..................................................................... 142
Figure 9.
Terry Adolph and an “unregulated” cedar CMT, 2001. ............................... 145
Figure 10. Forestry Assessment Results: 1994-1998 vs. 1999-2003. ......................... 160
Figure 11. Nlaka'pamux communities (red dots) on the Fraser River affiliated
with the Nlaka'pamux Nation Tribal Council (map base courtesy Hope
Mountain Centre for Outdoor Learning). .................................................... 180
Figure 12. Stein Valley Nlaka’pamux Heritage Park and associated Lytton First
Nation reserves (map courtesy of Lytton FN)............................................. 202
Figure 13. The lower Stein River valley. ..................................................................... 203
Figure 14. Number of archaeology permits issued by decade in Nlaka'pamux
territory, mid-Fraser region. ....................................................................... 223
Figure 15. Alison Duncan and John Haugen of the NNTC ground-truthing place
names on Stryen IR 9, 2006. ..................................................................... 230
Figure 16. A “word cloud” representing the relative frequency of terms used in
the workshops. .......................................................................................... 237
Figure 17. Botanie Valley (dashed line), Skwaha Ecological Reserve, and
associated Lytton First Nation reserves (map courtesy of Lytton FN). ....... 252
Figure 18. The upper Botanie Valley, on Bootahnie IR 15. ......................................... 253
Figure 19. A generalized view of cultural landscape attributes: place names,
archaeological sites (red triangles), and resource areas (yellow
polygons)................................................................................................... 267
Figure 20. Cultural landscape attributes may be discernible within one or more
“layers” of time, but all are perceptible, and meaningful, in the present...... 268
Figure 21. The striped rock face known as shqueekooTLquaTLt shwuhA-yem
(Entrails Thrown), in the lower Botanie Valley............................................ 269
Figure 22. De Paoli’s Framework for Indigenous Participation (adapted from De
Paoli 1999). ............................................................................................... 274
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Figure 23. Forms of practice plotted on axes of participation and authority................. 276
Figure 24. St’át’imc participation and authority in archaeological practice................... 280
Figure 25. Nlaka’pamux participation and authority in archaeological practice............ 281
All photographs by the author.
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List of Acronyms
Term
Definition
AIA
Archaeological impact assessment
AOA
Archaeological overview assessment
CHO
Cultural heritage overview
CMT
Culturally modified tree
CN
Canadian National [Railway]
CP
Cutting permit
CRM
Cultural resource management
FLA
Forest licence area
FNLC
First Nations Leadership Council
HCA
Heritage Conservation Act
HFR
Heritage field reconnaissance
LRMP
Land and Resource Management Plan
LTC
Lillooet Tribal Council
MoF
Ministry of Forests
MOU
Memorandum of Understanding
NAGPRA
Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act
NPS
National Park Services [U.S.]
NNTC
Nlaka’pamux Nation Tribal Council
RIC
Resource Inventory Committee
RISC
Resources Information Standards Committee
SAA
Society for American Archaeology
SCC
St’át’imc Chiefs Council
SGS
St’át’imc Government Services
SHRI
St’atl’imx Heritage and Resource Inventory
SLRA
St’át’imc Land and Resource Authority
SNH
St’át’imc Nation Hydro
TSA
Timber Supply Area
TUS
Traditional use study
UN
United Nations
UNESCO
United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization
WL
Woodlot
xvi
A Note on Terms
Throughout this dissertation I have attempted to be consistent in my use of terms. I have
chosen to use the term “Indigenous peoples” in place of alternate terms such as “Native
people” and “Aboriginal people.” I have also adopted the growing international
convention of using this term in the plural, and capitalizing indigenous when it is used as
a proper noun. However, I do not capitalize it when it is used as an adjective, such as in
"indigenous perspectives." I only use the term “Aboriginal” in the specific context of
Canadian legal and constitutional usage. I use “Nation” when referring to specific
traditional indigenous political entities, as generally defined by a common language, and
I use “First Nations” to refer in the collective to nations and bands (as defined under the
federal Indian Act). For example, the St’át’imc and Nlaka’pamux are Nations, whereas
Tsal'alh and Spuzzum are bands within these Nations, but in the collective they are First
Nations. However, I only use First Nation in the context of a specific band when it is part
of a formal or official name, such as Lytton First Nation. Last, I use the term “community”
to refer to a self-identified group that may or may not correspond to a single band; a
single band may be comprised of multiple communities.
xvii
Chapter 1.
From Open Conflict to Wary Alliance
Over the past two decades the practice of consulting archaeology in British Columbia
has been transformed by two significant developments. One is the surge in the number
of forestry-related archaeological assessments beginning in the mid-1990s, with the
consequence that this form of cultural resource management (CRM) soon exceeded all
other types of archaeology in the province. The second is the concurrent expansion of
indigenous engagement in archaeological management and heritage stewardship,
resulting in the emergence of various nascent community-based archaeologies.
Together, these related developments led to substantially greater contact, interaction,
and tension between First Nations, CRM archaeologists, and the government agencies
implementing heritage legislation (see Budhwa 2005; De Paoli 1999; Gould 2005;
Klassen et al. 2009; Klimko et al. 1998; Klimko and Wright 2000; La Salle 2010; Nicholas
2006; Perreault 2002; Schaepe 2007; Welch et al. 2011a). This has thrust Indigenous
peoples and consulting archaeologists in British Columbia into the centre of debates
involving or contributing to many of the major theoretical and ethical issues facing
archaeology today, and in turn has significantly influenced the practice of archaeology in
the province.
In this dissertation, I provide theoretical and historical context for these
transformative issues. I discuss alternative archaeologies that have the potential for
accommodating indigenous perspectives and better serving their interests, including
community-based, indigenous, and participatory action approaches. I also review the
efforts of First Nations in British Columbia during the past four decades to increase their
role in heritage stewardship and their authority over archaeological practice, from the
perspective of heritage legislation, court decisions, regulatory change, and transforming
ethics. The core of this dissertation, however, is devoted to a pair of case studies that
illustrates how this struggle for indigenous participation and control has played out in the
1
political and social spheres, and demonstrates how alternative indigenous perspectives
have been applied, both in a CRM context and in landscape stewardship.
In these case studies, I examine the heritage stewardship experiences of two
neighbouring nations in the Fraser River canyon–the Nlaka’pamux and the Northern
St’át’imc. Both have been affected by the recent political, ethical, and practical conflicts
that have shaped the current practice of archaeology and CRM in British Columbia.
Their engagement with archaeology, primarily in the context of the forest industry, has
exposed fundamental differences between indigenous and disciplinary perspectives on
heritage stewardship, resource management, and regulatory policy. More important, the
struggle of the St’át’imc and Nlaka’pamux in their efforts at increasing their participation
and authority in British Columbia archaeology offers lessons for First Nations,
archaeologists, and the government as the heritage process evolves and develops in the
province. Ultimately, their experiences reveal potential avenues for the resolution of
heritage stewardship conflicts from the perspective of ethics and collaboration, authority
and control, intangible heritage, and landscape.
The Problem
In British Columbia, CRM and heritage stewardship have become a politically
charged components of the greater indigenous struggle over title and rights, with
implications for cultural revitalization and political sovereignty. After the forest industry
was forced to incorporate archaeological resource management in their practices in the
mid-1990s, indigenous concerns with heritage legislation and conflicts with (and within)
CRM increased substantially. When forestry archaeology subsequently mushroomed,
CRM archaeologists were often the first or only resource professionals in contact with
First Nations, who initially reacted to them with suspicion and mistrust (Klassen et al.
2009). They saw them as agents of industry and facilitators of development, and their
concern was only heightened as they became aware of the restricted scope of heritage
legislation and the limited consequences of impact assessments. In subsequent years,
similar issues spilled over into other resource sectors such as mining and
hydroelectricity, as well as urban contexts. Through this interaction, First Nations quickly
recognized that CRM could work for their interests, as much as against them.
2
In recent years, First Nations in British Columbia and elsewhere have
demonstrated that they are strongly interested in archaeology, both as a political and
economic tool and as an agent for cultural revitalization and identity. Their initial
antagonism and pushback was soon followed by determined efforts for increasing their
involvement. They have forged alliances and collaborative relationships with
archaeologists, and in many cases they have adapted CRM processes to suit their own
needs, remaking it to be more like the idea of applied archaeology–“the application of
archaeological research and its results to address contemporary human problems”
(Neusius 2009:19). Certainly, antagonism still exists, but where it does it is not
necessarily an issue with the discipline of archaeology itself, but rather with how it is
conducted and how it is used. The current legislative regime, and the theory and practice
of CRM and applied archaeology, is of significant concern to First Nations in the
province. As such, they have increasingly asserted political influence over the
archaeological assessment process and demanded a greater role in heritage
stewardship.
For Indigenous peoples in British Columbia, control over the process and
products of heritage stewardship is important because these are used by the provincial
and federal governments to validate or refute assertions of title and rights, which in turn
affects First Nation access to land and resources. Thus, claims over heritage clearly
have political motivations and practical implications for First Nations. Yet, their concerns
with the present state of archaeological practice go much deeper, motivated by strongly
held cultural beliefs and values and informed by epistemological and ontological
perspectives that often vary from the “authorized heritage discourse” (Smith 2006:4). As
a consequence, they reject the CRM model of archaeological resource management,
with its connotations of exploitation, consumption, and government ownership, and
instead implicitly embrace a model of heritage stewardship, where heritage
encompasses a much broader range of cultural and historical attributes than just
archaeological evidence, and stewardship implies the safeguarding of a legacy or
heirloom on behalf of a descendant community (see Atalay 2006b:299; De Paoli
1999:25; Groarke and Warrick 2006:176; Nicholas 2006:363; Welch 2009:149;
Yellowhorn 1999b:2-3, 2002:66, 73).
The conflicts and concerns arising from the practice of archaeology and CRM in
British Columbia have exposed a number of fundamental differences between
3
indigenous heritage stewardship and disciplinary and regulatory perspectives on
archaeological and CRM practice. Many of the issues that have emerged in the province
from the historical and contemporary intersection of indigenous activism with
archaeological practice, and associated conflicts with regulatory regimes and disciplinary
perspectives, touch on key ethical and political issues that currently burden the discipline
as a whole. Among these are:
• Indigenous ownership over heritage and knowledge.
• Indigenous authority over the stewardship process.
• Privileging scientific evidence over traditional knowledge.
• The relationship of tangible and intangible heritage values.
• Heritage stewardship in a landscape context.
• Intellectual and cultural property issues, and the ethics of repatriation.
• Legal distinctions in the management of tangible and intangible heritage.
• Management of a “resource” versus stewardship of an inheritance.
Although many consulting archaeologists have adapted to First Nation protocols
and perspectives, legislation, operational guidelines, and government policies have not
yet reflected this shift in power and orientation. In many cases, private industrial interests
have moved more quickly to accommodate indigenous interests in heritage stewardship.
As such, heritage stewardship and decision-making in the realm of resource
development, land use planning, and agreements with First Nations have the potential of
relegating archaeologists and archaeological bureaucrats to the sidelines of heritage
stewardship. If archaeology as an applied discipline is to be relevant to First Nations,
indigenous perspectives and aspirations need to be understood, and alternative
approaches for bridging the gap between practitioners and communities must be
considered.
Although this dissertation focuses specifically on the indigenous experience with
archaeology in British Columbia, the situation in this province corresponds to similar
issues and trends elsewhere in Canada. It also reflects developments in other settler
societies, such as Australia and the United States, where archaeologists and Indigenous
peoples have come into conflict (Smith 2004:83). Collaborative archaeological practice
with Indigenous and other descendant communities, intellectual and cultural property
issues, reconciling archaeological practice with indigenous conceptions of heritage
4
stewardship, and bridging indigenous and scientific epistemologies are all major topics
of current discussion within the discipline (see Atalay 2012; Colwell-Chanthaphonh and
Ferguson 2010; Colwell-Chanthaphonh et al. 2010; Hammond 2009; La Salle 2010;
Murray 2011; Nicholas 2010; Nicholas et al. 2011; Welch et al. 2011b; Wylie 2009).
Indeed, Alison Wylie suggests that “putting archaeological tools of inquiry and insights to
work in the context of collaborative ventures with extra-archaeological communities,” and
the ethical obligations that go along with these goals, may represent the next major
“programmatic debate” shaping the discipline (Wylie 2009:2). Likewise, Sonja Atalay
contends that the participation of descendant communities, and in particular Indigenous
peoples, in collaborative archaeological practice represents a “paradigm shift” within the
field (Atalay 2012:3). While global developments provide theoretical context to local
circumstances, this study highlights practical and theoretical positions that may in turn
contribute to the ongoing worldwide evolution of collaborative practice and indigenous
approaches to heritage stewardship.
In this dissertation, I consider why and how heritage stewardship is important to
First Nations in British Columbia, and whether the historical engagement of indigenous
communities with the discipline has informed their contemporary attitudes to
archaeology and archaeologists. Moreover, I examine how their perspectives and
specific efforts differ from conventional practice, and what lessons their approaches
have for the discipline specifically and heritage stewardship in general. For
archaeologists, this leads to questions about why it is important for archaeologists to
work with indigenous communities (or, more broadly, with descendant communities),
how to make archaeology more relevant to them, and what changes in practice can
better serve their needs.
The Case Studies
Two case studies involving the St’át’imc and Nlaka’pamux nations form the core
of this dissertation. These nations were identified for these studies primarily on the basis
of my long-term relationship with the communities, and my familiarity with many of the
individuals directly involved in heritage stewardship. My participation in many of their
heritage stewardship efforts has provided me with privileged insight into community
issues and challenges. More importantly, both nations welcomed and supported this
research.
5
The research approach employed in the case studies borrows from ethnographic
methods in order to directly communicate Nlaka’pamux and St’át’imc perspectives on
archaeology and heritage stewardship, a practice that is becoming more common in the
discipline of archaeology (Hollowell and Nicholas 2009). The intent is to give a relatively
unmediated emic or internal accounting of their conceptions, and in this regard the case
studies loosely conform to the growing application of what has become known as
“ethnographic archaeology” or “archaeological ethnography” (Castañeda and Matthews
2008:3; Edgeworth 2006:12-14; Hollowell and Nicholas 2008:82-83), or perhaps more
aptly the “ethnography of archaeologies” (Hollowell and Mortensen 2009:8). This has
been described as “the merging of ethnographic and archaeological practices in order to
explore the contemporary relevance and meaning of the material past for diverse
publics, the politics of archaeological practice, and the claims and contestations
involving past material traces and landscapes” (Hamilakis and Anagnostopoulos
2009:66). The origin of this practice stems from “challenges to the authority of
archaeology by indigenous peoples and other disenfranchised groups, … the
emergence of reflexivity as a key epistemological feature of archaeology, [and] the
growing realization that archaeology is a social practice in the present” (Hamilakis and
Anagnostopoulos 2009:66); all of these factors are certainly at play in the contemporary
engagement of the St’át’imc and Nlaka’pamux with archaeology in the mid-Fraser region
of British Columbia. Although both case studies are broadly similar in structure and
content, the specific research methods and topics differ somewhat in each instance. The
case study chapters provide specific details on research design and methods, but these
are briefly outlined below.
Prior to commencing the St’át’imc case study, a research protocol and
information-sharing agreement with the Lillooet Tribal Council was developed and
signed, and a list of participants and research topics was reviewed and vetted by the
tribal council (Appendix A). The St’át’imc research involved semi-structured one-on-one
conversations with twenty-one individuals targeted for their specific experience and
knowledge. This approach allowed for a reflexive dialogue between each of the
participants and myself that would have been more difficult to achieve with formalized
interviews, while at the same time permitting an assessment of the coherence and
consistency among the perspectives and impressions of the individual participants. The
conversations focussed on personal experiences with archaeology and St’át’imc
6
heritage stewardship efforts, and also concentrated on specific events, issues, and
outcomes. Each participant had an opportunity to review the conversation notes and the
case study chapters, provide corrections and additional information, and meet with me to
review the relevant chapters prior to completion of the dissertation.
For the Nlaka’pamux case study, a research protocol and information-sharing
agreement with the Nlaka’pamux Nation Tribal Council (NNTC) was also developed and
signed (Appendix B). However, the tribal council requested that my research not involve
conversations with individual participants. Instead, I was invited to participate in a nationled initiative to develop an approach to Nlaka’pamux heritage stewardship. This process
involved a series of group meetings and community workshops led by a facilitator, where
almost 60 different participants engaged in discussions of a pre-determined set of
broadly defined topics that allowed an open-ended exchange. This approach created a
reflexive dialogue between participants and resulted in a general sense of consensus
within each group, which better reflected traditional approaches to issue resolution. At
the same time, the coherence and consistency of the perspectives between each of the
groups could be assessed. The Nlaka’pamux case study also involved my participation
in a cultural landscape heritage initiative, whereby I assisted community members with
the acquisition and compilation of Nlaka’pamux knowledge and an inventory of
significant places. Although establishing a review process for all of the individual
participants in the Nlaka’pamux group meetings and community workshops was not
possible, most had an opportunity to meet with me during several presentations while
specific individuals reviewed the case study chapters before completion of the
dissertation. These latter individuals were identified with the assistance of the NNTC.
The overall objective of the two case studies is to provide examples of local
indigenous responses to heritage stewardship issues, in the context of global
developments in theory and practice. The Nlaka’pamux and St’át’imc perspectives and
actions described in the case studies are born of specific local contingencies and do not
necessarily always correspond to the experiences and aspirations of Indigenous peoples
elsewhere in the world. Nonetheless, they serve as a useful source of comparison and
counterpoint to the evolving global relationship of Indigenous peoples to archaeology
and heritage stewardship. Most important, the research approach taken in the case
studies has provided members of the St’át’imc and Nlaka’pamux nations with the
7
opportunity to recount their history of engagement with archaeology and heritage
stewardship, and tell their side of the story, largely in their own voices.
The St’át’imc and Nlaka’pamux
The Nlaka’pamux and St’át’imc bands in this study are situated in an area known
as the Fraser Canyon or mid-Fraser region (Figure 1). Seven Nlaka’pamux bands (as
recognized by the federal government) are situated on the Fraser River from Spuzzum
to Lytton, with three more on the Thompson River from Lytton to Ashcroft. Another five
are located in the Nicola valley near Merritt. Each band is comprised of one or more
communities organized on the basis of residency and ancestry. Six bands along the
Fraser River affiliated with the NNTC participated in this dissertation research to varying
degrees: Boothroyd, Boston Bar, Kanaka Bar, Lytton, Skuppah, and Spuzzum. 1 Two
bands affiliated with the NNTC located on the Thompson River and–Ashcroft and
Oregon Jack Creek–had only limited participation in this study. The combined registered
population of the eight NNTC bands is 3,348, with 1,420 people living “on-reserve.”
The St’át’imc Nation is comprised of two divisions. The “Upper” or Northern
St’át’imc are located in the vicinity of Lillooet and Seton Lake east of the Coast Ranges,
while the “Lower” or Southern St’át’imc are located in the vicinity of the Lillooet River and
Anderson Lake on the leeward side of the Coast Ranges (Figure 1). Participants from
the six Northern St’át’imc bands participated in this study: Sekw'el'was (Cayoose Creek),
T'it'q'et (Lillooet), Ts'kw'aylaxw (Pavilion), Tsal'alh (Seton Lake), Xaxli'p (Fountain), and
Xwisten (Bridge River). These bands are all affiliated with the Lillooet Tribal Council
(LTC), as well as the St’át’imc Chiefs Council.2 Like the Nlaka’pamux, each band is
comprised of one or more communities. The combined registered population of LTC
communities is 3,329, with 1,511 of these people living on-reserve.
1
2
A seventh Nlaka’pamux community on the Fraser River (Siska) is affiliated with the Nicola
Tribal Association (NTA). Other Nlaka’pamux communities affiliated with the NTA are:
Coldwater, Cook’s Ferry, Nicomen, Nooaitch, and Shacken. The Lower Nicola community is
not affiliated with either tribal council. None of these communities participated in this study.
The St’át’imc Chiefs Council represents all eleven Northern and Southern St’át’imc
communities. The Southern St'át'imc communities are: Lil'wat (Mt. Currie), N'Quatqua
(Anderson Lake), Samahquam, Skatin, and Xa'xtsa (Douglas). The latter four bands are
affiliated with the Lower St’atl’imx Tribal Council, while latter three bands also refer to
themselves as the In-SHUCK-sh Nation. The Southern and Northern St'át'imc speak distinct
dialects of St’át’imcets. None of the Southern St'át'imc communities participated in this study.
8
Figure 1.
Generalized location of St'åt'imc and Nlaka'pamux territories.
9
The Northern St’át’imc and Nlaka’pamux speak related Interior Salish languages,
and despite their distinct identities these nations exhibit a number of cultural and
historical similarities (see Kennedy and Bouchard 1998; Wyatt 1998). Their identity is
strongly defined by their relationship to salmon, and numerous salmon fishing locations
line the Fraser River from Spuzzum to Lillooet. Salmon fishing remains a key social and
economic activity. Deer hunting, plant and medicine gathering, and root processing in
upland areas are also important traditional subsistence activities still practiced by some
community members. In the past, the Fraser River Nlaka’pamux and Northern St’át’imc
occupied winter villages located primarily alongside the Fraser River, although some
villages were found on tributaries and nearby lakes. From spring through fall, the people
travelled between the uplands and the fishing stations, according to the seasonal
abundance of resources. Today, most Nlaka’pamux and St’át’imc live in communities
established on the reserves created in the late 1860s, and most participate in the
regional economy largely based on forestry, mining, transportation, agriculture, and
services. Nonetheless, traditions such as the first salmon, first deer, and naming
ceremonies remain important parts of their identity. Despite a long history of contact and
post-colonial conflict, their identities remain strong.
Nlaka’pamux and St’át’imc communities in the mid-Fraser region have had a
long, and at times antagonistic, relationship with archaeologists (Carlson 2005). Only in
the late twentieth century did they begin to exert greater control and influence over the
practice of archaeology. Since the 1980s, these nations have taken distinct approaches
to heritage stewardship. The St’át’imc responded to ongoing impacts to their heritage by
directly confronting industry, and forcing an alternative, parallel heritage stewardship
process engaging community members in the field. Subsequently, they have worked
collaboratively with archaeologists to establish an independent presence in cultural
resource management. Initially this approach was largely reactive in nature and primarily
dealt with potential development impacts on a referral-by-referral basis, and was
established before a comprehensive heritage policy was in place. Since 2003 they have
been moving towards a broader landscape stewardship approach guided by a draft landuse plan and a draft “tribal code,” which are intended to provide a greater degree of
control over the direction of development and the protection of heritage. In 2011, the
St’át’imc successfully negotiated a settlement with BC Hydro and Power Authority, which
included a substantial heritage component.
10
The Nlaka’pamux, on the other hand, generally reacted to threats and
encroaching development in the 1980s and 1990s by blocking specific projects via legal
injunctions or political actions, and by focussing on a landscape approach to protect key
areas of their territory. Although archaeologists worked with the Nlaka’pamux throughout
this time, their primary role was to counter the assessments produced by archaeologists
hired by industry, or to provide evidence for ongoing legal actions and specific claims.
Currently the Nlaka’pamux are formally developing an internal, community-based
heritage stewardship process that will address development on a project-by-project
basis. As such, St’át’imc and Nlaka’pamux heritage stewardship approaches are
converging on a similar outcome, but from two distinct starting points. Both approaches
have their strengths and limitations, and both have led to successes and setbacks. The
heritage stewardship experiences of these two nations form the basis of the case studies
presented in this dissertation, and provide compelling narratives about the indigenous
transformation of archaeological practice in British Columbia.
The Mid-Fraser Region
The geographical extent covered in this dissertation roughly corresponds to what
is conventionally known in British Columbia archaeology as the mid-Fraser
archaeological region of the Interior Plateau (see Fladmark 1997). This area extends
along the Fraser River from just north of Yale in the south to approximately Big Bar in
the north, incorporating all those watersheds draining into the Fraser River with the
exception of the Thompson River above Spences Bridge. This region also extends
westward from Lillooet to include the Bridge River, Seton River and upper Lillooet River
watersheds.
The mid-Fraser region is rugged and mountainous, transitional in topography,
climate, and vegetation between the Coast Ranges to the west and the Interior Plateau
to the east (Demarchi 2011). It was heavily glaciated, with many glacial landforms still
evident, while most valley bottoms contain more recent floodplain deposits. The Fraser
River deeply dissects the uplands, forming a narrow canyon-like valley lined with high
fluvial terraces (Figure 2). Tributaries of the Fraser are generally found in deep, narrow
valleys, while many cirques containing small glaciers and snowfields occur at upper
elevations. For most of the year, the region lies in the rainshadow of the Coast Ranges,
and the climate is strongly influenced by interior weather systems (Demarchi 2011). It
11
contains some of the warmest and driest areas of the province, as eastward-flowing air
loses most of its moisture on the west facing slopes of the Coast Ranges. Hot air from
the south invades the region in the summer months, while cold Arctic air flows from the
north in the winter and early spring. From Lytton northward, sagebrush-steppe and
ponderosa pine forests dominate the Fraser valley and lower reaches of tributary
valleys, while Douglas-fir, Lodgepole pine, and Englemann spruce forests occur on the
upper slopes and higher valleys (Figure 3). South and west of Lytton, moist forests with
Douglas-fir, Western hemlock, and Western redcedar dominate valley bottoms, while
drier forests occupy mid to upper slopes. Rolling alpine meadows and dry alpine tundra
occur on the highest summits.
Figure 2.
Fraser Canyon near Lytton, looking north from the Stein River.
12
Figure 3.
Fountain Valley near Lillooet, looking west towards the Fraser River.
Situating My Position
In the context of working with Indigenous communities, “archaeologists are not
disinterested parties but rather are interested stakeholders” (Daehnke 2007:104; Joyce
2002). Certainly, I am not a disinterested observer when it comes to evaluating the
efforts of the St’át’imc and Nlaka’pamux nations to take greater control over
archaeological practice and their heritage. In the interests of full disclosure, I provide
here some details about my professional and personal relationship with the communities
that are the subject of the case studies in this dissertation.
From 1995 until 2005, I frequently worked with the Lillooet Tribal Council (LTC)
and other Northern St’át’imc agencies and communities on projects intended to further
the heritage stewardship agenda of the Northern St’át’imc. Initially, I participated in one
of the first forestry archaeology assessments in Northern St’át’imc territory, which
introduced me to the St’át’imc Heritage and Resource Inventory research team at the
tribal council (Klassen and Spafford 1996). This cooperative project exposed a number
of underlying and contentious issues that would eventually flare up into a major dispute
with the forest industry, the Ministry of Forests, and archaeologists (see Chapter 4).
13
These concerns reflected the growing uneasiness of First Nations throughout the
province with the archaeological assessment process in the mid-1990s. It was also a
sign of how the St’át’imc would come to practice archaeology in the future. Despite the
shaky start, this first collaboration with the St’át’imc eventually led to many years of
working with them.
By 1998, I was working for a different archaeological consulting firm that won a
contract to work with the Stl’atl’imx Nation Hydro Committee on an overview of heritage
resources impacted by the operations and facilities of the BC Hydro and Power
Authority, in partnership with the tribal council (Klassen 1999). After leaving the
consulting firm, I was asked by the LTC in the fall of 1999 to teach a two-week
archaeological inventory training course developed by the province, and twelve St’át’imc
members obtained certification (Klassen 2000). 3 The following spring, the tribal council
asked me to assist them to develop a heritage “assessment” process and further train
community members, so that the tribal council could start taking on archaeological
assessment contracts. From 2000 until 2004, I was closely involved with their heritage
assessment process, with my role primarily that of an advisor. In 2001, I also directed
the first stage of an archaeological impact assessment of a Ministry of Forests timber
sale license (Klassen and Lillooet Tribal Council 2002), and assisted with a trail research
and inventory project (Hoffmann 2002), both for the LTC. As the tribal council and
member communities gained familiarity and experience with the practice of these
assessments, heritage stewardship became a more important issue in nation-wide
governance initiatives and in the development of St’át’imc policy. In 2003, I was asked
by the St’át’imc Chiefs Council to contribute to the development of a heritage policy that
would be linked to a St’át’imc land-use plan and a tribal code. Over the course of that
year, I provided the heritage planning team with options for the policy, facilitated a
number of brainstorming and drafting sessions with community members and the
planning team, helped draft versions of the policy, and ultimately presented it at a
community forum.
By 2004, my involvement with the LTC cultural heritage process had diminished
as the capacity and experience of the team increased. By this time my attention had also
turned to the next phase arising from the recommendations of the 1999 project for
3
I delivered additional Resource Inventory Standards Committee (RISC) archaeological
training courses in 2000, 2001, 2006, and 2011.
14
St’át’imc Nation Hydro. Under their direction, I worked with a team of community
members and archaeologists throughout the summer and fall of 2004 on a post-impact
assessment of archaeological sites affected by BC Hydro facilities and operations in
St’át’imc territory (Klassen 2005). The results of this project formed the partial basis for
the successful 2011 compensation agreement with BC Hydro and Power Authority for
past and continuing impacts from hydroelectric developments throughout St’át’imc
territory.
Since beginning my Ph.D. program at Simon Fraser University, my professional
consulting involvement with the St’át’imc has tapered off. However, I continue to be in
touch with many of the St’át’imc colleagues I first worked with from 1995 onwards, and in
both 2006 and 2011 I returned to Lillooet to teach another archaeology inventory course.
My work with the St’át’imc over the years has provided me with a first-hand and longterm exposure to their aspirations, objectives, and challenges in the domain of
indigenous heritage stewardship.
Coincidentally, as my professional involvement with the St’át’imc decreased, I
began working on projects with their Nlaka’pamux neighbours to the south. In the fall of
2005, I was asked by Lytton First Nation to assist with a National Historic Site of Canada
feasibility study for the Stein and Botanie valleys. This was followed by a contract to
prepare a National Historic Site of Canada application for the Stein and Botanie, which
the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada accepted in late 2007. Work on the
detailed Stein-Botanie submission to the Board, which hopefully will lead to formal
designation, is ongoing. My involvement with the proposed designation provided me with
an exceptional introduction to Nlaka’pamux perspectives on heritage and landscape. It
gave me the opportunity to review in detail the archival and ethnographic material held
by the Nlaka’pamux Nation Tribal Council (NNTC), and gave me access to unpublished
oral history interview transcripts and place name research. It has also allowed me to
explore two of the most significant valleys in the “cultural landscape” of the Nlaka’pamux.
In the company of Elders and community members, I have had the good fortune of
visiting culturally significant places, archaeological and pictograph sites, and spiritual
places, and listening to the stories and histories of these living places.
My exposure to Nlaka’pamux communities through the designation process led
to my involvement with additional heritage stewardship projects initiated and led by the
15
NNTC and Nlaka’pamux communities. In the spring of 2008, and again in 2012, I
delivered RIC archaeology inventory courses, leading to the certification of 13
Nlaka’pamux community members. Since 2008, I have been assisting the NNTC with
planning, researching, and drafting a heritage law and associated assessment process.
This project involved attending numerous roundtable discussions, community
workshops, and technical meetings, providing me with privileged insight into
Nlaka’pamux perspectives on heritage and sovereignty. Over this period the NNTC has
also asked me to review various archaeological assessment projects undertaken by third
parties, and I have provided advice on a number contentious heritage stewardship
issues involving major hydro and mining developments. In the last few years, I have also
been asked by Nlaka’pamux communities to undertake archaeological assessments for
a number of small projects in provincial parks where they have a vested interest, and
was asked to participate in assessing and developing a heritage trail. Most recently, I
was asked by the NNTC and Spuzzum First Nation to lead a major multi-year heritage
inventory and assessment in advance of a proposed high-tension power transmission
line through Nlaka’pamux territory.
Like my experience with the St’át’imc, my Nlaka’pamux colleagues have shown
me exceptional trust and generosity. This was demonstrated most strikingly when they
suggested that I consider basing one of my case studies on the heritage experiences
and aspirations of the Nlaka’pamux Nation. What the St’át’imc and Nlaka’pamux projects
I have participated in have in common is that they are more than simply collaborative or
community-based projects. In every case, I was invited to participate in their projects, on
their terms. Some of these projects came about as reactions to external pressures and
processes, but others were initiated and directed by the St’át’imc and Nlaka’pamux
themselves, who set the agenda and objectives, and took responsibility for the results
and recommendations. All of these projects were aimed at strengthening heritage
stewardship and protection, increasing community capacity, and ultimately addressing
Aboriginal title and rights. They represent their efforts to assert greater control and
exercise greater sovereignty over heritage. This collaboration has been an exceptional
learning experience for me, and although we have not always agreed on everything, the
overall experience has been positive and mutually beneficial.
16
Organization
In this chapter I have outlined the research problem and study objectives of this
dissertation, as well as presented a background on the St’át’imc and Nlaka’pamux and
my relationship with these nations. In Chapter 2, I present an overview of communitybased, indigenous, and participatory action archaeologies in the context of contemporary
indigenous involvement in archaeology. These forms of practice are reviewed and
critiqued, and their relative suitability for advancing the heritage stewardship objectives
of indigenous communities is assessed. Chapter 3 is an overview of First Nations
involvement in archaeology in British Columbia over the past 40 years, focussing on the
development of heritage legislation and indigenous responses to CRM, particularly in the
context of court decisions and regulatory changes since 1993. The influence of First
Nations in the transformation of archaeological practice is described, and placed in
reference to contemporary issues on the ethics of heritage stewardship.
The next two chapters present the results of the Northern St’át’imc case study,
derived primarily from conversations with 21 St’át’imc community members and
supplemented with information from published and unpublished documents. Chapter 4
describes St’át’imc perspectives on archaeology and heritage stewardship, and their
encounter with archaeology from the 1970s through 1990s, including their efforts to
assert control over archaeological practice in their territory. Chapter 5 describes the
activities of the Lillooet Tribal Council’s cultural heritage team from 2000 to 2006,
developed in response to conflicts with the forest industry and province, and reviews the
outcomes of its work in the context subsequent nation-based initiatives. The chapter
ends with a discussion of the relationship of the St’át’imc to archaeologists, and the
implications of St’át’imc perspectives on archaeological practice.
The following two chapters present the results of the Nlaka’pamux Nation case
study. Chapter 6 is derived primarily from published and unpublished documents,
supplemented with information from individual Nlaka’pamux. It provides a brief overview
of the Nlak’pamux encounter with archaeology from the 1870s to the 1970s, followed by
a detailed examination of major heritage issues in the 1980s and 1990s, including the
Stein Valley protests and post-Delgamuukw forestry issues. The first half of Chapter 7 is
derived from a number of meetings and workshops held with nearly 60 community
members, and provides a detailed description of Nlaka’pamux perspectives on
17
archaeology and heritage. The second half of the chapter is an examination of these
perspectives in the context of my own research related to the proposed Stein-Botanie
Nlaka’pamux Landscape National Historic Site of Canada. The chapter ends with a
discussion of the implications of Nlaka’pamux perspectives on heritage, landscape, and
archaeology for heritage stewardship.
Chapter 8 begins with an analysis of the level of contemporary St’át’imc and
Nlaka’pamux participation in and authority over the practice of archaeology in their
respective territories. The chapter continues with a discussion of four key issues for
transforming archaeological practice and improving heritage stewardship that emerged
from this study, involving ethics, Indigenous title, intangible heritage and landscape, all
placed within the context of international “best practices.” The concluding chapter
suggests that the principles of an applied archaeology that is more responsive to
community needs and better serves community interests than conventional CRM
practice. This approach puts the stewardship of archaeological heritage ahead of
resource management. Moreover, it also offers opportunity for bridging the differences
between indigenous, disciplinary, and government perspectives, and ultimately may help
mitigate ongoing conflicts between these interested parties. In the end, the experiences
of the St’át’imc and Nlaka’pamux nations in the realm of heritage stewardship and
archaeological management directly confront contemporary debates on the ethics of
heritage stewardship and the theoretical questions underpinning community-based and
indigenous archaeologies.
18
Chapter 2.
Community Participation and Indigenous
Sovereignty in Archaeological Practice
Interaction and engagement with local and descendant communities has a long history
in archaeology, but formal collaborative roles for local residents and Indigenous peoples
have only recently become commonplace. An important development in the discipline
has been the emergence of alternative archaeologies with distinct forms of practice that
emphasize community engagement, collaborative practice, indigenous values, and
participatory research. Known as community-based, indigenous, and participatory action
archaeologies, they have much in common, but they also exhibit significant differences
in terms of practical application, theoretical orientation, and political motivation.
Nonetheless, proponents believe these approaches have the potential to expand or
transform archaeology, making it more inclusive, responsive, and ethical for local,
descendent, and Indigenous peoples.
Community-based archaeology (also known as community archaeology) refers to
archaeological practice in the context of collaboration with local and descendant
communities, which may include Indigenous communities.4 Indigenous archaeology, on
the other hand, generally refers to archaeological practice solely in the context of
Indigenous communities (however they are defined). Participatory action archaeology is
based on the principles of a reflexive relationship between researchers and community
4
Although public or outreach archaeology is sometimes discussed in tandem with community
and collaborative archaeologies, this form of practice is not addressed in this chapter. Public
archaeology, in the narrow sense, involves the participation of non-professionals in
archaeological practice, and the dissemination of research to local communities, primarily for
building a local stewardship ethic (Moser et al. 2002). In general, public archaeology does not
emphasize the incorporation of local or public knowledge and the potential intellectual
contribution of local groups, nor does it stress the transfer of power or authority over the
research agenda to communities (Tully 2007). Rather than presuming the public to be simply
an audience, community archaeology goes beyond public outreach to public engagement
(Silliman 2008).
19
members, with the goal of promoting and creating social change. The objective of this
chapter is to review the principles of community-based, indigenous, and participatory
action archaeologies as modes for encouraging engagement to the discipline and
transforming its practice.
Archaeology in British Columbia parallels this global development in collaborative
practice, and many features of this transformation are readily evident in the province.
Indigenous peoples’ influence on heritage legislation and policies, archaeological
practice, and heritage stewardship has grown in tandem with political, disciplinary, and
legal developments. Beginning in the mid 1980s, indigenous political revitalization in
British Columbia intersected with the rapid rise of consulting archaeology and the shifting
discourse about theory and ethics in the broader discipline. In the 1990s, court decisions
addressed indigenous rights and title, and defined the government’s duty to consult.
These forces both encouraged and provoked archaeologists in British Columbia to
establish a dialogue with indigenous communities and participate in various forms of
collaborative research and stewardship (Klassen et al. 2009). Although this development
within archaeological practice in British Columbia came as a pragmatic necessity borne
of local contingencies, it was nonetheless influenced by global trends.
For the purposes of this dissertation, critical issues include the effectiveness of
these strategies for increasing indigenous participation in and authority over archaeology
and heritage. In this chapter, I evaluate the success of these approaches in meeting the
goals of Indigenous nations and responding to the evolving ethics of the discipline. My
discussion begins with critical overviews of community and Indigenous archaeologies, a
review of the intersection of these practices with other forms of critical archaeology, and
the application of participatory and action approaches to archaeological practice.
Subsequent chapters will look at specific examples of First Nations directly engaged in
archaeology, evaluate the effectiveness of this engagement in the context of
transforming practice, and review potential approaches for bridging differences in
Indigenous and disciplinary goals.
Community-based Archaeologies
Global development in community-based archaeologies has introduced an ethic
that attempts to integrate academic and community involvement in research (see Atalay
20
2007; Atalay 2012; Chirikure and Pwiti 2008; Colwell-Chanthaphonh and Ferguson
2008b; Damm 2005; Hollowell and Nicholas 2009; Little 2007; Y. Marshall 2002; Moser
et al. 2002; Nicholas et al. 2011; Silliman 2008b; Tully 2007; Welch et al. 2011b; Wylie
2009). This practice is a deliberate rejection of prior modes of community involvement in
archaeology, which consisted of insubstantial participation, other than providing field
labour, and little to no voice or authority for communities. Local people were not included
in the process of archaeology nor was their knowledge about the past accepted, thereby
depriving archaeologists of valuable community allies (Chirikure and Pwiti 2008; Moser
et al. 2002). Local and descendant communities gained few direct benefits from their
efforts, and true collaboration proved to be elusive (Colwell-Chanthaphonh and
Ferguson 2008b).
Change began when archaeologists increasingly sought to collaborate with local
and descendent communities around the world (and especially Indigenous communities
in settler societies), and in the process encountered research partners that were eager
to have a more formal and substantive role in archaeology (Chirikure and Pwiti 2008;
Colwell-Chanthaphonh and Ferguson 2008b; Y. Marshall 2002; Moser et al. 2002;
Silliman 2008b; Tully 2007). This growing engagement can be traced to developments in
both the discipline and society at large. To some degree, the emergence of communitybased archaeologies stems from the “postprocessual” critique of archaeological theory
and practice, which recognized that multiple voices and audiences have a place in
archaeological practice (Moser et al. 2002; Tully 2007). Moreover, many professional
groups were debating and developing codes of ethics that explicitly required community
involvement, particularly where communities were alienated from their own heritage
through the historical experiences of colonialism (Chirikure and Pwiti 2008).
While still in a relatively early stage of development, practitioners claim that
community-based archaeology has reached a “critical mass” (Atalay 2007:254; Little
2007:1), while others profess that collaborative practice is now a “global phenomenon”
(Colwell-Chanthaphonh and Ferguson 2008b:1). By engaging with local and descendant
communities (including Indigenous peoples), and by advocating the social relevance of
archaeology, these contemporary forms of practice represent a major shift in the
discipline (Atalay 2012:3; Wylie 2009:2). Engagement with local “stakeholders” means
accepting multiple perspectives that avoid confrontational claims, while adhering to the
principles of scientific inquiry (Colwell-Chanthaphonh and Ferguson 2008b). The
21
concept of community-based archaeology continues to evolve, with a distinctive set of
principles, practices, and methods while maintaining connections to the larger discipline.
The Parameters of Community Archaeology
Community-based archaeology as a distinct practice is linked to the increasing
involvement and ensuing political action of subaltern and descendant communities in
archaeological issues since the 1970s (Chirikure and Pwiti 2008; Moser et al. 2002; Tully
2007). Central to this postcolonial discourse is the indigenous rights movement and the
debate over indigenous title that largely remains unresolved in settler societies (see also
Lilley 2000a; Nicholas and Andrews 1997b; Smith 2006). As dispossessed peoples
expanded their activism, they lobbied for stronger legislation and demanded a greater
stake in archaeology, including any social and economic benefits that it might provide
(Chirikure and Pwiti 2008). Overall, the indigenous critique motivated critical reflection in
the transformation of archaeological practice that supported the emergence of
community and collaborative archaeologies (Smith 2007).
As an explicitly articulated set of practices, community-based archaeology
arguably developed first in Australia and New Zealand, where growing numbers of
archaeologists now also self-identify as practitioners (Y. Marshall 2002; Moser et al.
2002). Similar concepts and practices have since emerged in other “settler societies” as
well as developing countries (Chirikure and Pwiti 2008; Colwell-Chanthaphonh and
Ferguson 2008b; Damm 2005; Little 2007; Y. Marshall 2002). Practice incorporating
similar community-based elements and methods has also existed in North America for
many years, although these projects were generally described as collaborative practice
in the context of “tribal” cultural resource management and repatriation issues.
Nonetheless, the idea of community-based archaeology is maturing in North America
(Colwell-Chanthaphonh and Ferguson 2008b; Y. Marshall 2002).
In North America, the principles of community-based archaeology originated in
the context of cultural resource management, museums, and repatriation, albeit under
the rubric of collaborative practice (see individual chapters in: Colwell-Chanthaphonh
and Ferguson 2008a; Killion 2007a; Klesert and Downer 1990; Y. Marshall 2002;
Nicholas and Andrews 1997a; Swidler et al. 1997). Although sharing a pedigree with
community-based archaeology found elsewhere, it developed under separate
circumstances The explicit articulation of its tenets, methods, challenges, and ethical
22
issues is rare, but Chip Colwell-Chanthaphonh and T.J. Ferguson (2008b) consider
collaborative practice to encompass all projects involving descendant communities that
challenge the theoretical, methodological, and ethical foundations of the broader
discipline. In this sense collaborative practice shares the transformative goals of
community-based archaeology, including reformed ethics, innovative methods, and new
insights.
During its early development, in both archaeological research and heritage
management settings, community-based archaeologies generally lacked a coherent set
of research agendas, methods, and interpretive strategies (Atalay 2007; Chirikure and
Pwiti 2008; Tully 2007). However, recognition of its distinctive approach gained
momentum with the publication of a special issue of World Archaeology (Y. Marshall
2002). Despites varied forms and contexts, there have been attempts to define a set of
principles to guide its practitioners (Chirikure and Pwiti 2008; Moser et al. 2002; Tully
2007). Chip Colwell-Chanthaphonh and T.J. Ferguson provide one of the more coherent
positions for undertaking community-based, indigenous, and public archaeologies–as
well as repatriation and decolonization efforts–albeit under the umbrella of collaborative
practice in archaeology (Colwell-Chanthaphonh and Ferguson 2008b). Projects falling
within this approach generally share the following three core principles: facilitating
community participation, addressing local issues, and creating benefits for
archaeologists and communities.
The core principle of community-based archaeology is the involvement of local
and descendant communities in all aspects of a project and at every stage of the
research process (Chirikure and Pwiti 2008; Damm 2005; Little 2007; Y. Marshall 2002;
Tully 2007). Local participation becomes a key part of project design, implementation,
and control, including excavation, management, conservation, interpretation, public
presentation, and publication (Atalay 2007; Chirikure and Pwiti 2008; Damm 2005;
Moser et al. 2002; Tully 2007). Developing social capital and community-building are
often specifically identified among the goals of these research endeavours (Little 2007:9;
also see Williams and Pope 2005). In order to be sensitive to local concerns and issues,
this form of practice attempts to comprehend the social context in order to mitigate the
potential impact of research outcomes (Atalay 2007). Since individual communities
possess the political and historical links to the local archaeological record, recognizing
23
their concerns ensures that these are addressed and negotiated before projects
commence (Colwell-Chanthaphonh and Ferguson 2008b:8; Damm 2005).
Advocates also stress that communities must accrue some benefit from
archaeology, leading to economic empowerment and a broader-based, multi-vocal
interpretation of the past (Chirikure and Pwiti 2008; Moser et al. 2002). The inclusion of
Indigenous peoples, and other communities, in practice and interpretation recognizes
marginalized perspectives, and dismantles the traditional elitism of archaeology
(Chirikure and Pwiti 2008). Through research and heritage management, local
communities and indigenous groups can find their voices, and by doing so they can
enrich their heritage (Chirikure and Pwiti 2008). At the same time, collaboration on local
initiatives can leave a positive legacy that also benefits academic research well beyond
heritage management or stewardship issues, and reveals “unexpected convergences of
interest” that create opportunities for reconciliation (Y. Marshall 2002:216). As the
community expands its involvement in archaeological projects, researchers must be
prepared to “surrender some authority and control” over the objectives of the work
(Moser et al. 2002:229). Indeed, its most important distinguishing characteristic is
“relinquishing” partial control at each stage of an archaeological project to local partners
(Y. Marshall 2002:211), with the effect of shifting a measure of power and authority from
archaeologists to communities (Tully 2007).
Community-based archaeology goes beyond simply soliciting consent or
engaging in basic consultation, and involves a range of strategies to facilitate public
outreach, education, local employment and training, community-based tourism, and the
use of local and traditional knowledge (Chirikure and Pwiti 2008; Damm 2005; Moser et
al. 2002; Tully 2007). Some advocates suggest that it requires fundamental change to
conventional practice, and they offer a set of seven methodological components (Moser
et al. 2002): communication and collaboration, employment and training, public
presentation, interviews and oral history, educational resources, photographic and video
archive, and community-controlled merchandising. These components range in scope
from very specific tasks to very broad concepts. For example, creating a visual archive is
a relatively straightforward step, while “communication and collaboration” can describe
myriad actions (Moser et al. 2002). This latter step may entail two-way dialogue at every
stage of a project, partnerships with local organizations, regular updates to the
community in plain language, “openness” on all aspects of the project, acknowledging
24
authorship and ownership in terms of artifacts and displays, social interaction with the
community, and acknowledging issues and disagreements. Most community
archaeology projects already display many of these traits, and include a generalized set
of methods applicable in varied contexts, and as such this emerging practice has
developed a “sound methodological basis” within the larger discipline (Tully 2007:157).
Although generally synonymous with “marginalized” communities (e.g., Indigenous, postcolonial, minority), its core principles and methods are pliable enough to be relevant to
practice everywhere (Atalay 2012; Damm 2005; Moser et al. 2002; Tully 2007).
Implications for Practice
According to its proponents, the collaborative approach fostered by communitybased archaeology is critical for the future of the discipline, and has the potential for
transforming and enriching archaeological practice. In this view, this practice transcends
the discourse on ethics, and offers the promise of changing how we understand
archaeological evidence (Moser et al. 2002). This transformation is not realized by
compromising scientific perspectives, but instead comes from recognizing that research
is not situated outside of society (Y. Marshall 2002). It emanates from the premise that
better archaeology results from diverse voices contributing insight and interpretation
(Chirikure and Pwiti 2008; Y. Marshall 2002). This may lead to questions that would not
otherwise be considered, and allows archaeological materials to be seen in novel ways
and in new light (Y. Marshall 2002).
Community-based archaeology is also socially and politically relevant to
communities (Tully 2007). During the 1990s, the “post-processual” critique pointed out
that the strategies used throughout a research project and the knowledge derived from
archaeological research is itself constructed through selective interpretation within a
social, economic, and political matrix (Colwell-Chanthaphonh and Ferguson 2008b). In
this sense, community archaeology challenges conventional academic perspectives on
archaeology, and provides insights about the meaning and symbolism of significant
places (Greer et al. 2002). Collaboration with descendant communities creates new
interpretive frameworks, and novel modes for explaining patterns of material culture,
while posing unsettling questions that challenge the status quo (Colwell-Chanthaphonh
and Ferguson 2008b). This approach is interactive, as opposed to reactive, thus
empowering local communities to craft their local identity (Greer et al. 2002). This
25
interaction informs methods and practice, and places shared research interests ahead of
those only benefiting academics.
Community-based archaeology offers an additional social context for practice
that goes beyond the characterization of nationalist, colonialist, and imperialist
archaeologies first articulated by Bruce Trigger (Trigger 1984). By engaging indigenous,
descendant, and local communities, it provides them with an alternative discourse not
envisioned by Trigger (Moser et al. 2002). As such, it harbours the potential to contribute
a mandate for Indigenous peoples in settler societies and for the diverse peoples of
“post-colonial” nations such as Papua New Guinea and Bangladesh (Y. Marshall 2002).
Indeed, the emphasis on collaborative practice and the incorporation of the worldviews
of subaltern peoples in most (but not all) forms of community-based archaeologies can
be seen as evidence of the ongoing “decolonization” of archaeology.
Despite the obvious potential for ethical, academic, and social benefits, the
successes and failures of community-based archaeology have yet to be fully assessed
(Chirikure and Pwiti 2008). Moreover, this concept faces a number of potential problems
and limitations, such as issues of power, authority, and control. However, a central
challenge confronting archaeologists engaged in collaborative practice is the
identification and definition of community.
Problematizing “Community”
Once a straightforward concept, communities are now considered diverse and
contingent entities that are both self-defined and ascribed (Atalay 2012:91; Y. Marshall
2002). They are bound as much by geography as by social identity (ColwellChanthaphonh and Ferguson 2008b). They can be insular and homogenous, or
cosmopolitan and heterogeneous, and exist at local, national, regional, or international
levels (Chirikure and Pwiti 2008). They can be social entities connected to geographical
space (Colwell-Chanthaphonh and Ferguson 2008b), or they can be imagined
constructs (Tully 2007). The complexity of expressions means that establishing a
relationship with a community (or communities) can be a complicated and problematic
endeavour, and trying to satisfy everyone sometimes creates more problems than
benefits (Chirikure and Pwiti 2008).
26
Within the relevant archaeological literature, communities have been described
as local (based on residence), descendant (based on ancestry), or stakeholder (based
on interest). A local community derives from extant relationships, and consists of a group
of individuals who live on or near a site, while a descendant community is founded on
ancient relationships, and consists of the descendants of the people who created or
used the site, especially in the case of Indigenous peoples (Y. Marshall 2002).
Stakeholder communities, on the other hand, originate with individuals connected by
interests or beliefs, and they may or may not have a connection to a specific place (Tully
2007). In reality, of course, these three forms of community often overlap (Y. Marshall
2002), and the simplicity of each definition belies the complexity of their reality.
While the location-specific residency concept is often the starting point (Tully
2007), the interests of descent-based communities often supersede the relationships of
their residence-based counterparts (Chirikure and Pwiti 2008). Descendant communities
may or may not reside in the vicinity of a site or place of archaeological interest, and
their interests do not necessarily coincide with the broader community. The relationship
of local and descendant communities to a place must be understood in connection to
their historical experience, in terms of migration, immigration, displacement, exclusion,
and colonialism (Chirikure and Pwiti 2008). For example, when determining the
hierarchy of competing interests, length of residency is often a factor in the claim to
tenure among local people (Tully 2007).
Each “community of place,” whether residence or descent-based, may share a
common ancestry, heritage, and culture, and often exhibits internally heterogeneous
traits (Chirikure and Pwiti 2008; McGuire 2008). While community cohesion may be
derived through common interest in a shared locale, it may hide the underlying presence
of dissenting voices and intersecting identity constructs, such as class, gender, religion,
economic status, ethnicity, and sexuality (Tully 2007). In these situations, identifying the
individual or group with authority to speak for the common interest presents a challenge
to archaeologists involved in collaborative practice. Even subaltern groups, such as
Indigenous peoples, are subject to “oppressive internal relationships of power” (McGuire
2008:8), and political, social and economic imperatives can at times lead to the
exclusion or inclusion of factions and groups (Dombrowski 2002).
27
Stakeholder communities may coexist with those of place and members may or
may not occupy a common geographic space, although by definition its members must
interact (McGuire 2008). Professionals, landowners, politicians, managers, and business
owners are among those stakeholders competing with local and descendant
communities, and their interests may collide when their views are contradictory
(Chirikure and Pwiti 2008). Often, however, “lived” or shared experience underlies their
common interests, building on complex social factors such as class, gender, age, and
residence. This shared experience in turn encourages them to engage in collective
action that best serve their interests (McGuire 2008:87).
Perhaps the most difficult aspect of community-based archaeology is sorting
through the complex web of authority, rights, and claims emanating from locals,
descendants, and stakeholders. Some practitioners place local and descendant claims
above the many “publics” with an interest in archaeological heritage (ColwellChanthaphonh and Ferguson 2008b). In this view, public or outreach archaeology caters
to a limited constituency defined by civil institutions, such as residents or tourists.
Community-based archaeologies, on the other hand, are better able to address the
interests of local and descendant communities most closely linked to archaeological
heritage, with Indigenous peoples the primary “stakeholder” in settler societies. From this
perspective, descendant communities may not necessarily have more rights to
archaeological heritage, but they have the most compelling interests (ColwellChanthaphonh and Ferguson 2008b).
Of course, multiple descendant communities may contest affiliation with a
particular place, as each puts forward its case for the strongest claim (Daehnke 2007).
The repatriation issue in the United States is one example where competing claims over
cultural links to sacred places and ancestral remains is a real world issue with significant
social and political implications. However, the principles of collaborative practice have
brought some resolution between indigenous communities and archaeologists in North
America as they grapple with issues of identity and cultural affiliation in repatriation
contexts (Adler and Bruning 2008; Welch and Ferguson 2007). As such, the principles of
collaborative practice itself may hold the solution to issues of identity and interests.
28
Collaborative Practice
The principles of collaboration, which undergird all forms of community-based
archaeology, warrant further discussion. Although in its most rudimentary form
collaboration begins by communicating with stakeholders, advocates are quick to stress
that its objectives go well beyond narrowly-defined or legally-mandated “consultation,”
such as obtaining consent for archaeological projects (Atalay 2006b:292-293; ColwellChanthaphonh and Ferguson 2008b). While often legally required, consultation does not
necessarily provide opportunities for community engagement in the entire research
process. Collaboration generally means people working together on all aspects of a
project, particularly when projects exist outside of an academic setting. Furthermore, it
involves a range of strategies linking practice with different publics, with the intention of
creating a more accurate, inclusive, and ethical result. Collaborative practice responds to
the shortcomings of scientific research that prioritizes its own agenda over that of the
affected community (Colwell-Chanthaphonh and Ferguson 2008b). Ideally, collaborative
practice should lead to benefits for both practitioners and the “subjects” of research.
On the continuum of practices suggested byColwell-Chanthaphonh and
Ferguson (2008b:10), collaboration is found at the opposite end from “resistance”
(Figure 4). Both create “community” in the sense of empowering and representing a
group of people with shared interests (Colwell-Chanthaphonh and Ferguson 2008b:12).
In the resistance mode, community is created through oppositions and competing
groups, while power is derived from conflict and questions of legitimacy. Resistance
produces power through concealment, dishonesty, and disrespect, while knowledge
production is linked to the forms associated most closely with the primary “stakeholder,”
i.e., scientific versus traditional conceptions of the past (Colwell-Chanthaphonh and
Ferguson 2008b:13). In the collaborative mode, on the other hand, community is formed
through cooperation and convergence, wherein power and action emerges from a
synergy of common interests. In this mode, participants enter into a professional
relationship that embraces trust, honesty, mutual respect, and a deepening of virtues,
while knowledge production links science and tradition, producing a more holistic view
grounded in the experience of the community members and not in abstract frameworks.
29
Greater Resistance
Participation
Greater Collaboration
Goals develop in opposition
Goals develop independently
Goals develop jointly
Information is concealed
Information is disclosed
Information flows freely
No stakeholder involvement
Limited stakeholder involvement
Full stakeholder involvement
No voice for stakeholders
Some voice for stakeholders
Full voice for stakeholders
No support is given/obtained
Support is solicited
Support is tacit
Needs of others unconsidered
Needs of most parties met
Needs of all parties realized
Figure 4.
Collaboration as a continuum of practices, adapted from ColwellChanthaphonh and Ferguson (2008b:11).
As collaboration is not always more ethical in all situations, resistance or
oppositional tactics still have a place in research and practice (Colwell-Chanthaphonh
and Ferguson 2008b:10). Indeed, resistance may better achieve moral outcomes when
used to confront illegitimate or hegemonic forces (Colwell-Chanthaphonh and Ferguson
2008b:13-14), although this often entails other complications. In a similar
conceptualization, the interaction of archaeologists and communities falls into four
approaches: opposition, education, consultation, and collaboration (McGuire 2008).
Opposition involves “contesting and thwarting the interests of a community” (McGuire
2008:8), and resembles the resistance mode described above. Collaboration, on the
other hand, entails social groups cooperating to pursue common goals, interests, and
practices so that each group benefits from their actions. Collaboration creates an
environment where multiple “virtues” exist for all stakeholders, and is seen as the ideal
form of archaeological research in terms of fairness and justice (Colwell-Chanthaphonh
and Ferguson 2008b:12).
From Participation to Control
The primary objectives of community-based archaeology are about equity and
participation, while making practice relevant and beneficial. The response to
collaborative practice by indigenous communities has been generally positive, and in
many cases partnerships with archaeologists have been welcomed. Nonetheless,
despite examples of constructive collaboration and promising results, descendant
communities continue to harbour serious concerns about the limited input they have in
heritage stewardship (Damm 2005; Hollowell and Nicholas 2009), and the true extent of
collaboration has been questioned (La Salle 2010). Overcoming the lingering legacy of
30
scientific elitism inherent in colonialist archaeology requires understanding and respect
for alternative perspectives on the past (Anyon et al. 1997), with corresponding equity in
power relations and access to decision-making (Nicholas and Hollowell 2007). Given the
long-standing prejudices against the profession among many indigenous communities,
archaeological collaboration remains fraught with issues of power, authority, and voice
(McGuire 2008).
Larry Zimmerman has remarked that the benefit of community-based
archaeology is that “[c]ommunity members become true collaborators in the work, even
to the level of helping set the research agenda” (Zimmerman 2007:104, emphasis
added), the implication being that helping to set the research agenda is simultaneously
the ultimate end point of “true collaboration” and a goal that is not universally reached.
For their part, Indigenous peoples would probably consider setting the research agenda
as their starting point, and not the ultimate goal. Indeed, community archaeology first
and foremost needs to be dedicated to the needs and interests of those affected, rather
than existing research priorities (Moshenska 2008). Yet some feel there are few cases
where research questions are genuinely proposed or even altered by local communities
(Damm 2005).
Collaborative practice in the context of community-based archaeology must also
contend with issues and assumptions of authority and power. Implicitly or not,
professionals continue to embody privileged authority, presuming to offer something to a
local or descendant population in the wider context of research (Moshenska 2008).
Problems arise when archaeologists view communities as passive audiences accepting
the largesse of research that trickles down to them (Chirikure and Pwiti 2008). Indeed,
approaches that involve “relinquishing” partial control of each stage of an archaeological
project to the local community (Marshall 2002:211), or where researchers are prepared
to “surrender some authority and control” over the objectives of the project (Moser et al.
2002:229), reveals two things: one, that archaeologists are reluctant to give up full
control over projects, and two, that they see themselves as being in the position to
relinquish control in the first place. Such hubris ignores the possibility that archaeology
might be instigated, controlled, or even carried out in its entirety by “the community”
(Moshenska 2008). In other words, an assumed asymmetry of power and knowledge in
the relationship between archaeologist and community still remains (Moshenska 2008):
community is understood to be subaltern, while archaeologists reserve for themselves
31
the position of gate-keeper. Yet communities do not consider themselves to be simply
stakeholders, but rather owners of heritage with custodial rights (Chirikure and Pwiti
2008). “True” collaboration goes beyond superficial participation and involves a transfer
of decision-making powers and a commitment to full multi-vocality (Chirikure and Pwiti
2008; Damm 2005; Nicholas and Hollowell 2007). As such, most community-based
archaeology does not go far enough to satisfy the interests of many affected parties
(Chirikure and Pwiti 2008).
For many archaeologists, community partnerships are the desired endpoint of
collaboration, and this strategy ensures their continued relevance and ultimately better
serves their own interests. From a community’s perspective, however, engagement in
archaeology may be less about collaboration, and more about exercising control. For
instance, indigenous communities may insist on a veto over projects and methods,
control over the research agenda, or authority over the disposition and dissemination of
results. Community-based heritage management that addresses power inequities and
accepts alternative voices is a feature of decolonization (Hollowell and Nicholas 2009),
while community authority over heritage stewardship plays a role in enhancing overall
sovereignty (Welch et al. 2006). Ultimately, control is what many Indigenous peoples
expect to gain from their engagement with archaeology.
Indigenous Archaeologies
For Indigenous peoples, greater control over archaeology may come from the
indigenous practice of archaeology. The idea of a formalized indigenous archaeology–a
distinct approach to archaeology from an indigenous perspective–arose in the late 1990s
(Nicholas 2008). Although a number of earlier publications explored the political and
practical relationship of Indigenous peoples to archaeology, primarily in North America
and Australia, the concept was still absent from the ground-breaking volume Native
Americans and Archaeologists: Stepping Stones to Common Ground (Swidler et al.
1997). The first published reference to Indigenous archaeology as a distinct practice
within the discipline as a whole appears to have occurred in 1997 (Nicholas 2008), when
it was defined as “archaeology done with, for, and by Indigenous peoples” in the volume
At a Crossroads: Archaeology and First Peoples in Canada (Nicholas and Andrews
1997a:3). Subsequent expanded definitions have characterized indigenous archaeology
as: “a discipline developed with the control and influence of indigenous populations”
32
(Watkins 2000:xiii) and “informed by Indigenous values and agendas” (Smith and Wobst
2005a:15). It is an approach “that critiques and deconstructs Western archaeological
practice as well as research that works toward recovering and investigating Indigenous
experiences, practices, and traditional knowledge systems” (Atalay 2006b:292), and a
practice that applies “Indigenous ways of relating to the human beings that created the
objects, ideas, and sites under investigation” (Lippert 2007:153), so that archaeologists
“behave respectfully with regard to the cultural sensibilities of native peoples” (McGuire
2008:80). 5 Importantly, indigenous archaeology and collaborative practice are not
synonymous, as the former goes beyond collaborative methods to integrate “Indigenous
concepts and cultural knowledge to improve how archaeologists interpret archaeological
materials” (Atalay 2012:39).
The concept of indigenous archaeology, as an entity unto itself, has now filtered
into the mainstream of archaeological thought, alongside the related and coeval
concepts of critical theory and “decolonization” (Atalay 2007; McGuire 2006, 2008;
Nicholas 2008; Smith and Wobst 2005a). This adoption has created a “quiet revolution”
in archaeological practice (Smith 2007:35), that represents a major shift in the discipline
(Atalay 2007:254). Accordingly, indigenous archaeology is collaborative and communitybased, but with indigenous knowledge and experience informing Western archaeology
and heralding the promise of decolonization (Atalay 2007:253). Despite its emphasis on
Indigenous peoples and knowledge, as a socially responsible practice it offers a model
for collaboration that can be applied to descendant communities globally (Atalay
2006b:292, 2007). With growing acceptance and influence has come a legion of
conference sessions and publications, including several edited volumes (Peck et al.
2003; Silliman 2008a; Smith and Wobst 2005b), special issues of the journals Public
Archaeology (Sillar and Fforde 2005), American Indian Quarterly (Atalay 2006a), and
Archaeologies: Journal of the World Archaeological Congress (Smith and Modzelewski
2007), and incorporation of the term into contemporary sourcebooks and encyclopaedias
(Bahn 2004; Gosden 2005; Muckle 2006; Nicholas 2008; Watkins and Nicholas 2013).
By addressing the historical power imbalance between non-indigenous
archaeologists and Indigenous peoples in the practice of archaeology, and by
challenging prevailing theories and practice, the emergence of Indigenous archaeology
5
For a comprehensive definition that encompasses all of these points, see Nicholas
(2008:1660).
33
is a positive and long overdue development. The practice of indigenous archaeology
generally leaves space for the participation of both Indigenous and non-Indigenous
peoples, and the inclusion of their respective positions and approaches (Nicholas
2008:1660). Nonetheless, this form of practice involves a considerable transfer of
authority and capacity to Indigenous communities (Atalay 2006b; Lippert 2007; McGuire
2008), although this shift is not without its challenges and complexities.
Problematizing “Indigeneity”
Indigenous archaeology is implicated in wider debates concerning indigeneity
and questions of authority in archaeological heritage stewardship. Indeed, the ambiguity
adhering to indigenous identity leaves the practice of indigenous archaeology open to
criticism. In the anthropological and archaeological literature, the relatively recent
concept of “indigenous” is highly contentious (for discussion of this f, see Asch and
Samson 2004; Bowen 2000; Bray 2003; Chirikure and Pwiti 2008; Colchester 2002;
Gosden 2005; Greene 2004; Haber 2007; Karlsson 2003; Kenrick and Lewis 2004a;
Kuper 2003; McIntosh 2002; Nicholas 2008; Niezen 2003; Ouzman 2005; Parker
Pearson and Ramilisonina 2004; Sillar 2005; Watkins 2005). Like ethnicity and gender,
defining indigeneity can be contentious in the context of its contemporary political
application. Indigenous identity has its origins in the international Indigenous peoples’
movement, which in turn was a response to dispossession and discrimination
encountered by peoples in colonial settings (Kenrick and Lewis 2004b; Niezen 2003).
Although the definition of Indigenous peoples has been the subject of considerable
internal debate within the United Nations (Sillar 2005), it has never officially codified.
Instead, the UN Working Group on Indigenous Populations has long had a “working
definition” (Saugestad 2004; Sylvain 2002), which includes both objective criteria
(ancestry, culture, language) and subjective criteria (self-identification and group
acceptance) (Martínez Cobo 1987). Even the recent UN Declaration on the Rights of
Indigenous Peoples does not offer an explicit definition, but rather states that
“Indigenous people have the right to determine their own identity or membership in
accordance with their customs and traditions” (United Nations General Assembly 2007).
Since the 1980s, international instruments and political discourse have revealed
four recurrent criteria that are used to mark indigenous identity: 1) a genealogical or
historical connection to prior or first occupation of a region, 2) social, economic or
34
political marginalization, 3) cultural distinctiveness, and 4) self-identification (Sylvain
2002). Although these criteria are highly flexible and generic, the tendency to
essentialize them creates problematic categories of inclusion and exclusion. For
example, they are often interpreted to imply that Indigenous peoples must maintain
some sort of ongoing or “spiritual” connection to an original homeland, and that losing
this connection erodes indigeneity. Other criticisms focus on the preoccupation with
sorting out who originally inhabited a land, wherein distinguishing cultural traits privilege
“primordialist” categorizations (Asch and Samson 2004; Kenrick and Lewis 2004a; Kuper
2003; McGhee 2008).
In Sub-Saharan Africa, for example, almost all groups call themselves
indigenous, regardless of their history of migration, conquest, and dispossession,
rendering the term meaningless (Chirikure and Pwiti 2008). The history of southern
Africa is characterized by a series of pre-colonial migrations that marginalized the
original and subsequent inhabitants, but all of these groups were essentially
“indigenized’ during the colonial periods (Sylvain 2002). With the end of apartheid in
South Africa, the question of indigeneity became even more problematic, and even
some descendants of the first European colonists now consider themselves indigenous
(Chirikure and Pwiti 2008). Throughout southern Africa, a preoccupation with
primordialist conceptions, where indigeneity is equated to an ongoing traditional way of
life connected to the land, has prevented disenfranchised San groups from being
recognized as indigenous (Ouzman 2005; Sylvain 2002). In India, on the other hand, the
concept of indigeneity is complicated by cross-cutting ethnicity, class, and religion, and
because many of the groups have shifted locations over time. However, some “tribal”
groups are now politically realigning themselves around the idea of indigeneity (Béteille
1998; Karlsson 2003).
Although the distinction between colonial and indigenous identities may seem
more clear-cut in North America, these conceptions inevitably contain shortcomings
when based on essentialized criteria. In Canada, the federal Indian Act uses a complex
set of genealogical criteria to establish a legal basis for indigenous identity, but this is an
unsatisfactory approach for addressing cultural and historical contradictions. For
example, complex situations arise when considering mixed ancestry, or the culturally
and territorially open nature of Métis identity. However, a 2013 decision of the Supreme
Court of Canada ruled that self-identification and group recognition were sufficient
35
criteria for identifying “Indianness,” regardless of genealogical relations and territorial
occupation, a controversial decision that was disputed by governments and other
Indigenous peoples (Freisen 2013).
Some anthropologists question whether indigenous identity is a valid concept,
arguing that it perpetuates obsolete anthropological notions, and in effect privileges the
rights of some over those of others (Béteille 1998; Kuper 2003). Counter arguments
point out that the term and concept did not originate in anthropology and was never
intended to guide anthropologists toward an essentialized and bounded concept (Childs
and Delgado-P. 1999; Karlsson 2003); instead, the concept grew out of a political need
for self-identification in the context of colonialism. Through this process, disenfranchised
peoples could organize themselves politically and advocate for their rights in order to
address economic and social inequities brought on by colonialism (Kenrick and Lewis
2004a). The irony, of course, is that the concept of indigeneity is itself a product of
colonialism, and used to distinguish the colonizer from the colonized (Haber 2007).
The essentialist critique of indigenous identity is ultimately circumvented because
the colonial conception of indigenous has been replaced by a relational identity (Haber
2007). Indigeneity, as conceived in the modern context, is a shifting concept manifested
by the subjective criteria of self-identification and group ascription. The flexible and fluid
nature of indigeneity reflects the postmodernist milieu that provided the context for the
indigenous movement in the first place, and it mirrors other contemporary markers of
identity, such as ethnicity. Due to its origins and open-ended nature, indigenous identity
can shift according to political, social and economic imperatives, at times leading to the
exclusion or inclusion of factions and groups (Dombrowski 2002). Recognizing the
political origins and flexible characteristics of indigeneity sheds light on the origins,
motivations and objectives of indigenous archaeology.
Archaeology of Opposition
Some contend that conventional archaeology practice is by its nature a
colonialist endeavour, favouring Western values over indigenous ones, and privileging
secular over religious explanations (Smith and Wobst 2005a). This characterization is
unnecessarily broad, and over-simplifies the many ways that archaeology and politics
intersect and at times collide. A more nuanced characterization parses nationalist,
colonialist, and imperialist influences on archaeology (Trigger 1984). Nationalist forces
36
have used archaeology to strengthen the pride of nations and ethnic groups, in the same
way that colonialist policy exploited its narratives to perpetuate differences and
disparities between the colonized and colonizer. Imperialist ideologues, on the other
hand, tend to impose universalizing conceptions of the past to normalize particular
worldviews.
In “settler societies,” there is no doubt that archaeology has strong historical links
to colonialism that survive to this day (McGuire 2008). Cultural resource management in
North America, for example, maintains the trappings of colonialist archaeology on a
number of levels, including the statutory expropriation of indigenous rights to heritage
and the accompanying disparities in power and authority (Ferris 2003). On the other
hand, much research-based archaeology practised in North America in recent decades
has been imperialist in nature; by universalizing the past it has lumped all groups–
indigenous or otherwise–together and denied special rights to descendent communities,
thereby achieving much the same effect as colonial archaeology but by other means. In
all three cases, the danger rests in the misuse of archaeology to further a political
agenda (McGuire 2008). Against this backdrop, the emerging political conception of
indigeneity created the opportunity for the development of a distinct indigenous
archaeology.
In an extension of Trigger’s nationalist, colonialist, and imperialist archaeologies,
some writers propose an additional category to acknowledge the “archaeology of
protest” (Silberman 1995) or the “archaeology of the disenfranchised” (Scham 2001).
This category originates with subaltern groups opposing the nation-state and other
hegemonic forces, with the intention of developing archaeological narratives that
challenge the official story, and thereby attempting to shift the political structure and
challenge the dominance of powerful factions (Bray 2003; McGuire 2006). Indigenous
archaeology, like Marxist and feminist archaeologies, mirrors the underlying political and
theoretical ideals espoused by the “archaeology of opposition.” Indigenous, feminist, and
Marxist archaeologies, emerged from the intersection of post-modern thought and
shifting political structures, and represent a natural by-product of “critical archaeology”
(McGuire 2008). While processualist adherents were satisfied with simply acquiring
knowledge, post-processualism emphasized critique in order to demonstrate how
political and social interests construct knowledge (McGuire 2008:52). Indigenous
archaeology has been effective at challenging “the colonialism of archaeologies in which
37
the descendants of conquerors study the ancestors of conquered native peoples”
(McGuire 2008:7).
Despite its rapid growth as a force in the discipline, the practice of indigenous
archaeology still labours under the constraints of an imposed “management” and
legislative system (Ferris 2003; Watkins and Beaver 2008), and out of necessity it relies
on the assistance and expertise of non-Indigenous peoples. As such, it displays the
openness implied by the original definition as “archaeology done with, for, and by
indigenous peoples” (Nicholas and Andrews 1997a), and collaboration has been
considered the foundation to this success (Atalay 2006b; Colwell-Chanthaphonh and
Ferguson 2008b; McGuire 2008:7). Some advocate indigenous archaeology as a
relevant and valuable collaborative model for application in non-indigenous communities
and contexts (Atalay 2007). But, as an archaeology of opposition, its practice has
inevitably shifted towards the exercise of greater control over archaeology by Indigenous
peoples with an accompanying diminished role for non-Indigenous peoples. This trend
will likely continue, as the disenfranchised enhance their political authority, work closely
with trained professionals, and augment their skills with formal education. Indigenous
archaeology will ultimately be transformed as indigenous professionals wrestle with the
dilemmas and contradictions inherent in Indigenous peoples practicing a “colonial”
enterprise (see Atalay 2006a, 2006b; Lippert 2006; Million et al. 2005; Nicholas et al.
2008b; Norder 2007; Two Bears 2006; Watkins 2000; Wilson 2007). This indigenizing of
archaeology may well contribute to the eventual transformation of the overall discipline
as it is practiced in North America and in other areas with a colonial legacy. As this
process continues, indigenous archaeology may shift to one practiced “by”–and no
longer one practiced “for” and “with”–Indigenous peoples.
Even so, decolonizing the practice of archaeology in North America is difficult to
imagine, so long as Indigenous peoples exist within a nation state that insists on
asserting legislated authority over “archaeological resources.” Even in situations where
Indigenous peoples have achieved putative control over the “management” of
archaeological heritage through the transfer of powers or through nominal selfgovernment, in reality the nation state has simply delegated management of heritage
and also continues to exercise that power “off-reserve.” Some contend that the nation
state is unlikely to ever cede full control over archaeological heritage (Ferris 2003), and
as such full “decolonization” will never occur–the best-case scenario in this view is some
38
sort of co-management arrangement. Indeed, some suggest that this may be for the best
(Ferris 2003; Trigger 1997), as any other arrangement would simply be shifting control
from one interest group (archaeologists) to another (Indigenous peoples). The
implication is that stewardship over archaeological heritage is a matter of universal
concern, and that non-Indigenous peoples continue to be only one group of stakeholders
with rights and obligations. However, indigenous communities generally consider
themselves to be owners with custodial rights (Chirikure and Pwiti 2008). As they are
generally most closely linked to archaeological heritage in settler nations, indigenous
communities continue to have the most compelling interests, if not rights, to heritage
stewardship (Colwell-Chanthaphonh and Ferguson 2008b).
From Theory to Action
Indigenous archaeology possesses a range of meanings and applications almost
as varied as the communities that practice it (Gosden 2005; Nicholas 2008; Smith and
Wobst 2005c). Yet its political origins, influenced by the multi-vocality of postmodernism, contributes to the elusiveness of its theoretical voice. In practice, it largely
appropriates the methods of conventional archaeology, and grafts them onto an
indigenous discourse. However, methods occupy a low level of abstraction, and tinkering
with them is a distraction from productive debate and development (Yellowhorn 2002).
The real potential offered by indigenous archaeology is bridging to higher levels of
abstraction involving epistemology and ontology, along with identity, authority, and
ethics. As it develops and gains acceptance, its practitioners will undoubtedly develop
and articulate stronger theoretical positions (Bray 2003).
Indigenous archaeology invokes critical theory, in a manner similar to feminist
and Marxist archaeologies, because of its theoretical openness and its concern with
shifting the balance of power to the subaltern (Conkey 2005; McGuire 2006; Nicholas
2008; Nicholas and Hollowell 2007). This is largely a product of its origins as an
instrument of opposition and a political reaction against mainstream practice. Yet, there
are indications that the practice of indigenous archaeology is growing beyond a fixation
on methods, and that theoretical tenets are now crystallizing that herald its ongoing
maturation. Indeed, its underlying theoretical basis may begin with its commitment to
collaboration, multi-vocality, and action (Atalay 2006b, 2007). By emphasizing
“partnership,” this view goes beyond the tenets of community-based archaeology,
39
ensuring that Indigenous peoples are the owners and regulators of their own heritage,
while non-indigenous archaeologists undertake their research as guests.
Another aspect of a theoretical direction taken by indigenous archaeology is the
growing support for oral traditions as a valid and productive source of contextual
information, as well as a source of hypotheses and explanation (McGuire 2008; Nabokov
2002; Nicholas and Hollowell 2007; Whiteley 2002; Yellowhorn 2002). The outcome of
this development is an “internalist” approach to archaeology (Yellowhorn 2002, 2006),
which uses the methods of archaeology to research meaning transmitted by oral
traditions, in order to illuminate the origins of cultural practices within the context of an
indigenous ontology. This shift from a politicized practice to one that is more grounded in
indigenous theories provides yet another layer of distinctiveness to Indigenous
archaeology that better reflects indigenous perspectives and values.
How the growth of indigenous archaeology will ultimately affect the discipline as
a whole remains to be seen. The bulk of literature discussing it continues to be the
product of non-indigenous practitioners, and its practice continues to be inclusive and
collaborative. For the moment, participation and collaboration with non-indigenous
practitioners is commonplace, but as their autonomy and capacity grows, indigenous
communities will have less reason to collaborate with non-indigenous archaeologists
unless they can see benefits from this practice. Moreover, the growing influence of
indigenous archaeology is an indication of shifting power that mirrors developments in
broader society. In this unstable setting, archaeologists will need to recognize the
implications of these changing relations and respond positively to demands for action.
Participatory Action Archaeologies
Community-based and indigenous archaeologies have focussed primarily on
their relevance and their implications for practice in research-based agendas, but as yet
have paid little attention to archaeology in its applied format. Yet this is the realm where
alternative forms of practice have the greatest opportunity to put collaborative theory into
action. Although “applied archaeology” and “cultural resource management” are often
used synonymously, the former generally encompasses a broader meaning and involves
the “application of archaeological research and its results to address contemporary
human problems” (Neusius 2009:19). This definition incorporates cultural resource
40
management, heritage tourism, human-environment interactions, public education and
outreach, land claim and treaty research, repatriation efforts, and heritage stewardship.
It crosscuts issues of community participation and sovereignty, particularly at the
intersection of cultural resource management, repatriation efforts, and indigenous title
and rights. This has fostered the nascent development of new forms of collaborative
practice in the context of community-based and indigenous archaeologies.
Action Archaeologies
Among these new forms is “action archaeology,” which refers to “involvement or
engagement with the problems facing the modern world through archaeology,” or in
other words, “archaeologists working for living communities, not just in or near them”
(Sabloff 2008:17).6 While applied archaeology encompasses many types of collaborative
projects, action archaeology is explicitly and specifically linked to working on behalf of
communities. Its intellectual pedigree extends back to the “action anthropology” first
espoused by Sol Tax and others in the 1950s (Tax 1958). Specifically, Tax advocated
that anthropological research take place within a community simultaneously with
providing practical assistance; neither component is sufficient on its own, and both are
equally important. Although Tax’s brand of anthropology, with its dual emphasis on
theory creation and ethical action, did not have a large influence on the discipline
(Rubinstein 1986), it foreshadowed other forms of collaborative and advocacy
anthropology that have gained some traction in archaeology. Although Sabloff does not
acknowledge such a link to Sol Tax, other writers point to his action anthropology as a
template for “tribal” archaeology, as those working in CRM on behalf of indigenous
peoples implicitly actualize the principles he articulated (Stapp 2000; Stapp and Burney
2002). For instance, “helping tribes develop programs that exist for the tribe, that will be
staffed by tribal members, and that will be run according to tribal needs, values, and
principles” are all hallmarks of action anthropology (Stapp 2000:74). However, for tribal
archaeology to fully embrace action anthropology, it “must remain engaged with the
academy and bring their experiences back through its scholarly associations,” while
6
Sabloff (2008) traces the origins of the phrase “action archaeology” to a short paper by
Maxine Kleindienst and Patty Jo Watson published in 1956 in the journal of the University of
Chicago Anthropology Club. Although certainly influenced by Sol Tax’s conception of action
anthropology, “action archaeology” as used in Kleindienst and Watson (1956) refers more
specifically to the concept of ethnoarchaeology, and is not equivalent to Sabloff’s use of the
phrase.
41
indigenous communities “need to be active participants in theoretical and methodological
development” (Stapp 2000:74-75).
Academic discourse on action archaeology now appears in the literature with
some frequency, though generally without reference to Sol Tax and action anthropology.
Indeed, the ongoing ethical transformation of practice independently reiterates the basic
tenets of action anthropology. For instance, the Native American Graves Protection and
Repatriation Act and other CRM laws have fostered a “new kind” of applied anthropology
in the United States that better addresses the needs of indigenous communities
(Thomas 2007:72). Likewise, close association with Indigenous peoples has transformed
many archaeologists into applied anthropologists, who see potential solutions to real
world problems in their research, produce positive benefits for communities, and create
social change (Colwell-Chanthaphonh and Ferguson 2008b:5-6; Kelley 2008:187).
Others discuss the practice of archaeology as a tool of civic engagement pursuing social
justice for disenfranchised people (Colwell-Chanthaphonh 2007; Little 2007; Mullins
2007; Smith and Wobst 2005c). All of these action-oriented approaches seek to move
archaeology out of the university and into the community.
Participatory Action Research
Although rarely acknowledged or recognized, the evolution of community-based
archaeology, action archaeology, and other forms of collaborative practice parallels the
development of a form of practice known in other disciplines as participatory action
research (PAR). 7 PAR involves “researchers and participants working together to
examine a problematic situation or action to change it for the better” (Kindon et al.
2007a). Researchers and participants see common enterprise in constructing knowledge
through a co-learning process, and promoting awareness that leads to individual and
collective social change (McIntyre 2008:5). PAR not only identifies the benefits of
research, but also exposes the process for producing it.
After more than four decades of development (Hall 2005; Kindon et al. 2007b;
McIntyre 2008; McTaggart 1997; Whyte et al. 1991), PAR now attracts much interest in
7
In this paper, PAR and other variations referred to as Action Research, Participatory
Research, Community-Based Research, Community-Based Action Research, and
Community-Based Participatory Research, are treated as largely equivalent approaches,
despite the subtle differences identified by their adherents (see Bray et al. 2000:31-37;
Kindon et al. 2007b; McIntyre 2008:4).
42
the social and environmental sciences (Kindon et al. 2007a). It’s influence reaches fields
as diverse as anthropology, education, health and medicine, development studies,
geography, environmental studies, political science, and Native studies (Atalay 2007;
Austin 2004; Kindon et al. 2007b; Lamphere 2004; McIntyre 2008; Menzies 2001, 2004;
Robinson 1996). This practice in its contemporary incarnation is characterized by a
number of underlying tenets (McIntyre 2008:1-2):
• A collective commitment to investigate an issue or problem.
• A desire to engage in self- and collective reflection to gain clarity about the
issue under investigation.
• A joint decision to engage in individual and collective action leading to a
successful solution that benefits the people involved.
• Building of alliances between researchers and participants in the planning,
implementation, and dissemination of research.
Although its philosophy embraces full collaboration between researchers and
participants, a “recurring question in PAR is whether a researcher needs to be requested
as a resource by a community or a group, or whether a researcher can approach a
particular group inviting them to explore a particular issue” (McIntyre 2008:8). Although
the latter is the norm, the key to negotiating the researcher/participant divide is engaging
in reflexivity (McIntyre 2008), so that both sides reflect on how their perspectives effect
the research. In practice, PAR involves a recursive process of questioning, reflecting and
investigating, developing an action plan, and implementing and refining it (McIntyre
2008:6). In this sense, PAR differs from most community-based archaeology, which
primarily involves researchers approaching a community with a proposal for undertaking
a research project (see Atalay 2012:106).
A few authors recognize the beginnings of PAR in the action anthropology of Sol
Tax and other forms of applied anthropology (Austin 2004; Kindon et al. 2007b).
Development of contemporary PAR has been influenced by Marxism, post-structuralism,
critical theory, and feminism, and among these a major influence on some practioners
has been the work of Paulo Freire (Kindon et al. 2007b; McIntyre 2008). A Brazilian
“emancipatory” educator, Freire “developed community-based research processes to
support people’s participation in knowledge production and social transformation”
(Kindon et al. 2007b:10). Freire also believed in critical reflection as essential for
individual and social change, the unification of theory and practice, and counter43
hegemonic approaches to knowledge production in oppressed communities (McIntyre
2008:3). One of Freire’s key concepts is conscientização (conscientization), wherein
marginalized groups gain awareness of oppression and use this knowledge to actively
eliminate it (Austin 2004:421; Kindon et al. 2007b:10).
PAR concepts are now filtering into archaeological theory and practice, and
presently appear with some frequency in the literature. In one of the earliest references,
Michael Robinson pointed out how archaeologists have been closely engaged with
indigenous communities in Canada’s north for some time, but have not explicitly
recognized or adopted the principles of PAR in their work (Robinson 1996).8 A
subsequent review of community-based archaeology in Canada noted the parallel with
PAR and identified Tax and Freire as its forebears (Carr-Locke 2004:36), and elements
of PAR were identified in a number of community-based archaeology projects in Canada
and elsewhere. Even though the principles and methods were not explicitly distinguished
in these projects, they bear a closer resemblance to the principles of community-based
archaeology than to those of PAR (Carr-Locke 2004:93).
Elsewhere, published accounts of the formal application of PAR in archaeology
are rare. One of the few relates to a historical archaeology project in a working-class
neighbourhood in Baltimore, with the researchers “consciously locating [their] work
within a tradition of community-based research” guided by PAR principles (Gadsby and
Chidester 2007:223-224). Its use in the context of building theory and method for
indigenous archaeology has also been advocated (Atalay 2006b; 2007; 2008, 2012). In
particular, Paolo Freire’s participatory research model holds great potential “to address
the challenge of collaboration and engagement with diverse Indigenous communities”
(Atalay 2006b:298). It offers “a way for oppressed groups and, as Freire puts it, those
who are in true solidarity with them to struggle for equality and the ability to take an
active role in effective change and improvement in their own communities” (Atalay
2006b:298). Its potential for informing community-based projects modelled on
indigenous archaeology is considered the same wherever they are employed, whether in
Turkey or the United States (Atalay 2007; 2008). One advocate also deconstructs the
8
Although he makes a salient point, Robinson’s flippant appeal to market the products of
archaeology (as in “rainforest shampoo”) in order to benefit descendant communities and
fund archaeological research minimizes the political and cultural values placed on
archaeology in these communities.
44
role of archaeologists as authority figures, such as when mediating contested indigenous
views on the analysis and disposition of an archaeological collection recovered from
tribal lands in Massachusetts (Kuns 2008).
In their introduction to First Nations Cultural Heritage and Law: Case Studies,
Voices, and Perspectives, Catherine Bell and Val Napoleon describe seven case studies
documenting indigenous perspectives on heritage (including archaeology) as
representing collaborative research consistent with PAR (Bell and Napoleon 2008b:9;
see also Hollowell and Nicholas 2009). Elements are indeed evident in the case studies,
though none of the authors themselves make explicit reference to PAR or describe how
their research process and outcomes specifically incorporated its methods and
principles. Other similar projects have also been described as examples of “communitybased participatory research” or PAR (Hollowell and Nicholas 2009), although the
specific methods are not described in detail. Nonetheless, some researchers now
advocate PAR, combined with ethnographic methods, as “relevant, useful, and
potentially emancipatory in helping a community define its needs regarding the
protection and care of tangible and intangible heritage” (Hollowell and Nicholas
2009:144). Most recently, Sonja Atalay (2012) has reviewed the contributions of Sol Tax
and Paolo Freire to the development of action archaeology, provides a detailed
articulation of the principles of what she calls community-based participatory research,
and describes five projects where she has successfully applied the principles of PAR.
Collaborative Inquiry
Collaborative Inquiry (CI) is a participatory model similar to PAR that some
champion as the “ideal form of social science practice” and the best formal model and
best-developed vision for collaborative archaeological research (Colwell-Chanthaphonh
and Ferguson 2008b:9). Collaborative Inquiry is described as research conducted with
people, as opposed to on or about people as research subjects (see Bray et al. 2000). It
requires that scholars endorse transparent partnership throughout the entire research
process, adhering to the principles of participation and democracy. It encourages
teamwork, wherein a group of peers from multiple communities aim to find answers to
questions important to all of them. Through repeated cycles of reflection and action,
often during group meetings, these peers correct each other’s reasoning, perceptions,
and attitudes. Last, they submit questions that they all deem important, “although
45
typically the individuals initiating the work pose a question that is then negotiated among
the participants” (Colwell-Chanthaphonh and Ferguson 2008b:9). In practical terms, CI
follows four basic steps: “forming a group of co-researchers, creating the conditions for
group learning, acting on the inquiry question, and making meaning by constructing
group knowledge” (Colwell-Chanthaphonh and Ferguson 2008b:9).
Although some contemporary forms of PAR and CI are notably similar (see
McIntyre 2008), the latter “aspires” to go further (Bray et al. 2000:38; ColwellChanthaphonh and Ferguson 2008b:9-10). PAR focusses on “liberation” and communal
“problem-solving,” but it still gathers “conventional data on populations” and depends on
standard scientific method to answer research questions (Bray et al. 2000; ColwellChanthaphonh and Ferguson 2008b). Its vocabulary of liberation and communal action
bears the strong imprint of Paulo Freire, but what works in marginalized Brazilian
communities may not be suited to other jurisdictions where political struggle and social
development concerns are less paramount. Conversely, CI springs forth from personal
reflection, with “understanding and constructing meaning around experience” leading to
personal development, enhanced practice, or problem-solving (Bray et al. 2000:38).
John Dewey’s idea of human experience and reflection as the essential conditions for
learning and knowledge and Husserl’s phenomenological concept of “life-world” are cited
as philosophical influences on the practice of CI (Bray et al. 2000:20-23). Moreover,
participants consist of a group of peers in which no individual has greater authority or
leadership. As such, Collaborative Inquiry “extends collaboration by focusing on the
personal experiences of the researchers in addition to standard scholarly methodologies,
building broad understanding, not merely specific problem-solving, and explicitly
establishing the group of co-researchers as a group of peers (Colwell-Chanthaphonh
and Ferguson 2008:10).
In contrast, the PAR model often involves better-educated researchers
transferring knowledge, skills and abilities to participants (Bray et al. 2000). CI attempts
to break down the researcher/participant distinction inherent to most forms of PAR, and
puts researchers and community members on equal footing as participants. This latter
point of peers vs. authority figures is perhaps the most significant difference between
these forms of practice.
46
Despite some initial applications of participatory practice, the full potential of PAR
and CI “is a more ambitious vision of collaborative practice than is typically advocated in
archaeology” (Wylie 2009:7). Although community-based archaeology has much in
common with the concepts of PAR, the former is generally more weighted towards
answering research questions, while the latter is more explicitly directed towards “real
world” problems. To some degree, the emphasis on research questions in communitybased archaeology serves the interests of academics to a greater degree than it does
the interests of communities. As such, PAR and CI surpasses the goal of “equal
participation” advocated by collaborative practice by potentially transferring a greater
degree of authority to the community.
Participatory action research in archaeology shares a theoretical foundation with
community-based and indigenous archaeologies in that it too is a form of critical
archaeology, one that is based on both gaining knowledge of the world, and critiquing
the world (McGuire 2008:3). However, PAR goes beyond some critical archaeologies by
advocating taking action in the world, to effect political and social change, what McGuire
(2008:3) calls “praxis” or “theoretically informed action.” Praxis becomes “emancipatory”
when it advances the interests of the marginalized and oppressed against those of the
dominant and powerful (McGuire 2008:3), but it is collaboration that is key to (McGuire
2008:8). Thus, participatory action archaeologies, like indigenous archaeologies, offer
strong examples of how praxis can be achieved in contemporary archaeology, in that
they have the potential to transform and decolonize the discipline while supporting the
interests of indigenous and descendant communities. They are at once politically selfconscious as well as collaborative with local people (McGuire 2008:36). Moreover,
through such “emancipatory” and “liberating” forms of practice, local communities can
deconstruct the myth of a single, common, national heritage, and replace the legacy of
oppression and exploitation with one that respects their dignity and rights (McGuire
2008:36). Likewise, the key facets of successful praxis in the context of Indigenous
peoples include serving the interests of communities, relying on collaboration, promoting
multi-vocality, and creating tangible benefits for people (McGuire 2008:80). The
principles of participatory action, collaboration, and praxis offer perhaps the best options
for archaeological practice to accommodate indigenous perspectives, and for indigenous
communities to make archaeology their own.
47
Chapter Summary: Models of Community Engagement
In this chapter, I have reviewed the principles and criteria that characterize the
practice of community-based, indigenous, and participatory action archaeologies. Each
approach serves as a potential model for transforming practice and enhancing
indigenous engagement in archaeology, but a number of observations emerge
illustrating the advantages and disadvantages of each form of practice. Communitybased archaeology, as currently practiced and portrayed in the literature, originated in an
academic setting, is advocated by professional (but generally non-indigenous)
archaeologists, and, despite its good intentions, still tends to serve the interests of the
discipline. In North American and Australia, on the other hand, collaborative practice
originated from the intersection and interaction of CRM with indigenous communities,
often in the context of repatriation issues. Although this precipitated a substantial degree
of engagement for Indigenous peoples, collaboration remains largely reactionary to
outside interests and objectives, while the archaeology itself is generally practiced in the
service of regulatory and resource management aims.
Community-based archaeologies share many elements and objectives with the
emerging practice of indigenous archaeology, but important differences exist.
Community-based archaeology in the context of indigenous communities encourages
participation and equity, whereas indigenous archaeology emphasizes control and
sovereignty. Even though the initial conceptualization of indigenous archaeologies may
have originated in the academic and CRM realms, its primary motivation stems from the
political struggles of marginalized communities. Practicing indigenous archaeology is
often overtly political and partisan, and has the potential for excluding equal participation
and minimizing inter-stakeholder discourse. This exposes an underlying dichotomy in
terms of the social and political objectives of these practices: community-based
archaeology can be seen as serving research and career interests of academics, while
indigenous archaeology addresses the political aspirations of Indigenous communities.
Given underlying issues of power and authority, the perspectives and aspirations of
indigenous communities are more often in line with the political orientation of indigenous
archaeology. The intent of their involvement in archaeology fits better within a
“resistance mode,” used to confront illegitimate or hegemonic forces (ColwellChanthaphonh and Ferguson 2008b), and less so the ideal of collaboration. Further, to
some, the idea of collaboration has the unsavoury connotation of traitorous cooperation
48
with an enemy, which could undermine its equitable intent (Silliman 2008b:4). In this
sense, the ideals of collaboration could be seen to be at odds with the goal of shifting the
balance of power from the research community to the descendant community.
Conversely, participatory action archaeologies attempt to mediate between the
tension of collaboration versus control through the vehicles of reflexive inquiry and
emancipatory action. These archaeologies explicitly attempt to dissolve the distinctions
between researchers and community participants, and use research as a catalyst for
action to create social change. Its principles go some way to breaking down the role of
archaeologists as authority figures, so that “true” collaboration with equitable power
relations and consensual decision-making becomes the ultimate goal. Even so,
collaboration in PAR projects may often be less democratic than alleged, with the
greater part of power and benefits still residing with the outside researcher. Likewise,
unreflexive participatory research can also reinforce the interests of the already powerful
within communities (Cooke and Kothari 2001). For participatory action archaeologies to
be truly effective, then, “potential power imbalances must be identified and challenged”
(Hollowell and Nicholas 2009).
Some forms of PAR explicitly advocate counter-hegemonic action even if it
sacrifices the ideal of collaboration, creating the conundrum of shifting power to
communities at the expense of equitable power-sharing. This manifestation may better
serve the political and social aspirations of communities, with a transfer of skills as well
as authority. Conventional archaeological practice tends to avoid issues of indigenous
participation and control. Confronting the issue of power relations through participatory
action archaeologies has the potential to address the aspiration of “control” over heritage
often present in indigenous communities, while bridging the research interests of
archaeologists and communities and maintaining a place and role for non-indigenous
practitioners. Ultimately, it is through the principles of PAR and emancipatory praxis that
we may find space to reconcile archaeological practice and indigenous aspirations for
participation and control.
Recognizing the tension between participation and control is a key aspect of
conceptualizing and understanding indigenous engagement in archaeological practice
and heritage stewardship. One of the objectives of this dissertation is evaluating the
degree and effectiveness of St’át’imc and Nlaka’pamux engagement in archaeological
49
practice, both historically and in the present, and identifying potential approaches for
better meeting the heritage stewardship aspirations of these nations. Although
community and indigenous archaeologies are useful models for contextualizing this
engagement, participatory action archaeology may offer a better model for transforming
practice and bridging the heritage stewardship agenda of indigenous communities and
the discipline of archaeology.
50
Chapter 3.
First Nations and Archaeological Practice
in British Columbia
Ethical and political trends affecting the discipline of archaeology worldwide have had an
impact in British Columbia, changing the relationship between Indigenous communities
and archaeology, and contributing to the transformation of practice. By the late 1970s,
Indigenous political revitalization had coincided with the rise of conservation archaeology
and cultural resource management (CRM) in British Columbia (Mohs 1987; Schaepe
2007; Spurling 1986), just as it did elsewhere in Canada, Australia, and the United
States (Smith 2004). As Indigenous peoples in the province were exposed to the
discipline and its practice, the potential application of archaeology to issues of
indigenous title and rights was recognized (Mohs 1987; Wickwire 1992). In turn, First
Nation organizations actively lobbied for the protection of their archaeological and
heritage, calling for greater participation in heritage stewardship and petitioning the
province for heritage laws that better reflect their values and concerns (Apland 1993:18;
De Paoli 1999:38). Despite this political involvement on the provincial level, most
individual indigenous communities in British Columbia had little direct involvement in
archaeology until the 1990s.
Over the last two decades, indigenous communities in the province have
increased their involvement in CRM and the archaeological assessment process, with
this shift arising from a number of political, legal, and disciplinary developments (Budhwa
et al. 2008; Klassen et al. 2009). Significant legal decisions defining indigenous title and
rights and the fiduciary duties of the Crown resulted in changes in heritage regulatory
requirements in the resource sectors (primarily in the forest industry). This in turn led to
escalating conflicts between First Nations and CRM practitioners, industry, and the
province, culminating in responses that involved direct actions, legal challenges,
51
negotiated protocols (including treaty negotiations), land-use agreements, and
community-based heritage departments and protocols.
This history of community activism has shifted power relations, and forced CRM
(and academic) practitioners in the province to take steps to reform ethics and transform
practice. Significant strides have been made to recognize concerns expressed by
Indigenous peoples and improve their participation in and contributions to research and
management (Klassen et al. 2009). While these trends are now filtering into the
archaeological discourse in British Columbia, the provincial experience did not evolve in
isolation. Coinciding with these local changes has been the global development of
collaborative and indigenous archaeologies, which are at once complementary and
contradictory in terms of their goals and motivations (see Chapter 2).
In this chapter, I provide an overview of indigenous involvement in archaeology in
British Columbia from the 1970s onwards, and describe the impact of this engagement
on heritage legislation, CRM practice, and archaeological ethics in the province. I begin
with a brief historical and theoretical context for this transformation, focussing on the
practice of CRM in North America. I then provide a short history of heritage legislation in
British Columbia and the indigenous critique of these laws. Next, I review First Nation
responses to the process and practice of CRM in the province. I end the chapter with a
discussion of evolving stewardship ethics and its potential impacts on archaeological
practice in British Columbia. These developments chart an evolving relationship between
Indigenous peoples and the practice of archaeology in British Columbia, a practice that
has increasingly transformed from demands to dialogue.
Transformation in Context
The indigenous encounter with archaeology in North America has existed for as
long as the practice of the discipline on the continent. For much of this time, this
experience has been characterized by an imbalance of power, where little direct
involvement or control rested with the people whose past was being studied. With their
growing political organization and influence from the late 1960s onwards, Indigenous
peoples in North America and in settler societies around the world have increasingly
demanded a greater role in, and more control over, archaeological practice and its
52
products (Atalay 2006b; Ferguson 1996; McGuire 1992, 2008; Nicholas 2008; Smith and
Jackson 2006; Smith 2006; Trigger 1997; Watkins 2003, 2005; Yellowhorn 1996, 2006).
In the United States, the critique of archaeology by Indigenous peoples and their
subsequent demands for greater control over archaeological practice emerged from
issues of repatriation of sacred objects and reburial of ancestral remains (see Atalay
2006b; Downer 1997; Ferguson 1996; Killion 2007a; McGuire 2008; Smith 2004;
Watkins 2000, 2004). In this contentious environment, anthropologists and
archaeologists were often vilified, and the potential benefits of archaeology dismissed
and at times misrepresented (Custer 2005; Ferguson 1996; Lippert 2007; Nicholas and
Andrews 1997b; Norder 2007; Trigger 1997; Watkins 2005; Zimmerman 2007). As the
repatriation debate raged, Native Americans were also exposed to the practice of
cultural resource management (CRM), encouraging a number of groups to develop
programs designed to protect their own heritage (Stapp 2007; Stapp and Burney 2002;
Watkins 2000; Zimmerman 2007).
Following the passage of the federal Native American Graves Protection and
Repatriation Act in 1990 and amendments to the National Historic Preservation Act in
1992, Native Americans in the United States began exercising even more influence and
control over the practice of archaeology, particularly on federal and reservation lands
(Stapp and Burney 2002; Watkins 2000, 2007). This shift in power has reached the point
where some tribal groups now control archaeology on their lands, albeit within the larger
strictures of authority imposed by the state and largely within the parameters of
conventional archaeological practice (Stapp and Burney 2002; Watkins 2007; Welch
2000; Welch et al. 2006). Numerous tribes have established Tribal Historic Preservation
Offices and have assumed the responsibilities of the State Historic Preservation Officers
for their tribal lands. However, the rise of Native American control over heritage is more
than just about power or motivated by politics, but stems from deeply held cultural values
about sacred places, objects, and ancestors (Lippert 2006; McGuire 1992; Nabokov
2002; Watkins 2000:xi). Informed by these values, the repatriation and reburial debate
has had a significant impact on archaeology in the United States and elsewhere, by
shifting ethics, transforming practice, encouraging collaboration, and contributing to the
development of what has become known as indigenous archaeology (ColwellChanthaphonh and Ferguson 2008b; Killion 2007b; Lippert 2006, 2007, 2008; Watkins
2007; Zimmerman 2007); indeed, some believe repatriation and related processes will
53
“rank with other historic movements that have acted to change the face of the field”
(Killion 2007b:5).
A similar trend, shifting the balance of participation and control, has been
underway in British Columbia, though following a somewhat different trajectory. Although
conflicts over ancestral remains and ownership of heritage also have played a part here,
the practice and politics of archaeology in British Columbia is entangled within the
greater battle over Aboriginal title and rights (Bell 2001; Nicholas 2006; Nicholas et al.
2008a).9 Within most of Canada, historic treaties have severely curtailed indigenous
jurisdiction, on- and off-reserve, and archaeological heritage and CRM is primarily
governed by provincial legislation. As a consequence, archaeological issues have rarely
been high on the political agenda elsewhere in this country, with the notable exception of
the northern territories. On the other hand, few treaties have been signed in British
Columbia due to the historical particulars of its colonial past and its subsequent late
entry into confederation, making the history of indigenous engagement in archaeological
practice and heritage stewardship in this province unique from other jurisdictions in
Canada and North America (Apland 1993; Bell 2001; Ferris 2003; Klimko and Wright
2000; Nicholas 2006; Schaepe 2007; Watkins 2005). The lack of treaties has led to
frequent court challenges relating to issues of Aboriginal title and rights, and
archaeological issues have been raised occasionally in negotiations with the province
(Klassen 2008a; Klassen et al. 2009). A formal treaty process was not established until
1993, and although only a few treaties have been successfully negotiated, “heritage
chapters” have been an integral part of all the agreements.
In the absence of treaties (with their putative legal certitude over heritage
“resources”), the contemporary indigenous dispute with archaeology in British Columbia
began with critiques of provincial heritage legislation, and has escalated in the context of
increasing resource development and land use conflicts (Klassen 2008a; Klassen et al.
2009; Nicholas 2006). As a result, indigenous criticisms over the use and abuse of
archaeology in British Columbia have been largely directed at provincial resource
ministries, industrial developers, and the overall practice of CRM. In this context,
9
This is not to suggest that repatriation and reburial is not important to First Nations in British
Columbia or that it has not been a contentious issue; however, the impact on archaeological
practice has been arguably less dramatic, and it has not led to substantive regulatory
changes.
54
jurisdiction over heritage stewardship, and its legislative basis, has become part of the
greater ongoing battle over Aboriginal title and rights in the province (Klassen 2008a;
Klimko and Wright 2000).
First Nations and Heritage Legislation in British Columbia
Several generations of laws and regulations protecting archaeological heritage
have appeared in British Columbia since the 1860s (Table 1). The Indian Graves
Ordinance (1865; amended 1867), enacted by the pre-Confederation government of the
Colony of British Columbia, was one of the first laws designed to protect cultural heritage
in North America. Ostensibly intended to prevent the “violation” of indigenous graves and
grave goods, this statute was “not meant to establish the rights of Indians; instead, the
items mentioned were described as Crown property” (Yellowhorn 1996:33). Although
repealed in 1886 by the post-Confederation federal government (Apland 1993), this law
set the precedent for the assertion of Crown ownership of indigenous heritage in British
Columbia.
In 1925, British Columbia became the first Canadian province to enact heritage
legislation (Burley 1994). Although the proximal motivation for the Historic Objects
Preservation Act was a belated attempt at stopping the rampant collection of totem poles
and other ethnographic objects by foreign collectors (Cole 1985; Spurling 1986), the Act
also legitimized the Crown’s confiscation and ownership of indigenous material culture
(Yellowhorn 1999b). The Historic Objects Preservation Act appeared shortly after the
conclusion of the nefarious Cranmer potlatch trial of 1922, which authorized the
confiscation of associated ethnographic objects in an effort to suppress First Nation
gatherings (Cole 1985). Subsequently, the federal government incorporated similar
provisions in Section 109 of the revised Indian Act of 1927, but in this case also
prohibiting the acquisition, removal, or defacement of rock art along with specific types of
ethnographic objects without ministerial approval. Again, this section of the Indian Act
codifies the Crown’s assertion of title over indigenous heritage, but another motivation of
the provision was to prevent civil servants from entering into a conflict of interest by
trading with Indigenous peoples (Yellowhorn 1999a).
In all three cases, “the impetus for these laws was protecting the cultural
patrimony of the province, not the cultural heritage of First Nations” (Nicholas 2006:356).
55
Regardless of the motivations for these statutes, however, the Historic Objects
Preservation Act and Section 109 of the Indian Act (1927) created a limited basis for
heritage protection in British Columbia.
Table 1.
Historical Development of Heritage Legislation in British Columbia
Statute
Jurisdiction
Comments
Indian Graves Ordinance,
1865 [repealed and replaced
1867; repealed 1886]
Colony of British
Columbia
Prohibited the collection of indigenous human remains and
associated articles, and declared them property of the Crown
(Apland 1993; Yellowhorn 1996, 1999b).
Historic Objects Preservation
Act [1925; amended 1948]
Province of British
Columbia
Provides for the designation and protection of rock art,
structures, and objects as “historic objects” (Apland 1993;
Burley 1994; Spurling 1986; Yellowhorn 1999b).
Indian Act [1927, s. 109; with
amendments to 1985, s. 91]
Government of
Canada
Prevents the removal or disturbance of any Indian grave
house, carved grave pole, totem pole, carved house post, or
rock embellished with paintings or carvings on Indian reserves,
except by permission of the Minister (Burley 1994; Spurling
1986; Yellowhorn 1999a).
Archaeological and Historical
Sites Protection Act [1960;
amended 1972]
Province of British
Columbia
Required a permit to conduct archaeological work, and
incorporated a list of “automatically” protected site types, as
well as a “catch-all” category of “other archaeological remains”;
only applied to provincial Crown land, with limited
administrative capability for implementation and enforcement
(Apland 1993; Carlson 1970; De Paoli 1999; Spurling 1986).
Heritage Conservation Act
[1977; amended 1979]
Province of British
Columbia
Extended legislative authority over archaeological heritage to
private land, but removed the “other” category, greatly
diminishing the range of archaeological heritage protected by
legislation. Enforcement hampered by statute of limitations
restrictions, and by limited provision for penalties (Apland
1993).
Heritage Conservation Act
[1994; amended 1996]
Province of British
Columbia
See body of chapter.
The Archaeological and Historical Sites Protection Act
The Archaeological and Historical Sites Protection Act (AHSPA), enacted in
1960, represented the first comprehensive legislation protecting archaeological sites in
British Columbia (Apland 1993). It required that a provincial permit be obtained prior to
conducting archaeological work, and it also incorporated a list of “automatically”
protected site types, including a catch-all category of “other archaeological remains.”
The law also created the Archaeological Sites Advisory Board (ASAB), composed of
government, academic, and general public representatives, tasked with coordinating
archaeological activity in the province, administering the heritage legislation, and
advising the government on archaeological matters. However, the AHSPA only applied
56
to provincial Crown land, and a lack of administrative capability hindered its
implementation and enforcement (Apland 1993).
Archaeology in British Columbia during the 1960s and early 1970s emphasized
research and “salvage,” with limited attention paid to “management” or conservation.
Engagement with indigenous communities was superficial, though some archaeologists
in British Columbia consulted elders and other community members in order to obtain
ethnographic information and local knowledge (Apland 1993; Carlson 1979; Nicholas
2006). Typically, indigenous men were retained as fieldworkers, although this
participation was seldom acknowledged in reports or publications. However, this era was
a time of increasing indigenous political organization and influence in British Columbia
(Tennant 1990), leading to greater demands for input into all aspects of government
policy and practice, including that pertaining to archaeology (Archaeological Society of
British Columbia 1973; Carlson 1979; Yellowhorn 1996). By 1973, the ASAB had
appointed two indigenous representatives to the Board in recognition of their vested
interests in the archaeological record (Carlson 1979:146). Shortly thereafter, the Union
of British Columbia Indian Chiefs presented the ASAB with 16 recommendations
pertaining to archaeology, the majority of which were approved (Carlson 1979:146). The
most significant policy arising from the recommendations was one that required
permission from indigenous communities before permits were issued, which was
apparently already a “working policy” of the Board. Another policy acknowledged that all
recovered artifacts were held in trust for First Nations, albeit without defining what “in
trust” really means or resolving the question of Aboriginal title or ownership.
The Heritage Conservation Act of 1977
By the mid 1970s, the “cultural resource management” (CRM) concept had been
thoroughly embraced by bureaucrats and archaeologists in British Columbia. In this
period, a dramatic increase in CRM activities and the growing disciplinary emphasis on
the conservation archaeology ethic contributed to the enactment of new provincial
legislation and regulations (Apland 1993; Spurling 1986). Following significant
amendments to the AHSPA in 1972, the provincial government established a Provincial
Archaeologist’s Office (PAO) with the mandate to oversee the provincial archaeological
impact assessment process. Throughout this decade, the responsibility for planning and
conducting inventories and impact assessments routinely fell to universities and the PAO
57
(Fladmark 1981). However, the regulatory requirements of CRM demanded new
legislation, and partly in response to this need the AHSPA was replaced by the Heritage
Conservation Act (HCA) in 1977 (De Paoli 1999; Spurling 1986). Including “heritage
conservation” in the name of the new statute was significant, as it reflected the
continental shift in heritage management from “salvage archaeology” to “conservation
archaeology” with its accompanying focus on large-scale impact assessments and
inventories (Fladmark 1981; Lipe 1974).
The HCA extended legislative authority over archaeological heritage to apply to
private land, created a Heritage Trust to use private and public funds to encourage
conservation and use of heritage properties, established the Heritage Conservation
Branch to administer the act (replacing the PAO), and replaced the ASAB with the
Provincial Heritage Advisory Board (Apland 1993; Spurling 1986). As a result, the First
Nation policies of the ASAB were rescinded (Mohs 1994). Conversely, the new act
removed the catch-all “other archaeological remains” category, thereby diminishing the
range of archaeological heritage “automatically” protected by legislation (Apland 1993).
Enforcement of the HCA was also hampered by statute of limitations restrictions, and by
the limited provision for penalties (Apland 1993).
The new Heritage Conservation Branch increased efforts to inventory
archaeological sites, and as the decade drew to a close it was directly involved in all
aspects of archaeology in the province, including the bulk of field assessments and
heritage inventories (Fladmark 1981). However, fiscal restraint in the early 1980s
reduced the capacity of the Branch to undertake inventories and assessments, leading
to the adoption of the “proponent pays” model, whereby developers directly contracted
private consultants for impact assessments (Apland 1993). With this change came a
shift away from government- and university-directed CRM projects, and a rapid increase
in the number of consulting firms (Apland 1993; Fladmark 1993). Influenced by the
conservation archaeology ethic and CRM developments in the United States (Apland
1993), the Heritage Conservation Branch drafted guidelines in 1982 to standardize and
regulate the impact assessment process for the growing ranks of consultants.
To this point, an indigenous role in creating new provincial legislation and
regulations was almost non-existent. Indigenous peoples were not involved in drafting
the 1977 legislation or the 1982 guidelines, while consultation with affected communities
58
was left to the discretion of archaeologists (De Paoli 1999; Klassen 2008a; Mohs 1994).
As CRM rose in prominence in the 1970s and 1980s, little contact existed between
archaeologists and indigenous communities, even as the latter insisted on greater levels
of consultation (Apland 1993). At the same time, indigenous leaders lobbied for
recognition and protection for a broader range of their heritage sites, including culturally
modified trees, traditional resource gathering locales, and spiritual sites (Apland 1993;
Mohs 1994; Stryd and Eldridge 1993; Wickwire 1992).
By the 1980s, archaeological and heritage issues had become major factors in a
number of high-profile conflicts between indigenous communities and the province
concerning indigenous title and rights (Klassen et al. 2009). Disputes over forestry plans
on Meares Island and Gwaii Haanas (Angelbeck 2008; Apland 1993), CN Rail twin
tracking in the Fraser Canyon (Bernick 1984; Mohs 1994), logging plans in the Stein
valley (Wickwire 1992), and road construction at the Vallican site in the Slocan valley
(Pryce 1999) all revolved around the impact of proposed development activities on
archaeological and heritage sites (see also Blomley 1996; Ross 2005). As a result of
these events, archaeologists and regulators belatedly recognized that indigenous
involvement in archaeology, heritage legislation, and the impact assessment process
was necessary (Apland 1993; Burley 1994; Mohs 1994; Spurling 1988; see also
Yellowhorn 1996).
“Project Pride” and the Amended HCA
From the late 1970s onward, the ASAB and the Heritage Conservation Branch
had recommended changes to the HCA (Apland 1993; Spurling 1986), but these
proposals went unheeded until after a provincial election in 1986 brought in a new leader
and cabinet (Apland 1993). The next year, a review of the HCA, entitled “Project Pride,”
was launched, and indigenous input on provincial heritage legislation was finally sought
(Apland 1993; De Paoli 1999; Klassen et al. 2009). A preliminary discussion paper was
mailed to indigenous communities and tribal councils throughout the province, yeilding a
strong response advocating their involvement in archaeological management (Apland
1993).
Recommendations arising from Project Pride included stronger protection for
archaeological sites, recognition that ownership of artifacts belonged with descendant
peoples, and a greater and more meaningful role in heritage stewardship for indigenous
59
communities. Moreover, there were provisions to protect cultural landscapes and
contexts, as well as natural features with cultural value (Project Pride Task Force 1987).
In a subsequent discussion paper, frustrations with the limitations imposed by existing
legislation were expressed:
Of more fundamental concern to the Native community is that the existing
system is geared more towards protecting sites and objects as
archaeological resources–sites and specimens for the scientific study of
past cultures–rather than as the cultural legacy of a living people.
Increasingly, the Native people in British Columbia are demanding
stewardship responsibility for their heritage and culture. [British Columbia
1991b:1]
Several “white papers” with draft bills attempted to address shortcomings
identified by indigenous leaders, including provisions for statutory protection for all “precontact” sites; protection of landmarks and natural features; consideration of the views,
interests and cultural values of indigenous communities as part of management
decisions; recognition of other heritage values in addition to archaeological ones;
creation of an advisory committee with indigenous members; and recognition of
indigenous ownership for human remains and grave goods (British Columbia 1990,
1991a). Even with these suggested changes, the province’s commitment to joint
stewardship remained tepid, and the Crown continued to assert ownership of heritage
sites and objects (Mason and Bain 2003). In many ways the Project Pride
recommendations were ahead of their time and presaged disciplinary currents that
would not become commonplace for another decade. Ultimately, however, it represented
a lost opportunity because when the new Heritage Conservation Act was proclaimed in
1994 (amended 1996) it failed to include most of the recommended changes (Klassen
2008a; Klassen et al. 2009).
Nonetheless, the new HCA included a number of significant improvements. For
example, the legislation prevailed over other statutes, expanded the protection of
archaeological sites, and incorporated provisions for agreements with indigenous
communities. However, the new legislation did not provide for a greater indigenous role
in the archaeological stewardship process, nor did it resolve the question of ownership of
heritage objects or even ancestral remains (Mason and Bain 2003; McLay 2007). The
amended HCA only extended automatic protection to physical sites older than 1846
(with some exceptions), thereby continuing to significantly limit the range of regulated
60
heritage. Moreover, the amendments did not include any specific requirements for
meaningful consultation with First Nations prior to permit issuance, archaeological
research, impact assessments, or management actions.
In the end, the amended HCA continued to facilitate the “management” of a nonrenewable “resource” primarily for its scientific value. It defined heritage as any objects
or sites with “heritage value” to a community or an Indigenous peoples (where heritage
values consist of the historical, cultural, aesthetic, scientific, or educational worth or
usefulness of a site or object). 10 Despite this broad definition, only physical, pre-AD 1846
archaeological sites and objects are regulated by the HCA. Operational guidelines refer
exclusively to “archaeological resources,” and identify one of the primary objectives of
“archaeological resource management” as preserving “representative samples of the
province's archaeological resources for the scientific and educational benefit of present
and future generations” (Apland and Kenny 1998; emphasis added). In this sense,
implementation of the HCA did not protect heritage (or rights to heritage) for the benefit
of Indigenous peoples, but instead placed the interests of archaeologists and the public
at large above those of First Nation communities (Bryce 2008; Klassen 2008a; Klassen
et al. 2009).
The First Nation Critique
In some respects, the HCA is a strong piece of legislation–notably due to its
equal authority on public and private land, the “automatic” regulation of specific
archaeological site types, and its potential for administering substantial penalties. It also
has provisions for designating specific “heritage sites” (potentially including “traditional
use,” ceremonial, or sacred sites) under Section 9, while “Section 4 agreements” with a
First Nation may be used to establish a schedule of protected heritage sites and objects
of particular cultural value to Indigenous peoples. First Nations are often strong
advocates of the HCA, and many recognize its potential for protecting their heritage.
Despite its apparent strengths, critics have identified its limitations and also cite
the province’s failure to effectively implement the law (see Barney and Klassen 2008;
Bell 2001; Bell et al. 2008a; Bell et al. 2008b; Bryce 2008; Budhwa 2005; Dady 2008; De
10
Even though the operational guidelines identify “ethnic significance” as the traditional, social
or religious importance of a site to a particular group or community, this valuation only applies
to regulated archaeological sites and does not extend to other forms of heritage.
61
Paoli 1999; First Nations Leadership Council 2012; Klassen 2008a; Klassen et al. 2009;
Klimko and Wright 2000; La Salle and Hutchings 2012; Mason and Bain 2003; McLay
2007, 2011; McLay et al. 2008; Nicholas and Markey 2002; Ormerod 2004; Sayers et al.
2011; Schaepe 2007; Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs 2005). 11 Key criticisms of the HCA
from the perspective of Indigenous peoples include the limited range of automatically
regulated heritage, the silence on ownership and title (particularly for ancestral remains),
the lack of provisions preventing the buying and selling of artifacts, the absence of
mandatory impact assessment requirements, the lack of delegated investigation and
enforcement powers, and the lack of a meaningful decision-making role for First Nations.
These critics also note the lack of integration with the provincial consultation process,
the reticence to negotiate Section 4 agreements, inconsistent implementation of the
assessment process among different ministries, the absence of compliance monitoring
(both in terms of archaeological permits and management recommendations), and the
lack of effective enforcement.
Many First Nations believe that their heritage deserves better care and
protection, and think customary ways and laws offer a more appropriate and respectful
basis for stewardship (see Bell and Napoleon 2008a; Klassen 2008a; Sayers et al.
2011). The current HCA, through Section 4, acknowledges that Indigenous peoples may
have a cultural relationship to particular heritage sites and objects, and leaves room for
some limited form of co-management over these sites.12 However, it does not define a
role for indigenous communities in terms of collaborative stewardship, nor does it
provide a process for meaningful consultation or for addressing the question of
ownership.
11
12
See Chapters 4 and 6 for specific St’át’imc and Nlaka’pamux perspectives on, and their
detailed criticisms of, the HCA and the archaeological assessment process.
A number of commentators have argued that Section 4 and 9 provisions of the HCA are
sufficient to protect the full range of heritage sites that are of concern to indigenous
communities, and that the real issue is not changing the act but implementing these
provisions (see Dady 2008:8). Critics, however, have noted that Section 4 provisions for
agreements with First Nations have never been implemented (De Paoli 1999; Budhwa 2005;
Klassen 2008; Mason and Bain 2003; McLay et al. 2008; Sayers et al. 2011). This may
signify reluctance on the part of the province to engage in this form of co-management;
indeed, the Archaeology Branch has apparently received legal opinions throwing into doubt
the viability of some aspects of this section (see Dady 2008:8). Moreover, the complex
process for designating sites is far more difficult to implement than the “automatic” protection
offered to specific sites listed under Section 13. It also puts the onus (and financial burden)
on Aboriginal communities to identify and document heritage sites and advocate for their
designation, a time-consuming and costly process.
62
To a large degree, the flaws and limitations of the existing legislation have
motivated First Nations to demand greater participation in, and assert more active
control over, the archaeological assessment process. Moreover, many feel that progress
could be made on collaborative heritage stewardship if the province recognizes and
respects Aboriginal title (Sayers et al. 2011). In the end, the revised HCA in itself did not
substantively alter the practice of consulting archaeology in the province, nor did it
improve the role for First Nations. Rather, the dramatic changes that occurred in the
1990s were largely a political response to growing conflicts between resource
development pressures (particularly forestry) and indigenous groups, as well as the
Delgamuukw and other court decisions commenting on their rights.
First Nation Responses to Legislation and CRM
Since 1990, the practice of archaeology in British Columbia has been marked by
a dramatic increase in the participation of First Nations in archaeological resource
management, and indigenous communities have increasingly reacted to issues and
concerns with CRM and provincial heritage legislation (e.g., Budhwa 2005; Carr-Locke
2004; De Paoli 1999; Hoffmann 2000; Klassen et al. 2009; Nicholas 2006; Schaepe
2007). Responses have included legal actions targeting specific limitations in the HCA,
negotiations to improve its implementation, and demands for legislative changes (Bell
2001; Sayers et al. 2011), ultimately challenging the fundamental legal and ethical
foundations of the HCA. First nations also reacted to the archaeological assessment
process itself with direct actions and legal injunctions against proposed developments
(Hoffmann 2000; Ross 2005). Conversely, proactive measures have been taken to
mitigate, if not circumvent, the limitations of the HCA and the provincial assessment
process, including heritage policies and processes, negotiated heritage protocols with
industry, municipalities, and ministries, and participation in higher-level provincial landuse planning (Hammond 2009). To some degree, all of these responses had their
genesis in court decisions in the 1990s that recognized indigenous rights, and the
subsequent changes to legislation and regulations that brought archaeologists and the
province into greater contact with First Nations.
63
The Delgamuukw Case
Heritage stewardship aspirations of First Nations in the province have been
greatly aided by judgements stemming from the Delgamuukw v. British Columbia court
case (De Paoli 1999:135; Klimko et al. 1998; Klimko and Wright 2000; Persky 1998:6-8).
The 1991 Delgamuukw decision in the British Columbia Supreme Court identified the
province’s fiduciary responsibilities relating to traditional indigenous cultural practices on
Crown land. Two years later, the decision in the British Columbia Court of Appeal ruled
that Aboriginal rights are protected, and that the province cannot unjustifiably infringe on
these rights. Although criticized by First Nations and anthropologists for their denial of
the evidentiary weight of oral traditions (Cruikshank 1992; Miller 2011; Ridington 1992),
the Delgamuukw rulings forced the province to address “traditional use” concerns in
planning. In other words, before development on Crown land can occur the province
must first determine if Aboriginal rights exist, and whether proposed activities would
infringe upon those rights. While the legal requirement for consultation with First Nations
on matters relating to Aboriginal rights expanded, the “burden of proof” remained with
First Nations (Klimko and Wright 2000). When this case reached the Supreme Court of
Canada in 1997, the ruling also addressed Aboriginal title and gave oral traditions
evidentiary weight (Persky 1998). Later court decisions (Table 2), have grappled with
defining consultation and accommodation requirements (see Bell 2001; Ministry of
Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation 2012; Ross 2005).
The Delgamuukw rulings led to sweeping changes in how the province consulted
with First Nations on matters where their rights were at issue. In particular, in the wake
of the 1993 in the Court of Appeal, a number of significant revisions to provincial
legislation and policies were instituted in an attempt to address the fiduciary
responsibilities of the province to First Nations. These changes helped set in motion
events and developments that have transformed the practice of archaeology in British
Columbia, and provoked a variety of responses. These responses can be grouped under
two related themes: 1) actions challenging the authority and implementation of the HCA,
and 2) actions directed at changing the overall archaeological assessment process and
implementing alternative heritage stewardship processes.
64
Challenging Heritage Legislation
The provisions and applicability of the HCA have been contested in the courts on
several occasions since its enactment (Table 2). In 1994, Sna-naw-as First Nation
launched legal action in an attempt to halt further archaeological excavations for
proposed developments at Craig Bay after numerous burials were unearthed (Hoffmann
2000). They argued that the British Columbia Cemeteries and Funeral Services Act, and
not the HCA, should apply to ancient burials. While the court rejected this argument, it
quashed all of the HCA permits issued for the excavation: three under the 1979
legislation, and one under the 1994 act. The latter was overturned because it lacked
procedural fairness due to an absence of notification to interested parties. Ultimately,
Sna-naw-as First Nation was unsuccessful in preventing new permits from being issued,
but this decision had the effect of compelling the province to include notification of First
Nations as part of the permit application process (De Paoli 1999:49-50). Starting in
January of 1995, those with an interest in an area were notified prior to issuance of
archaeology permits, and this operational procedure was subsequently formalized in
1996 (Archaeology Branch 1996 [rev. 1999]), though many First Nations viewed this
notification as inadequate since it does not constitute meaningful consultation (De Paoli
1999:46). To date, the onus for consultation still largely falls to consulting archaeologists.
In 1998, the Kitkatla Band challenged the legality of a site alteration permit,
asserting that the province had failed to consider all relevant issues and had violated its
fiduciary obligations (Bell 2001). The Kitkatla also challenged the constitutionality of the
HCA, arguing that it dealt with matters outside the jurisdiction of the province. According
to this argument, “Aboriginal heritage objects and sites are integral aspects of
contemporary Aboriginal culture and identity” (Bell 2001:255). Under Section 91(24) of
the Canadian Constitution, these matters should fall under exclusive federal jurisdiction.
Although successful in overturning the original site alteration permit, the Kitkatla
constitutional argument was dismissed under appeal (Kitkatla Band v. British Columbia
2000 2 C.N.L.R BCSC 36). When this case reached the Supreme Court of Canada, the
court upheld the constitutionality of the HCA to deal with provincial archaeological
matters. Although the court recognized that the statute had a disproportionate effect on
indigenous heritage objects and sites because the majority of the regulated heritage
sites in the province are of indigenous origin, it held that the HCA was a law of general
65
application that treated all people and heritage sites equally, and did not single out
Indigenous peoples or heritage.
Table 2.
First Nation Legal Challenges to Provisions and Application of the HCA.
Court Case
Decision
Comments
Nanoose Indian Band et
al. v. British Columbia
and Intrawest et al. No.
94 3420 Victoria Registry
[1994]; decision upheld
by the BC Court of
Appeal [V02523 Victoria
Registry 1995].
• Rescinded a 1994 heritage inspection permit
because the province failed in its duty of procedural
fairness by not notifying the Band and giving it an
opportunity to be heard.
• Ruled that the HCA is a law of general application
and does not infringe upon constitutional rights.
• Decided the Cemeteries and Funeral Services Act
does not apply to ancient human remains.
Since January of 1995,
indigenous communities with
an interest in an area are
notified prior to issuance of
permits. Indigenous
communities consider the
notification requirements to be
inadequate.
Kitkatla Band v. British
Columbia (Minister of
Small Business, Tourism
and Culture), [2002] 2
S.C.R. 146, 2002 SCC
31
• Overturned a 1998 site alteration permit for CMTs,
because the province failed to consider all relevant
issues and had violated fiduciary obligations.
• Upheld the constitutionality of the HCA, as a law of
general application, to deal with provincial
archaeological matters.
The Kitkatla argued that the
HCA is unconstitutional, as
indigenous heritage objects
and sites go to the core of
“Indianness” and should fall
under exclusive federal
jurisdiction (Bell 2001:255).
Lax Kw'alaams Indian
Band v. British Columbia
(Minister of Sustainable
Resource Management)
2002 BCSC 1075 [and
subsequent appeals]
• Upheld a 2002 site alteration permit for CMTs, and
denied that there was a failure to determine if it
might infringe on an indigenous right.
• Accepted that there was a duty to consult and
accommodate, but ruled this obligation only falls
upon the Minister authorizing the infringement,
which in this case was the Minister of Forests (and
therefore the Archaeology Branch had no duty to
consult on a potential infringement).
On the basis of this decision,
the Archaeology Branch is
generally exempt from the
requirements for consultation
with First Nations (Province of
British Columbia 2010).
In a similar action, in 2002 the Lax Kw’alaams First Nation sought to have a site
alteration permit rescinded, which would have allowed the harvest of culturally modified
trees. They argued that the Minister responsible for the Archaeology Branch was
constitutionally required to carry out consultation and accommodation of the petitioners’
interests prior to issuing such a permit, but had failed to carry out this obligation. The
court accepted that there was a duty to consult and accommodate, but ruled this
obligation only fell upon the Minister authorizing the infringement. In other words, there
was no duty on the part of the Archaeology Branch to consult and accommodate prior to
issuance of the site alteration permit as it did not authorize an infringement; the duty to
consult and accommodate in this case lay with the Ministry of Forests, which issued the
cutting permit. On the basis of this decision, upheld on subsequent appeals, the
Archaeology Branch is considered to be largely exempt from provincial requirements for
66
consultation with First Nations. It should be noted, however, that this exemption is only
valid in those cases where another Ministry is ultimately responsible for the decision that
would authorize an infringement.
In addition, First Nation leaders have repeatedly called for charges to be laid
under the HCA. However, convincing police forces to investigate infractions and
persuade Crown Counsel to lay charges has proven difficult. To date, only two
prosecutions have been successful, with both occurring in 2007: one case involved a
resort developer on a Gulf Island, and the other a large blueberry farm in the lower
mainland. Community leaders were instrumental in bringing these infractions to the
attention of police, and for providing sufficient evidence to Crown Counsel to warrant
charges (Hul'qumi'num Treaty Group 2005; Steele 2007; Watts 2007). These two cases
are significant in terms of signalling to First Nations that this law can be successfully
enforced. Nonetheless, the fines were well below the maximum allowable and may be
ineffective as deterrents, especially in the context of large-scale developments
(Angelbeck 2007).
As legal challenges have met with only limited success, an alternate strategy
involves reaching agreements with the province intended to improve implementation of
the existing legislation and policies. For example, the Hul'qumi'num Treaty Group and
the Ktunaxa Nation Council have negotiated Memoranda of Understanding (MOU) with
the province (Hul'qumi'num Treaty Group 2007; Ktunaxa Nation 2004). Such
memoranda are intended to improve communication and cooperation with the province,
address some of the shortcomings in the administration and operation of the existing
provincial legislation, and strengthen the role of indigenous communities in the
management process. However, MOUs operate within the constraints of current
legislation and do not tackle the larger issues inherent in the HCA.
For some First Nations, the treaty process holds some hope in the form of culture
and heritage chapters that replace the HCA on settlement lands, and may include
enhanced measures for the management and protection of heritage sites on nonsettlement lands within the affected traditional territory. For example, the Tsawwassen
(2009) and Maa-nulth (2011) final agreements include a number of key provisions:
• Ownership of artifacts on settlement lands (i.e., lands set aside for First
Nations by treaty).
67
• Transfer of artifacts to First Nations from public institutions.
• Repatriation of “archaeological” human remains and burial objects.
• Development of processes, comparable to provincial processes, for the
management of heritage sites on First Nation lands.
• Lists of key sites of cultural and historical significance outside of First Nation
lands to be protected through provincial designation or other measures.
• Lists of place names for use in the naming or renaming of geographical
features.
These agreements also make provisions for lawmaking on settlement lands (for
the purpose of conservation, protection, and management of heritage sites and
artifacts), public access to heritage sites, and reburial (or cremation) of “archaeological”
human remains. Terms specifying the co-management of heritage sites off of settlement
lands, and the ownership and management of artifacts in these areas, are also included.
Given the extraordinarily slow pace of treaty negotiations, and the distinct
possibility of failure, another provisional option for addressing heritage stewardship
involves “interim measure” agreements. These are negotiated before or during treaty
negotiations when an issue requires the urgent attention of the parties or an interest is
being affected which could undermine the process. For example, in 2001 the Cowichan
Tribes and the Hul’qumi’num Treaty Group signed a renewable agreement with British
Columbia and Canada to protect 1,700 ha of off-reserve Crown land known as the
Hu’teshatsun sacred site, with the expectation that this provision would be incorporated
into the final agreement negotiated through the treaty process (BC Treaty Commission
2001; Ross 2005:188). Despite the potential of interim measures for protecting heritage,
few have been signed to date.
Many indigenous leaders see changes to the existing legislation as the best
option for addressing problems of heritage stewardship, and they expect the province to
undertake meaningful consultation in any future discussions concerning amendments to
the HCA (First Nations Leadership Council 2008; Mason and Bain 2003; McLay et al.
2008; Sayers et al. 2011; Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs 2005). While previous efforts of the
current government to amend the HCA did not involve meaningful consultation with First
68
Nations, 13 former Premier Gordon Campbell’s “New Relationship” initiative was an
opportunity to seek improvements to heritage protection laws. Given the priorities of the
current provincial government, changes to this law are not imminent. Nonetheless, when
this time comes, the province has committed to undertaking full consultation with all
interested parties before considering future amendments to its legislation (Klassen
2008b).
For its part, the First Nations Leadership Council (comprised of representatives
from Union of British Columbia Indian Chiefs, First Nations Summit, and Assembly of
First Nations-BC) established a joint working group with the province to identify heritage
issues and concerns, and create a meaningful role for First Nations in provincial heritage
stewardship (Sayers et al. 2011). Its mandate was to work with the province to “improve
the protection and conservation of First Nations heritage sites, cultural property, ancient
human remains and sacred and spiritual sites” (First Nations Leadership Council 2008).
Goals included making recommendations concerning potential amendments to the HCA,
and identifying “culture and heritage site management possibilities within the existing
legislative regime” (First Nations Leadership Council 2008). Although amending the
statute to recognize Aboriginal title was its ultimate goal, the primary focus of the
working group was to develop a process for implementing “Section 4” agreements with
First Nations (Sayers et al. 2011). However, First Nation representatives on the joint
working group to withdraw from the process in November of 2012 because they felt that
the province refused to move forward on the project and was unwilling to find “solutions
to deal with issues arising out of the HCA or protecting First Nations sacred/cultural
sites” (First Nations Leadership Council 2012).
Ultimately, amending provincial legislation is irrelevant for those First Nations that
do not recognize provincial jurisdiction over lands and resources, including cultural
heritage (Klassen 2008a). For them, the real issue is recognizing the indigenous right to
exercise authority and jurisdiction over archaeological heritage. Although the Kitkatla
were unsuccessful in their court action, a legal (and ethical) basis for future constitutional
13
In the fall of 2001, the province held preliminary discussions with stakeholders concerning
potential amendments to the HCA intended to “improve the balance” between site protection
and private property rights, with the repeal of Section 4 one of the potential outcomes.
Subsequently, in 2003 the province unilaterally amended the HCA by repealing Part 3,
pertaining to the British Columbia Heritage Trust. This amendment was made without the
input of stakeholders, throwing into doubt the commitment of the province to consult with
Aboriginal communities prior to amending legislation (Mason and Bain 2003).
69
challenges to heritage legislation may still exist (Asch 1997; Bell 2001; Ferris 2003).
Indeed, indigenous heritage objects and sites go to the core of “Indianness” as defined
by the Canadian constitution (Bell 2001:255), and another aspect of their cultures that is
more fundamental to the concept of title is difficult to conceive. Some First Nations will
ultimately address this issue through the treaty process, but others will continue to press
for recognition of title and rights over their heritage throughout their traditional territories
through the courts. Either way, resolving the respective heritage stewardship roles of the
province and First Nations on non-settlement and Crown lands remains an issue.
Overall, actions directed towards the HCA by First Nations have had limited
effect. The lack of progress on treaties and the inability to make heritage legislation work
more effectively for them has compelled many to take alternative actions to improve
heritage stewardship. This route has been bolstered by developments in the resource
sectors that increased the engagement of First Nations in the heritage stewardship
process.
First Nations and Forestry
Perhaps the greatest influence on indigenous involvement in archaeology in
British Columbia came from significant changes to forest legislation and regulations
following the 1993 Delgamuukw decision, and the subsequent incorporation of
“archaeological resource management” within forest practices (see Klassen et al. 2009;
Klimko et al. 1998; Nicholas 2006; Perreault 2002). The Heritage Conservation Statutes
Amendment Act of 1994 inserted references to “cultural heritage resources” into a suite
of land and resource legislation, including the Coal Act, the Mineral Tenures Act, and the
Forest Act. This in turn contributed to the Protocol Agreement between the Archaeology
Branch and the Ministry of Forests (1994, revised 1996). Prior to the Forestry Protocol,
impact assessments were at the discretion of individual Forest District managers, and
thus there was no consistent requirement for accommodating archaeological concerns
throughout the province (Klimko et al. 1998). The Forestry Protocol defined the roles of
the Ministry of Forests (MoF) in terms of compliance with the HCA, and made the MoF
responsible for ensuring that archaeological overviews were conducted, Archaeological
Branch requirements were incorporated into plans and documents, and site-specific
assessments were undertaken where appropriate.
70
Additional amendments to the Forest Act in 1995 addressed the fiduciary duties
of the Crown to undertake consultations and brought “cultural heritage resources” into
forestry planning. The subsequent Forest Practices Code of British Columbia Act (FPC),
proclaimed in 1996, and the Operational Planning Regulation for the FPC specified how
heritage resources were to be included in operational planning. The Forest Act and FPC
required all types of heritage–traditional, spiritual, and archaeological sites of any age–to
be managed during forestry operations, including timber harvesting, road building, and
silviculture activities. Specifically, the FPC required the holder of a Forest Licence or
Timber Sale Licence to assess heritage resources before preparing an operational plan
for submission to the manager of each Forest District. However, the Forest Act and FPC
also gave District Managers wide discretionary powers for determining what an
assessment entailed, as the FPC did not specify how assessments were to be
undertaken, nor did it define management and protection guidelines.
The consultation requirements in the Forest Act stemming from the Delgamuukw
decision contributed to the creation of the Traditional Use Study (TUS) program,
intended to gather the necessary land use information for assessing whether
development activities might infringe on indigenous rights. The TUS program
consolidated and formalized a variety of pre-existing traditional land-use and occupancy
approaches (Mason 2013), and was strongly focussed on “site-specific” locations and
“inventory-based” mapping (Markey 2001:9). This approach meshed well with typical
archaeological assessment methods, and from the outset consulting firms were involved
in many of these studies. In addition to stand-alone studies undertaken by First Nations
(e.g., Nicholas 2006:367), this approach encouraged a number of parallel and
complementary archaeological and traditional use assessments (e.g., Ignace et al.
1995).
These legislative and procedural changes had a profound effect on the volume of
archaeological work conducted in British Columbia, albeit primarily in a forestry context
(Klassen et al. 2009; Klimko et al. 1998; Nicholas 2006). In the five years following the
1993 Delgamuukw decision, the number of forestry-related archaeological permits
issued by the province rose from less than 20 in 1992 to nearly 140 in 1998 (Klimko et
al. 1998), with the steepest increase occurring between 1994 and 1995 immediately
71
after implementation of the new legislation and regulations.14 Within a few seasons, the
area of forest assessed by archaeologists in British Columbia went from a few hundred
hectares per year to tens of thousands of hectares, resulting in heightened awareness of
CRM and heritage issues by First Nations and frequent contact with consulting
archaeologists. This coincided with the growing indigenous political power and refocussed their interest in heritage management, especially in the context of Aboiginal
title and rights.
Initially, scepticism was the prevailing sentiment among many First Nations when
encountering consulting archaeologists, whom they felt represented the interests of
industry and government. Their suspicion was countered, however, by the realization
that the archaeological assessment process could also work for their interests. The
heightened interest of First Nations in the archaeological assessment process was, in
part, expedient due to the perceived utility of the process as a political tool for slowing
down the pace of resource extraction. However, indigenous communities in British
Columbia have always been determined to preserve their heritage, including their
archaeological past, for more than political reasons. Profound cultural values include a
strong desire to act as stewards over all facets of their heritage and protectors of their
ancestors, as well as a need to demonstrate their long-standing cultural and personal
connection to the land (Bell et al. 2008a; Bell et al. 2008b; McLay et al. 2008; Mohs
1994; Naxaxalhts'i (McHalsie) 2007; Schaepe 2007). To this end, archaeology offered a
useful set of methods, expertise and legal tools to help attain these political and cultural
objectives (see Nicholas and Andrews 1997b:3; Yellowhorn 1996:40).
Following the 1993 Delgamuukw ruling and the 1994 Forestry Protocol, some
consulting archaeology firms in British Columbia began involving First Nations in forestry
archaeology assessment projects. Although cynics have cited political expediency or
“political correctness” in these overtures to First Nations, in many cases genuinely
collaborative relationships developed. Archaeological assessments also offered a source
of employment for First Nation community members. Although not required by law or
regulations, this practice, encouraged by codes of ethics, quickly became standard for
14
This trend has continued, with a greater than 350% increase in permits issued between 1998
and 2008 (La Salle and Hutchings 2012). Although the introduction of new regulations in the
Forests and Range Practices Act in 2002 and the economic downturn of 2009 dampened the
increase in forestry-related assessments, the forestry sector continues to create the single
largest demand for archaeological permits.
72
many consulting archaeologists (see Budhwa 2005; De Paoli 1999:96; Hammond and
Kaltenreider 2008). While generally seen as a positive step, a deficit of skilled field
workers soon became apparent. To address this situation, the province developed
several short archaeology field-training programs, designed specifically for indigenous
participants and displaced forestry workers.15 Archaeological fieldwork employment was
generally seasonal and short-term, but for many it provided a springboard for increasing
the level of community participation and engagement in heritage stewardship. With their
new-found experience and awareness, the next step had them seek greater input and
control over archaeological assessments.
The level of consultation and the limited participation of indigenous field
assistants often fell far short of the degree of community involvement expected by First
Nations (see Budhwa 2005; Carr-Locke 2004; De Paoli 1999; Markey 2001). Even so,
these actions went well beyond the limited extent of required provincial consultation (see
Ferris 2003; Flahr 2002), which, for archaeological assessments, only consisted of
notification of impending projects and an opportunity to comment on methods described
in permit applications. For their part, many consulting archaeologists realized that
building relationships with individual First Nations was necessary, along with meaningful
consultation and participation. This meant respecting protocols and working agreements,
even in those cases where First Nations chose to cooperate exclusively with only certain
consultants (Barney and Klassen 2008). In particular, meaningful participation included
reviewing methods, providing local knowledge on the location and significance of
archaeological remains, and reviewing results and recommendations (e.g., Bailey
1995:1-3). At the same time, First Nations began hiring archaeologists to assist them
with training, policy development, and quality assurance (Barney and Klassen 2001;
Budhwa 2005; Carr-Locke 2004; Schaepe 2007). Concurrent developments in academia
also led to more Indigenous people receiving university- and college-level archaeology
training (Nicholas 2005, 2006; Nicholas et al. 2008c), and the first indigenous graduate
students in archaeology programs in British Columbia (e.g., Reimer 2000; White
15
These two-week courses, developed by the provincial Resource Inventory Committee
(subsequently Resources Information Standards Committee), were originally designed as a
certification program to provide skilled field workers. Abbreviated one-week courses are still
offered and remain popular with First Nations, but the certification program for field directors
was never implemented.
73
(Xanius) 2006). These developments had substantial effects on CRM practice and First
Nation heritage stewardship.
Transforming Practice in British Columbia
By the new millennium, many indigenous communities in British Columbia were
directly involved with forestry archaeology assessments and had worked out cautious
alliances with archaeologists. They reviewed and contributed to assessment reports, and
it became routine for community members to work alongside archaeologists. Through
this engagement, they quickly recognized limitations in extant legislation, not to mention
the conceptual and methodological shortcomings in the provincial heritage assessment
process. As their exposure to and frustration with archaeological resource management
grew, they sought even more control over all aspects of the process, guided by their own
values and methods. Their resulting engagement and participation in heritage
stewardship since the early 1990s has taken many forms, involved a wide variety of
strategies, and led to a variety of outcomes, some successful and others less so
(Klassen et al. 2009). Some of these strategies have been reactive and confrontational,
but many others have involved innovative and collaborative solutions to pressing
management issues.
Following the example of the Haida at Gwaii Hanaas, the Nuu-chal-nuulth at
Meares Island, and the Nlaka’pamux at the Stein Valley in the 1980s (Ross 2005;
Wickwire 1992), other indigenous communities in British Columbia initially adopted direct
action and legal proceedings as strategies. Confrontations and blockades at Ure Creek
(1991), Kumealeon Lake (1994), Craig Bay (1994-5), Adams Lake (1995), Sheep Creek
(1997), Seton Lake (1998), and Siska Creek (1999) were all largely motivated by
heritage concerns, and most led to court actions and legal injunctions (Angelbeck 2008;
Barney and Klassen 2008; Blomley 1996; Hoffmann 2000; Ross 2005). As the 1990s
ended, the use of blockades and legal actions had declined for a variety of reasons.
Foremost was the treaty process, wherein many communities avoided direct action in
order to ensure continued negotiations (Blomley 1996). Legal actions also proved to be
costly and protracted, with limited success. As such, First Nations turned to alternative
proactive strategies in order to exercise their influence and take on a greater role in the
assessment process itself (Carr-Locke 2004; De Paoli 1999; Hammond 2009; Klassen et
al. 2009; Nicholas 2006). These strategies included: implementing heritage policies and
74
parallel permitting systems; setting up archaeology departments, hiring professionals,
and bidding for contracts; negotiating archaeology protocols with industry, municipalities,
and the province; entering into high-level land use planning agreements with the
province; and negotiating interim agreements and heritage developed through the
ongoing federal-provincial treaty process. These are discussed in more detail below.
Since the mid 1990s, at least three-dozen First Nations or tribal councils in British
Columbia have developed heritage policies, permitting systems, or both (De Paoli 1999;
Hammond 2009; Mason 2013; Mason and Bain 2003). Not all of these permitting
systems continue to be operational, largely due to the limited capacity and funding
available to First Nations for dealing with permit applications and referrals. For example,
the Tsilhqot’in National Government (TNG) took action on forestry-related archaeology
shortly after realizing that consulting companies were conducting assessments on
almost every proposed forestry cutblock in their territory, without necessarily consulting
with Tsilhqot’in communities. In April of 1996, the TNG sent a letter to archaeological
consulting companies stating that archaeologists were working in Tsilhqot’in territory
without their “permission, consent [or] even knowledge,” and the notice included a
warning that archaeologists continuing to work in their territory without their consent
would be “blacklisted” (Wolf Howls 1996). The TNG met with archaeologists in Williams
Lake, where they presented them with a new policy and permit system relating to
archaeological and heritage assessments, developed by an archaeologist hired by the
TNG. This was intended to keep the TNG informed of all such activities in their territory,
following a recommendation found in a cultural heritage overview report prepared for the
TNG (Yip and Choquette 1995). Despite this assertive position, funding cuts to the TNG
in the late 1990s led to the reduction of staff and resources, and the permit system soon
lapsed into disuse.
Other systems have been more successful and remain in place, particularly in
those cases where a high level of internal technical capacity has developed through the
operation of archaeology programs. The current standard for First Nation involvement in
heritage stewardship in British Columbia is perhaps best represented by the efforts of
the Stó:l! Nation. After joining several other First Nations in 1984 to protest the
proposed CN Rail twin tracking project and its potential impact on archaeological
resources, an archaeologist was hired by to advise it on heritage issues, demonstrating
the ongoing interest in preserving Stó:l! heritage (De Paoli 1999:116; Mohs 1987, 1994;
75
Schaepe 2007). Since then, full-time cultural advisors and archaeologists have been on
staff with Stó:l! agencies, and they have established processes and agreements that
ensure their collaborative participation in heritage stewardship (De Paoli 1999; Klassen
et al. 2009; Mohs 1987, 1994; Nicholas et al. 2011; Schaepe 2007).
In 2003, the Stó:l! Nation developed a comprehensive heritage policy manual
that set out their principles and policies in reference to heritage stewardship; the sites,
objects, activities, and knowledge recognized as Stó:l! heritage; generalized heritage
site management policies; the requirements of the Stó:l! heritage assessment process;
and permit requirements for archaeologists (Stó:l! Nation 2003). To administer and
implement this policy, political leadership jointly established the Stó:l! Research and
Resource Management Centre (Schaepe 2007), which conducts research to support
their treaty process, and directly undertakes contract work.
The Hul’qumi’num Treaty Group provides another example of a collaborative
heritage stewardship framework. The HTG produced a comprehensive overview of their
perspectives and customary laws to guide their heritage policy-making (McLay et al.
2008). In addition, their leaders negotiated a detailed MOU with the Archaeology Branch
setting out the roles, responsibilities, and relationships of the two parties in terms of
archaeological management, in which the parties “intend and desire to establish
cooperative working relations that respect the asserted title, rights, and expressed
cultural traditions, values, practices, and customary laws of the Hul’qumi’num
Mustimuhw” (Hul'qumi'num Treaty Group 2007). The motivation for this agreement
undoubtedly stems from conflicts between the Hul’qumi’num and the province involving
impacts to sites from developments (Hul'qumi'num Treaty Group 2005; Watts 2007). As
such, the MOU is largely concerned with improving the implementation of the HCA.
These efforts include public education, cooperative development of an archaeological
potential model, improved communication with local governments and other provincial
ministries in identifying potential conflicts, improved processes for enforcing the HCA, a
strengthened role of the HTG in the permit application process, HTG comment on final
reports, and clear dissemination of provincial decisions.
The Upper Similkameen Indian Band (USIB) has also made significant advances
in terms of participation in the assessment process and bilateral agreements. They
created an archaeology department in 1999, and a heritage policy and permit system
76
followed in 2001 (Carr-Locke 2004). They saw this as an opportunity to take a more
active role in the management of their community’s heritage, as well as to provide
employment and economic development. In the last decade, the work of the department
expanded to incorporate heritage within a broader range of cultural values (Gould 2005).
The archaeology department negotiated assessment contracts with the forest industry,
partnered with archaeological consulting firms on various assessments, and successfully
competed for archaeological assessment contracts. Since 2000, the USIB has
negotiated heritage protocols with the local municipality, museums, and provincial
ministries, and is in the process of negotiating an MOU with the Archaeology Branch.
Negotiated protocols and agreements with industry and local governments, and
incorporating heritage stewardship objectives in land and resource use planning is
becoming more commonplace (Budhwa 2005; De Paoli 1999; Hammond 2009; Nicholas
2006; Parfitt 2007; Reimer/Yumks 2007; Welch et al. 2011a). For example, agreements
or protocols with local governments are intended to ensure that archaeological and
heritage issues are addressed in local government planning. Likewise, agreements with
major industrial proponents are used to exercise greater indigenous oversight in the
archaeological and heritage assessment process, and may include some or all of the
following requirements:
• Joint selection of consulting archaeologists, or archaeologists approved by
First Nations.
• Adherence to community protocols and policies.
• Participation in the fieldwork component of the archaeological assessment.
• Incorporation of community knowledge into the research design and reporting.
• Identification and assessment of a complete range of heritage, including
“traditional use” sites not regulated under the Heritage Conservation Act.
• Review of draft reports and recommendations, and a process for incorporating
revisions.
• Community input into management decisions and actions.
First Nation participation in the forest industry has also created new opportunities
for managing heritage. In late 2005, for example, the Squamish Nation acquired Tree
Farm Licence 38, giving them exclusive harvesting rights over 218,000 ha of land within
their traditional territory, and providing an opportunity for the Squamish to manage the
forest in a way that also respected cultural values (Reimer/Yumks 2007). Following
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Premier Gordon Campbell’s “New Relationship with First Nations and Aboriginal People”
initiative in 2003, a number of “Forest and Range Agreements” (FRAs) and “Forest and
Range Opportunities” (FROs) were signed between the province and First Nations
(Parfitt 2007). These interim agreements sought to accommodate the interests of local
First Nations affected by forestry decisions, and often provided for direct forest tenure
awards and a share of forestry revenues.
Although FRAs generally do not explicitly address cultural heritage, they provide
a framework for negotiating issues relating to infringements on their rights, which may
include heritage sites. Such awards are also subject to the same cultural heritage
conditions applied to other forest tenures. However, FRAs are primarily concerned with
economic benefits for communities, and so serve as proxy tests of whether First Nations
will establish heritage stewardship protocols for forestry operations that meet or exceed
provincial requirements. This is especially a concern because the economic equitably
and viability of many FRAs is in question, making cultural heritage a potential cost
liability (Parfitt 2007). On the other hand, the 2006 Gitanyow forest agreement includes a
defined process where community representatives present information on areas where
logging should be prohibited or strictly controlled, including areas of known
archaeological and cultural significance, and this agreement may serve as a model for
addressing heritage in these contexts (Parfitt 2007).
Direct agreements between First Nations and industry sectors (including
provincial ministries) reduce the role of professional archaeologists as the “experts” or
primary stewards, and put much more control over the assessment process into the
hands of First Nations. Moreover, these agreements tend to sidestep the authority of the
Archaeology Branch by effectively limiting its role in terms of decisions concerning what
is assessed and how it is managed. In some cases, the development proponent
continues to contract consulting archaeologists directly, but requires consultants to
follow the terms of negotiated agreements with First Nations. In other cases, First
Nations will hold the contracts with development proponents and conduct all of the work,
using community members and (generally non-community) archaeologist(s) directly
employed by them. However, exclusive contractual relationships between First Nation
administrations or companies and development proponents leave them open to the
potential criticism that they are facilitating development.
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Protocol agreements with industrial proponents require separate negotiations
with multiple proponents in many different sectors, and are not generally feasible for
dealing with provincial ministries. A broader approach for enhancing collaborative
stewardship involves defining specific heritage objectives in “high level” provincial landuse planning, such as Land and Resource Management Plans, Sustainable Resource
Management Plans, and Ecosystem-based Management plans. For example, the Lil’wat,
Squamish, and In-SHUCK-ch nations separately negotiated their components in a
provincial land use plan that resulted in large-scale land use designations for managing
heritage, and enhanced protection for specific sites (British Columbia 2008). In this case,
the province agreed to protect areas of cultural significance using protected areas,
mining and tourism zones where commercial logging is not permitted, and cultural
management areas where resource development is subject to specific rules to conserve
wildlife habitat and cultural features. In addition, the plan recognizes and protects “sitespecific” places, such as traditional use areas, villages, and sacred sites. Such “holistic”
approaches relate more closely to indigenous conceptions of heritage and landscape.
Likewise, in 2007 the province and the Nanwakolas Council jointly announced
the signing of a ministerial order to implement ecosystem-based forest management
objectives for the south central portion of the Coastal Land-Use Decision. It includes a
number of objectives for maintaining “traditional forest resources,” such as monumental
cedars, and protecting “traditional heritage features,” such as culturally modified trees
and historic sites, that go beyond the provisions of the HCA. Another approach is the
Sustainable Land-Use Agreement for Haida Gwaii, jointly announced in December 2007
by the province and the Council of the Haida Nation. This agreement also uses a variety
of land use designations to provide different levels of protection and management,
including new protected areas and “special value areas” designated by the Haida and
maintained by them in accordance with their laws, policies, customs, traditions and
decision-making processes.
Negotiating government, municipal, and industry protocols with First Nations is
an important heritage stewardship trend in the province today. Likewise, incorporating
specific heritage objectives and designations within provincial land-use planning is a
significant development with major implications for indigenous heritage stewardship.
Although these approaches generally complement the HCA, some noteworthy
observations can be made:
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• They make few, if any, references to the HCA.
• They extend legally enshrined management and/or protection objectives to a
range of land-based heritage that exceeds the forms of heritage that is
“automatically” protected by the HCA.
• Specific designation measures used to protect culture heritage are derived
from legislation other than the HCA.
These agreements were developed in government-to-government negotiations
involving resource ministries, with little or no apparent involvement of the Archaeology
Branch. Likewise, there appears to have been little or no involvement of professional
archaeologists in providing guidance for designation measures, management objectives,
the specific cultural sites included, or other aspects of the agreements. The consequent
shift in heritage stewardship responsibilities, authority, and control to First Nations, and
the reduced role of the Archaeology Branch in strategic planning and decision-making,
has major implications for consulting archaeologists and the discipline as a whole in
British Columbia.
From Adversaries to Advocates
Largely due to regulatory developments in the forestry sector, indigenous
communities in British Columbia have made great strides towards asserting greater
influence and control over the archaeological assessment process. Despite this
progress, the provincial policy shift towards a results-based management regime in the
resource industries since 2001 means that the place of archaeology in the legislated
planning processes has become less clear (Klassen et al. 2009). Due to shortcomings of
the HCA, heritage is regulated by a range of legislation, guidelines and processes, all
with differing levels of protection and management. Some processes provide for greater
levels of consultation on non-archaeological heritage, and a consistent province-wide
approach to dealing with cultural heritage remains elusive.
Since the early 1990s, consulting archaeology in British Columbia has changed
because of the growing involvement and continuing interest of First Nations in
preserving and managing their heritage. Archaeological resource management has
stimulated and fostered the development of community-based archaeologies with
distinct agendas, practices, and practitioners, and has led to innovative approaches for
incorporating indigenous values in heritage stewardship. Many First Nations now see
80
archaeology and heritage stewardship as a major component of their land and resource
portfolios. In this rapidly evolving situation, consulting archaeologists have been involved
in most of the strategies employed by indigenous communities, though their role has
ranged from that of adversaries to advocates (Klassen et al. 2009).
Engaging with First Nations is changing the practice of consulting archaeology in
British Columbia, and undoubtedly will influence the forms of legislation and policies that
emerge in the long-term. Nonetheless, the fundamental issues identified by indigenous
communities, and their range of responses, suggest that archaeologists and the
province need to reconsider the conventional wisdom concerning CRM and heritage
stewardship. Indeed, the indigenous critique of management, ownership, authority, and
jurisdiction in British Columbia has parallels in the broader disciplinary debate on the
ethics of heritage stewardship. Although archaeologists increasingly recognize the
imperative for collaborative stewardship with First Nations (Nicholas et al. 2007; Smith
2004, 2006; Wylie 2005), consulting archaeologists in British Columbia they need to be
on side with these dramatic changes or they face the danger of irrelevancy.
Ethics and Heritage Stewardship
The rise of indigenous engagement in archaeology in British Columbia mirrors
disciplinary developments worldwide. In addition to the growing importance of
community-based and indigenous archaeologies, the last decades have also seen a shift
in principles and ethics recognizing the role of Indigenous peoples in heritage
stewardship. In British Columbia, as elsewhere, this can be partly attributed to the
political revitalization of indigenous communities over the past decades. At the same
time, the indigenous criticism of archaeology began in part as a reaction to
developments in the archaeological discipline beginning in the 1960s and 1970s. One
was the theoretical shift to processual archaeology, and another was the rise of the
conservation ethic in CRM. In turn, these led to assertions of scientific expertise and
authority that were used by archaeologists to legitimize their claims to stewardship over
a material past that was not their own (Smith 2006; Wylie 2005). They advocated the
passage of legislation and regulations designed to protect the archaeological record,
where “scientific” values were given privileged status for determining the significance
and management of archaeological heritage. The assertions of authority and
stewardship stemming from conservation archaeology, along with the conspicuousness
81
of CRM practice and policy, set up archaeologists as a target for criticism. The legislative
legacy of conservation archaeology is still apparent in British Columbia, but the
engagement of Indigenous peoples in heritage stewardship challenges the basis of this
approach. Brief reviews of conservation archaeology and the ethics of heritage
stewardship help place developments in British Columbian in context.
Conservation Archaeology and Legislation
In British Columbia, the HCA and the archaeological assessment process reflects
the theoretical foundation of the “heritage conservation” perspective articulated by
William Lipe (1974). This perspective arose primarily in response to the accelerating
pace of archaeological site destruction from development activities, as well as the
inadequacies of the prevailing ethos of “salvage archaeology,” which has as its aim the
expedient recovery of archaeological materials before sites were destroyed. The
principle of conservation archaeology, on the other hand, involves setting aside a
substantial and representative sample of archaeological sites in order to preserve them
for future research. This approach advocates minimizing unnecessary excavation, and
employing a problem-oriented research design in situations where salvage is necessary.
It also served to strengthen the conceptual shift towards envisioning the archaeological
record as a “non-renewable resource” that could be both “managed” and “exploited”
(Yellowhorn 1999b, 2002).
A primary motivation for conservation archaeology is managing archaeological
resources and preserving sites for subsequent study, thus ensuring a future for
disciplinary research. While this does not necessarily exclude other potential values for
additional stakeholders, this emphasis on scientific value certainly informed the heritage
legislation of the era, including in British Columbia. Indeed, bureaucrats envisioned the
HCA as promoting “the conservation and protection of archaeological sites which
coincidentally ensures a continued resource base for the discipline” (Apland 1993:1011). This suggests that the statute is meant to conserve archaeological sites for some
undefined intrinsic value, but in reality the archaeological discipline is the primary
beneficiary of this conservation ethic. Such an ideology substantiates the opinion
expressed by Indigenous peoples that current legislation does not serve their interests,
but rather is a self-serving tool for archaeologists. Indeed, envisioning the archaeological
record as a resource reserved for archaeological exploitation is received negatively by
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First Nations (De Paoli 1999:25; Hollowell and Nicholas 2009:154; Linklater 1997;
McLay et al. 2008; Nicholas 2006:363; Nicholas and Andrews 1997b:5; Yellowhorn
1996:42, 1997:257, 1999b:2, 2002:65).
The original vision of conservation archaeology as articulated by Lipe (1974) did
not advocate preservation of heritage for the primary benefit of descendant communities,
much less acknowledge a role for these communities in decision-making and drafting
legislation and regulations, or recognize that First Nations may have their own
customary laws. Moreover, the conservation archaeology and resource management
approach left little room for the conception of archaeological sites and materials as
“cultural property” belonging to descendant communities, and instead emphasized it as
universal heritage. Although not specifically articulated in the HCA, this conservation and
resource management ethic is entrenched in the operational guidelines administered by
the Archaeology Branch.
A conservation ethic, in of itself, is not necessarily negative. The bulk of fieldwork
performed by indigenous communities and consulting archaeologists consists of the
identification and protection of material culture in situ, with both sides generally
advocating “site avoidance” or non-disturbance wherever feasible. Indeed, the intrinsic
cultural values of archaeological sites may be better served by conservation than
research and excavation. A major objection, however, is how decisions are made under
the rubric of conservation archaeology–decisions as to which sites are to be
investigated, mitigated, or destroyed. Archaeologists and allied bureaucrats have
reserved much of the power to make these decisions for themselves, and they generally
privilege scientific values over indigenous ones. Central to this conflict is the issue of
control over how heritage is defined and understood. This is a serious issue because
whoever controls the discourse also controls an important source of political power, and
“heritage places and processes can be, and are, used to legitimize and delegitimize
claims to identity and thus claims to resources” (Smith 2006:281). By emphasizing
indigenous heritage as “prehistory,” as opposed to a dynamic component of a living
culture, archaeologists contribute to the disconnection of Indigenous peoples from their
past, and by extension help to minimize their authority.
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Accountability and Responsibility to Communities
The growth of a conservation ethic, within the discipline and in government,
contributed to the inclination for the self-appointment of archaeologists and
archaeological bureaucrats as the stewards of archaeological heritage (e.g., Custer
2005; Ferris 2003; Groarke and Warrick 2006; Hollowell and Nicholas 2009; Smith 2004,
2006; Watkins 2000:172; Wylie 2005:55; Zimmerman 1995). Since the rise of CRM in
the 1970s, this is now conventional wisdom among archaeological bureaucrats and
influences the administration of heritage legislation throughout the world (Smith 2004). In
North America in particular, it has been promulgated in the principles of archaeological
ethics endorsed by the Society for American Archaeology (SAA) in 1996 (Groarke and
Warrick 2006). The first principle, on stewardship, states that archaeologists must use
their specialized knowledge to actively practice and promote stewardship of the
archaeological record, and identifies them as “both caretakers of and advocates for the
archaeological record for the benefit of all people” (Society for American Archaeology
1996:451).
Whereas stewards are obligated to care for something on behalf of its “owner,”
the SAA principles are ambiguous in terms of whose ownership interests are being
addressed (Groarke and Warrick 2006:165). Stewardship on behalf of “all people” is
impossible, due to the competing and conflicting interests of different “stakeholders,”
with the de facto result that scientific interests are put ahead of others (Groarke and
Warrick 2006:165). In particular, the SAA principles do not recognize the privileged
rights of descendant communities. The second principle, on accountability, states that
responsible archaeological research “requires an acknowledgment of public
accountability and a commitment to make every reasonable effort, in good faith, to
consult actively with affected group(s)” (Society for American Archaeology 1996:451).
However, this statement deliberately excludes specific mention of Indigenous peoples
(Watkins et al. 1995), and it “does not [acknowledge] the primacy of indigenous and
descendant groups’ interests in the archaeological record related to their own heritage”
(Atalay 2006b:299). Although not intended as a statement of ownership or control over
the archaeological record (Lynott and Wylie 1995), the SAA principles contain “an
implicit presumption that archaeological expertise establishes a privilege of oversight”
(Wylie 2005:61; Zimmerman 1995). In other words, the SAA principles perpetuate the
idea that only archaeologists, and more broadly scientists, have the unique qualifications
84
to interpret and assess the significance of the archaeological record, and therefore act
as privileged stewards and gatekeepers of knowledge (Smith 2004).
Archaeologists increasingly question the idea that governments own and control
heritage, with archaeologists as the self-appointed stewards of the archaeological record
(Atalay 2006b; Ferris 2003; Groarke and Warrick 2006; Hollowell and Nicholas 2009;
Smith 2004, 2006; Watkins 2000; Watkins and Beaver 2008; Wylie 2005; Zimmerman
1995). As a consequence, heritage stewardship is shifting from an ethic informed by
conservation archaeology to one that is anchored in accountability and responsibility to
communities. Archaeologists increasingly recognize that they are accountable to other
interest groups, and in particular to Indigenous peoples (Atalay 2006b; Custer 2005;
Ferris 2003; Lippert 2006; Smith 2006; Watkins 2000, 2005). This has influenced the
codes of ethics adopted by archaeological societies and professional associations since
the mid-1990s.
For example, the principles of the World Archaeological Congress are strongly
oriented towards acknowledging the rights of Indigenous peoples, while archaeological
associations in Australia and New Zealand have also adopted codes recognizing the
fundamental role and relationship of descendant communities to archaeology (Groarke
and Warrick 2006; Lilley 2000b; Rosenwig 1997; Watkins 2000, 2005). The Canadian
Archaeological Association (CAA) also took the principles of stewardship and
accountability in a different direction than the SAA by explicitly recognizing the special
relationship of Indigenous peoples to archaeological research and heritage.16 The CAA
Statement of Principles for Ethical Conduct Pertaining to Aboriginal Peoples, adopted in
1996, includes principles on consultation, the role of Indigenous peoples, sacred sites
and places, and communication and interpretation. Most important, the principles
acknowledge that Indigenous peoples have “a fundamental interest in the protection and
management of the archaeological record, its interpretation and presentation,” and
require members to “recognize and respect the role of Aboriginal communities in matters
relating to their heritage” (Canadian Archaeological Association 1997:6). Likewise, the
professional association representing archaeologists in British Columbia adapted six of
the 12 CAA principles pertaining to the relationship between indigenous communities
and archaeology as part of the association’s code of conduct, and added two statements
16
This is despite the fact that the CAA has also adopted a statement on stewardship, as part of
the Principles of Ethical Conduct, very similar to that of the SAA.
85
about notifying local First Nations of planned fieldwork (B.C. Association of Professional
Consulting Archaeologists 1998). 17
These principles and codes express a maturing understanding of collaborative
stewardship that recognizes the primacy of descendant communities. Nonetheless, the
success of achieving the goals of these aspirational statements has not been adequately
measured, and they arguably have done little to shift power and authority to Indigenous
peoples (Smith 2006:281). Indeed, “two of the primary ethical challenges to overcoming
archaeology’s legacy of scientific colonialism are respect for alternative ways of
interpreting and knowing the past, and greater equity in the relations of power and
privilege that mark differential access to decision-making, and the ability to have one’s
decisions count” (Nicholas and Hollowell 2007). This critique of the stewardship ethic
coincided with the rise of “post-processual” theory in archaeology in the 1990s, which
advocated multi-vocality, accountability, and subjectivity in the discipline, and recognized
the political nature of archaeological enquiry. The convergence of indigenous activism
and post-processual theory contributed to an environment that fostered the rise of
collaborative and indigenous archaeologies. Conceptions of ethical responsibility
towards descendant communities evolved within the discipline of archaeology, as
reflected in codes of ethics and demonstrated by transformative practice. Together, the
indigenous and post-processual critiques upset the standard “authorized heritage
discourse” represented by the confluence of processual archaeology, the conservation
ethic, heritage legislation, and claims of stewardship.
The perspective that descendant communities should have a primary role in
heritage stewardship represents a “sea change” in archaeological ethics (Wylie 2005:51,
60). It also represents a significant break with the original principles of conservation
archaeology, which considered scientific research the paramount beneficiary of heritage
stewardship. The concept of stewardship should not be construed as “a matter of wise
management on behalf of an abstract higher interest (that of science and, by extension,
society or humanity) but as a matter of collaborative, negotiated co-management among
divergent interests (including archaeological interests) none of which can be presumed,
at the outset, to take precedence over the others” (Wylie 2005:65). In other words,
17
Notably, the BCAPCA code excludes the CAA principles pertaining to recognition of the
cultural and spiritual links to the archaeological record, sacred places, and human remains,
as well as those relating to training and recruitment.
86
archaeological practice needs to address authority, accountability, and multi-vocality in
order to counter the “scientism” that underlies the prevailing ethic of stewardship.
Chapter Summary: Prospects for a Sea Change
Over the past forty years, archaeological practice in British Columbia has been
marked by legal, political, and ethical developments that have in one way or another
encouraged indigenous engagement and authority. The rise of CRM and conservation
archaeology in the 1970s distanced First Nations from practice and lessened their
authority and role as stewards. Political opposition to existing heritage legislation in the
1980s led to the concerns of First Nations being heard at last, but their voice was muted
in the ultimate incarnation of the HCA of 1994. Consistent with constitutional changes,
the Delgamuukw court decisions in the early 1990s elevated the rights of Indigenous
peoples in land and resource decision-making, and they introduced new requirements
for consultation and accommodation. Although the HCA itself was largely unaffected,
sweeping changes were made to the way that Indigenous peoples participated in
resource management. In particular, significant regulatory changes in the forestry sector
led to a greater role for archaeological resource management during the late 1990s,
which provoked a spirited dialogue with First Nations.
The subsequent heightened interest and involvement of First Nations in
archaeology and heritage stewardship forced archaeologists to accommodate
indigenous perspectives and interests, and cede some control over the heritage
stewardship process. First nations have also embraced new approaches in the context
of CRM and resource developments that at times challenge and subvert the authority of
archaeologists and bureaucrats. On the one hand, these shifts in practice have
encouraged a greater degree of collaboration, but at the same time they have led to the
increasing marginalization of archaeologists as Indigenous peoples assert authority over
heritage stewardship.
The transformations of archaeological practice in British Columbia over the last
two decades mirror shifting power structures worldwide. In addition to the global
development of community-based and indigenous archaeologies, the discipline is
undergoing an ethical debate over the principles of stewardship, evidenced by the
growing literature on the topic and reflected in codes of conduct. As yet, however, the
87
“sea change” in archaeological ethics has not universally manifested itself in practice,
nor has it substantively influenced legislation and regulations governing archaeology in
British Columbia. Here, the nature of this debate is entangled within legal arguments
over indigenous title, with consequent repercussions pertaining to ownership and
jurisdiction over heritage. Nonetheless, the debate within the discipline over heritage
stewardship ethics has implications for the ensuing shape and direction of heritage
legislation and stewardship in the province.
The future form of archaeological practice and legislated heritage stewardship in
British Columbia will undoubtedly need to take into account the shifting ethical position of
the discipline, from conservation archaeology to collaborative stewardship. This shift
questions the role of archaeologists and the province as privileged stewards of
archaeological heritage, and challenges their authority on the best practices to “manage”
this heritage. In this environment, the concerns of Indigenous peoples will need to be
addressed in a meaningful way, especially in light of legal uncertainties related to title
and ownership. Archaeologists will certainly retain a major role in heritage stewardship,
as they have specialized knowledge and skills that will continue to hold value for both
Indigenous peoples and the general public (Ferris 2003; Smith and Wobst 2005a; Welch
et al. 2007; Wylie 2005; Yellowhorn 1996). Most indigenous communities in British
Columbia also strongly support archaeological research and value the information it can
provide; what concerns them is how archaeology is used in a CRM context and who
benefits from its practice. Indeed, First Nations and many archaeologists share common
aspirations for effective heritage legislation and respectful stewardship in the province.
This is demonstrated by the growth in community-based archaeologies, and the
emergence of nascent forms of indigenous archaeology. These developing trends in
British Columbia, as elsewhere in the world, will undoubtedly have consequences for the
practice of archaeology in both the CRM and academic realms. As the capacity,
confidence and authority of indigenous heritage stewardship in British Columbia takes
root in sovereignty and title, the sea change in ethics and practice rising globally may yet
swell in the province.
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Chapter 4.
The St’át’imc Nation and Archaeology
wa7 zwátenem kwes tsúwa7lhkalh ts7a ti tmícwa
[we know this land belongs to us]
nxekmenlhkálha lti tmícwa [St’át’imc Land Use Plan] 2004
The convergence of political awareness, jurisprudence, and regulatory change that
occurred in British Columbia in the early 1990s set into motion a sequence of events that
ultimately led the St’át’imc Nation to exercise considerable authority over the practice of
archaeology in their territory. Over the course of that decade, the Northern St’át’imc
communities affiliated with the Lillooet Tribal Council increased their direct involvement
in the archaeological management process, culminating in the establishment of a nationbased heritage stewardship program in 2000. Subsequently, archaeological concerns
and heritage stewardship became significant components of ongoing St’át’imc
governance and land-use planning initiatives in their efforts to “protect and maintain
territorial and cultural integrity” (St'át'imc Government Services 2011; St'át'imc Land and
Resource Authority 2004).
Both traditional and contemporary perspectives influence the relationship of the
St’át’imc to the discipline of archaeology and have an effect on their approach to
heritage stewardship. By taking responsibility for their heritage and exercising their role
as stewards, the Northern St’át’imc have learned to use it to their benefit. Through their
efforts to understand and protect their history, they have acquired considerable technical
sophistication in archaeological methods, applications, and resources. Building on this
experience, and permeated by their worldview, St’át’imc archaeology modifies
conventional practice in a number of key aspects. Understanding these differing
perspectives and practices sheds light on their uneasy relationship with the provincial
archaeological management process. Moreover, comprehending St’át’imc heritage
stewardship may have implications for the practice of archaeology and the future shape
89
of the discipline within British Columbia, as well as wherever indigenous issues and
heritage stewardship intersect around the world.
This chapter focuses on contemporary St’át’imc perspectives on archaeology
and heritage stewardship, based on conversations with St’át’imc individuals from six
communities affiliated with the Lillooet Tribal Council (Figure 5). These people have firsthand experience with past and ongoing heritage stewardship efforts, and provide an
informed overview of St’át’imc views on archaeology and heritage stewardship. After a
short description of research methods, I begin with a description of traditional St’át’imc
teachings on the nature of their ancestors and landscape, as manifested by
archaeological sites and artifacts. This is followed by an overview of contemporary
St’át’imc discourse on the significance of archaeology and heritage and their relationship
to heritage and the land, and a summary on St’át’imc perspectives on the strengths and
limitations of archaeology in the context of their aspirations for asserting their role in
heritage stewardship. The next section documents the personal experiences with the
practice of archaeology for the St’át’imc consulted in this study. I then provide a detailed
historical overview of the events and initiatives, culminating in the 1998 blockade of
Cutting Permit 146 on Seton Lake. I end with a brief discussion of how this direct action
instigated the development of a heritage assessment process by the Lillooet Tribal
Council–the subject of the case study described in the next chapter.
Research Methods
The St’át’imc data presented in Chapters 4 and 5 is largely based on a series of
one-on-one conversations with members of Northern St’át’imc communities. I met with
21 St’át’imc consultants from six communities between September 5, 2007 and October
4, 2008 (Appendix A). The consultants were selected on the basis of their knowledge of
heritage issues or experience with heritage stewardship. The degree of participant
knowledge and experience was judged according to my own personal familiarity with the
individuals and the recommendations of the Lillooet Tribal Council. Although the list of
consultants was reviewed with the administrator of the Lillooet Tribal Council, the final
selection was my own.
90
Figure 5.
Northern St'át'imc communities in relation to Nzwat/Msut (CP 146),
Junction Creek, Pavilion Creek, and Slok/McKay Creeks.
91
The St’át’imc consulted in this study represent a wide range of roles in the
political, administrative, technical, and social spheres of their communities, and many
have considerable direct experience in archaeological practice and heritage stewardship
(see Appendix A). However, they do not represent a demographic cross-section or
statistically representative sample of the Northern St’át’imc. It was not the objective of
this study to statistically gauge the opinions of the community, in whole or part, on
heritage stewardship issues. Rather, the objective was to document and evaluate the
perspectives of those individuals with an active interest in and understanding of heritage
stewardship issues. Nonetheless, the Northern St’át’imc participants in this study do
represent a fairly broad range of the community, including Elders, leadership, and
technical workers. Admittedly, the participants did not include anyone actively opposed
to heritage stewardship. However, the opportunity for the participation of community
members with opposing views was provided through invitations to comment extending
through chief’s meetings and an article in the local St’át’imc newspaper.
The collection of data was designed as a participatory conversation. An outline of
topics was used to guide the conversation, and leading questions were avoided.
Appendix A lists the themes and questions used to guide the conversations. The
discussion topics were also open-ended so that participants could discuss whatever they
chose to talk about, and could avoid topics they didn’t wish to discuss. The responses of
the participants were not audio-taped, but instead were recorded by myself as
paraphrased point-form written notes. Copies of these notes were provided to all of the
participants so that they could revise, add to, or accept them as they saw fit. The
participants were also given an opportunity to review and comment on the final form of
the data as presented in the dissertation. Because of the paraphrased nature of the
conversation notes, opportunities for using direct quotes were limited. However,
quotations are occasionally used where specific phrases were recorded verbatim.18
Prior to commencing research with the St’át’imc consultants, I signed a research
and information-sharing agreement with the Lillooet Tribal Council. This agreement sets
out the terms and conditions for conducting my research with St’át’imc participants within
St’át’imc territory (Appendix A). This research was conducted under the terms of an
application for ethical approval for research submitted to the SFU Office of Research
18
Note that I use “consultant” and “participant” interchangeably in this dissertation when
referring to those St’át’imc that took part in this study.
92
Ethics. At the beginning of each conversation, participants were given the option of
providing verbal or written consent to their participation in the study. Where consent was
given, the objectives and benefits of the project were described to the participants, and
the name, date and nature of participation were recorded. The consultants were also
asked if they wished to remain anonymous in this dissertation and any subsequent
reports or publications. The desire to remain anonymous varied between participants,
and so for consistency of presentation all of the consultants are cited anonymously in the
text using identification codes. These codes consist of the leading initials “SN” (for
St’át’imc Nation) followed by a randomly assigned numeral. The original conservation
notes, copies of the transcripts, and the key for identifying the participants, have been
deposited with the Lillooet Tribal Council.
Traditional Perspectives
Before considering the contemporary perspectives on archaeology and heritage
stewardship as expressed by the St’át’imc participants in this study, it is appropriate to
review how traditional perspectives may inform these views. There are few published or
documentary sources describing traditional St’át’imc perspectives on those aspects of
their heritage conventionally labelled as archaeological in nature. However, a number of
the St’át’imc consultants recounted the traditional knowledge and stories told to them by
their parents and grandparents about the material evidence of their ancestors–what
archaeologists refer to as artifacts and features–long before any of them had heard of
archaeology or had any experience with its practice. For St’át’imc who grew up while
participating in “traditional” culture and activities close to the land, this physical evidence
was a visible and familiar part of their surroundings during their childhood (SN18). Many
remember in their youth finding nméxtsten [arrowheads] and other stone artifacts on the
terraces and in the ploughed fields and gardens surrounding their homes (SN4; SN5;
SN7; SN8; SN10; SN11; SN13; SN14; SN15; SN17; SN18; SN19; SN20). They recall
seeing and visiting the s7ístken [housepits] once found on nearly every terrace above
the sát’atqwa7 (Fraser River) (SN1; SN4; SN5; SN7; SN8; SN10; SN11; SN12; SN13;
SN15; SN17; SN19; SN20). Some also remember encountering burials and graveyards,
and finding the associated artifacts and grave goods scattered across the ground (SN1;
SN7; SN16). Although as children these St’át’imc were taught to respect and avoid these
powerful places (SN1; SN4; SN11; SN13; SN16), curiosity about their ancestors was
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often enough for them to overcome their unease. They associated these places with the
stories of the St’át’imc past they heard at home.
Many St’át’imc remember the cautions from their parents and grandparents
concerning the ancient homes and belongings of their ancestors. They were warned to
stay away from the s7ístken, and told to never play in them, because the “old people”
might take them away (SN5; SN8; SN10; SN15; SN18; SN19).19 The spirits of powerful
medicine men still resided in some of these s7ístken, making them dangerous and
frightening places to visit (SN20). They were also told not to take away the arrowheads
and other artifacts scattered on the ground, as these belonged to the ancestors who
made them and they had been left there for a reason. Nothing was theirs to take, so the
artifacts were always left where found (SN4; SN8; SN10; SN15; SN17; SN18). 20
Violating this prohibition could cause the ancestors to come back to retrieve them
(SN15). 21 Likewise, contact with human remains was “taboo” and they were not to be
disturbed; if you touched them, ritualized hand washing was required for cleansing (SN2;
SN16). Failure to follow these rules would lead to harmful consequences for the violator
(SN17).
In addition to their knowledge of the objects and places of their ancestors, many
older St’át’imc enjoyed a close relationship to the land while growing up. They followed
the routes of the old trails and camped at ancient places that were known to be the best
locations to hunt, fish, and gather plants (SN18; SN19; SN21). On these trips their
parents and grandparents showed them fishing stations, trail markers, sacred rocks, and
other places marking the historical presence of the St’át’imc on the land (SN13; SN21).
While they learned the stories that link these places to their history and culture, some
areas elicited warnings about powerful spiritual places or the locations of burials (SN15;
SN18; SN21), which were kept secret and best avoided for reason of their own safety
(SN18; SN19). All of these aspects–objects, camps and village sites, trails, burials,
stories, place names, sacred sites, resource areas–constitute the traces of their
19
20
21
Similar prohibitions are found among some neighbouring groups. In some cases, this
prohibition is associated with past epidemics that wiped out entire villages (see Palmer
2005:110).
An exception to this rule was that useful artifacts, such as mortars and pestles, were
occasionally collected and re-used (SN10; SN18).
One participant knew this to be true. He once found a mortar and pestle while hunting, and
set it down in the snow after killing a deer. When he came back to collect it, it was gone
(SN15).
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ancestral heritage, and in aggregate go beyond the narrow bounds of conventional
archaeological evidence.
Some of the younger St’át’imc participating in this research received less direct
exposure to life on the land while growing up, and correspondingly gained a more limited
awareness of their archaeological heritage. From the 1950s onwards, many St’át’imc
were sent to residential schools in Mission, Kamloops, and Williams Lake (Smith 1998).
22
The effects of the residential school system, the centralization of government services
and the onset of standardized public education in the 1970s, and increasing residence in
urban centres served to isolate them from their homeland and culture (SN16). As a
consequence, some were unaware of the material remains of their ancestors while
growing up (SN6; SN12; SN21). Others were unaware of the prohibitions and traditions
surrounding the objects and places of their ancestors. These individuals noticed artifacts
while playing but paid little attention to them (SN14), or played in housepits without any
awareness of their significance (SN7). While attending the Kamloops residential school
during the 1960s and 1970s, some of this younger generation of St’át’imc recall finding
artifacts on the surrounding terraces, which they would sell to the school staff for pocket
change (SN7; SN15; SN16). Sometimes they sold artifacts to local Lillooet shopkeepers
(SN16), or even assisted private collectors remove artifacts from sites (SN7).
One individual, born and raised in Kamloops, remembers visiting Lillooet in the
summers and seeing artifacts at his grandmother’s home, and hearing stories from his
mother about transformer sites that she pointed out from the train as they passed by
(SN9). Another remembers being taught where spiritual places were located, but not
their place names; the “language was beaten out of him” at day school, and so his
parents and grandparents stopped teaching him (SN19). Their fleeting experience of
heritage places and objects illustrates an apparent disconnection from their past
stemming from the imposition of the residential and day school systems, and the difficult
social and economic conditions of reserve life during the 1960s and 1970s. Without a
strong personal connection to the land and its places, and without the benefit of
traditional teachings from their Elders and parents, many St’át’imc growing up in the
1950s and later were never exposed to their past.
22
For an introduction to the negative impacts of residential schools on the St’át’imc, refer to
Drake-Terry (1989:190-192) and Smith 1998 (44-45, 57). For a general overview, see Jack
(2006) and Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada (2012).
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In sum, the traditional St’át’imc perspective on the material evidence of their
heritage is a consistent and strongly held view of respect for ancestors, non-disturbance
of sites, and avoidance of certain types of places. Despite these traditional prohibitions,
those St’át’imc who grew up in both traditional and non-traditional contexts now share a
strong interest in their heritage and its expression and interpretation through
archaeology. The contemporary St’át’imc perspective on archaeology is relatively
favourable as they are conscious of its benefits for the nation.
Contemporary Perspectives
While archaeological sites and artifacts were often part of St’át’imc childhood, for
others it was only much later in their lives that most became aware of the discipline
dedicated to studying the material remnants of their ancestors. For both the older and
younger generations now involved in St’át’imc heritage stewardship, their exposure to
archaeology as a discipline took place at in different periods and under widely varied
circumstances. For those St’át’imc who participated in this study, I describe their
personal and individual encounters with archaeology in more detail later section in this
chapter. Despite the different conditions of their introductions to archaeology, all of the
St’át’imc currently involved in heritage stewardship are clear on what it is, and isn’t, in
the conventional sense of the discipline. They understand its limitations, in both the legal
and technical sense, and recognize the benefits and drawbacks of its practice for First
Nations. They regard archaeology as a set of methods that provides another way for
understanding their heritage, complementing traditional teachings. They also have clear
ideas on how archaeology can support and enhance St’át’imc insight about their history.
Most important, they have strong views on how the practice of archaeology in British
Columbia needs to change to be of greater benefit to the St’át’imc Nation.
St’át’imc Perceptions of Archaeology
Archaeology is not a word found in the St’át’imc language (SN4), nor is it a
concept inherent to their traditional worldview (SN18); rather, it is a contemporary,
secular concept borrowed for practical reasons (Barney and Klassen 2008). Most of the
St’át’imc consulted for this study report having gained substantial knowledge of
archaeology and its practice over the past several decades, and they have become
familiar with its methods and objectives. They recognize the standard disciplinary
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definition of archaeology as the study of the physical evidence of past human activity
(SN2; SN3; SN12; SN16; SN20). While they do not debate the esoteric points of
archaeological theory, they are well aware of the broad principles that inform
researchers. Moreover, they recognize how it relates to past and present St’át’imc life
(Table 3).
Table 3.
St’át’imc Definitions of Archaeology
Archaeology is:*
• The study of history by investigating the physical remains left behind (SN20).
• History based on things you can touch (SN1), and history derived from the markings and remains on the land
(SN13).
• Primarily based on the investigation of artifacts, features, and other material remains (SN10; SN14; SN15), and
involves documentation, mapping and scientific analysis (SN5; SN9).
• A way of looking at how people, the environment, and systems interacted in the past (SN14; SN16).
• Searching for the ancient message in order to reconstruct the past (SN10).
• A method to provide answers about St’át’imc ancestors and their history, particularly before contact with Europeans
(SN7)–their way of life, where they lived, how long they’ve been here, what they did, and what they used (SN2;
SN3; SN6; SN10; SN11; SN12; SN13; SN16).
• Finding and studying evidence of the past to help explain St’át’imc history, and perhaps help prevent the loss of
traditional ways (SN10; SN15).
• Establishes a link between the past and the present, and helps to link contemporary people with their ancestors
(SN3; SN14).
• A process that “brings back our history and knowledge, and brings back our ancestors” (SN8).
* All statements in this table and those following are paraphrased (see Research Methods).
The St’át’imc consultants view archaeology as a bridge between the past and
present, and a practice that has meaning and value to their contemporary lives.
Archaeology is a tool that the St’át’imc can use to their advantage (SN19). At the same
time, many considered the standard academic and regulatory definition of archaeology
as “physical evidence of past human activity,” and the “site-specific” nature of
conventional practice, to be too narrow and limiting (SN2; SN3; SN9; SN16; SN18).
Material evidence is absent at many places of cultural importance to the St’át’imc, and
as such they contend that the archaeological discipline should also consider the
intangible aspects of heritage associated with the land, such as place names, spiritual
areas, resource gathering areas, oral histories, and traditions (SN3; SN7). According to
one consultant, the pit used to cook food is just a hole in the ground, whereas the
locations where food was collected are the places that have value (SN19). In this view,
the idea of archaeology as the physical evidence of past activities exists within a much
broader conception of cultural heritage (SN6; SN13).
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Archaeology and Heritage
The St’át’imc participants are familiar with conventional ideas of archaeological
heritage, but they see it as just a small part of their heritage as a whole. According to the
consultants, heritage encompasses everything to do with St’át’imc traditions, culture,
knowledge, and history (SN2). Heritage is the St’át’imc way of life (SN1; SN2; SN5; SN8;
SN10; SN12); “it is who we are, and how we see [ourselves], in the past, present, and
future” (SN14). In the words of one consultant, it “defines who I am, where I came from,
who I should be” (SN6). The consultants considered heritage to encompass a broad
range of both general concepts and specific elements (Table 4).
Table 4.
St’át’imc Conceptions of Heritage.
Cultural heritage is:
• The way we live today, and how our ancestors lived (SN18)
• The social product of people, in the past and present (SN13).
• St’át’imc legends, stories and knowledge passed down by word of mouth from the ancestors to the present (SN2;
SN8; SN9; SN13; SN16)
• The experiences of grandparents (SN9)
• The knowledge needed for gathering plants, hunting, and fishing (SN2; SN7)
• How the St’át’imc made things, how they grew things (SN8), and how they used resources (SN2; SN13)
• The knowledge of the past and how it applies to our lives today (SN18)
Cultural heritage includes:
• Oral history (SN1)
• Legends and stories (SN2)
• Traditional values and rules (SN2)
• Spiritual beliefs (SN12)
• Social functions (SN13; SN14)
• Economic structures (SN14)
• Ancestry (SN7)
• Language (SN7; SN9; SN18)
• Dances and songs (SN20)
• The things and tools we used in the past (SN18)
• Any evidence that proves St’át’imc occupation of the land (SN20)
The St’át’imc consultants make no distinction between archaeological evidence
and other forms of St’át’imc heritage (SN3; SN5; SN11; SN14; SN18; SN20). Instead,
they are closely related (SN7; SN12; SN13), they go hand in hand (SN2), and they
support each other (SN11). Archaeology helps find evidence of heritage (SN1; SN12),
and helps validate culture and history (SN2). Archaeological information supports the
St’át’imc understanding of the land, environment, and resources (SN16). As one
participant remarked, when you see artifacts and sites on the land you understand how
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the ancestors lived (SN18). Archaeology also supports oral traditions and histories,
which the St’át’imc feel have deteriorated due to colonial and Crown policy. St’át’imc
conceptions of heritage encompass all those topics that would be studied in
anthropology and archaeology (SN5), and the St’át’imc need to use all sources that aid
in the research and preservation of their ancient stories (SN13).
Given archaeology’s relationship to heritage, the St’át’imc consultants believe
archaeologists need to consider a much broader range of factors in their research and
work, including customary St’át’imc knowledge (SN9). One person identified the need to
“bring people into the picture” in order to close the gap between the scientific and
St’át’imc perspectives (SN16). To some, archaeology as it is generally practiced seems
concerned only with the distant past, whereas heritage brings the past into the present
(SN8). Cultural heritage is a continuum (SN5; SN11), in which the past and the present
are connected (SN2). As such, the age of archaeological evidence is irrelevant in terms
of determining its significance (SN1; SN2; SN4; SN5; SN6; SN8; SN11; SN15; SN16).
The St’át’imc hold that past events are not defined or given value by virtue of their age,
but rather they are significant because they represent those who were here before them
(SN4). While older sites may be interesting, they are not necessarily more important
(SN1); even something from yesterday could be important (SN6). As one participant
commented, the St’át’imc are still living in the same places where their ancestral villages
are located (SN7), and thus new heritage is constantly being created.
The St’át’imc participants also stressed that tangible and intangible aspects of
heritage are closely linked and need to be considered in tandem (SN4; SN5; SN8; SN14;
SN15). In other words, places conventionally identified as archaeological sites help us
understand the stories and activities associated with them, and vice versa. For example,
at resource harvesting places, there is no separation of the activity from the place–in the
old stories, the place and the activity are one and the same (SN4). Likewise, one
participant pointed out that you have to go the places where narratives were created to
really appreciate them (SN18). To truly understand heritage, you need to see these
places and participate in the activities associated with them, as “the land itself teaches
us” (SN18).
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Heritage Places and the Land
The St’át’imc also emphasize that heritage is closely tied to the land (SN5;
SN18). The land itself is invested with cultural and historical significance, but this
connection is physically manifested in the meaningful places found on the landscape,
ranging from archaeological sites to place names. The St’át’imc responsibility as
stewards is to protect significant places from impacts and development, which in a
landscape context includes all tangible and intangible places, of any age. The
participants recognize that archaeology is one way to understand these places, and it
has a role in tracing and preserving the St’át’imc “footprint” on the land:
Archaeology helps us understand our past by identifying the activities of
our ancestors on the land, and puts our history onto paper. To us,
archaeology is about how we used the land in the past, and the footprints
we left behind. When we practice archaeology, we are recording the
things we see on the land that are related to our cultural heritage. [Barney
and Klassen 2008:1]
When the St’át’imc consultants were asked what types of places on the land
needed to be “managed” or protected, the range was broad; indeed, one consultant
couldn’t think of any place that wouldn’t be included (SN1), whether physical, such as a
village site, or intangible, such as a place named in a story. Thus, the range of specified
places goes well beyond those currently regulated by the Heritage Conservation Act
(HCA) or managed under provincial legislation. 23 Their expansive definition included
types of physical archaeological heritage, such as culturally modified trees, that are
“managed” under other provincial resource legislation and regulations such as the Forest
Act and the Forest Planning and Practices Regulation, but generally not regulated by the
HCA (Table 5). 24 Not confined by material evidence, they identified numerous types of
non-archaeological heritage that should be managed as “cultural heritage resources”
23
24
As noted in Chapter 3, the HCA “automatically” regulates all archaeological sites pre-dating
A.D. 1846, which represents the date of the assertion of colonial sovereignty under the
Oregon Treaty. In addition, it regulates all Aboriginal burial and rock art sites of cultural and
historical significance.
The Forest Act defines a "cultural heritage resource" as “an object, a site or the location of a
traditional societal practice that is of historical, cultural or archaeological significance to
British Columbia, a community or an aboriginal people.” Under the Forest Planning and
Practices Regulation, the objective set by government for cultural heritage resources is “to
conserve, or, if necessary, protect cultural heritage resources that … are the focus of a
traditional use by an aboriginal people that is of continuing importance to that people.”
Despite this broad definition, in practice it is interpreted to mean discrete, “site-specific”
locations that can be represented by a “polygon” on a map.
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under provincial resource legislation and regulations, including traditional history sites,
places of spiritual significance, and traditional resource areas for gathering, hunting, and
fishing activities (Table 5).
Named places, and the geography of legends, stories, and oral histories, are
considered part of the cultural landscape (SN9; SN16; SN18). Every named place
recalls a specific event or activity, but as they generally don’t exhibit physical evidence
the knowledge associated with these places often eludes conventional archaeological
research (SN11; SN16). However, Elders and other knowledgeable people remember
the names and purposes of these places (SN11). For example, Graveyard Valley, the
site of an important battle and a spiritual place, is a specific named place associated with
oral history that a number of consultants mentioned as an area in need of better
recognition and protection (SN8; SN9; SN11; SN13; SN19).25 But many place names,
along with their associated knowledge, are now lost (SN16), thereby diminishing
St’át’imc history and culture.
Other significant places identified by St’át’imc consultants do not easily fit within
conventional and regulatory conceptions of “cultural heritage resources.” For example,
they listed wildlife trails and migration routes (SN3; SN5; SN10), wildlife habitat (SN18;
SN19), and various other natural features (SN12; SN14; SN19) (Table 5). According to
this view, there is no distinction between wildlife, forests, and culture (SN10); heritage
sites and ecological features are related, and they must be managed together (SN2). In
their words, heritage places would not exist if not for the wildlife and other resources that
sustained the activities that occurred there (SN18).
25
Although Graveyard Valley is located within a provincial protected area (Big Creek Provincial
Park), it does not enjoy any form of special protection or historical designation. The main
approach to Graveyard Valley for the St’át’imc is through the Paradise Creek valley, which
also holds considerable significance for the St’át’imc. However, in 2010 the Liberal
government removed the Paradise Creek watershed from the Spruce Lake protected area
(now South Chilcotin Mountains Provincial Park) under pressure from mining interests.
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Table 5.
St’át’imc Heritage Places on the Land.
Heritage places identified by the St’át’imc consultants
(organized by regulatory category)
Regulatory Category
• Villages and camps
• Artifact scatters
• Lookouts
• Burials
• Housepits
• Culturally modified trees (ancient)
• Cultural depressions
• Quarries
• Pictographs
(SN3; SN5; SN8; SN9; SN11; SN13; SN15; SN20)
Regulated Archaeological sites
“Automatically” regulated under the British Columbia
Heritage Conservation Act (HCA)
• Trails
• Trail markers and trail marker trees
• Culturally modified trees (post-1846)
(SN3; SN4; SN7; SN8; SN9; SN10; SN11; SN15; SN18; SN19;
SN20)
Non-regulated Archaeological sites
Not regulated under the HCA, but potentially
“managed” under provincial resource legislation and
regulations (e.g., Forest Act, Forest Planning and
Practices Regulation, Mines Act).
• Spiritual sites
• Vision quest locations
• Puberty areas
• Transformer sites and landmarks
• Trading routes
• Battle sites
(SN3; SN6; SN9; SN11; SN13; SN15; SN16; SN18; SN19)
“Traditional Use Sites” (Traditional heritage features;
Traditional cultural places)
Potentially “managed” under provincial resource
legislation and regulations (see above); recognized
in international instruments (e.g., UN Declaration of
the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, UNESCO
Convention Concerning the Protection of the World
Cultural and Natural Heritage).
• Named places
• “Intangible” locations without physical evidence
(associated with activities, oral history, and traditions)
(SN1; SN4; SN5; SN6; SN8; SN9; SN11; SN14; SN15; SN16;
SN18)
Intangible Heritage
Not typically “managed” under provincial resource
legislation and regulations, but recognized in
international instruments (e.g., UNESCO Convention
for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural
Heritage).
• Berry, mushroom, and medicine gathering areas and
resources
• Hunting and fishing areas
• Wildlife and fish resources
• Cedar groves and forest resources
(SN3; SN5; SN6; SN8; SN12; SN13; SN14; SN18; SN19)
“Traditional Resources”
(Traditional use areas; Traditional cultural places)
Potentially “managed” under provincial resource
legislation and regulations (see above); also
included in some land use plans (e.g., Coastal Land
Use Decision).
• Wildlife trails and migration routes
• Saltlicks
• Springs, Wetlands, Watersheds, Waterways
• Forests
(SN3; SN5; SN9; SN10; SN18; SN19)
Ecological Features
Not typically “managed” as “cultural heritage
resources” under provincial resource legislation,
regulations, or land use plans.
* Note that the types of places listed here are not necessarily categorized in the same way as they are in provincial
documents.
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Indeed, a number of consultants pointed out that everything on the land is part of
their heritage (SN5; SN6). The entire landscape bears the imprint of their presence
through hunting, plant gathering, and traditional ecological management, such as using
fire to enhance forest regeneration (SN5). Some areas received more intensive use than
others, and some places are known for certain activities, but some sort of physical or
cultural evidence is almost always there (SN6; SN15). In this sense, greater emphasis
should go to protecting large areas rather than just specific sites (SN8). A number of
consultants also stressed the importance of protecting trails and trail markers (e.g.,
knotted trees, bent trees, blazes) (SN3; SN4; SN7; SN8; SN9; SN10; SN11; SN15;
SN18; SN19; SN20). All of the places and activities important to them–along with every
valley and every village–are linked by trails (SN4; SN7; SN9). To some, this network of
paths linking places is the most important evidence of their heritage on the land (SN4).
The St’át’imc see protection of their “ancestral footprints” as central to their
identity and survival. Caring for heritage places on the land is vital for cultural stability
and for cultural sustainability. For example, some cultural roles in their society need
access to sacred spots (SN2). Although the need for stewardship motivates their interest
in archaeology, the participants consider its conventional practice too narrow in its scope
and application. They believe that archaeologists need to enhance their role in heritage
stewardship by bringing together St’át’imc and scientific knowledge, considering tangible
and intangible evidence in tandem, expanding their focus beyond the current sitespecific emphasis, and connecting archaeological evidence with the broader cultural
landscape (SN2; SN9; SN11; SN16; SN18).
Perceived Benefits and Drawbacks of Archaeology
Through their involvement in heritage stewardship over the last fifteen years, the
St’át’imc now recognize the political, economic, and conservation benefits arising from
the practice of archaeology (Table 6). They see it as advancing their pursuit of
Indigenous title and rights, especially as the courts and the government have forced the
St’át’imc to justify their claims with physical evidence (SN1). Involvement in CRM
archaeology has also increased skills, employment, and capacity in St’át’imc
communities (SN3; SN6). CRM has also had some significant practical stewardship
opportunities for them. For example, logging plans in Pavilion Creek were thwarted with
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the help of archaeologists (SN10), who assisted the St’át’imc by identifying and
documenting archaeological sites.
Table 6.
St’át’imc Perspectives on the Benefits of Archaeology.
Political Benefits:
• An important tool for helping to prove title and rights; proof of occupation and continuous use (SN1; SN5; SN6;
SN9; SN19; SN21)
• Provides physical evidence of how long the St’át’imc have been here (SN5; SN6; SN7; SN9)
• Gives Canadian society as a whole a better understanding of St’át’imc history and the St’át’imc relationship to the
land (SN13; SN14; SN18)
Economic Benefits
• Involvement in the archaeological assessment process has provided employment, and developed work skills (SN6)
• Increased the economic capacity of communities (SN3)
Stewardship Benefits
• Helps protect certain forms of physical cultural heritage (SN9; SN16)
• Useful tool for protecting land and significant places (SN11; SN19)
• If sites are not recorded they can be destroyed (SN7)
• It can be beneficial to collect artifacts if it prevents looting (SN10; SN12)
• Archaeological research before development activities can help protect sites, and help save some of the things that
our grandparents were fighting for (SN8)
Social and Cultural Benefits
• Helps the St’át’imc learn about their history and understand where they come from, connects them to their
ancestors, and links the past to the present (SN5; SN6; SN11; SN12; SN14; SN18; SN20)
• The educational role of archaeology is important for both St’át’imc and the general public (SN16; SN20; SN21)
• Together with oral history, archaeology helps preserve St’át’imc heritage for future generations (SN11)
• A lot of knowledge can be gained from artifacts and material culture (SN21)
• It can help teach youth so that they can carry on this knowledge (SN8)
• Helps to instil pride in ancestry and accomplishments (SN6)
• Archaeology also helps remind Elders how they did things and what they used, and preserves memories about the
ways of doing things (SN15)
• Where knowledge has been lost, archaeological evidence gives us an idea of how things were done (SN12; SN13)
• Assists the St’át’imc to develop their own theories about their past (SN6)
• Archaeology helps to identify the physical aspects of the past, which is one part in the full knowledge of St’át’imc
history (SN16)
• Artifacts can illuminate history (SN7), and demonstrate trade and relations (SN10).
• Reinforces the relationship of the St’át’imc to the land (SN1)
• St’át’imc are becoming interested in archaeology and history as a result of excavations (SN20)
• If St’át’imc youth are interested, they should be encouraged to be actively involved in archaeology (SN18)
• Everyone should be interested in archaeology as part of St’át’imc history (SN10; SN15)
Even the emergency “salvage” of human remains can be useful in certain cases,
as long as protocols are followed that culminate with reburial (SN2). Before the St’át’imc
began relying on archaeology, burials and graves were destroyed during development
activities without opportunities to protect or rebury the remains (SN4). There are also
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times when collecting artifacts is necessary to protect them from looting or impacts from
development activities (SN10; SN12). Despite traditional prohibitions against disturbing
relics, one St’át’imc consultant now collects surface finds and catalogues them in order
to save them from looters (SN10). Another has been finding artifacts since he first
started hunting, and has been reporting them to the Lillooet Tribal Council for a long time
(SN15).
The social and cultural benefits of archaeology are also important to the St’át’imc
consultants, as its practice and outcomes have the potential for educating youth about
their own history, for strengthening social identity, and for revitalizing traditions and
knowledge (SN1; SN5; SN6; SN7; SN11; SN12; SN13; SN14; SN16; SN18; SN20; SN21). For
example, artifact collections can be used for educational purposes (SN10; SN12).
Despite the overall positive assessment of archaeology, there were also
perceived drawbacks and disadvantages (Table 7). Foremost was the potential lack of
confidentiality involving site records and archaeological information. For example, the
St’át’imc knew about the Keatley Creek village site, but it was kept secret until
archaeologists started excavating the site; subsequent publicity led to looting incidents,
particularly following a grass fire at the site around 1994 (SN10). Many also expressed
their concern that archaeologists were collecting and removing artifacts from St’át’imc
territory (SN2; SN5; SN10; SN12; SN20; SN21), though they do recognize that there is
no local facility available to safely store them (SN12). Some consultants also felt that
ignoring St’át’imc perspectives highlights a general lack of respect that some
archaeologists hold toward Indigenous peoples (SN1). Conversely, one consultant noted
that archaeology potentially hinders economic development, though this is not
necessarily a problem if the proper process is followed (SN12).
Despite these concerns, many of the St’át’imc consultants do not have any major
concerns with the archaeologists they have personally worked with, and feel that such
relationships are generally positive and professional (SN1; SN2; SN7; SN10; SN12;
SN14; SN15). In fact, they feel that since the 1990s there has been a change in attitude
among most archaeologists, from one that is self-serving to one that better recognizes
St’át’imc interests and is respectful of their concerns (SN3). Archaeologists now listen to
the St’át’imc and act on their advice (SN15). As expressed by Marie Barney of T’it’q’et:
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Until recently, we have not had much input into archaeological work in our
territory. To many of our Elders, it seemed that archaeologists were
considered to be the experts on St’át’imc history, and we were considered
to have little to offer to archaeology. Although we often view archaeology
and heritage differently, we recognize that archaeologists have certain
knowledge and skills that can assist us. I understand the need for
archaeology now. Archaeology helps us understand our past by
identifying the activities of our ancestors on the land, and puts our history
onto paper. [Barney and Klassen 2008:1]
Table 7.
St’át’imc Perspectives on Potential Drawbacks of Archaeology.
Confidentiality of information
• Site records potentially exposes archaeological sites, leading to the looting and selling of artifacts (SN1; SN6; SN7;
SN9; SN10; SN13; SN14; SN15)
Ownership of heritage
• St’át’imc ownership of artifacts is not acknowledged (SN4; SN5; SN21)
Destructive practices
• The removal of artifacts and ancestral remains from the territory is problematic (SN2; SN5; SN10; SN12; SN20;
SN21)
• Even legally sanctioned archaeology can be destructive and can disturb sites and human remains (SN5; SN6)
• Exhuming or disturbing ancestral remains is considered inappropriate (SN2; SN21)
• Mitigative actions may destroy sites after recording and reporting (SN5).
Quality of fieldwork
• Poor standards of work when done on behalf of industry (SN2; SN6; SN20)
• With a narrow understanding of archaeology and heritage, things can be missed in the field (SN13; SN16)
• Potential for losing heritage if archaeology is not conducted properly (SN7)
Interpretation of results
• Post 1846 sites not recorded or recognized as evidence of continuous use and occupation (SN8; SN19)
• Misinterpretations and lack of respect by archaeologists is a concern (SN1)
• Detrimental if archaeologists are not receptive to St’át’imc knowledge, or if St’át’imc involvement is absent (SN3)
• A narrow definition of heritage can lead to disagreements during assessment projects (even among the St’át’imc
researchers) (SN11)
Misuse and bias
• Archaeological information can be used against St’át’imc interests (SN18), such as cases where archaeologists
propose a different cultural affiliation (SN5)
• The practice of archaeology is potentially biased when acting on behalf of industry in the context of development
(SN2)
• Archaeologists working for industry may not have St’át’imc interests in mind, and may be less cooperative (SN14)
• Province uses site-specific focus to limit significance of places (SN19)
Lack of research collaboration
• Few opportunities for St’át’imc input into university research projects (SN2; SN8; SN14)
• More could be returned to communities in terms of sharing results, artifacts and knowledge, especially from
university research projects (SN7; SN8; SN20)
• More community members should be involved in excavations and other projects (SN20)
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Although there is now more confidence in the practice of archaeology, and
working with archaeologists has fomented a degree of trust, this generally positive
impression does not extend to the provincial government and the Archaeology Branch
(SN2). The St’át’imc recognize that archaeologists continue to work within what is often
considered as a flawed legislative and regulatory regime. The Crown presumes
ownership of St’át’imc archaeological heritage, and assumes it can do a better job of
protecting it, which has led to conflict with the Archaeology Branch (SN4).
Heritage, the Law, and St’át’imc Sovereignty
St’át’imc discontent with the prevailing provincial regulatory regime stems from
differing perspectives on heritage stewardship. In the early 1990s, they were neither
familiar with the legislation and management process, nor did they recognize how much
control they could potentially exercise over it (SN9). Today, most of those consulted in
this study were well aware of the HCA and its general provisions, although they were not
necessarily aware of the specifics of the legislation (SN1; SN12; SN15). A number of
them considered it to be a good thing in general (SN4; SN6; SN10; SN11), and some
also saw archaeological impact assessments as useful for identifying sites (SN6).
Even so, most of the consultants identified a number of shortcomings that limit
the effectiveness of the legislation and its implementation (Table 8). They found
deficiencies in the processes mandated by the HCA and specifically criticized the British
Columbia Archaeological Impact Assessment Guidelines (Apland and Kenny 1998)
(SN4). From the St’át’imc perspective, significant shortcomings in current legislation and
regulations include: limited community involvement or input; the arbitrary date of A.D.
1846; the emphasis on physical evidence of heritage; the focus on site-specific
management; and inadequate tools for implementing and enforcing the HCA and its
regulations (Table 8). These limitations result in different levels of protection and
management for different types of heritage.
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Table 8.
St’át’imc Comments on the Heritage Conservation Act and Regulations.
Consultation
• Involves very limited community involvement or input (SN3; SN4; SN9)
A.D. 1846 cut-off date
• Cut-off date is a fundamental flaw (SN2; SN3; SN6; SN7; SN8; SN15; SN18; SN19)
• Arbitrary and irrelevant date (both archaeologically and culturally) that represents a colonial declaration of
sovereignty that is not recognized (SN2; SN4; SN13)
• Post-1846 St’át’imc archaeological sites (e.g., trails, trail markers, and culturally modified trees) are not protected
(SN4; SN8; SN12)
• All archaeological sites are part of St’át’imc heritage, regardless of their age (SN4; SN8)
Emphasis on physical evidence
• Narrow range of “site-specific” protection (SN3; SN4; SN6; SN8; SN16; SN19)
• Does not protect heritage places with intangible evidence (SN4; SN6; SN8).
• Prevents the St’át’imc from protecting significant aspects of their heritage (SN13)
• Misses the link between people and sites (SN16)
• Human activities are represented by more than just the “things left behind” (SN4)
Site-specific Management
• Traditional use of the land and the “cultural landscape” are just as significant (SN2; SN16)
• Appears to be geared to benefit industry and corporations (SN2)
• Allows development to go ahead within the landscape context of sites (SN2)
• Facilitates development, as mitigation can be used to authorize the destruction of sites (SN4)
• Assessments are restricted to specific development areas, and do not produce a cumulative picture of impacts
(SN3)
Implementation
• Lack of consistency among provincial ministries in terms of implementation (SN3)
• Industry is not always familiar with requirements due to a lack of education and awareness (SN6; SN8)
• Lack of provincial support for effective implementation (SN6)
• Overview assessments are limited in scope, and based on models that are not specific to the area (SN3; SN8;
SN13)
• Assessment fieldwork is variable in scope and quality and not audited (SN1)
• Many significant places are still left out of process (SN3; SN4)
Enforcement
• Unregulated industrial development facilitates the “blatant destruction” of heritage sites (SN2)
• Looting and other damaging activities go unmonitored and unpunished (SN3)
• Potential fines are not used to compensate affected communities (SN19)
• The HCA is “toothless” in the sense that its provisions are not adequately enforced (SN3; SN4; SN16)
Specifically, one participant said that the St’át’imc lack adequate oversight and
control; for instance, when a development proponent directly hires a consultant, the
worry is that the subsequent work may not be objective (SN3). To counter this concern,
one St’át’imc participant felt that archaeological consulting firms must show flexibility in
their approach to work, which may mean directly engaging with the community through
consultation and by respecting its values (SN16). From this perspective, in order for the
provincial process to better serve the St’át’imc and preserve its impartiality, the nation
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should be involved in selecting the archaeological consultant, the consultant needs to
meet with them, and the proponent needs to work closely with the nation (SN16). On the
other hand, another participant believed that the Archaeology Branch would not accept
assessments carried out by First Nations out of a fear that the work will be biased (SN6).
One consultant recognized that the Archaeology Branch does not have the
capacity to effectively implement legislation and it does not have the mandate to enforce
it (SN6). Rather, the bigger issue is with the lack of provincial support for effective
application and oversight of the HCA and regulations, resulting in inadequate quality
control of fieldwork. As a result, the outcomes often need to be independently verified by
the St’át’imc (SN1). There is also a lack of consistency among ministries in adhering to
the Act, and industry is not always familiar with its requirements. Overall, the perception
of the consultants is that awareness of the HCA requirements is inadequate within
industry sectors and provincial ministries.
Some consultants pointed out that the limitations of the HCA also restrict the
ability of the St’át’imc to effectively carry out heritage stewardship. This is because the
province enacted statutory heritage protection primarily to safeguard its own interests
and not those of the St’át’imc (SN13), and this legislation fails to address the full range
of heritage important to them (SN16). Addressing their concerns through revising
provincial legislation would improve the effectiveness of heritage stewardship, and they
would expect to have a role in writing it (SN2; SN16). Moreover, some feel that the
province must first acknowledge their Indigenous title and St’át’imc authority as a
precondition to negotiating improved heritage protocols (SN2). However, a number of
participants pointed out that the St’át’imc Nation does not recognize provincial
jurisdiction over lands and resources, including heritage (SN2; SN18; SN21). Indeed,
one respondent expressed amazement at the “audacity” of the province’s claim to
exercise jurisdiction over St’át’imc heritage (SN21). Although the courts have implicitly
recognized the existence of St’át’imc title, current legislation does not recognize
indigenous ownership of heritage, meaning there is a disconnect between the judicial
and legal perspectives (SN2). Given the limitations of the existing system, many
St’át’imc are sceptical that CRM and the HCA can adequately protect what remains of
their archaeological heritage (SN16).
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Archaeology and Landscape
The St’át’imc consultants participating in this study understand the conventional
definition of archaeology, and recognize it has the potential to identify and corroborate
St’át’imc heritage. However, they find its emphasis on physical evidence and the distant
past too narrow and limiting. From their perspective, archaeology fits into the broader
concept of heritage, which links the past to the present and encompasses all aspects of
their culture, history, traditions, and knowledge. Incorporating their knowledge and
perspectives, while considering the links between tangible and intangible aspects of
heritage, would make the discipline more relevant to them. For example, identifying and
explaining significant places on the land in relation to oral traditions and place names
would help demonstrate continuity from ancient times to the present. In this way,
archaeology has an important role to play in preserving the relationship between
heritage and the land itself.
The St’át’imc see landscape-based heritage stewardship as including regulated
and unregulated archaeological sites, traditional use sites and sacred places, traditional
forest resources, and intangible heritage places (e.g., named places)–all of which they
refer to as their ancestral “footprints.” Trails are singled out as an important
manifestation of heritage, as they link people and places to activities and the land.
Stewardship should focus on places and landscape, and include all forms of significant
tangible and intangible heritage regardless of age. Moreover, no distinction should be
made between heritage and ecological features in terms of their management and
protection. As stated in the Nxekmenlhkálha lti tmícwa (the St’át’imc Land Use Plan,
literally “the laws of our land as taught by our Elders” [SN3]), “taking care of our
ancestral footprints means protecting St’át’imc culture, heritage, and ecology of the land”
(St'át'imc Land and Resource Authority 2004).
The St’át’imc conception of heritage is much broader than regulatory or even
disciplinary conceptions, and this breadth is mirrored in the official position of the
St’át’imc Nation (Table 9). The St’át’imc Nation insists that heritage stewardship must
take into account St’át’imc laws (St'át'imc Land and Resource Authority 2004, 2005).
The flaws and limitations of the prevailing system and conflicting views over jurisdiction
and sovereignty motivated the development of St’át’imc Nation archaeology.
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Table 9.
Definition of Cultural Heritage in Draft St’át’imc Land and Resource Code
[C]ultural heritage is the direct result of St’át’imc use and occupation of the land and St’át’imc use of natural resources.
St’át’imc cultural heritage was created and continues to be created by the St’át’imc people and, as such, remains the
property of St’át’imc communities throughout unceded St’át’imc Territory. St’át’imc cultural heritage is a collective
inheritance, a legacy that belongs to all St’át’imc, and is not a resource to be exploited.
[C]ultural heritage encompasses the places, traditions, and activities of the St’át’imc. It includes more than just sitespecific locations, and more than archaeological sites pre-dating AD 1846. All types of cultural heritage require
protection. Cultural heritage is also linked to the land and the ecosystem. Cultural heritage would not exist without the
land that supports the St’át’imc way of life. Thus, the protection of cultural heritage needs to be linked to an ecosystembased system of land management directed by the St’át’imc, including compliance with the Nxekmenlhkálha lti tmícwa
[Land Use Plan] and the requirements of the St’át’imc Forestry Code. [St’át’imc Land and Resource Authority 2005]
The Rise of St’át’imc Nation Archaeology
Northern St’át’imc exposure to archaeology began in the 1970s, but the
involvement of the nation as a whole increased significantly beginning in the mid 1990s.
A number of converging factors, including local political revitalization and legal decisions
such as Delgamuukw, provoked a more active St’át’imc role in heritage stewardship
informed by their views on archaeology, heritage, and landscape. This convergence is
exhibited by personal encounters with archaeology, as experienced by the St’át’imc
participants in this study since the 1970s, and the history of active participation of the
Lillooet Tribal Council (LTC) and the Northern St’át’imc communities in archaeological
and heritage stewardship through the 1990s. Moreover, conflicts with a logging company
in the late 1990s had a considerable impact on St’át’imc relationships with the forest
industry, government, and archaeologists. These developments had a direct effect on
the establishment of the LTC Cultural Heritage Team in 2000, the subject of the case
study examined in the next chapter.
Personal Encounters with Archaeology
For each St’át’imc individual consulted in this study, their initial personal
encounter with archaeology–the process as well as practitioners–occurred during one of
two distinct periods: the 1970s and 1980s, and the 1990s. Each period reflects a set of
specific circumstances, which are discussed in the following sections.
Beginnings: the 1970s and 1980s
During this period, four developments acted as catalysts for introducing the
practice of archaeology to Northern St’át’imc governments and individual community
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members. The first factor was the onset of large-scale archaeological research in the
region by academic institutions in the early 1970s. The second was the nascent
involvement of the St’át’imc in land and resource management issues, brought on by
Indigenous title and rights issues. Third was the implementation of a provincial “cultural
resource management” process by industry and government. The final factor was the
ensuing growth of indigenous activism and cultural revitalization that occurred during this
period. Each of these factors is discussed in more detail below.
The 1970s was an intense period of grassroots political organization and
influence for First Nations throughout British Columbia (Tennant 1990). In particular,
political aspirations among Indigenous peoples in Canada were galvanized by opposition
to the 1969 federal government White Paper (Schaepe 2007), leading to the
establishment of Indigenous political organizations across the country. In British
Columbia, St’át’imc communities helped found the Union of British Columbia Indian
Chiefs in late 1969 (Drake-Terry 1989), and a few years later they formed the Lillooet
Tribal Council following the abolition of the Indian Agent system (Smith 1998). These
organizations gave the Northern St’át’imc Nation a stronger and more united voice,
putting their efforts at pressing for title and rights on a trajectory that intersected with
archaeology and heritage stewardship.
Until this period, archaeologists working in the mid-Fraser region were rare, and
the St’át’imc had virtually no prior engagement with the discipline. Other than some
collecting in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries (Dawson 1891; Teit 1906),
the late 1950s and early 1960s marked the first archaeological forays in the Lillooet
area, with a few non-systematic site surveys along the Fraser River (Hills 1961; Sanger
1961). Although aware of these projects, the St’át’imc were not involved in this work.
David Sanger, then a graduate student from the University of British Columbia who
undertook some of this early work, stated that he desisted from test excavating burial
sites in the Lillooet area “since in the past Indians living in this area have objected
strongly to the unearthing of these burials” (Sanger 1961:7). However, later that decade
a number of burials were “salvaged” to mitigate ongoing human and natural disturbance
to these sites, without any apparent St’át’imc involvement (Sanger 1968b; Stryd and
Baker 1968). Following salvage of the Murray Site, both Stryd and Baker saw the
potential for archaeological research in the Lillooet area (Stryd 1978:1), and in 1969 they
turned their attention to site surveys in the region (Baker 1970; Stryd and Hills 1969).
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This initial work led to a florescence of archaeological research along the Fraser River in
the Lillooet region, eventually making it one of the most intensively surveyed and
investigated areas in the province.
By the 1960s, in response to disciplinary trends through the continent, British
Columbia archaeology had been transformed by a more rigorous adherence to scientific
methods. Along with this change came larger university departments, bigger research
budgets, and large-scale field projects. Although Sanger had conducted extensive
archaeological excavations immediately to the south of St’át’imc territory through the
1960s (Sanger 1969a, 1970), comparable research there did not begin until the end of
the decade. The first major archaeological research study in the Lillooet area was the
Lillooet Archaeological Project (1969-1976), initiated by Arnoud Stryd of the University of
Calgary and subsequently of Cariboo College (now Thompson Rivers University) in
Kamloops (Stryd 1978). It involved excavations over six field seasons at various
housepit sites in the area, coupled with inventory surveys along the Fraser River (Stryd
1978). In some years, “salvage” excavations of disturbed sites were also undertaken
(Stryd 1972); burials were also recovered on the presumption that the sites were
endangered from looting (Richards 1982).
Through exposure to these excavations, some community members became
aware of the discipline and met archaeologists for the first time, though they had no
direct involvement in the project or its objectives, except for the employment of a few
field assistants (SN4; SN7; SN15).26 Subsequent literature stemming from this project
only made a few acknowledgements to the living St’át’imc descendants associated with
the excavated sites. For example, one unpublished permit report from this project
acknowledges the “cooperation and interest” of St’át’imc communities and community
members, as well as the “encouragement” provided by specific leaders and Elders
(Rittberg 1976:1). Likewise, one of the final publications of the project acknowledges the
“co-operation and support” of St’át’imc communities, the hospitality and assistance
provided by leaders and community members, and that permission was received from
five St’át’imc band councils before starting their digging (Stryd 1978:20). Local
26
Around the same time as the Lillooet Archaeological Project, the linguist Randy Bouchard
was interviewing Elders from several St’át’imc communities for his British Columbia Indian
Language Project (Bouchard and Kennedy 1977), and introduced some community members
to archaeologists (SN2).
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community members were also hired to work on some of the housepit excavations
(Stryd 1978:10), with up to four community members working at any one time at the Bell
and Fountain sites (SN2).
The degree to which the Lillooet Archaeological Project acknowledged St’át’imc
assistance, along with the fact that permission was sought from St’át’imc communities, is
noteworthy. This recognition of First Nations certainly exceeds that of previous research
in the area, such as Sanger’s work near Lytton in the 1960s. Nonetheless, the reports
and published literature show that St’át’imc involvement was limited to consent and field
assistance, and it neither extended to participation in setting research objectives or
contributing to interpretations, nor were they direct beneficiaries of this research. Indeed,
some St’át’imc actively avoided contact with archaeologists during this period of
research in the vicinity of Lillooet, as their perception was that they were taking much
from the community but giving little in return (SN8). The impression, at least from today’s
perspective, is that the university archaeologists lacked meaningful involvement with the
community (SN19). The archaeologists digging in the area at the time were “just White
guys coming to take stuff away from us again” (SN19).
As a consequence of growing political activism, and greater involvement in land
and resource management, by the 1970s heritage stewardship issues routinely started
coming to the attention of individual St’át’imc communities. Involvement in local politics
and their role as band councillors brought archaeology to the attention of some St’át’imc
(SN16). But even for those community members with little involvement in local politics,
the activities of archaeologists were noted (SN19). Band councils quickly recognized the
potential of archaeological research projects in the Lillooet area for acquiring information
useful for negotiating title and rights issues with the province. As a result, some
community initiatives incorporated archaeological research and information.
One such encounter occurred when Xaxli’p (Fountain Indian Band) asked Arnoud
Stryd to conduct research at the Divide Site to support a land claim initiative (SN2)
(Stryd 1974). That same year, the Seton Lake Indian Band (Tsalalh) invited Cariboo
College to undertake archaeological work in their area, and Derek Wales, a student at
the college, conducted a site survey and salvage excavation that summer in the Seton
Portage and Shalath areas (Wales 1974). The Seton Lake Indian Band used a grant
from the First Citizen’s Fund to employ a number of St’át’imc high school students for
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this project (SN5). Many of these students (and their friends) first learned about
archaeology through this work, even if it did not lead to further involvement in the
discipline (SN3; SN5; SN16). Despite the support from Tsalalh council for this project,
some band members voiced concerns about the removal of artifacts and the lack of
respect shown to burials (SN5). One of the summer students on the project was
unaware at the time of the political implications of archaeological research, and only later
realized that archaeologists did not make the connection between the present-day
St’át’imc and their archaeological heritage (SN3).
Another significant change in British Columbia archaeology was the introduction
of the concept of “cultural resource management” (CRM) and conservation archaeology,
as reflected in the 1977 Heritage Conservation Act (Klassen 2008a). In response to
growing threats from development and the introduction of new regulatory mechanisms,
archaeologists began undertaking salvage excavations and archaeological assessments
in advance of development projects. In due course, First Nations grew familiar with the
utility of the archaeological assessment process for protecting sites, as well as its
usefulness for political negotiations affecting their land claims. Communities would
sometimes contact archaeologists for assistance if the archaeological recovery of human
remains was necessary after an accidental discovery (Stryd 1978:19), or if artifacts were
encountered during development projects (SN5). Archaeological assessments also
became a routine stipulation during negotiations with industry representatives over
development projects (SN5).
For example, the Bridge River Indian Band (Xwisten) involved archaeologists
during their negotiations with BC Hydro and Power Authority concerning access roads
crossing reserves (SN17). Archaeologists were also involved in addressing impacts to
heritage sites along the BC Rail line above Seton Lake (SN16). Likewise, the Xwisten
chief and council insisted that an archaeological assessment be undertaken as part of
their negotiations with the province over the realignment of Highway 40, because they
had issues with potential impacts on heritage sites (SN7; SN17) (Brolly and Calancie
1982; Stryd 1985). Xwisten leadership also recognized that recording archaeological
sites could be useful for negotiating Indigenous rights with the province (SN7). Through
these dealings, they became more involved in development activities, and started to
support archaeology at the band level (SN17).
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By the latter part of the 1980s, St’át’imc communities recognized that detrimental
impacts from BC Hydro projects were affecting the whole nation, particularly those
impacted by the proposed Kelly Lake-Cheekeye transmission line, so they started to
work together (SN17). They began by renegotiating agreements with BC Hydro, and
these discussions included demands for addressing impacts on heritage sites (SN17)
(see Bussey 1982a, 1982b). In some cases, however, they were only notified after
archaeological assessment work was completed or when human remains were
discovered. For example, around 1984 an archaeologist contacted Sekw'elw'as
(Cayoosh Creek Indian Band) after burials were disturbed during construction activities
at the BC Hydro powerhouse at the mouth of Seton River (SN13) (see Wigen and Keen
1984). This contact introduced their chief and council to the archaeological assessment
process (SN13), and highlighted its shortcomings in terms of consultation.
Indigenous activism and cultural revitalization from the 1960s to the 1980s also
introduced some St’át’imc to archaeology. One member joined a drum and dance group
in the 1970s, thus learning about traditions and culture, and among his first jobs was
transcribing Elder’s stories (SN16). From this experience, he started to understand the
connection between St’át’imc traditions and archaeology. For another individual, his
knowledge about pictographs and other heritage sites came from listening to stories
during the Stein valley protest (SN13). Another person became interested in his people’s
history as he became acutely aware of people digging things up and selling them, and
exploiting art and artifacts (SN17). After becoming involved in politics in the 1970s, he
met some of the archaeologists working in the area. Eventually, through the Union of BC
Indian Chiefs, he began to insert these issues into negotiations at the provincial level
(SN17). In this manner, the St’át’imc began their dialogue with the discipline, and started
exerting influence on heritage policy (SN17).
Archaeology was no longer an unfamiliar concept among Northern St’át’imc
communities by the end of the 1980s, and extensive archaeological research and
assessments that had taken place over the previous 15 years. However, another major
university research project that introduced many St’át’imc to archaeology was the largescale field investigation at the Keatley Creek housepit village, initiated in 1985 by Brian
Hayden of Simon Fraser University and carried out over the next fifteen years with the
collaboration of numerous colleagues and graduate students (Hayden 1992, 1997,
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2000a, 2000b).27 When he approached the chief and council of the Pavilion Indian Band
(Ts'kwaly'ax) for permission to excavate at the site, most had no prior contact with
archaeologists (SN10). Subsequently, however, some Ts'kwaly'ax members developed
a strong interest in the project and visited the excavations regularly (SN10; SN20).
Visitors from other St’át’imc communities also met archaeologists for the first time at the
Keatley Creek project (SN8), and some volunteered with the project out of curiosity,
though they had no formal input into the research (SN2).
Although many St’át’imc always knew about Keatley Creek and other nearby
housepit villages, the excavation raised the profile of archaeology and contributed to
local awareness of this site (SN16). Nonetheless, St’át’imc consultants had varying
opinions about the Keatley Creek research and expressed concern with the project. For
example, Ts'kwaly'ax council supported the excavations, but were concerned about
storage of the excavated artifacts outside their territory (SN10). Council members were
briefed on the excavation plans at the beginning of each season, but otherwise the
project proceeded without any additional guidelines, direction or input from the
community (SN10). Some Ts'kwaly'ax members were paid to work on the excavations if
they showed interest, but they did not participant as students and did not receive any
academic credit (SN10). Another St’át’imc consultant familiar with the project was
unaware of any St’át’imc working at the Keatley excavations (SN20). One St’át’imc
consultant recalled that not all communities with an interest in Keatley Creek were
consulted nor were they asked for permission (SN8). They, too, voiced concerns about
where the artifacts were being taken and how they could get them back (SN8). Another
St’át’imc consultant was concerned about the lack of communication between the
researchers and the community, as they never heard anything about what they found or
if it was significant; this gave the impression that “they were sneaking off with things”
(SN20).
The St’át’imc had hoped that the Keatley excavations would be used to educate
their people about their own history (SN20). However, traditional knowledge did not
directly contribute to the project (SN10), and the research design did not directly or
formally incorporate it. Even though the researchers asked questions about specific
St’át’imc activities and tools, some doubt was expressed about whether the project
27
Field investigations by Hayden and his successors have continued at Keatley Creek until the
present day, albeit on a much smaller scale.
117
reports incorporated much traditional knowledge (SN10). However, one St’át’imc
consultant recalled that researchers associated with related projects conducted many
interviews (SN10).28 The concerns expressed about the Keatley Creek project indicate
that by the mid to late 1980s the St’át’imc were increasingly aware of the promise and
shortcomings of archaeological research.
Growth and Consolidation: The 1990s
The next period of St’át’imc involvement in archaeology began in the early 1990s
and accelerated following the 1993 and 1997 Delgamuukw decisions. Northern St’át’imc
communities and the LTC took an active role in resource management and traditional
use studies in order to advance their political agenda, and resource management and
heritage stewardship programs became integral to LTC operations. Growing friction
between the nation and industry culminated in the Seton Lake blockade in 1998, which
was a major turning point for involving St’át’imc in heritage stewardship. Enrolment of
St’át’imc in post-secondary education exposed more community members to various
aspects of resource management, including archaeology. Lastly, the experience of many
frontline protesters at Seton Lake was a catalyst for their involvement in subsequent
initiatives of the LTC.
Political and legal developments in the mid 1990s contributed to a substantial
increase in St’át’imc participation in heritage stewardship. Though their political
campaigning was directed primarily at addressing sovereignty over lands and resources,
heritage increasingly became a factor in these efforts. Taking the lead from court
decisions relating to Aboriginal title and rights in British Columbia, First Nations
accelerated their efforts to have lands and resources returned to their control (Persky
1998; Ross 2005). A pivotal development was the decision issued by the British
Columbia Court of Appeal in Delgamuukw v. British Columbia [1993] 5 W.W.R. 97
(B.C.C.A.), followed by the Supreme Court of Canada in Delgamuukw v. British
Columbia [1997] 3 S.C.R. 1010 (S.C.C.). These judgements bolstered the case for
indigenous title and rights, which eventually led to a number of sweeping legislative and
28
Both Diana Alexander and Robert Tyhurst conducted interviews with community members as
part of their “ethnoarchaeological” research associated with the Keatley project (see
Alexander 1987a, 1987b; Alexander 1987c, 1989). A number of anthropologists also
conducted interviews with numerous St’át’imc community members in the 1970s and 1980s,
and this information was incorporated into some of the research reports and publications
stemming from the Keatley Creek excavations (for example, see chapters in Hayden 1992).
118
policy changes affecting how the province consults with and accommodates First
Nations where a decision or activity could impact indigenous rights or title (Province of
British Columbia 2010). One effect of the province’s duty to consult on matters relating to
resource extraction was to raise the profile of “archaeological resource management”
among First Nations (Klassen et al. 2009; Klimko et al. 1998; Klimko and Wright 2000).
The Delgamuukw decisions accelerated the pace of engagement between the
province, the forest industry, and First Nations. This in turn resulted in a sudden increase
in forestry and other development referrals to Northern St’át’imc communities (SN3;
SN5; SN13; SN14). Due to their growing awareness of political and legal issues, they
were now more involved in political matters that concerned their communities (SN14),
and this led to more frequent conflicts over infringements of title and rights. In response,
the St’át’imc Nation deliberately became involved in the heritage and archaeological
management process in order to make it more reflective of their concerns and
knowledge (SN13). Some of the chiefs specifically targeted the generalized nature of
heritage laws and archaeological overview assessments, and started pushing for the
LTC to get involved “on the ground” (SN13). Some were particularly angered when
outside experts appeared and claimed to know more than the St’át’imc themselves
about their history and culture (SN13). These conflicts formed the catalyst for their
asserting greater control over the archaeological process.
While actively negotiating with the province of British Columbia on a wide range
of Indigenous title and rights issues by the mid-1990s, participation in traditional use
studies (TUS), resource inventory projects, training courses, and policy development
became standard practice for the Lillooet Tribal Council. Communities also initiated
research to support treaty and title and rights negotiations. For example, after hearing
about a TUS at a conference in Kelowna around 1998, a councillor for Xaxli’p returned to
his community and coordinated a TUS that incorporated archaeological information
(SN2). Another administrator had to quickly learn how to deal with referrals involving
consultants and archaeological assessments when they suddenly became
commonplace in the mid-1990s (SN1). For one forest technician working for the tribal
council, an artifact brought into the office in 1997 sparked his curiosity (SN6). Soon
thereafter, he began assisting staff with archaeological research. Another individual
admitted to having only a rough idea of what he was looking for when asked by the LTC
to check out a cultural depression while working in Shalath (SN9). Only later, while
119
interviewing Elders, did he learn more about cultural depressions and their significance
(SN9). In another case, a councillor for Tsalalh was unsure of how to handle the
increasing number of forestry referrals involving archaeological issues (SN5). He
volunteered with the tribal council in order to learn more about how to research and
document heritage, which quickly led to full-time employment with the tribal council.
Another individual was invited to participate in one of the first forestry related
archaeological assessments in the area (SN20). This experience initiated his interest in
archaeology, and to spending time with Elders in the field.
This decade also saw a shift in the social and economic prospects for young
St’át’imc, who were pursuing post-secondary educations in greater numbers. Increasing
student enrolment in post-secondary education–in all disciplines–created greater
capacity and increased confidence for the St’át’imc Nation to manage its own affairs. In
particular, archaeology courses and field schools offered by Simon Fraser University in
Lillooet and Kamloops exposed students to archaeology and archaeologists (SN9;
SN14; SN20; SN21). 29 One individual found that he enjoyed being part of the
archaeology field school in Kamloops so much that he participated in two more field
schools, which led to employment with archaeological consulting firms and the LTC
(SN14).
A surge in interest in heritage stewardship among community members followed
the Seton Lake blockade in late 1998, which occurred after negotiations failed to prevent
issuance of a cutting permit (CP 146) above Seton Lake, in an area where the Tsalalh
and the LTC had banned logging. This dispute united the Northern St’át’imc
communities, and staff members at the tribal council actively supported the blockade
(SN3; SN4; SN5; SN6). One member walked through the disputed area and saw
housepits and CMTs for the first time (SN6). A number of Tsalalh community members
also were involved in the heritage inventory efforts undertaken to support their positions
in this dispute (SN5; SN18). From this experience, several went on to become actively
involved in heritage stewardship (SN18). Others started taking notice of archaeology,
recognizing its utility for controlling development (SN19). By 1998, the St’át’imc Nation
was also actively negotiating with BC Hydro for compensation (Klassen 1999), and one
29
This field school program was explicitly designed to involve Indigenous students in
archaeological training and research (see Nicholas 2006:364).
120
aspect of this involved working directly with archaeologists to assess impacts to
archaeological and heritage resources (SN18; SN20).
In the years following the Seton Lake blockade, the Lillooet Tribal Council
sponsored a series of two-week long archaeology training courses (one in each of 1999,
2000, and 2001). The LTC actively recruited community members with an interest in
heritage or a background in related fields to enrol in the courses, and several veterans of
the Seton Lake blockade participated (Barney and Klassen 2008). This introduction to
archaeological field methods stimulated their advocacy and involvement (SN9; SN11;
SN12; SN19), and many participants went on to work in heritage stewardship with the
Lillooet Tribal Council and other agencies in subsequent years (SN4; SN5; SN6; SN8;
SN9; SN11; SN12; SN15; SN19). As the new millennium arrived, the LTC and St’át’imc
Nation were poised to activate their authority in heritage stewardship.
The Stl’atl’imx Heritage and Resource Inventory Project
St’át’imc control over archaeology in the new millennium began when the Lillooet
Tribal Council (LTC) created a Natural Resources Program in 1994 (SN3). In order to
deal with the surge of requests for consultation following the first Delgamuukw decision,
LTC leadership initiated efforts to collect knowledge and information on natural and
heritage resources in Northern St’át’imc territory (Casper 1996). They hired Larry Casper
of Tsalalh as a Natural Resources Development Coordinator, who was immediately
confronted by a large number of referrals from forest licensees and the Ministry of
Forests, and as a consequence he and other LTC staff developed a strategic plan for a
heritage and resource inventory program (Lillooet Tribal Council 1994). Their long-term
vision was a self-sustaining and integrated natural resource, heritage, and cultural
management program, eventually staffed with St’át’imc archaeologists and other
professionals. Among the aims of the program was the ambitious goal of completing field
research and documentation of all archaeological sites and areas in Northern St’át’imc
territory within two years (Lillooet Tribal Council 1994). This program was also intended
to create greater pride in St’át’imc heritage and identity, and greater awareness about
their culture and values.
At the same time, a Xwisten Elder named Albert Joseph became an advocate for
protecting hunting trails and archaeological sites from logging operations (SN7; SN8;
SN10) (Figure 6). While researching his family history in Victoria, Mr. Joseph became
121
aware of the Heritage Conservation Act, and he thought that it could perhaps be used to
stop some of the damage occurring to these sites (SN8). Mr. Joseph went to the LTC
and the local logging company, and told them that an archaeological impact assessment
was needed before logging could proceed (SN8). In particular, he wanted the nation to
start documenting archaeological sites in its inventory of significant resources (SN4),
which contributed to the development of a heritage team at the LTC.
Figure 6.
Albert Joseph in the field, 1999.
The SHRI Project, 1994-1997
With funding from various sources, the LTC assembled a research team to start
the St’át’imc Heritage and Resource Inventory (SHRI) project (SN3; SN4; SN5). 30 Mr.
Joseph led the team, which included Marie Barney, a heritage advocate from T’it’q’et,
and Randy James, a councillor for Tsalalh (Seton Lake Indian Band). The latter’s lands
and resources portfolio at Tsalalh made him responsible for the growing referrals from
30
The summary report for the 1994-1995 Natural resources Program lists six different funding
sources (Casper 1995), an indication not only of the budgetary challenges faced by First
Nations hoping to address heritage and resource stewardship issues, but also of the
creativity of the LTC in meeting this financial challenge.
122
forestry licensees, but he was without the experience to deal with them. He volunteered
to work with them so he could gain research and site documentation skills, and develop
greater knowledge of the land but he was soon hired for the SHRI project. 31
Initially, the team met with archaeological consultants, logging companies, the
Ministry of Forests (MoF), and the Archaeology Branch to discuss their mandate and the
issues that concerned them (Casper 1995). The three-person SHRI field research team
began interviews, archival research, and community presentations, and also began
checking for heritage features within and adjacent to proposed forestry cutblocks
(Casper 1995). Sometimes the team started surveying in proposed logging areas just
days before harvesting began, sometimes only steps ahead of the bulldozers (SN3;
SN8). They identified and documented heritage sites, and began advising the Ministry of
Forests and forestry licensees about their heritage concerns (Barney and Klassen 2008).
During the first year, the LTC team documented a dozen heritage sites (Casper 1995),
and communities were notified of this information (SN7). 32 Archaeological site records
were obtained from the provincial Archaeology Branch and distributed to the
communities, in order to build awareness of heritage sites and issues (SN3). The
program also negotiated management strategies with the MoF, and made
recommendations on preferred archaeological consultants (Casper 1996).
In 1994 a protocol agreement between the MoF and the Archaeology Branch
(Klassen et al. 2009; Klimko et al. 1998) led archaeologists to conduct the first
archaeological impact assessment (AIA) in forestry cutblocks within St’át’imc territory
(see Alexander 1994; Spafford et al. 1994).33 Although the SHRI team was not directly
involved in these first AIAs, they quickly became aware of the basic requirements of the
provincial archaeological assessment process and realized that they needed to have
31
Val Adrian, Tony Jacob, and Howard Shields were also initially part of the team, but left after
a short time.
32
In 1994 the SHRI research team was funded from July 11 through to the end of the year.
33
The first forestry archaeological assessment in Northern St’át’imc territory occurred in the
Pavilion Creek watershed in 1994 (Spafford et al. 1994). The Ts'kwaly'ax community directly
participated in this project, but the LTC and the SHRI team were not involved. For the
Pavilion Creek assessment, the archaeological consulting firm hired community members to
participate in the fieldwork, and Ts'kwaly'ax also demanded that a “heritage and sustenance
inventory” be conducted in conjunction with the archaeological assessment (Alexander 1994).
This latter report included a summary of the concerns of the Ts'kwaly'ax community in terms
of impacts to archaeological sites from proposed logging activities. However, a community
member that participated in the fieldwork was highly critical of the methods used, leading the
Ts'kwaly'ax community to dispute the results of the 1994 AIA (SN20).
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archaeologists directly involved in the SHRI project (SN8). They also contracted a local
environmental consultant to provide them with some training in location and site
mapping (SN3; SN4; SN5). Larry Casper, the LTC Natural Resources Coordinator, also
attended the 1994 BC Archaeology Forum in Kamloops, where he “gave notice” to
archaeologists that they were needed to contact the LTC if they were working in
Northern St’át’imc territory. The St’át’imc encountered stiff resistance to this notion from
some archaeologists, who considered it to be “their resource” (SN2). Nonetheless, the
meetings, publicity, and word of mouth had an effect, and Lillooet area residents began
calling the research team to inform them of heritage sites and to turn in artifacts (Casper
1995).
By the next season, the LTC asked forestry licensees and the MoF to hire only
those archaeologists who were willing to cooperate with the St’át’imc and who were
more sensitive to their connection to the land (SN4). More important, the LTC asked
archaeological consultants to work directly with the SHRI research team on impact
assessments (SN3; SN4; SN8), 34 including forestry cutblocks at Leon’s and Slok Creeks
(Klassen and Spafford 1996) and Paradise Creek (Eldridge 1996) (Figure 7). These
were among the first opportunities for promoting St’át’imc perspectives to consulting
archaeologists and voicing concerns about archaeological issues (SN4).
In one meeting concerning a proposed AIA in the Pavilion Creek watershed,
leadership of the Ts'kw'aylaxw community indicated that permission for archaeological
work would not be forthcoming until issues of indigenous title and rights were addressed.
Elders also complained that because the fieldwork was only concerned with physical
evidence, many areas of significance were excluded (Klassen and Spafford 1996:79).
They pointed out that physical evidence would be absent from most spiritual places. As
such, they said it seemed pointless for us to ask the Elders for input, as their knowledge
of these areas would not be taken into account anyway. They also pointed out that many
spiritual areas are not used for hunting or gathering plants, and should be avoided, and
they expressed concern about the potential disturbance of burials. Due to these
concerns, it was apparent that the archaeological assessment was not entirely
acceptable to the Elders. The SHRI team also expressed their concern with the report
review process, pointing out that it was difficult for the team members to comment on the
34
The 1995 SHRI research team was funded from June 1 through July 1996.
124
content of the report because they had not been asked to take notes, nor was their input
requested at the end of each field day (Klassen and Spafford 1996:80). At the same
time, this collaboration allowed the SHRI team and the LTC to learn how the
archaeological assessment process worked and what it could accomplish (SN8). As their
familiarity grew, the LTC insisted on more input into research, and started expanding the
types of features and sites included in AIAs (SN5). To support SHRI and other LTC
resource programs, the LTC also initiated a GIS mapping program (SN5), which was
used to organize and map site information.
Figure 7.
Marie Barney of the SHRI team testing a housepit, Leon’s Creek, 1995.
The SHRI research team also began working directly with provincial ministries on
heritage issues in addition to those associated with forestry (Casper 1996). For example,
they followed up on mining referrals from the Ministry of Energy, Mines and Petroleum
Resources, and advised the Ministry of Highways on potential impacts to heritage and
burial sites impacted by road developments. When the town of Lillooet began excavating
Main Street in 1995 residents noticed bones and artifacts were being uncovered, the
SHRI team alerted the LTC, the town, and the Ministry of Transportation, and they
subsequently coordinated the involvement of an archaeological consultant (Zacharias
125
1997). In the end, several St’át’imc community members monitored the sewer
replacement alongside an archaeologist (SN4; SN8), while Elders and a SHRI
researcher also participated in the project (Zacharias 1997). In addition, this project
involved paying consultation fees to the Elders, and included LTC control over the
disposition of project artifacts (Casper 1996). Soon after, the LTC held its first heritage
contract with a forest industry client at the request of Ts’kwaly’ax community (SN3). In
this project, the SHRI team conducted heritage research and a field reconnaissance in
the Shil forest fire area prior to tree spacing and planting (SN3). With this field
experience, the SHRI team enhanced their ability to conduct field research through
various training programs (Casper 1997). The LTC arranged for the delivery of an
“Introduction to Archaeology” course in Lillooet, offered through the University College of
the Cariboo, as well as a 15-day archaeological field training program attended by 17
community members (Casper 1997). Through these projects and initiatives, the LTC
continued to build experience and capacity in heritage stewardship (Casper 1997). 35
Through the activities of SHRI, the Northern St’át’imc leadership became better
informed of CRM practice in their territory, which gave them cause for concern. In
particular, the chiefs objected to the Ministry of Forests practice of rotating
archaeological contracts through various consultants (SN3). They also “blacklisted”
archaeologists that would not cooperate with the LTC, and informed proponents,
provincial ministries, and the consultants that the St’át’imc would not accept them
working in their territory (SN3). The LTC also confronted archaeologists about projects
that had taken place in the past without sufficient St’át’imc involvement, and demanded
that they account for any artifacts that had been collected (SN3). Eventually, this
emphatic position led to joint agreements with industry and government in terms of
which archaeologists worked in the area (SN3).
The SHRI research project operated at the LTC from 1994 until early 1997, when
funding for the initiative ran out (SN4). From the St’át’imc perspective, it was a
resounding success. It had tangible effects on the protection of heritage sites, and
35
The SHRI research team continued to operate with three researchers, including a GIS
technician, through much of 1995, and was funded from January through July 1996, and from
November 1996 until the end of March 1997. Activities of the team and the Natural
Resources Coordinator during this period included ongoing archival and field research,
collaborating with archaeological consulting firms on impact assessments, providing heritage
information and assistance to LTC communities, and liaising with government and industry.
126
introduced the St’át’imc and local residents to the concept of community-based heritage
research and archaeology. It also influenced and supported other St’át’imc Nation
initiatives, such as BC Hydro negotiations. The SHRI project laid the foundation for the
next phase of Northern St’át’imc heritage stewardship.
Heritage and the Stl’at’imx Nation Hydro Committee
The St’át’imc Nation began a new round of negotiations with BC Hydro and
Power Authority in the late 1980s, primarily as a result of the proposed Kelly
Lake/Cheekeye transmission line, which would have traversed a number of reserves
(SN16). In particular, they were concerned with the limited scope of the ensuing
archaeological impact assessment (see Bussey 1982b; 1990), which was constrained by
the narrow definition of an archaeological site (SN16). However, the St’át’imc identified
many direct and indirect impacts to other cultural values from the proposed project that
extended beyond the transmission line itself (SN16). Thereafter, and the communities
started to work collectively as a nation to defeat the proposal (SN16). To strengthen
negotiations with BC Hydro, all of the Northern and Southern St’át’imc communities
jointly established the Stl’at’imx Nation Hydro Committee (SN16).
The outstanding grievances of St’át’imc communities led the Stl’at’imx Nation
Hydro Committee (SNHC) and BC Hydro to sign a protocol agreement in 1996. Among
the grievances listed were impacts to archaeological sites (SN16), and the LTC now had
the capacity to effectively respond to this issue (Casper 1997). In 1998, the two parties
jointly initiated an overview assessment to document impacts to heritage and
archaeological sites originating from BC Hydro facilities and operations (SN16). As part
of the contract, conducted in collaboration with an archaeological consulting firm (see
Klassen 1999), the SNHC required that all information and source materials be subject
to an information-sharing agreement, that communities retain copyright over these
materials, and all materials be returned to the SNHC for archiving. The ensuing heritage
assessment included community consultations, extensive field reconnaissance,
mapping, and reporting, all coordinated by the LTC and SNHC. The St’át’imc
participants in the study pointed out significant differences between archaeological and
traditional perspectives on heritage places (Klassen 1999). For example, rather than
categorizing heritage places on the basis of what is found there (e.g., artifacts or
housepits), the St’át’imc participants described these places on the basis of what people
127
did at specific places or in terms of how they were associated with stories. The
significance of places was viewed not in terms of what physical remains were evident,
but in terms of their relationship to oral history and traditions, traditional activities, and
environmental context. From their perspective, all heritage places within their territory
have significance for the St’át’imc, and although the reasons behind that significance
may differ, it cannot be determined or ranked using “scientific methods” alone.
The outcome of this project was considered a positive collaboration (SN18), and
was the basis for negotiations with BC Hydro concerning heritage impacts that would
take place over the following decade. It eventually led to a comprehensive inventory of
impacts to archaeological sites (Klassen 2005), and the inclusion of a culture and
heritage plan in the final agreement ratified in 2011 (St'át'imc Chiefs Council 2011b).
The experience acquired through the SHRI and SNHC projects had a strong
influence on the ensuing actions, conflicts, and developments in St’át’imc heritage
stewardship. The LTC recognized that they needed to assert control over who did
archaeological work in their territory and how it was done (SN3). Moreover, they realized
that resource operations and heritage were closely linked, and that they needed a longterm land and resource strategic plan (SN3). The heritage stewardship projects they
initiated laid the foundation for an expanded role for the LTC and Northern St’át’imc
communities at the end of the decade and into the new millennium. By then they had
gained more influence over industry and provincial ministries, and St’át’imc capacity and
authority over heritage stewardship expanded. Nonetheless, there is nearly unanimous
agreement that the single-most important catalyst for increasing Northern St’át’imc
control over archaeology was the 1998 road blockade at Cutting Permit (CP) 146 above
Seton Lake (SN1; SN2; SN3; SN4; SN5; SN6; SN9; SN10; SN13; SN15; SN18; SN19;
SN20; SN21).
“Delgamuukw Inn”: The CP 146 Blockade
The steep slopes above the south shore of Seton Lake, located some 13 km
west of Lillooet and near the community of Shalath, are known as Nzawt/Msut (Figure
5). The locale has high cultural significance for the Tsalalh community (Seton Lake
Indian Band), and they had always opposed logging at Nzawt/Msut (SN9; SN16; SN19).
In addition to important hunting areas, trails, and heritage concerns, other issues
included slope instability, the potential for future road access into other unlogged valleys,
128
and the viewscape from Shalath (SN3; SN9; SN16; SN18; SN19). As such, the
community became alarmed when a major forest licensee, Ainsworth Lumber Company
Ltd., in 1997 proposed harvesting three forestry cutblocks there (CP 146) (SN3).
Emboldened by the recent Delgamuukw decision in the Supreme Court of Canada, the
St’át’imc challenged the issuance of the cutting permit on the basis that there had been
inadequate consultation (SN3; SN9; SN16; SN19). A subsequent dispute over the
results of an archaeological assessment conducted on behalf of the forest company set
into motion a sequence of events that ultimately redefined the relationship of the
Northern St’át’imc to the forest industry and consulting archaeology (SN3; SN13; SN19).
Following provincial guidelines, the forest licensee had hired an archaeological
consulting firm in 1997 to conduct an archaeological overview assessment (AOA) for
three cutting permits in the Seton Lake area, including CP 146. The purpose of an AOA
is to assess the potential for finding archaeological sites in each cutblock, and to make
recommendations on the need for further assessments. Subsequently, an archaeological
impact assessment (AIA) was conducted in one of the three cutting permits (CP 148), as
its archaeological potential was ranked high in the AOA, and the SHRI team had also
reported possible cultural depressions in 1996 (Weinberger 1997). However, neither CP
144 or CP 146 were inspected: “Due to First Nation community concerns regarding
forestry activities in areas towards the [western] end of Seton Lake, assessments were
conducted on CP 148, Blocks 2, 3 and 5 only” (Weinberger 1997:3-4).
Despite the concerns expressed by the Tsalalh community, harvesting plans
proceeded for CP 146, and a different archaeological consulting firm produced another
AOA covering all of the forest licensee’s proposed cutting permits located in the Lillooet
Forest District, including CP 146. Of the 379 cutblocks assessed in this AOA, a
“preliminary field reconnaissance” was recommended for 25 of them, and “no further
work” was recommended for the remaining 354 cutblocks (Ball and Kowal 1998).36 Since
36
According to the AOA report (Ball and Kowal 1998), the proposed cutblocks were assessed
for their potential for containing archaeological sites from the presence or absence of various
biophysical criteria associated with archaeological sites, with each criterion given a weighted
score. On the basis of the overall score, one of three options was recommended for each
cutblock: (1) no further work, (2) preliminary field reconnaissance, and (3) archaeological
impact assessment. In the summer of 1998, the archaeological firm that produced the AOA
conducted a PFR of the 25 blocks, and several areas of potential and possible features were
identified. However, no archaeological sites were identified in a follow-up AIA conducted in
September (Ball et al. 1998).
129
an AIA was not recommended for any cutblock assessed in the overview, the forest
licensee began road building and logging activities in a number of the cutting permits.
The AOA results were immediately challenged by the LTC, which felt it was
overly generalized, and tended to assess everything as “low potential” (SN3; SN13). In
particular, the LTC was concerned that the AOA was largely based on a helicopter
flyover, which they felt was inadequate for determining potential or finding sites (SN1;
SN3; SN4; SN5; SN8). 37 Exacerbating matters, neither the forest licensee nor the
consulting archaeologists had involved the Northern St’át’imc communities in their
assessment (SN3; SN4). The AOA was perceived as a “paper exercise” (SN4), relying
on existing documentation only and without consultation or new research, thereby
overlooking many important sites known to the communities (SN13). The LTC met with
representatives of the forest licensee and the archaeological consulting firm to discuss
these concerns, but no resolution emerged (SN3). Encouraged by the Delgamuukw
decision in the Supreme Court of Canada in December 1997, which required the
province to engage in meaningful consultation with First Nations where the practice of
their rights may be infringed, Chief Garry John of Tsalalh and the LTC initiated
discussions in May with Ainsworth and the Ministry of Forests over the proposed logging
plans in CP 146 (Leach 1998). The Tsalalh community insisted that logging would not be
allowed at Nzawt/Msut, but the forest licensee was equally adamant that the timber from
CP 146 was critical for the continued operation of their veneer plant in Lillooet (Roshard
1998).
Around this time, several ex-SHRI team members and an archaeologist surveyed
a nearby woodlot where they identified and documented culturally modified trees
(CMTs). Such evidence argued for similar heritage concerns in the CP 146 area (SN5),
and mobilized the Tsalalh community to counter the AOA results with other evidence
(SN9). Some members knew of significant archaeological and heritage sites located in
the CP 146 area (SN5; SN18), and others were concerned about the impacts from
logging (SN8). In the summer of 1998, a group of women from Tsalalh independently
began searching for heritage sites in the Nzawt/Msut area above Seton Lake (SN18).
For 24 days in a row, they crossed the lake in a boat so they could find the old trails and
search for heritage sites (SN18). As time went on, more and more women and men from
37
The report indicates that no fieldwork was undertaken for this AOA, and there is no mention
of a helicopter flyover.
130
Tsalalh became involved. Using video cameras, they systematically documented
numerous sites, including housepits and cache pits (SN5; SN9; SN18). A chorus of
community voices protesting the logging plans compelled their leadership to take further
action (SN18). 38
Despite ongoing negotiations, and periodic community meetings and forestry
forums (SN3), tensions between the St’át’imc and local residents escalated. The
strained relations with the non-St’át’imc community was in part due to lingering
resentment from the 1990 road and rail blockades (during the Oka crisis) (SN16), and
the misconception that the St’át’imc contributed nothing to the local economy (SN19). In
early August, LTC Tribal Chair Mike Leach tried to counter accusations that the St’át’imc
communities were trying to stop forestry operations, and made a public appeal stating “It
is through negotiations, not by direct action, which allow matters to resolve themselves.
We hope to avoid direct action by continuing to urge all parties to participate in the
‘Community Team Committee’ process presently in place” (Leach 1998). His plea
notwithstanding, by mid-October the process had broken down, causing the Minister of
Forests, David Zirnhelt, to personally intervene to diffuse a potential conflict (Roshard
1998). Despite his intervention and promise of a mediator, the forest licensee withdrew
from community consultation, because in their view the “subject of C.P. 146 has been
thoroughly discussed” (Roshard 1998).
In early November, several Tsalalh community members made an impassioned
plea for support from First Nations and archaeologists at the annual BC Archaeology
Forum, hosted that year by Lil’wat First Nation in Mount Currie (see Bale 1998). There,
representatives of the LTC complained about the poor work of consulting archaeologists,
and announced that in the future all consulting archaeologists were to work directly with
the LTC (SN3). Like their experience four years earlier in Kamloops, the St’át’imc faced
strong opposition to their position from some archaeologists (SN3). The Tsalalh
38
Around the same time that the Tsalalh community was surveying the CP 146 area, the
archaeological consulting firm responsible for the AOA conducted their own “preliminary field
reconnaissance” (PFR) of CP 146 – even though their AOA did not recommend it. This PFR
was undertaken without the participation of, or consultation with, the Tsalah community or the
LTC, and no archaeological evidence was observed or identified (Ball et al. 1998:3). An AIA
of block 12 was subsequently conducted after cultural depressions were reported in the
block. The exact date of this AIA is unclear: the report states the cultural depressions were
reported in October 1998, but the report indicates all fieldwork was conducted in September
(Ball et al. 1998). Conflicting reports put the date of the PFR as November 24, and the date of
the AIA as December 3 (Barney 1999; Witt 1999).
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community also announced at the Forum that they wanted further development in CP
146 to be suspended until another archaeological assessment could be conducted (Bale
1998). However, archaeology was only seen as a tool to further their efforts, and there
was never any intention at the grassroots level to allow the logging to take place (SN5).
Discussions over the fate of CP 146 were at a “deadlock” by the beginning of
November (Lillooet News 1998c). At a meeting on November 7 with Harry Lali, the local
Member of the Legislative Assembly (MLA), a spokesman for “concerned loggers,
roadbuilders, and citizens” claimed all of the appropriate provincial permits and
approvals, including archaeological assessments, were in accordance with the “laws of
the land as legislated by the provincial government” (quoted in Lillooet News 1998c):
“After numerous meetings since May, 1998 we feel our hands are tied … as it appears
that the main thrust is land title and land claims. This responsibility rests solely on the
provincial and federal governments.” Although Lali professed support for the loggers, “he
also made it clear that the legal situation has changed as a result of the Supreme
Court’s Delgamuukw decision, which says First Nations must now be consulted on land
use issues” (Lillooet News 1998c). Nonetheless, the MLA warned the St’át’imc that if a
resolution could not be reached soon, the province would impose one. If anything, this
threat had the opposite effect on the Tsalalh community. Construction of the CP 146
access road and spur roads was well underway by now, forcing the Tsalalh community
leadership to take a more defiant stand (Roshard 1998).
After months of failed negotiations, direct action was considered the only option
left. At first light on November 9, 2009 a group of St’át’imc–eight men and one woman–
blocked the access road to the cutting permit on the north side of Seton Ridge, where
they set up a “checkpoint” (Lillooet News 1998c). The blockade was a grassroots
movement that developed independently of the LTC and leadership (SN5). The forestry
company immediately threatened to seek a court injunction against the blockade
(Lillooet News 1998c). A day later, in a move evidently intended to put pressure on the
St’át’imc, the province issued the cutting permit for CP 146 to the forestry company
(Lillooet News 1998e). Three days into the blockade, a hastily organized community
team meeting led to an interim agreement (Lillooet News 1998e). The parties involved
agreed to call in a mediator, while the forestry company agreed to halt mainline road
construction for seven days (although work on spur roads would continue). In turn,
Tsalalh community members were asked to leave the blockade checkpoint for seven
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days. The LTC and logging contractors would provide joint security at the site, and a
joint archaeological assessment would be carried out on the spur roads. The next day,
however, the forestry company disregarded a request from the Tsalalh community to
suspend all operations in the area for one week, including work on the spur roads.
Subsequently, Tsalalh representatives refused to meet with archaeologists retained by
the forestry company for the fieldwork scheduled for November 16 (Lillooet News
1998e). Moreover, the people at the blockade never agreed to leave, despite pressure
from the negotiators (SN5).
An uneasy standoff ensued as contractors continued working on the spur roads,
while the Tsalalh maintained their blockade checkpoint on the main CP 146 road to
Nzawt/Msut, which they called the “Delgamuukw Inn” (Lillooet News 1998a). Meanwhile,
“information booths” went up on highways in several St’át’imc reserves in support of the
Tsalalh (Lillooet News 1998d). Although a mediator was named by mid-November, little
progress was made (Lillooet News 1998d). On November 30, the seven LTC chiefs
issued a press release criticizing the province for failing to honour the Delgamuukw
decision, thereby allowing continued resource extraction to occur without meaningful
consultation (Lillooet News 1998a). According to their statement, “government to
government consultation with St’at’imc people must take place before any infringement
can occur. Where title and rights have been infringed upon, compensation must be paid”
(quoted in Lillooet News 1998a). The chiefs also indicated they would go to court to
force the province into meaningful consultation.
By now the Tsalalh community was desperate to stop the construction work on
the access and spur roads. When a report surfaced that graves were present along the
road alignment in Block 12 of CP 146, Marie Barney of the LTC and several members of
the Tsalalh community met with forestry company representatives on November 30 to
inspect the reported location (Barney 1999). Although graves were not observed, the
St’át’imc representatives observed a number of “trail marker trees,” as well as two
suspected cultural depressions or cache pits. At the time, the only way that the LTC
could see that the work on the road could be stopped or slowed down was by flagging
the potential cache pits and alerting the Ministry of Forests (Barney 1999). This action
quickly led to a series of significant events that worked in the St’át’imc Nation’s favour.
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A break in the deadlock came when the long-time District Manager for the
Lillooet Forest District was transferred to Kamloops on December 1, 1998, and the new
acting District Manager, Rod Deboise, and the mediator initiated intensive discussions
with all parties (Lillooet News 1998b). During one of these meetings, the Tsalalh
reviewed the results of their summer fieldwork at Nzawt/Msut with the acting District
Manager “in camera” (SN9), and the possible cache pits in Block 12 were also reported.
The results were never shared with the forestry company due to its sensitive nature
(SN18), but on the basis of this evidence on December 2 the acting District Manager
requested the forestry company to voluntarily suspend operations in CP 146 (Lillooet
News 1998b). The archaeology consulting firm retained by the forestry company
inspected and tested the potential cultural depressions in Block 12 on December 3 and
dismissed them as natural features (Ball et al. 1998; Witt 1999). On December 4, Tsalalh
and LTC representatives returned to Block 12 to record the trail marker trees,
accompanied by the acting District Manager, an archaeologist selected by the LTC, and
Chief Garry John. They also inspected the reported cache pits, and the acting District
Manager and the archaeologist were reportedly “astounded” to see how crudely the
archaeologists had excavated the depressions (Barney 1999). They also observed a
CMT, and when questioned by the District Manager the forest company archaeologist
could not prove that it was younger than AD 1846 (SN16).
On the basis of the acting District Manager’s inspection (SN16), and in
vindication of the St’át’imc efforts, the Ministry of Forests issued a “stop work order” for
operations in CP 146 and its associated roads on December 6, 1998 (Lillooet News
1998b). The order was issued under Section 51 of the Forest Practices Code of B.C.
Act, which allowed for the protection of previously unidentified resource features,
including cultural and heritage resources. It stipulated that an archaeological impact
assessment meeting the standards of the Archaeology Branch must be conducted on
CP 146, and that a CMT survey must be conducted for the area (Lillooet News 1998b).
According to the acting District Manager, the archaeological assessments of CP 146
conducted up to this point did not meet the standards of the province, and there was a
“high likelihood” that cultural and heritage resources would be found based on the
information presented to him by St’át’imc leadership (Lillooet News 1998b). Indeed, the
Tsalalh fieldwork from the previous summer was the primary evidence that provoked the
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stop work order and the call to conduct a full archaeological impact assessment (Barney
and Klassen 2008).
Due to the onset of winter, the archaeological assessment of CP 146 was put off
until early May of 1999, when an archaeological consulting firm acceptable to the Tsalalh
and LTC reassessed the reported cache pits in Block 12 of CP 146. Although testing
concluded that the depressions had a probable natural origin, the work was done with
the support and participation of the Tsalalh community and the LTC (Witt 1999).
However, a complete archaeological assessment or CMT survey of CP 146 was never
undertaken, and logging never proceeded in the cutting permit (Lillooet News 2001). By
this point the St’át’imc communities were no longer willing to accept an AIA of CP 146,
because in their opinion it would simply be used to authorize logging (SN5). Moreover,
the community did not want archaeologists working there due to its cultural sensitivity,
and the community felt that their own assessment was sufficient and valid (Barney and
Klassen 2008).
In the end, the parties did not reach a mediated resolution over CP 146. Instead,
the LTC and the forestry company began a new process called the “Hala’w Initiative,”
intended to develop a better and co-operative working relationship with the St’át’imc
(Lillooet News 2001). Eighteen months later, the vice-president of the forestry company
was able to say that he was “learning a lot about First Nations’ values, traditions and
beliefs. Now we’re a bit more comfortable because we’ll be working on the ground and
dealing with forestry issues” (quoted in Lillooet News 2001). For his part, LTC Tribal
Chief Mike Leach said “It’s all about building trust. Hala’w is really an initiative that brings
people together to talk about and resolve issues that affect them on a personal level as
well as an economic one” (quoted in Lillooet News 2001). Despite the apparent goodwill,
the contentious issue of CP 146 was never resolved. However, the prospects for logging
at Nwazt/Msut were eventually settled when two successive forest fires swept across the
mountainside and burned off the timber (SN5; SN19).
The CP 146 conflict was a significant turning point for the St’át’imc, and
memories of this momentous event are still vivid among the St’át’imc participants in this
study. Ultimately, the blockade was the event that compelled the forestry company and
the MoF to negotiate with the St’át’imc and acknowledge their heritage (SN9). Direct
action at CP 146, and its fallout, put the major forest licensee and the Ministry of Forests
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“on notice” that logging companies could no longer “get away with the status quo”
(SN13; SN19). After this dispute, the licensee wanted to develop a better relationship
because they realized that “the St’át’imc would always be here” (SN20). Moreover, the
conflict created substantial awareness of heritage issues amongst the St’át’imc and the
broader community (SN13), and they grew much more familiar with both forestry
operations and archaeological procedures (SN9). This encounter led directly to the six
Northern St’át’imc communities associated with the LTC taking greater control of the
heritage agenda (Barney and Klassen 2008).
Showdown at Junction Creek
As the confrontation over CP 146 was unfolding, alarms were also sounding over
road building activities and logging plans in CP 158 (SN5; SN8; SN15; SN19), located
some 35 km to the northwest at Junction Creek in the Yalakom River watershed (Figure
5). In the 1998 AOA, “no further work” was recommended for this cutting permit. When
an access road was built along Junction Creek, it obliterated a trail that was attributed by
the Ministry of Forests to recent mining activities. However, the St’át’imc considered it to
be a traditional indigenous trail (SN5), so a number of concerned community members,
including veterans of SHRI and the CP 146 campaign, conducted an informal survey of
the road in the fall of 1998 and found artifacts and a spear point on the surface (SN5;
SN15). Their findings elicited a demand for a full archaeological survey of the cutting
permit (SN5; SN8). Meanwhile, similar concerns were being expressed by the
Ts'kwaly'ax community for CP 179 (SN20), located in the Pavilion Creek valley on the
east side of the Fraser River (Figure 5). These growing protests and demands finally
compelled the logging company and the MoF to take a second look at heritage concerns
in these cutting permits (SN15). Ultimately, they agreed to directly involve the LTC in
future archaeological assessments (SN5; SN19; SN20).
Following the momentous events in CP 146 the previous fall, the logging
company adopted a new policy of working cooperatively with the LTC on heritage
concerns (SN3). The forest licensee and the LTC agreed to have full archaeological
impact assessments conducted jointly in four disputed cutting permits (CP 100 at Slok
and McKay Creeks, CP 158 at Junction Creek, and CPs 179 and 185 at Pavilion
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Creek).39 In late June 1999, an archaeology firm agreeable to all parties worked with
St’át’imc community members to conduct archaeological impact assessments in the
three disputed cutting permits (SN8). During the subsequent AIA survey, 49
archaeological sites were identified in the three cutting permits (Woods and Zibauer
2000; Zibauer and Woods 2000). 40 An additional 24 archaeological sites (all but one
regulated under the HCA) were identified in and adjacent to CP 185. The compelling and
convincing results of these AIAs were another vindication of the LTC claims, and
supported their argument that St’át’imc involvement in archaeological assessments was
warranted (Barney and Klassen 2008).
The CP 146 and CP 158 incidents were the major factors that convinced the
forest industry to take St’át’imc heritage concerns seriously (SN3; SN4; SN6). Together,
these conflicts amplified concerns about the provincial archaeology process, and
showed that industry-supported overview assessments were inadequate (SN1). They
also validated scepticism of the MoF’s implementation of the statutory decision-making
process (SN3). Faced with potential protests in every cutting permit (SN6), it was clear
that it was in the forest industry’s best interests, economically and politically, to change
their business practices and work with St’át’imc communities (SN18). These events also
brought the St’át’imc Nation into direct contact and conflict with consulting
archaeologists (SN3). The AOA motivated the St’át’imc to require archaeologists to work
directly for the communities (SN19). On the other, the St’át’imc demonstrated their
knowledge and abilities in the field, which inspired their idea that they could do a better
job (SN1).
While these events brought about a great deal of change, it still was not as much
as the St’át’imc communities wanted or expected (SN21). Indeed, it prompted the six
St’át’imc communities associated with the LTC to demand greater control over the
archaeological assessment process. In the end, the major licensee agreed to involve the
LTC because the company wanted to avoid future problems (SN4; SN11). In preparation
for the 2000 field season, and with the support and cooperation of the logging company,
39
40
The 1998 AOA had recommended “no further work” for all cutblocks in three of the cutting
permits. However, a PFR was recommended for the proposed CP 179 access road, and a
subsequent impact assessment by the same archaeology firm identified one site (Altamira
1999). CP 185 was located in the vicinity of CP 179, but it was not assessed in the AOA.
This total includes 15 post-A.D. 1846 sites that are not regulated under the Heritage
Conservation Act (see Woods and Zibauer 2000; Zibauer and Woods 2000).
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the LTC hosted a two-week archaeological inventory training course developed by the
provincial Resource Inventory Committee (RIC). 41 In the fall of 1999, 12 St’át’imc
members, including most of the SHRI and Seton Lake veterans, received their RIC
archaeological inventory certification (Klassen 2000).42 Course participants recognized
archaeology could be used against their interests. They were also well aware of the
limitations of archaeological assessments and legislation, but recognized that
archaeology could have beneficial outcomes, ranging from supporting indigenous title
and rights, maintaining and revitalizing culture, and providing employment. Importantly,
the participants also saw St’át’imc participation in archaeology as a force of change in
the discipline, making it more responsive and meaningful to First Nations.
In early 2000, the logging company entered into a heritage assessment contract
with the LTC, and a similar agreement with the Ministry of Forests soon followed (SN3).
By the summer of 2000, most of the RIC trainees worked for the LTC cultural heritage
team, which was actively engaged in most archaeological projects in the territory.
Chapter Summary: Outcomes and Aspirations
The Northern St’át’imc consultants participating in this study demonstrated
considerable familiarity with archaeology, both as a discipline and as a political tool.
They recognize that it has various political, economic and social benefits, but they are
also well aware of its weaknesses. Archaeology is not only useful for protecting
significant places and the landscape, but a principal benefit is its utility for providing
evidence proving indigenous title and rights. Social and cultural values of archaeology
were also identified that contribute to the revitalization of St’át’imc identity, including its
potential for education and cultural awareness. Another important benefit is the
employment and community capacity ensuing from the practice of archaeology. At the
same time, they identified a number of specific limitations and drawbacks with
archaeology, as currently carried out and regulated in their territory. A fundamental
concern is that despite the court’s recognition that indigenous title exists in principle,
St’át’imc ownership of archaeological sites and materials is not recognized in law.
41
42
Now referred to as Resources Information Standards Committee (RISC).
Since the 1999 course, an additional 25 St’át’imc community members have received their
RIC/RISC archaeological inventory certification, for a total of 35 members. This total includes
seven members of Southern St’át’imc communities not affiliated with the Lillooet Tribal
Council.
138
The involvement of St’át’imc in archaeology and heritage stewardship has its
roots in a deep curiosity and concern for heritage stewardship. The initial encounters of
St’át’imc with archaeology from the late 1960s until the new millennium show a clear
progression in their degree of engagement. The informal and largely passive
participation of St’át’imc communities in archaeological research projects in the 1970s
introduced the discipline and revealed its potential. As their awareness of archaeology
and CRM increased, St’át’imc communities insisted on having greater involvement and
input into its practice, and they recognized opportunities to assert a greater degree of
authority. This dynamic relationship with archaeology mirrors the rise of Indigenous
activism and assertions of sovereignty in the larger political sphere.
As a political tool archaeology proved its value during political negotiations and in
land and resource management initiatives. Following the Delgamuukw decisions,
Northern St’át’imc communities had a renewed sense of confidence in the eventual
recognition of their title and rights. Anticipating such a future, St’át’imc communities
began developing resource management initiatives at the Nation level, ultimately leading
to active participation in archaeological management and heritage stewardship. The
development of the SHRI and SNHC initiatives reflected growing St’át’imc political
influence and assertiveness, and led to the forceful position on logging in CP 146. The
stand taken by Tsalalh and the LTC was a decisive event that unified and emboldened
Northern St’át’imc heritage stewardship efforts.
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Chapter 5.
St’át’imc Case Study:
Heritage Stewardship and the Forest Industry
The St’át’imc have lived upon the land since time began. Our history is
written upon the land. Our history is passed on from generation to
generation, through the stories and legends.
nxekmenlhkálha lti tmícwa [St’át’imc Land Use Plan 2004]
The blockade at CP 146 on Seton Lake by the Northern St’át’imc in 1998, described in
the preceding chapter, raised tensions between the St’át’imc Nation, archaeologists, the
local community, the forest industry, and the provincial government. Even so, the
outcome of the Seton Lake incident, along with the subsequent events at Junction Creek
and Pavilion Creek in 1999, had a number of positive repercussions for the Lillooet
Tribal Council and the Northern St’át’imc. Many St’át’imc community members with little
previous involvement with heritage or archaeological issues became interested in this
work. Serious deficiencies were also exposed in the methods and oversight of the
existing provincial archaeological overview and assessment process and the work of
some archaeological consultants. Direct action proved to be the most effective means of
convincing the Ministry of Forests43 and the logging company that greater St’át’imc
involvement in archaeological assessments and heritage decision-making was essential.
As a consequence, the major forestry licensee agreed to work directly with the Lillooet
Tribal Council (LTC) on future heritage assessments of forestry cutting permits.
In this chapter, I present a detailed case study of the LTC’s cultural heritage team
and heritage assessment process, developed in response to their 2000 agreement with
the forestry licensee, and the subsequent efforts of the St’át’imc Nation to assert
sovereignty over heritage stewardship. Much of this case study is based on the
43
Now called the Ministry of Forests, Lands, and Natural Resource Operations (2012).
140
perspectives of the Northern St’át’imc who participated in my research, supplemented by
my own observations and assessments. The objectives of this case study are to: 1)
examine the effectiveness of the LTC heritage stewardship program, in comparison to
the prior process implemented by the licensee and the province; 2) review the
consequences of the process and subsequent efforts at St’át’imc heritage stewardship;
and 3) discuss the implications of St’át’imc heritage stewardship efforts on
archaeological practice.
I begin the chapter with a description of the team and process, and discuss the
strengths and challenges of this program. This is followed with an evaluation of the
results of the heritage assessment program for the period 2000 to 2003, representing
the height of this initiative, in comparison to the provincial assessment process
previously in place. Next, I provide a review of the heritage initiatives that followed the
dissolution of the LTC heritage process by 2006, and discuss some of the emerging
issues and future directions for St’át’imc Nation heritage stewardship. I end the chapter
with a discussion of some of the general implications that St’át’imc heritage stewardship
has for archaeologists and archaeological practice in British Columbia.
The LTC Cultural Heritage Team
In early 2000, a contractual agreement between the LTC and the major forest
licensee in Northern St’át’imc territory led to the creation of a cultural heritage team.
From 2000 until 2006, the tribal council held most of the contracts to conduct heritage
assessments of Ainsworth cutting permits in Northern St’át’imc territory (along with many
assessment contracts for other minor licensees and the Ministry of Forests). Over these
years, a group of community members, most of whom had completed RIC training in
1999-2001, carried out research, fieldwork, liaison, and GIS mapping (Figure 8). Unlike
most other First Nations with heritage departments in the province (e.g., Office of the
Wet’suwet’en, Stó:l! Nation, Upper Similkameen Indian Band), the LTC decided against
hiring a non-St’át’imc archaeologist to run the heritage assessment program (Barney
and Klassen 2008). Instead, archaeologists were selected and contracted as needed,
and these consultants worked under the direction of St’át’imc managers. The following
discussion provides a detailed description of the heritage process developed by the LTC.
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Figure 8.
The LTC heritage team in the field, 2001 (left to right, John Terry, Ervin
Joseph, Terry Adolph).
LTC Heritage Assessment Process
The LTC heritage assessment process was designed with three implementation
stages. 44 The first stage involves a Cultural Heritage Overview (CHO) of a cutting permit
or development area, which in essence marries an archaeological overview with a
traditional use study. This entails identifying known or potential heritage concerns on the
basis of a review of biophysical maps and sources, archival maps, aerial photos,
background sources, previous archaeological studies, known sites, and heritage sources
on file at the LTC. The most important component of a CHO, however, involves meeting
with Elders and community members in order to gather traditional land use information
and identify any heritage concerns associated with each unit (e.g., cutblock, road,
woodlot), and to raise flags about culturally sensitive areas. The report for each cutting
permit includes recommendations for further research, fieldwork, or appropriate
management steps. In particular, a CHO report may include a recommendation for a
44
The description of the St’át’imc heritage assessment process in this section is derived from
internal documents provided by the Lillooet Tribal Council. The process was developed and
refined over a number of years and this description represents its form as of 2006.
142
Heritage Field Reconnaissance (HFR) in one or more of the units assessed in the
overview.
The HFR stage of the assessment process involves using fieldwork to identify the
nature and location of traditional use and site-specific concerns, verify the traditional use
assessment, and identify areas of concern requiring an archaeological impact
assessment. The HFR is also used to “ground-truth” archaeological sites and heritage
concerns identified by community members, which may or may not be regulated under
the Heritage Conservation Act (HCA). 45 In particular, they are used to document heritage
concerns and sites that fall outside the normal range of an archaeological assessment,
such as trail marker trees, and document biophysical areas and sites, such as wildlife
corridors. Team members then evaluate the requirements for further archaeological
fieldwork, including the need for shovel testing and culturally modified tree survey
conducted under Archaeology Branch permits. Such reports produced for each
development include recommendations for appropriate management steps or for more
intensive fieldwork, such as a trail recording project or an archaeological impact
assessment (AIA).
An AIA is the final stage in the assessment process. It is used to confirm the
identification of regulated archaeological sites (previously reported in the CHO or HFR),
identify the location and nature of buried archaeological sites using subsurface testing,
and document archaeological sites that may not be regulated. An archaeologist selected
and contracted by the tribal council assists the cultural heritage team with the AIA. The
archaeologist is responsible for meeting any provincial regulations, such as holding an
appropriate archaeological permit. Although this stage of the heritage assessment
process includes the same objectives and methods of a standard AIA, it differs from
conventional archaeological resource management practice in a number of key respects.
First, the archaeologist works under the direction of the cultural heritage team, and must
consider St’át’imc perspectives and values in the assessment. Second, the
archaeologist must assist the cultural heritage team document the full range of heritage
sites and concerns identified in the field (although they are not required to provide full
site descriptions and recommendations in the permit report for sites not regulated under
45
Section 13(1) of the Heritage Conservation Act specifies which heritage sites and objects are
regulated (or “automatically” protected) by this legislation. All other heritage sites and objects
are “non-regulated.”
143
legislation). Third, all permit reports are reviewed by the LTC before they are submitted
to the proponent and the Archaeology Branch, ensuring that there is consensus on
results, descriptions and recommendations (but the archaeologist retains final say over
matters related to permit conditions). Last, the tribal council retains control over
copyright and confidential information.
I was directly involved during the first years of the LTC heritage assessment
process as an archaeological and heritage policy advisor. My roles during all three
stages of the assessment process were: assisting with project management and
reporting template development, reviewing field notes and maps for content and
accuracy, editing and revising reports, reviewing and commenting on management
recommendations, identifying skills and logistical issues, and assisting with the
identification of qualified archaeologists for carrying out AIAs. Periodically, I joined the
HFR and AIA crews in the field to observe and advise on methods or to provide a
second opinion on features and areas identified for further work. A skill review workshop
opened each season, and workshops on specific topics were held periodically during the
field season. As the crew gained experience, my involvement in the assessment process
diminished.
Strengths and Challenges
Most St’át’imc consultants interviewed for this case study were familiar with the
2000 to 2006 LTC heritage assessment process and thought that it offered substantial
advantages over prior CRM practice. They are convinced that survey coverage was
more extensive, the work at each step was more thorough, and a broader range of sites
and site types were identified and addressed in forestry planning and operations (SN1;
SN6; SN8; SN9; SN13; SN18; SN19; SN21). Local knowledge was incorporated into the
reports, and chiefs and community members familiar with the assessed areas also had
an opportunity to verify the research and fieldwork results (SN1; SN6; SN8; SN9; SN13;
SN15). Control over the process also gave the St’át’imc the opportunity to decide where
to look and what to look for, including areas and cultural features not regulated by the
HCA (SN2), for example CMTs that post-date AD 1846 (Figure 9) St’át’imc field workers
and community members had a direct say in report content (SN18). The process allowed
information to be brought back to the community so that they could have more input into
decisions (SN2; SN18). Some St’át’imc regarded the involvement of archaeologists as
144
positive, especially since it gave additional weight to the St’át’imc evidence (SN8). Some
emphasized how this interaction provided an opportunity for both sides to learn from
each other (SN9). The process proved effective for the St’át’imc Nation, and some felt it
was a model for other First Nations (SN6).
Figure 9.
Terry Adolph and an “unregulated” cedar CMT, 2001.
Most important, St’át’imc communities and community members were directly
involved at every stage of the process (SN18; SN19; SN21). The LTC heritage
assessment process provided more employment and experience for community
members than previously possible (SN11; SN21), and gave them an opportunity to learn
145
about the land and culture from their Elders and peers (SN9). St’át’imc history and
evidence of occupancy grew more complete with the data they gathered (SN10),
because they included a holistic overview of heritage places and areas important to
them (SN13). Prior to this process, community members had “nowhere to go” with their
concerns; through their actions, St’át’imc communities gained the attention of resource
companies and provincial ministries, giving them a better understanding of their
concerns (SN15). Some St’át’imc felt that the perspectives gained from this approach
helped archaeologists and the province to re-evaluate and improve their management
practices (SN13), as evidenced by the degree of cooperation and collaboration in the
field work, and by the incorporation of their information, concerns, and recommendations
in management reports..
Overall, the LTC heritage assessment process worked well (SN18). Even so,
implementing the St’át’imc heritage assessment process was a challenge from the
beginning due to issues of capacity, experience, and logistics. Although the consultants
identified strengths for each stage of the process, they also noted a number of internal
weaknesses (Table 10). For example, St’át’imc field crewmembers were not always
familiar with the areas where they were working, they did not always have access to a
great deal of traditional knowledge, they often lacked direct experience with the land and
its resources, and the assessments did not always include Elders (SN1; SN8; SN9;
SN11; SN15; SN18; SN19). Inconsistent and incomplete field notes were also identified
as a concern (SN4; SN6; SN9; SN11; SN12). The quality and consistency of the reports
was cited as a problem, as many of the crew had limited research and writing
experience (SN1; SN4; SN8; SN9; SN11; SN12; SN15; SN18).
A significant issue with the HFR process involved occasional disagreements
amongst the crew, or even between the crew and Elders, over what was or was not a
heritage site (SN19; SN21). Differences in interpretation often involved features that can
be ambiguous in the field, such as culturally modified trees, cultural depressions, and
trails, but the most contentious features were “trail marker trees” (SN6; SN9; SN11;
SN12). A trail marker tree (TMT) is particularly difficult to conclusively identify because a
number of natural processes can produce similar features. As a result, judgement calls
were often used to identify them (SN4; SN6; SN12). Despite these challenges, several of
the St’át’imc consultants stressed that the assessment process was a learning
experience, and that the overall process improved over time (SN4; SN6; SN11).
146
Table 10. Strengths and Challenges in the LTC Heritage Assessment Process.
Strengths
Challenges
Cultural Heritage Overview
• Involvement of communities and Elders, and
incorporation of local knowledge (SN3; SN4; SN12)
• Useful background on area (SN12; SN15)
• Emphasis on trails (SN12)
• Useful access information (SN12)
• Without a CHO, you are working blindly in the field
(SN9)
• Not enough involvement of Elders and community
members (SN1; SN4; SN11)
• Too little time to effectively do all the research and
consultation (SN4; SN11; SN12)
• Reports were often repetitive, generalized, or
incomplete (SN4; SN11; SN12)
• Uncertainty on who should be contacted in each
community (SN1)
• Lack of continuity with the people involved in later
stages of the assessment process (SN11)
Heritage Field Reconnaissance
• Building skilled and experienced crew (SN6; SN18;
SN21)
• Trained and hired community members (SN3; SN21)
• Broader inventory of heritage (CMTs, trails, spiritual
areas) and resources (e.g., wildlife corridors) (SN3;
SN18)
• More thorough and comprehensive survey (SN18;
SN19)
• Results and reports shared with communities (SN18;
SN19)
• Exposed community to new sites (SN6)
• Survey process adapted to meet needs of St’át’imc
(SN3)
• Led to recognition of new types of heritage, such as
marker trees (SN4)
• Crew input into recommendations for further work or
management (SN11; SN18)
• Provided an opportunity for negotiating management
actions for unprotected sites (SN9)
• Turning point in relationship with industry (SN4)
• Disagreements amongst the crew over what was or
was not a heritage site (SN6; SN9; SN11; SN12;
SN19; SN21)
• St’át’imc should be able to conduct initial subsurface
testing without a provincial permit or archaeologist
(SN12)
• Inconsistent and incomplete fieldnotes and photo
logs (SN4; SN6; SN9; SN11; SN12)
• Pressure to get the work done too quickly (SN4; SN8;
SN13; SN15)
• Concerns about the knowledge and experience of the
people doing research and fieldwork (SN1; SN8;
SN15; SN18)
• Reports not consistently provided to communities for
review (SN14; SN18; SN19; SN21)
• Limited involvement of Elders and people
knowledgeable of the land in the fieldwork (SN8;
SN11; SN15)
• Interference from the client concerning what to look
for (SN6)
• Length of the field day and travel times (SN4; SN9)
• Unmanageable amounts of information recorded,
particularly involving wildlife information (SN9; SN12)
• Cutting corners by avoiding areas with difficult
access (SN11; SN12)
• Focus was too “site-specific” (SN21)
• Varying levels of experience among the crew, and
inexperience with some types of equipment (SN9)
• Limited access to training (SN1)
• Inconsistent fieldwork and reporting between crews
(SN11)
• Inconsistent site numbering/boundary marking (SN9)
• Inefficient separation of HFR and AIA (SN11)
• Lack of office space (SN9)
• Overwhelmed by the number of crews and reports
147
Strengths
Challenges
(SN9)
• Inconsistent input from crew into reports (SN9)
• Report format kept changing (SN9)
Archaeological Impact Assessment
• Opportunity to learn from working with archaeologists
(SN9; SN11; SN12; SN18)
• Shovel-testing is beneficial (SN9; SN11; SN12)
• More St’át’imc autonomy and control over
archaeology (SN4)
• More information provided to communities (SN4)
• Archaeologists started to look at more areas and
sites (SN4)
• Continuity in crew from HFR (SN6)
• Opportunity for archaeologists to learn from St’át’imc
(SN11)
• Better options for management recommendations
(SN4)
• Communities had more input into management
decisions (SN4)
• Opportunity to review and comment on reports (SN3)
• Not designed to address post-1846 heritage (SN12)
• Confidentiality of report information not guaranteed
(SN1; SN3)
• Industry considered AIA report to be the last word on
heritage (SN4; SN19)
• Crews did not leave offerings before disturbing sites
(SN6)
• Still primarily site-specific, and context not as
important (SN4)
• More involvement in mapping sites needed (SN6)
• Disturbs sites and removes artifacts (SN6)
• Uncertainty over the adequacy of recommendations
(SN6)
• Variable styles of archaeologists (SN9)
• Variable report formats, and overly technical
language (SN9)
• At times could have done more shovel testing (SN12)
• Limited capacity of community to provide feedback
(SN3; SN18)
• Issues with territorial overlap with neighbouring First
Nations (SN9)
• Implementation of management still left up to industry
(SN6)
Although the specifics of the heritage process were generally well-received by
leadership and communities, some St’át’imc consultants recognized overarching
concerns with the way the heritage assessment process operated. Some felt that it
simply mirrored the provincial system, and that they were not always in full control
(SN2). The constraints of working for industry were also cited as a major issue.
Fieldwork was often restricted to the development areas, which limited the scope of
research (SN19), and the process also ended up being too “site-specific,” with industry
only paying attention to narrow site-specific recommendations (SN21). Moreover,
industry never took the CHO and HFR reports as seriously as the AIA reports because a
“professional” was not involved, and tended to only implement the AIA recommendations
(SN19). Consequently, places identified in the HFR reports often didn’t get an equivalent
level of management as those sites identified in the AIA (SN19). A field check or audit of
subsequent management actions was not included in the process (SN21), meaning that
148
measuring the effectiveness of the results and recommendations in protecting heritage
concerns was difficult.
Perhaps the greatest challenge identified by the St’át’imc consultants involved
how management decisions were made and who made them (SN3). In the procedure
initially designed by the LTC cultural heritage team, the results of the various
assessments were to be taken to representatives of each affected community, who
would in turn provide input and recommendations. The team would then take this input
back to the industry proponents and try and work out a suitable management plan
(SN4). At first, Elders made the decisions on appropriate recommendations, though they
had to weigh heritage protection against economic benefits (SN4). Initially the
recommendations favoured protection, but eventually the communities began agreeing
to more and more compromises that favoured economic considerations (SN4). Some
Elders felt that reducing the level of protection indicated a lack of commitment to their
goals (SN1; SN15). Moreover, it was not always clear who was responsible for
negotiating alternative management strategies with forestry companies (SN4). Some
chiefs and community members were under the impression that the LTC was consulting
communities “on behalf” of industry, and that they were making decisions on their behalf
rather than having these decision come from them (SN4; SN5). They felt that the LTC
was giving the go ahead for developing resources, while undermining government-togovernment negotiations for revenue sharing (SN6). Others voiced concerns about how
the contractual obligations to industry proponents affected the ability of the LTC to do its
job effectively (SN14; SN21), particularly when dealing with pressure and excessive
demands from companies (SN8; SN15). Overall, the communities were concerned that
the forest industry had to some degree co-opted the LTC assessment process,
especially since the assessments tended to focus more on tangible aspects of heritage
than on other heritage values (SN3).
To some observers, a clear decision-making process involving the St’át’imc was
missing (SN2; SN3). They pointed specifically to the lack of communication and
involvement with the communities (SN19; SN21). Reports were not brought to
councillors, the appropriate land and resources personnel were often not available to
deal with the process (SN14), and it was difficult finding people with enough time to
adequately review the reports and recommendations (SN3; SN19). Sometimes a sole
representative became the proxy voice for the community as a whole (SN21). Moreover,
149
community representatives were often expected to approve recommendations without
seeing the places themselves (SN18). Initially the chiefs trusted the cultural heritage
team and accepted their recommendations, as they didn’t always have the capacity or
knowledge to review the work (SN13). Even so, the decision-makers often relied on
information from a heritage team whose qualifications and knowledge were not
necessarily adequate (SN13). Some St’át’imc felt that there needed to be a better
connection between the heritage team and leadership, in order to ensure that decisionmaking was based on research and local knowledge (SN2). The lack of an acceptable
review process left the impression that decisions were being made in the field by the
heritage team, and were not being reviewed by the LTC managers or the chiefs (SN8).
As a consequence, the forestry proponents were making decisions on the basis of the
evidence gathered in the field assessments, but without appropriate input from the
people affected (SN2).
An incident at a cutting permit at Trimble Creek in 2001-2002 highlighted the
inherent challenges with the decision-making process, and this particular episode was
one of the contributing factors leading to the eventual suspension of the LTC contract
with forestry licensee. The cultural heritage team had identified a number of culturally
modified trees in this cutting permit, and the team provided standard recommendations
for “managing” these features. After they were fully documented, the team authorized
the licensee to “high-stump” the culturally modified trees (cut the trunk at a point above
the cultural modification), before community representatives had reviewed the
recommendations (SN3; SN9; SN20). When word of this action reached the affected
communities, they expressed alarm since approval was given without their involvement.
This incident resulted in the implementation of a new “sign-off” procedure,
whereby the LTC facilitated a meeting between the proponent and the community to
review the results of each field assessment. Following this presentation, representatives
would either approve the recommendations or negotiate changes (SN3). This in turn led
to complaints that it had become a “mechanical” and technical approval process (SN21).
To some it now appeared that the forestry licensee considered this sign-off process as
authorization from the community for logging (SN3). In other words, the heritage
assessments replaced meaningful community consultation on resource developments
that infringed on their aboriginal rights (SN4; SN5; SN6; SN13). At the same time, some
communities lacked the capacity to review results and make informed decisions (SN19).
150
As a result, the LTC heritage assessment process came under greater scrutiny by chiefs
and communities, and direct contracts with forestry proponents were no longer favoured.
From Nation to Community
By 2004, responsibility for heritage assessments began to shift to the
communities. Around this time, all eleven Northern and Southern St’át’imc communities
formed the St’át’imc Chiefs Council (SCC) to initiate government-to-government
negotiations with the province (SN13). Its first priority was to pursue resource
consultation directly with the province, rather than involving the forest industry (SN13). In
part, these negotiations were intended to reconcile the draft Lillooet Land and Resource
Management Plan with the St’át’imc Land Use Plan (see next section), and to work on a
mechanism for reviewing cutting permits and identifying forestry “hotspots” with the
greatest heritage and environmental concerns (SN13). The SCC also established the
St’át’imc Land and Resource Authority (SLRA) to oversee resource policy and decisionmaking, including those related to heritage assessments. All consultation and
authorization would occur at the SCC level, with SLRA representatives facilitating review
and input from each community (SN3). In this arrangement, the tribal council would
provide information to the SLRA when requested.
As the SCC gained prominence, so too did the discomfort with the LTC heritage
assessment process (SN21). In particular, the existing contract with the major forestry
licensee was problematic to the SCC because it seemed like it shifted provincial
consultation requirements to industry (SN4; SN13). In some cases, leaders and
community members perceived the LTC recommendations as too narrow and sitespecific, which didn’t sit well with some communities (SN18). The dispute between these
two entities hinged on the heritage assessment contracts with the forest licensee, which
the chiefs were reluctant to renew without substantial changes (SN6; SN21). When
contract wording could not be resolved with the forest licensee in 2006, the contract was
not renewed. Although stopping the heritage assessments was not the SCC’s intent
(SN6), for the most part the LTC assessment process ended.
At the same time, forestry activities in the area began to decline for reasons
unrelated to the contract negotiations (SN3; SN13). Some communities adopted “no-go
zones” for forestry (SN13) or identified areas of concerns in advance of harvest planning
using a “blank map” approach (i.e., identifying areas of concern before proposed
151
harvesting cutblocks appeared on maps) (SN3). The resulting uncertainty over future
logging plans meant that fewer cutting permits were proposed (SN13). While timber
harvesting continued in areas previously assessed by the LTC, the slowdown meant that
new cutting permits were not identified for heritage assessments (SN9). To some degree
this reduction was also due to the sizable areas logged in the aftermath of the forest fires
in the Town Creek and Dickie Creek areas in 2004 (SN9). However, others saw the
reduction in logging as a sign that forestry operations in the Lillooet area were winding
down (SN15; SN19).
Moreover, timber companies now preferred to work directly with the communities
(SN3; SN4; SN6; SN13; SN18). After the massive forest fires in 2004, logging
companies also placed heavy pressure on communities to provide quick access to the
burned areas so that the timber could be salvaged (SN2). Where heritage work was still
needed, individual contracts were negotiated directly with the communities in order to
reduce costs and duplication of effort (SN18). In many cases, LTC crewmembers
familiar with the fieldwork standards participated in this work (SN6). Communities
wanted to be directly involved in their own areas (SN18), and it was now feasible for
them to deploy their own heritage team (SN6; SN13). The province also established
Forest and Range Agreements with the Ts'kwaly'ax, Xaxli’p, and Sekw'elw'as
communities (SN9; SN21), giving them access to forest tenures and timber volume, and
more direct control over consultation (SN21).46 However, as the forestry business began
to collapse in the Lillooet area, the Forest and Range Agreements became economically
unviable (SN19). Nonetheless, communities began their own forestry operations and
started hiring band members for the required heritage assessments (SN3; SN9), which
diminished LTC involvement in assessments (SN3). A positive outcome of the LTC
heritage process, however, was that the communities now had a pool of experienced
and skilled people to draw upon, both from their own members as well as from other
communities (SN1; SN2; SN4; SN7). In many cases, the communities insist that field
workers have RISC archaeological training, meaning that they often need to share
crewmembers (SN2; SN7).
By 2006, heritage assessments had largely devolved from the nation to individual
communities (SN13; SN18). However, the St’át’imc consulted for this study hold mixed
46
See Parfitt (2007:22-30) for an analysis of the risks and rewards for First Nations from Forest
and Range Agreements.
152
opinions on whether this change in responsibility was a positive or negative
development. Some felt that a community-based approach better reflected a more
desirable grassroots political structure. In this scenario, community members are the
true decision makers, while chief and council are their representatives (SN5). As most
wished to assert more control over their area of interest (SN5), communities considered
themselves responsible for their heritage (SN14). Some consultants thought that
community-based heritage stewardship could be successful as long as communities had
access to experienced personnel and assistance from archaeologists (SN6; SN10;
SN11). Despite capacity issues, exercising political authority at the community level has
other benefits, including a closer connection to heritage stewardship (SN5), a greater
voice in recommendations (SN18), and better communication with community members
(SN19). In this sense, shifting responsibility for heritage stewardship to the community
was a positive development that ultimately makes the nation stronger (SN5; SN18).
On the other hand, some consultants saw distinct disadvantages to heritage
assessments at the community level. Supporting a crew fulltime is difficult, and may not
be economically sustainable for communities, given the limited work available (SN3;
SN6; SN12; SN18; SN19). Finding full-time heritage work is difficult (SN9; SN12; SN18),
and what does exist is short-term, seasonal, and divided among too many people (SN9).
Moreover, the lack of trained or experienced personnel (SN12) creates issues with
maintaining consistency and quality control (SN3; SN18), leading to incomplete
background research, substandard fieldwork, inadequate mapping, and a lack of follow
up (SN9). At times, communities do not have the same level of access to the knowledge,
information, and Elders available at the nation-level (SN19). Sharing information
between communities and the nation is not always as free as it should be (SN16). The
shift also has meant that some areas fall through the cracks because not all
communities have the capacity or desire to deal with assessments (SN15).
In the end, many of the St’át’imc consultants felt that heritage assessments
should have stayed at the nation level (whether based at the LTC or in some other form),
but with the close involvement of communities and Elders (SN2; SN3; SN4; SN6; SN9;
SN11; SN12; SN14; SN15; SN21). One participant stated that, first and foremost,
heritage belongs to the nation as a whole (SN4). Another pointed out that the nation has
more political clout and greater resources, while local councils may not necessarily place
a priority on archaeology or heritage (SN8). Likewise, one consultant worried that local
153
decisions are more likely to be made based on economic as opposed to cultural values
(SN21). Some thought that the nation can also have a wider focus on heritage
assessments, so that industries other than just forestry are included, such as BC Hydro
and independent power projects (SN6; SN18; SN21). Without nation-wide involvement,
some felt there might be less sharing of results between communities and the nation
(SN9; SN21). Pooling resources and people was also perceived as more effective
(SN14), and provides for more stable employment (SN6). One suggested tactic would
involve maintaining a crew comprised of members from each community, and using it for
other types of resource work would help make it more efficient (SN6; SN9). A number of
participants pointed out that the LTC has access to a core group of experienced people
that can ensure quality and consistency in methods, notes and reporting (SN9; SN11;
SN12). Maintaining the heritage assessment process at the LTC, or some other central
agency, would be more consistent with the efforts of the SCC to address challenges
facing the nation as a whole (SN13).
Evaluation of the 2000-2003 LTC Process
Despite the challenges faced by the LTC heritage assessment process, the
St’át’imc participants considered the program a success. The period from 2000 until
2003 represents the zenith of its existence, when virtually every heritage and
archaeological assessment undertaken for the forest industry in Northern St’át’imc
territory was run through the LTC. During this time, an unprecedented number of
archaeological assessments were conducted, a vast area of forest was surveyed, and
large numbers of archaeological and traditional use sites were identified, protected, and
managed. The LTC trained and employed numerous community members through this
period, and forged strong working relationships with archaeologists. During this same
period, and in the years that followed, various CRM consultants, forest industry
representatives, and even provincial archaeological managers expressed doubts over
the LTC’s ability to effectively implement a heritage stewardship program in a forestry
context. 47 However, the following review of archaeological assessment results over a
ten-year period demonstrates that this approach provided better management of
47
These doubts were never formally expressed, but instead were raised in conversation,
posted on web forums, or brought up at meetings. In particular, the ability of the LTC crew to
accurately identify archaeological sites and archaeological potential, and the objectivity of
archaeologists employed by the LTC, was questioned
154
archaeological sites and heritage places than the provincially regulated process that
preceded it. As such, the involvement of the LTC in forestry archaeology served the best
interests of heritage stewardship.
The first forestry-related archaeological assessment in Northern St’át’imc territory
took place in 1994, and a total of eleven forestry assessment projects (six under
provincial Heritage Inspection Permits and five non-permit) were conducted over the
five-year period ending in 1998 (Table 11). During this time, the Ministry of Forests and
the forest industry were responsible for deciding which forestry operations would be
assessed, and which archaeological consultants conducted the work. The next year, the
LTC insisted that archaeological assessments and MoF timber sale licenses (under five
provincial permits) be conducted using a consulting firm acceptable to the LTC. For the
seven cutting permits and forest licences assessed in 1999, community members and
the LTC worked collaboratively with, and had considerable influence over, the
archaeological consultants. Subsequently, from 2000 to 2003, the LTC oversaw the
majority of forestry-related archaeological assessments in Northern St’át’imc territory
(Table 11). It was primarily responsible for deciding which forestry operation areas to
assess, and directing the consulting archaeologists.
155
Table 11. Forestry Assessment Results in Northern St’át’imc Territory, 1994-2003.
Year
Proponent
Permit #
Areas*
Units*
HCA Sites*
Other
Sites*
1994
Industry
1994-065
1
15
9
1
1995
Industry
1995-093
2
7
5
1995
Industry
Non-permit
1
1
4
1996
MoF
1996-096
1
4
13
1997
MoF
1997-074
1
3
0
1997
MoF
Non-permit
1
1
7
1997
MoF
Non-permit
1
1
0
1998
Industry
1998-241
5
6
0
1998
Industry
1998-249†
1
1
1
1998
MoF
1998-265
2
2
3
1998
MoF
Non-permit
4
6
1
1999
Industry
1999-066
1
1
0
1999
Industry
1999-232
1
42
8
0
9
1999
Industry
1999-288
3
19
38
9
2
1999
MoF
1999-295
2
13
2
5
1999
Industry
1999-311
1
6
7
2000
LTC
2000-291
1
2000
LTC
2000-294
2000
LTC
2000-310
2000
LTC
2000
HFR Sites*
5
1
1
1
5
10
0
4
0
1
6
1
1
1
2
18
2
1
8
2000-326
1
1
0
0
3
LTC
2000-336
1
1
0
0
1
2000
LTC
2000-351
1
3
3
0
0
2001
MoF
2001-305
1
8
0
2001
MoF
2001-309
1
1
0
2001
Industry
2001-371
1
5
0
1
2001
LTC
2001-267
2
15
3
5
2001
LTC
2001-306
1
9
0
14
2001
LTC
2001-340
1
1
0
0
2001
LTC
2001-352
1
5
0
6
2001
LTC
2001-357
1
1
9
2
2001
LTC
2001-375
1
1
0
3
2001
LTC
2001-379
1
1
0
4
2001
LTC
Non-permit
9
17
16
2002
LTC
2002-316
2
4
1
1
2002
Industry
2002-094
1
2
2
2
2002
Industry
2002-264
1
1
5
1
2002
LTC
2002-219
1
2
0
1
2002
LTC
2002-220
1
7
1
6
156
0
Other
Sites*
Year
Proponent
Permit #
Areas*
Units*
HCA Sites*
HFR Sites*
2002
LTC
2002-232
1
17
0
7
2002
LTC
2002-257
2
5
0
?
2002
LTC
2002-258
2
15
4
?
2002
LTC
2002-259
2
1
0
?
2002
LTC
2002-279†
2
12
5
?
2002
LTC
2002-290†
2
2?
?
?
2002
LTC
2002-303†
2
2?
?
?
2002
LTC
2002-320
2
17
3
1
2003
LTC
2003-372
1
2
0
2
2003
LTC
2003-365†
1
5
?
?
2003
LTC
2003-368
1
1
0
4
2003
LTC
2003-412
1
2
0
3
* Explanation of headings: Proponent–Industry=forest company initiated; MoF=Ministry of Forests initiated;
LTS=Lillooet Tribal Council initiated: Areas–number of operating areas, e.g., timber sale licence, cutting permit;
Units–number of individual cutblocks and roads; HCA Sites–number of sites identified that are regulated by the
Heritage Conservation Act; Other Sites–number of other identified heritage sites not regulated by the HCA but
included in the AIA permit report, e.g., traditional use, post-1846; HFR Sites–number of non-regulated sites identified
in a LTC Heritage Field Reconnaissance prior to the AIA, but not included in the AIA permit report.
† Permit report unavailable; data obtained from LTC sources.
A comparison of provincially regulated forestry CRM results (for the five-year
period of 1994 to 1998) with LTC directed forestry heritage stewardship results (for the
five-year period of 1999 to 2003) supports the St’át’imc contention that they had the
capacity to protect their heritage (Table 12; Figure 10). 48 By a number of quantitative
measures, heritage stewardship was more effective under the LTC process: more
projects were undertaken, more operating areas (timber sale licenses, cutting permits)
and units (cutblocks, roads) were assessed, more HCA-regulated archaeological sites
were identified and registered, and a wider range of non-regulated heritage sites were
documented (and consequently managed). Specifically, under the LTC assessment
process: 49
48
49
The LTC continued to hold assessment contracts after 2003, but this comparison was
restricted to directly comparable five-year periods. Also note that data from 2002 and 2003
are incomplete because a number of LTC reports were unavailable for detailed review, and
the numbers of sites identified during the LTC projects may actually be higher than indicated.
Non-permit projects, generally referred to as preliminary field reconnaissance (PFR), are
included in this analysis where the primary objective was to identify regulated archaeological
sites for management purposes and where a subsequent archaeological impact assessment
(AIA) did not follow up on the PFR. Inventory projects directly related to forestry management
and funded by the forest industry or Ministry of Forests are also included.
157
• More than three times as many forestry assessment projects were undertaken
(of the 37 projects, the LTC held the contracts for 32 projects and co-directed
or initiated five assessments).
• Nearly two and a half times as many operating areas were assessed (cutting
permits, timber sale licenses, woodlots, mainline roads).
• More than three and a half times as many individual units (cutblocks, access
roads) were assessed.
• More than two and a half times as many HCA-regulated archaeological sites
were identified and registered.
• Nearly five times as many non-regulated archaeological sites (i.e., traditional
use sites) were identified (mostly CMT sites, but also trails, trail marker trees,
trapping evidence, camps, wagon roads, and cabins).
Although the absolute numbers under the LTC mandate show an increase in all
categories, this comparison does not account for whether more units and operating
areas were proposed by industry in the 1999-2003 period. In other words, the increase
in the number of forestry units surveyed and the quantity of sites identified under the
LTC process may be a function of a greater area proposed for harvesting by the forest
industry in 1999-2003. Nonetheless, the increased numbers of areas looked at in 1999
to 2003 is a direct result of pressure from the LTC, and the greater number of heritage
sites identified and managed supports the claim that their process was more effective.
Table 12. Comparison of Industry/MoF and LTC Assessment Results.
1994-1998
Industry / MoF
Initiated
1999-2003 LTC
Initiated
Increase in
Results
1999-2003*
Industry / MoF
Initiated
Permit/Non-Permit Projects§
11
37
336%
5
Operating Areas**
24
56
233%
7
Units†
68
246
362%
25
HCA Regulated Sites Registered
43
108
251%
2
Non-regulated Sites Identified
(registered & not registered)
26
127
489%
3
* A summary of results for projects initiated by the forest industry and the Ministry of Forests from 1999-2003 is also
presented as an additional comparison with the LTC-initiated projects.
** Cutting Permits, Timber Sale Licenses, Woodlots, Road Mainlines)
† Cutblocks, access roads
Another way of looking at the relative success of the assessment processes in
the two periods is to look at the ratio of sites identified to the number of units surveyed
and assessed. From 1994 to 1998, 68 units were assessed by the forest industry, and
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sixty-nine heritage sites were identified, for a ratio of 1.01 sites per assessed unit. In
1999 to 2003, a total of 246 units were assessed, and 235 heritage sites were identified,
for a ratio of 0.96 sites per assessed unit. Although this comparison shows a slightly
lower ratio under the LTC program, this difference is not statistically significant.
Moreover, a number of factors may confound this result. For example, the units
assessed in 1994 to 1998 were likely the “highest potential” areas, where the most sites
would be encountered with the least effort. On the other hand, the LTC team had a
nearly equal rate of success identifying sites in both high and low potential areas
combined. Including “lower potential” areas should reduce the ratio of sites per unit, but
instead the LTC crew was able to maintain the same ratio, indicating they were more
successful overall at identifying sites. Since the data for 2003 are incomplete, the total
number of heritage sites identified in 1999 to 2003 is in all likelihood even higher than
the number used in this comparison. In any case, the quantitative data show that in
terms of both absolute success and relative success, the LTC standard was equal to, if
not more, effective than the government-regulated and industry-driven process.
While many First Nations in British Columbia have made efforts to assert more
control over heritage assessments, the LTC Cultural Heritage program was particularly
successful. This achievement can be attributed to a number of specific factors. First, the
St’át’imc involved in the program demonstrated a strong personal interest in heritage
stewardship, and they made a long-term commitment to this process (with many of the
key players still directly involved more than fifteen years later). Second, the LTC heritage
assessment process generated a great deal of debate and discussion, both between
team members and with the communities, providing a healthy degree of reflexivity and
revision. Third, LTC managers and field workers also recognized the parameters of their
capacity and expertise, and were willing to engage with and bring in outside
professionals where assistance, training, and expertise was warranted. Finally, the LTC
and Northern St’át’imc communities developed strong personal relationships with
individual archaeologists, built on mutual trust, respect, and continuity. As a result of
these factors, the LTC Cultural Heritage program is an example of a highly successful
approach to community-based heritage stewardship.
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Figure 10.
Forestry Assessment Results: 1994-1998 vs. 1999-2003.
In the end, the LTC Heritage Assessment program declined in importance not
due to any particular deficiency or defect, but due to larger economic and political
pressures. After 2004, the major licensee in the area reduced its harvesting plans, while
many Northern St’át’imc communities were awarded their own forest tenures. They
began to take on some or all of the heritage assessments for these tenures themselves,
utilizing locally trained and experienced personnel. These factors made less heritage
assessment work available for the LTC, thus adding to the difficulty of maintaining
consistent, long-term employment. St’át’imc communities also began to debate how best
to “manage” heritage, and how to balance effective stewardship against community-level
and Nation-level initiatives and agendas. A major concern of the Northern St’át’imc is
how to remain at arm’s length from the industry that finances heritage assessments. At
times political leadership has been reluctant to continue contractual arrangements with
industry and government, as there were too many concerns about where and how
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information was used. Likewise, there was a fear that the reports and recommendations
were used as “authorization” without input from political leadership at the community
level (SN1). Perhaps most importantly, there was no over-arching governance structure
to manage it, and this issue had to be worked out at the nation level (SN1). In this sense,
the suspension of the LTC heritage process was not due to problems with the cultural
heritage team, but rather with how it fit into overall Nation governance (SN1). In other
words, the LTC heritage work itself was acceptable, but the approval stage became
problematic (SN1).
Throughout this period, the St’át’imc Nation was still developing capacity for
undertaking impact assessments, and few community members had the opportunity to
pursue advanced training or education. As a result, the process continued to rely on the
expertise and assistance of outside professionals, and this involvement was also seen
as necessary to lend credibility to their actions. Likewise, the heritage program operated
under an imposed regulatory system, and continued to follow provincial laws and
regulations. To address this last point, the St’át’imc Nation drafted Nxekmenlhkálha Lti
Tmícwa (the St’át’imc Land Use Plan) in 2004, setting standards for how land and
resource activities are conducted in St’át’imc territory. The hope is that by drafting and
implementing laws based on a St’át’imc model of governance and stewardship, the
issues of authority and control that hampered the LTC heritage process can be
circumvented. Ultimately, the St’át’imc, through national unity and the assertion of
sovereignty, intend to protect their culture, heritage, and land by taking full control over
decisions relating to how “St’át’imc land or resources are allocated, extracted or
destroyed” (St'át'imc Land and Resource Authority 2004:12).
St’át’imc Archaeology and National Unity
Following the legal and political challenges facing First Nations that emerged in
the 1990s, St’át’imc communities developed a greater degree of political organization
and capacity, and increasingly approached issues as a unified nation. By the new
millennium, they began focussing their political efforts on a number of nation-wide
initiatives, many of which united the northern and southern communities and contributed
to the onset of government-to-government negotiations with the province (SN16). In
particular, conflicts with the forest industry and BC Hydro developments had a major
influence on uniting them and encouraging the development of broader strategies, and
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these measures often spilled over into other development sectors and merged with
overarching issues of indigenous title and rights. Despite the problems they encountered
with the LTC heritage program, many of the St’át’imc involved continue to feel positive
about the future of heritage stewardship:
I am proud of the role I had in developing the LTC heritage program, and
it was very difficult for me to leave that process and to see the program
get suspended. But at the same time I believe we laid the foundation for
the next stage in St'át'imc heritage stewardship. I see this time as a
temporary pause in the heritage stewardship process, while the St'át'imc
Nation prepares for the next stage of sovereignty. [Marie Barney, in
Barney and Klassen 2008]
St’át’imc communities continue to work on common causes, and they continue to
struggle to build capacity at all levels (SN13). Although the LTC heritage team largely
suspended operations in 2006, a number of initiatives that materialized before and
during its tenure have a direct bearing on the future of St’át’imc heritage stewardship.
St’át’imc Heritage Initiatives
One of the earliest initiatives contributing to a unified approach to St’át’imc
heritage stewardship began with the onset of negotiations with BC Hydro and Power
Authority. In 1996, all 11 St’át’imc communities established the Stl’atl’imx Nation Hydro
Committee (SNH) for the purpose of negotiating an agreement with BC Hydro for
compensation for the negative effects arising from hydroelectric facilities and operations
in their territory. Impacts to heritage were an important component of these negotiations,
and the terms were intended to compel BC Hydro to address more than just legal
requirements. They included provisions for research and policy development, tools for
education, a mitigation plan, and an impact prevention plan (SN16). In support of the
negotiations, an initial overview of heritage resources in potential conflict with BC Hydro
developments and activities was completed in 1998 (Klassen 1999). A subsequent 2004
heritage “post-impact” assessment project was used as a baseline for proposing further
heritage work and a long-term strategic plan for archaeology (Klassen 2005).
Around the same time, a process called “Hala’w Initiative” grew out of the
negotiations with the forest licensee following the 1998 Seton Lake CP 146 stand off
(Lillooet News 2001). Its objectives were establishing a working relationship with the
forest industry, addressing communication and sustainability issues, and developing a
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process for doing business together so that St’át’imc benefited from the economics of
forestry (Leach 2003). In 2001, the first Memorandum of Understanding with the forestry
licensee was signed (Lillooet News 2001), and in 2003 the Chiefs of the six Northern
St’át’imc communities signed a Memorandum of Agreement to establish the Hala’w
Forest Management Board. Representatives from each community sitting on this board
would oversee revenue sharing, forestry contracts with the licensee, and management of
a forest licence. The agreement also recognized that each St’át’imc community might
eventually establish their own forestry companies that would work with the Hala’w Forest
Management Board.
Following these initial steps, an important development occurred in early 2002,
when the chiefs of all eleven communities began meeting regularly as the St’át’imc
Chiefs Council (SCC). 50 It grew from a series of “unity meetings” beginning in 1998,
where St’át’imc community members directed their chiefs to work collectively at a
political level to address common issues, such as fisheries, health, forestry, education,
mining, and the St’át’imc Hydro Agreement. The SCC does not in itself hold any
authority. Instead, their constituents provide direction to the chiefs to work with it on
specific issues (St'át'imc Chiefs Council 2003, 2011a). In September of 2002, the SCC
began negotiating with the province to establish a government-to-government protocol to
establish a relationship for land use and resource decisions (St'át'imc Chiefs Council
2003).
To guide the development and implementation of SCC initiatives, the chiefs
established the St’át’imc Elders Council (SEC) and the St’át’imc Land and Resource
Authority (SLRA), with representatives from each community. The role of the SEC is to
provide feedback, input, advice and guidance to the political leadership (St'át'imc Chiefs
Council 2003). SEC members are recognized as having considerable authority and
knowledge, and act as strong advocates for their people (SN8). The SEC initially met
every month, but due to unstable funding their meetings have been irregular (SN8).
Nonetheless, it has advised and guided the SCC, and has provided input into the
development of major initiatives, such as the tribal code, the St’át’imc land-use plan, and
50
The SCC includes representatives of the six Northern St'át'imc communities of Sek'welw’ás
(Cayoose Creek), T'ít'qet (Lillooet), Ts'k'wáylawx (Pavilion), Tsalálh (Seton Lake), Xaxlip
(Fountain), and Xwísten (Bridge River), as well as the Southern St'át'imc communities of
Lil’wat (Mt. Currie), N'Quatqua (Anderson Lake), Samahquam, Skatin, and Xa'xtsa (Douglas).
Over the years, membership of Southern St'át'imc communities in the SCC has varied.
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the cultural heritage law (SN8; SN10), although all of these initiatives remain in the
preliminary or draft phase. However, as a result of their input and direction, one
consultant was certain that the tribal code and LUP will improve heritage protection
(SN8). The St’át’imc Land and Resource Authority (SLRA) was given responsibility for
dealing with land and resource issues within St’át’imc territory, with representatives
forming the link between each community and the SCC (Narcisse 2003). In addition to
acting in an advisory capacity to the SCC and SEC, the responsibilities of the SLRA
include: 1) reviewing, researching and providing recommendations on specific land and
resource applications, 2) codifying St’át’imc laws that set the standards for how land and
resource activities are conducted in St’át’imc territory, and 3) developing and
implementing a land use plan (St'át'imc Land and Resource Authority 2004).
One of the most important initiatives of the SCC has been the development of a
draft St’át’imc Tribal Code, along with a number of regulatory polices. The SCC
presented a draft of the Tribal Code (Nxékmens I St’at’ímca) at the annual St’át’imc
Gathering in 2003 (Narcisse 2003), and community workshops presenting and reviewing
this document were held in the fall of 2003 (St'át'imc Chiefs Council 2003). It was
intended to be a “founding document” that outlines the identity of the St’át’imc Nation,
and will prevail over a number of other regulatory policies or laws, including those
pertaining to land use, forestry, and heritage (SN21). Likewise, a draft St’át’imc heritage
policy, described as a “living document,” was intended to provide an alternative to the
Heritage Conservation Act in their effort to control heritage policy (SN13). Moreover, it
will need to be implemented in each community, as they have the closest connection to
their heritage, (SN13). Eventually, the heritage policy is to be incorporated as a “chapter”
of the St’át’imc Tribal Code (SN2; SN21), and it will be linked to the mandate of the
SLRA (SN13).
Another important initiative of the SCC was its development of Nxekmenlhkálha
Lti Tmícwa, a draft St’át’imc land-use plan (LUP) for the entire territory. Prepared by the
SLRA in 2004, it invoked “vision and principles” formulated during several Land and
Resource Forums (St'át'imc Land and Resource Authority 2004). Hundreds of people
from the entire nation had a chance to speak at the forums (SN5), and the LUP evolved
primarily with input from community representatives (SN3). A guiding principle for the
LUP was “focusing first on what to leave behind on the land to sustain ecology and
culture, rather than on what to take from the land through resource extraction” (St'át'imc
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Land and Resource Authority 2004). Community members view it as a means for
protecting and restoring St’át’imc resources and territory (SN4; SN6). Using a mapbased planning process that “integrated western scientific and technical knowledge with
St’át’imc knowledge,” they identified various St’át’imc land designations in order to
protect watersheds, habitats, sensitive environments, community economic
development, and restoration (St'át'imc Land and Resource Authority 2004). A land and
resources working group identified “hotspots” with specific concerns, primarily using
grizzly bear and deer habitat as environmental indicators, where they tested out a
management framework (SN13).
Of particular significance, the St’át’imc land use plan designated the entire
St’át’imc territory as a Nt’akmenlhkálha (Cultural) Protection Area where
written authorization from the St’át’imc Chiefs Council or its designate is
required before St’át’imc land or resources are allocated, extracted or
destroyed. Such authorizations may be provided through licences,
permits and/or plan approvals upon submission of an application,
provided that the proposed use or interest is consistent with the St’át’imc
Tribal Code, Nxekmenlhkálha lti tmícwa Forestry Code and other
St’át’imc laws. In particular, the application process will provide an
opportunity for the St’át’imc to assess the location and nature of any
proposed use taking into account St’át’imc uses of the area. [St’át’imc
Land and Resource Authority 2004:12]
By designating the entire territory as a Cultural Protection Area, all proposed
developments require site level planning to identify the steps needed to mitigate impacts
to heritage values (SN2). As areas of higher or lower significance are not recognized in
this plan, proponents need to talk to the St’át’imc about each development (SN4; SN6).
In other words, under the LUP every referral triggers a heritage assessment, with an
application to the SLRA required (SN5; SN6). The results of each assessment need to
be brought back to the people for decision (SN5). Moreover, under this plan all
communities are to be made aware of the management strategies undertaken at the
nation level (SN6). As each development has an impact at some level, management
recommendations specific to each place are necessary (SN5; SN6). Nonetheless,
strategic plans for different types of areas may be a useful component of the planning
process (SN2). For example, village sites could become “no-go” zones where no
development activities were permitted (SN5), while impacts in other areas, such as berry
gathering areas, warrant compensatory rehabilitation, such as by way of prescribed
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burns (SN5; SN6). Ideally, every development would be designed to address the
perspective of the St’át’imc vision outlined in the LUP (SN5).
The St’át’imc LUP was largely developed as a direct response to the draft Land
and Resource Management Plan (LRMP) tabled by the province for the Lillooet Forest
District (now the Lillooet Timber Supply Area) in June of 2004. There was strong
St’át’imc opposition to the draft LRMP for a number of reasons. Foremost was the
diminution of their status to just one of many stakeholders, rather than recognizing their
authority and Aboriginal title and providing them with a co-management role (SN2; SN4).
The SCC also refused to agree to a plan that only dealt with a few key resource sectors,
while ignoring water and other issues (SN13). Prior to the release of the draft LRMP, the
St’át’imc reminded the province of their duty for meaningful consultation, but the process
offered by the province was deemed unacceptable. As a result, the province consented
to a government-to-government protocol for addressing land and resource use issues
within St’át’imc territory.
Under the protocol, the province agreed to comply with their legal obligations for
consultation and accommodation with the St’át’imc. They also agreed to reconcile the
LRMP with the St’át’imc Land Use Plan, prior to establishing the LRMP land and
resource use objectives under provincial legislation. Despite these efforts and intentions,
reconciling the LRMP and the St’át’imc LUP was not successful (SN2; SN3). The SCC
and the province adopted in principle a collaborative decision-making framework for land
use decisions (SN13), but the province never formally signed off on this process. Even
so, the SLRA continued working on strategic planning for LUP study areas where the
greatest concerns exist (SN13). The study areas were somewhat equivalent to what
some LRMPs call “cultural management areas,” but the St’át’imc and province could not
agree on the conditions that would be in place for these areas (SN13). Ultimately, the
government-to-government negotiating table was “trumped” by subsequent legislation,
while the negotiations eventually diverged from their original objectives (SN2). As a
result, the SCC ended further input, and the LRMP discussions were abandoned in 2004
(SN2; SN3). In 2010, the province adopted the Lillooet LRMP without St’át’imc
agreement or input (British Columbia 2010).
At the time of the community research undertaken for this study (late 2008), the
St’át’imc Nation has yet to formally ratify the St’át’imc Tribal Code, the Land Use Plan, or
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the cultural heritage law. All of these instruments remain in the draft stage (SN2), and
await acceptance, approval, and implementation (SN21). Nonetheless, the SCC has
continued to undertake community consultations in order to prepare the Tribal Code for
eventual adoption (SN2). Likewise, the SLRA and SCC continue to develop the LUP and
implement other land use policies (SN13). Failure of the government-to-government
negotiating table impeded progress on the LUP (SN3), but it is slowly moving to a more
operational stage without the cooperation of the province (SN6). The heritage policy was
brought to the Elders and hereditary chiefs for review and approval (SN21), but it has yet
to be ratified. The SCC continues to review how it will be implemented (SN13). In
particular, it needs to be reviewed and tested on the ground to see how it will operate,
while efforts to promote the heritage policy in communities are still required (SN13).
Once implemented, these instruments may influence the efforts of other First Nations
facing similar circumstances (SN13).
A Strategy for St’át’imc Heritage Stewardship
Heritage has been a key component in St’át’imc Nation initiatives and
negotiations, and the SCC and SLRA recognize that it must be considered in all
resource sectors (SN2). Therefore, a nation-wide strategy for stewardship is important
for building community knowledge and awareness, improving St’át’imc management and
control over heritage, and strengthening their assertion of title and rights (SN18; SN19).
Following the suspension of the LTC cultural heritage contract in 2006, no single
process replaced it. Nonetheless, the draft Tribal Code, draft Land Use Plan, and draft
heritage law set the tone and direction for an ongoing heritage stewardship
conversation. Moreover, the development of these instruments highlights the many
challenges facing community advocates who wish to implement a heritage stewardship
strategy. In this context, the St’át’imc consulted in this study described their perspectives
on overcoming these challenges, and their vision for the future of St’át’imc heritage
stewardship.
Foremost among these challenges is the issue of unified governance in a nationwide context (SN21), and the emphasis must involve building capacity (SN1), rather than
focussing on specific processes such as a heritage policy and process. However,
building nation level governance is problematic (SN1) due to the inherent tension
between the federally imposed system defined in the Indian Act and St’át’imc aspirations
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for national unity. In particular, the SCC system can potentially lessen the authority of
elected chiefs and councils, which at times creates issues within and between
communities (SN21). Moreover, traditional St’át’imc relationships emanate from kinship
ties, and each family has interests in specific areas that crosscut the federally
recognized communities (SN5). Another issue with governance involves the differing
approaches between the diverse communities. For example, Southern St’át’imc
communities affiliated with the In-SHUCK-ch Nation participated in the Sea-to-Sky Land
and Resource Management Plan process, which had negative consequences on SCC
goals because it undermined overall St’át’imc unity (SN1). Although the long-term goal is
still to have the entire nation involved, the Tribal Code and other initiatives may have to
move ahead only among the Northern St’át’imc (SN1; SN21).
At the same time, some consider the SLRA as the forum to work out the tensions
within and between communities, eventually leading to the resumption of building a
unified heritage framework (SN1). The SLRA system supports a family centred
approach, since each referral is brought to all of the communities, whereupon each
family identifies their interest in specific areas (SN5). Even so, this concept works better
in some communities than in other (SN5), and it has led to some tensions between
traditional and elected leaders (SN21). Moreover, it has been weakened by a lack of
funding (SN5; SN21), creating uncertainty about the resources available to maintain the
process (SN13).
A number of St’át’imc consultants were clear on the next steps necessary for
acting on heritage stewardship. First and foremost, a governance structure needs to be
in place that can support and enforce nation-wide instruments (SN1; SN21). Next, the
SLRA, Elders and traditional leadership need to revisit and refine the draft heritage
policy (SN4; SN16; SN21), and this policy needs to be aligned with the draft LUP,
without changing the basic heritage assessment process developed by the LTC (SN4).
The St’át’imc consultants also had clear ideas in terms of the specific content of the
heritage policy. From their perspective, the policy should:
• Identify who has authority to negotiate decisions, with a clear process for
“signing off” on management decisions (SN9).
• Avoid community boundaries, as this creates problems with decision-making;
decisions should be made by as a nation (SN9).
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• Address cooperation with neighbouring groups, in order to avoid territorial
disputes (SN9).
• Apply to developments in all resource industries, including mining and
independent power projects (SN8; SN18).
• Address the relationship of heritage to tourism, both in how tourism can be
incorporated into heritage stewardship, as well as how tourism impacts
heritage (SN14; SN19).
• Facilitate inventories of past and ongoing impacts to sites and areas, and
address compensation following the example of the BC Hydro negotiations
(SN2).
• Promote research, repatriation, and new technology (SN8; SN10; SN13),
• Facilitate development of a St’át’imc repository and research facility (SN2;
SN10, SN13). A facility or museum is an important goal, and Northern
St’át’imc communities have been struggling for years to establish one (SN10).
• Include a Nation-based permitting system, implemented through the Tribal
Code and administered by the SLRA (SN2).
St’át’imc consulted in this study were also adamant that the heritage policy and
any associated permit system should apply equally to everyone–St’át’imc and nonSt’át’imc–and that it should pertain to developments on all lands within their traditional
territory (SN1; SN2; SN4; SN6; SN8; SN13; SN14; SN15; SN18). The same level of
protection and management has not always been implemented on reserves, but this
needs to be addressed (SN1; SN8; SN15). Up until the present, the focus has been on
developments and referrals occurring off reserve, and the St’át’imc have not yet
attempted to work out an on reserve process coordinated with the federal department of
Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development (SN1). In order to maintain the integrity of
the process, there should be a single process for the entire territory (SN2), and the same
rules should affect everyone: “if we expect our neighbours to respect the St’át’imc LUP
off-reserve, then the same rules should apply on-reserve” (SN4). Likewise, the St’át’imc
heritage policy and permit system should deal with academic research, in addition to
assessments related to development projects (SN1; SN2; SN4; SN6; SN13; SN15;
SN18). Research results will be useful for advancing the heritage policy (SN13), but
despite the beneficial aspects of this information it does not come without costs (SN4).
Nonetheless, at least one St’át’imc consultant felt that the associated communities
should take the lead on negotiations related to research projects (SN2).
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Other major steps involve determining where a heritage stewardship program
should reside within the St’át’imc governance structure, and how the program should be
implemented within this structure. In particular, leadership must define its role in the
heritage process by devising the codes and policies that will guide them (SN1).
However, St’át’imc consulted in this study were divided on whether heritage stewardship
should be undertaken at the community or nation level. For some, heritage teams at the
community level are the best alternative because that is where capacity now resides
(SN5; SN11). Likewise, grassroots recommendations also may be stronger because of
local knowledge (SN6). Even so, a central role for the LTC should be facilitating and
coordinating a heritage information database, and as such all communities would be
expected to share their results and decisions (SN6). Heritage stewardship has worked to
an extent at the community level, largely because of capacity and mentoring from the
LTC (SN1).
On the other hand, many felt that a heritage stewardship program would work
best on a centralized basis, whether affiliated with the LTC or as a separate organization
or business (SN1; SN3; SN4; SN12). One option suggested by the consultants
envisioned a core group of researchers at the LTC, with local community members
joining it when the team worked in each community (SN3). Another would see full-time
natural resource officers with heritage responsibilities operating out of the LTC, with
satellite offices in each of the communities (SN3). These officers could also monitor and
follow up on recommendations, and audit forestry operations relating to heritage (SN3).
Under these scenarios, the heritage department would exist under the authority of the
SLRA and subject to the Tribal Code and heritage policy (SN4; SN5). A central heritage
department would provide a service, and would not make or facilitate management
decisions (SN3; SN4). Instead, information and results would be passed on to a
decision-making entity made up of community representatives (SN4).
In whatever fashion the heritage department is organized, there has to be full
involvement from St’át’imc (SN14), especially youth and elders. Young people need to
be schooled in St’át’imc history by the Elders who posses this knowledge (SN8).
Although input from Elders is needed, ultimately young people will inherit stewardship
duties (SN15). As such, they need encouragement to become involved, interested, and
educated (SN8; SN10). Moreover, the St’át’imc themselves should be doing the work,
and community members need to become archaeologists, with appropriate training in
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methods and post-secondary education (SN8; SN11; SN12; SN16; SN20). The workplan
developed in the BC Hydro negotiations is one approach that will hopefully draw young
people into the field, where they can become knowledgeable and competent researchers
(SN16). These individuals need to chose to do the work, and they also need to be in
good shape, capable of hard work, and willing to go anywhere they are needed (SN12).
The team needs good, apolitical leadership, and an established crew that works well
together (SN12).
In addition to the themes of governance, consistent policy, community
involvement, and training, the St’át’imc consulted in this study also highlighted two major
conceptual differences between St’át’imc heritage stewardship and current practice
under the provincial system. First, they envision heritage stewardship practiced on a
landscape scale, where integrity of the context is as important as that of sites and places
(SN2; SN16). Like the “blank map” planning process envisioned for forestry and in the
St’át’imc LUP, heritage assessments would look at the larger area first, in order to
decide what is off limits (SN3). Second, the St’át’imc envision heritage stewardship to be
practiced in a holistic, ecosystem-based manner whereby heritage is assessed in the
context of a broad range of values, such as water quality and wildlife (SN3). These
perspectives were evident in the processes and practices developed by the LTC cultural
heritage team. More important, they are reflected in the St’át’imc LUP, which designates
the entire territory as worthy of cultural protection.
In summary, the St’át’imc consulted in this study envisioned the future of
St’át’imc heritage stewardship to be closely linked to nation-based governance with a
high level of community input and control. St’át’imc heritage stewardship would be
consistent with a tribal code, a land-use plan, and a heritage policy adopted by the
nation as a whole, with heritage stewardship practiced under the authority or oversight of
the St’át’imc Land and Resource Authority or similar agency. The heritage policy should
be in force throughout their territory, apply equally on and off reserve, and should govern
assessment and research projects alike. The policy would have provisions for
repatriation and research, as well as mitigation and compensation for past impacts. The
heritage policy and process should also emphasize the involvement of Elders, and
facilitate training and education for youth. Finally, the epistemological basis of St’át’imc
heritage stewardship fundamentally stems from a holistic, landscape-based perspective.
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Reconciling Archaeology and Indigenous Authority
Things are always changing, and each generation will have different
views. But the way things are going, in 50 years there will be no place left
untouched by roads, industry and recreation. We have to recognize that
when all the resources are gone, the only future industry will be based on
St’át’imc heritage. Our children and grandchildren will have to decide how
things are done in the future. [Marie Barney, in Barney and Klassen 2008]
In its efforts to assert sovereignty over archaeology and heritage, the St’át’imc
Nation has encountered challenges and setbacks, and it has been required to make
sacrifices and compromises (SN16). Even so, the St’át’imc consulted in this study were
confident that significant progress has been made (SN16). Numerous sites and areas
have been protected through the efforts of the St’át’imc (SN11; SN14), and they were
generally optimistic about the future of St’át’imc heritage stewardship (SN8; SN10;
SN11; SN12; SN15). There is now a better understanding of the existing and evolving
heritage stewardship paradigm by both the St’át’imc and industry (SN12; SN13; SN16),
while the communities have also gained considerable experience (SN11). It has created
a collective awareness of St’át’imc identity and territory, and has helped undermine the
colonial process of “divide and rule” (SN13). One individual lamented the losses they
have incurred over the past 50 years, and wished such initiatives had existed for more
than the last decade or two (SN8). In this milieu, reconciling archaeology with aspirations
for St’át’imc authority is seen not only as achievable but desirable.
The Place of Archaeologists
The St’át’imc consulted in this study were generally positive about the
contributions of archaeologists to their communities and heritage. Throughout the
evolving stewardship process, archaeologists have played an important role (SN10).
However, when their heritage policy is eventually adopted, the St’át’imc Nation will have
to consider whether or how to include professional archaeologists. Some St’át’imc feel
that involving an outside archaeologist perpetuates a colonial relationship (SN13), and
certainly some may not respect St’át’imc authority or perspectives (SN16). Of course,
the ideal would be that the St’át’imc themselves become the archaeologists, but the
St’át’imc are still some years away from developing that internal capacity (SN8; SN11;
SN20). Although they challenge the notion that archaeologists have a privileged role,
they recognize that they are part of the process (SN4). As such, the St’át’imc consultants
172
overwhelmingly agreed that there is a continuing place for outside archaeologists in
St’át’imc heritage stewardship (SN4; SN6; SN8; SN10; SN11; SN12; SN14; SN15;
SN16):
When the opportunity to participate in the archaeological impact
assessment process first arose almost fifteen years ago, our first reaction
was to say no. But after we had more comfort in knowing we had a voice,
there was more willingness to meet half way, even though our stand
didn’t soften. There is always a place for archaeologists and consultants;
we are not closing the door, but they have to work for the Nation, and
they can’t be in control. We are now sitting at the boardroom table, with
the province and with industry, and we are demanding that our voice is
heard. [Marie Barney, Barney and Klassen 2008]
The technical and academic knowledge of archaeologists, and their authority in
the context of the provincial system, have been and continue to be beneficial to the
St’át’imc (SN8; SN11; SN12; SN15). They help set standards for field notes, mapping,
reporting, and organization (SN6), provide valuable feedback on management issues,
protocols and policies that support the goals of the St’át’imc (SN1; SN6), and have
helped to broaden their understanding of their heritage (SN13; SN14; SN15). Without
their knowledge and training, the St’át’imc would not have accomplished nearly as much
as they have over the past fifteen years (SN8; SN11). Although their focus tends to be
“site-specific,” archaeologists have helped to protect a wide range of St’át’imc heritage
(SN9; SN15). Without their involvement, the only other recourse in many cases would
have been roadblocks and conflict (SN15).
Of course, relationships with archaeologists were not universally positive. Some
archaeologists were reluctant to follow the process established by the Lillooet Tribal
Council (SN3), and even those that did accept it rarely seemed to actively promote it as
a superior approach (SN4). Archaeologists also tend to follow a linear step-by-step
process that is often at odds with the more reflexive and holistic approach that First
Nations find more suitable (SN3). Nonetheless, the St’át’imc feel they have benefited
overall from their relationship with archaeologists and that they have learned from them,
even if reliance on outside professionals sometimes grates against their assertions of
sovereignty. On the other hand, it is certain that archaeologists have also learned from
the St’át’imc, and the discipline has benefited from this relationship.
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Implications for Archaeological Practice
This St’át’imc case study is instructive for archaeologists and the discipline for
several reasons. First, it gives an indication of the form an emerging community-based
or indigenous archaeologies may develop in British Columbia, mirroring developments
elsewhere. Second, it suggests how these archaeologies may integrate, as well as
conflict, with existing and evolving archaeological practice in general, and “cultural
resource management” in particular. Last, it gives us a glimpse of future trends that
ultimately may influence or change the nature of the discipline. Yet, St’át’imc heritage
stewardship is at present primarily pragmatic and political in nature. The issues raised
through St’át’imc heritage stewardship are less about ontology and theory, and more
about methods, process and protocols, epistemology, and authority.
By making archaeological practice fit their own needs and objectives, they have
exerted an influence on: the criteria used in archaeological overviews, sampling and
survey coverage strategies, the incorporation of traditional and local knowledge, the
range of site types considered, and the selection of appropriate management and
mitigation options. They have also had an impact on: the level of contact and
consultation with communities, respect for St’át’imc values and protocols, opportunities
for community review and comment on results and recommendations, the participation
of Elders and community members in fieldwork, and training and capacity building.
These requirements are now standard practice in St’át’imc territory, and parallel the
model of indigenous heritage stewardship in place throughout much of the province and
elsewhere (Klassen et al. 2009). On the other hand, differences between St’át’imc and
conventional archaeological practice that are epistemological in nature are perhaps
more difficult to resolve, because they question the scope of heritage, our
understandings of archaeological meaning, and arbitrarily assigned values and
significance. An example of this dilemma, for instance, is testing the veracity of Elders’
testimony against physical evidence (or the lack thereof). Other issues involve the
tension between tangible and intangible heritage, material evidence and contextual
evidence, and site-specific heritage and landscape.
Of course, the paramount goal has been the assertion of St’át’imc moral and
political authority over heritage stewardship and the practice of archaeology in their
territory. Among the steps taken in this regard are: protocol agreements with industry,
holding contracts directly with proponents, influencing the selection of consultants, and
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directing archaeologists to identify and record a broader range of heritage. This has
wrested a corresponding degree of control over the assessment process away from the
profession and reduced the role of the Archaeology Branch in dictating how and when
archaeology is undertaken. The St’át’imc position is that authorization for archaeological
work in St’át’imc territory must come from local leadership, and not from provincial
regulations (SN1). Indeed, resolving the issues of Indigenous title and rights would
remove the obstacle that continues to thwart the development of St’át’imc heritage
stewardship. Until the province recognizes St’át’imc sovereignty, it will remain impossible
for them to exercise full authority over archaeology and heritage (SN18; SN21).
The St’át’imc perspectives and practices described above correspond with many
typical characteristics of community-based practice, but they also parallel the emerging
global phenomenon of Indigenous archaeology. 51 Critics of Indigenous archaeology tend
to focus on the canard that this approach is “anti-science”–for example, the belief that
the incorporation of traditional knowledge and ideology taints the purity of objective
observation and thwarts rational explanations (e.g., Mason 2000; McGhee 2008),
particularly in the treatment of ancestral remains and their repatriation. In this case
study, respect for the ancestors and concerns about disturbing their remains were
certainly expressed, but this concern never translated into a generalized prohibition
against archaeological practice, or a disdain for scientific archaeology. In fact, the
opposite is true; the St’át’imc involved in this study display considerable interest in
conventional methods and practice, and show regard for those archaeologists that
respect the St’át’imc and their heritage.
Given their proximal interest in their own local history, there is little concern
among the study participants for the debates over indigenous archaeology, the peopling
of the Americas, scientific vs. traditional epistemology, or excavating and analyzing
human remains. Appropriating the methods of archaeology is not ontological in nature,
but rather political action. In the context of land claims and indigenous title, St’át’imc
priorities are reclaiming identity, showing that their occupation of their land has great
time depth, and demonstrating that they have a right to control their own history and
heritage. Indeed, a primary political motivation is to demonstrate that the St’át’imc were
present at the time of the assertion of Crown sovereignty in 1846, as the archaeological
51
However, the St’át’imc do not use these terms to describe their approach, instead
characterizing their practice as nation-based heritage stewardship.
175
record can help prove their title under current legal precedents. St’át’imc archaeology
stresses the imperatives of respect, participation, control, and sovereignty, and thus it
fits the characterization of Indigenous archaeology as a political creation, as opposed to
a theoretical construction.
St’át’imc heritage stewardship reached an important milestone when, after fifteen
years of negotiations, the SCC signed a final compensation agreement with BC Hydro in
2010. The following April, members of all eleven St’át’imc communities voted in favour of
the St’át’imc Hydro Agreement. It “covers all past, present and future impacts,
grievances and claims of the St’át’imc related to the planning, placement, construction
and ongoing operation of existing BC Hydro facilities within our territory” (St'át'imc Chiefs
Council 2011b). In addition to financial compensation, it incorporates a heritage plan
“that will help fix Hydro’s impacts on our heritage and culture and ensure that there are
no additional impacts” (St'át'imc Chiefs Council 2011b), and laid the framework for an
implementation entity called St’át’imc Government Services (SGS). Since ratification of
the agreement, SGS has retained an archaeologist as an in-house heritage and culture
director, and hired heritage technicians to implement the heritage plan. Although
primarily intended to address issues relating to BC Hydro, the agreement provides a new
opportunity for developing a nation-wide approach to heritage stewardship.
Chapter Summary: From Practice to Power
Through their engagement with archaeology and archaeologists, the St’át’imc
have become an influential participant in the heritage stewardship process. They have
developed greater heritage stewardship awareness, knowledge and capacity. The
importance of Elders, local knowledge, and St’át’imc traditions for effective heritage
stewardship has been demonstrated. They have successfully challenged simplistic
archaeological assessments, and through their fieldwork they have identified a greater
density and distribution of archaeological and heritage sites. Moreover, the range of sites
and heritage that is considered and managed in St’át’imc territory has been considerably
broadened, while the importance of context and landscape in heritage stewardship has
been emphasized.
Most important, the St’át’imc have successfully asserted greater control over the
heritage stewardship process, with a dramatic increase in participation and authority.
176
Although the form and effectiveness of heritage stewardship in St’át’imc territory has
varied in the last few years, the promise and potential for implementing successful
initiatives at the nation-wide level is great. In the end, the full impact of St’át’imc
archaeological practice and heritage stewardship may not rest in what it has achieved
thus far, but rather in what it may yet accomplish. In the next two chapters, I discuss a
second example of Indigenous heritage stewardship in the mid-Fraser region that is
comparable to the St’át’imc experience, but also distinct in its particulars.
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Chapter 6.
The Nlaka’pamux Nation and Archaeology
Our ancestors told us that if the Stein was destroyed,
it would be the end of the Nlaka’pamux way of life.
Ruby Dunstan, Lytton, 2010
Like their St’át’imc neighbours to the north, the Nlaka’pamux have had a prolonged
exposure to archaeologists, beginning with the earliest “scientific archaeology” in the
interior of the province during the late nineteenth century. 52 Although at first largely
disenfranchised from archaeology, by the 1980s the Nlaka’pamux recognized
archaeology was a useful political tool for addressing issues relating to Indigenous title
and rights. Nlaka’pamux communities and organizations then began using
archaeological research to further their own interests, often by hiring outsiders to
conduct studies that countered those of industry proponents and the province.
Nlaka’pamux communities were not directly involved in the practice of cultural resource
management (CRM) archaeology, so the actual work was largely left to consulting firms.
Since 2005, the Nlaka’pamux have begun to incorporate archaeology directly into
their land and resource consultations and negotiations, and to demonstrate familiarity
with the aims and methods of modern archaeology and CRM. A nation-wide heritage law
is currently in preparation, and Nlaka’pamux communities are actively involved in the
CRM process. Even so, they retain an indigenous perspective on heritage that differs in
fundamental respects from conventional archaeological practice and the provincial
regulatory structure, while at the same time corresponding closely to that of their
St’át’imc neighbours. And like the St’át’imc, their worldview directly informs their
approach to heritage stewardship and their relationship with archaeologists and
government heritage managers. Moreover, archaeology and heritage stewardship are
52
See Chapter 1 for a description of the the bands and communities that make up the
Nlaka’pamux Nation.
178
seen as inherently connected to indigenous title and rights. The relationship between
archaeological practice and the Nlaka’pamux is best understood in the context of efforts
to reassert authority and sovereignty.
In this chapter, I describe the historical and contemporary relationships of the
Nlaka’pamux with archaeology and heritage stewardship, based on research with eight
communities affiliated with the Nlaka’pamux Nation Tribal Council (Figure 11). This
narrative provides an interesting counterpoint to the St’át’imc experience outlined in
Chapter 4. In the St’át’imc instance, their initial exposure to archaeology was relatively
recent and generally positive, and was predominantly in the context of academic
research. This introduction to archaeological objectives and methods led to their direct
involvement in CRM and encouraged more frequent collaboration with archaeologists. In
contrast, the Nlaka’pamux had a much earlier and more negative experience with the
discipline, and more recently have interacted with archaeologists in a predominantly
development-oriented setting. This may have contributed to a more confrontational
relationship with CRM, and a greater focus on landscape stewardship as opposed to
heritage management. Despite these differences, the contemporary perspectives of both
nations are remarkably consistent in terms of the value and limitations of archaeology,
and the benefits and challenges of heritage stewardship.
I begin the chapter with a brief overview of the Nlaka’pamux encounter with
archaeology from the late 1800s until the 1980s, presented within a political, historical,
and social context, and primarily based on published literature. This is followed by a
description of the specific events and issues leading them into direct conflict with the use
of archaeology in the context of CRM, proposed developments, land claims, and
landscape protection during the 1980s and 1990s. This section is supplemented with
archival materials held by the Nlaka’pamux Nation Tribal Council (NNTC) and
information provided by staff at the tribal council. This chapter ends with a brief overview
of the present transformation of Nlaka’pamux engagement with archaeology, which
serves as an introduction for the case study found in the next chapter.
179
Figure 11.
Nlaka'pamux communities (red dots) on the Fraser River affiliated with
the Nlaka'pamux Nation Tribal Council (map base courtesy Hope
Mountain Centre for Outdoor Learning).
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Looting and Collecting (1877–1927)
In British Columbia, the collecting of ethnological and archaeological curiosities
commenced with the fur trade (Cole 1985), but the “scientific” collection of Indigenous
artifacts and ancestral remains began in the 1870s (Killan 1998; Noble 1972). In 1875,
the Geological Survey of Canada sent the geologist George M. Dawson to British
Columbia to carry out geological exploration during the mapping of the new province. His
mandate included the collection of ethnological and archaeological data and materials
from what was then perceived as the vanishing Indigenous peoples of the West (Cole
and Lockner 1989a:18). In the 20 years prior to his visit, Nlaka’pamux society had
suffered from a series of calamitous events, beginning with the Fraser River gold rush
and “canyon war” of 1858, followed by the subsequent imposition of colonial rule and the
devastating smallpox epidemics of the 1860s, and culminating with their forced
settlement on small reserves (Harris 1992, 2002; Harris 1995; Laforet and York 1998; D.
P. Marshall 2002; Teit 1900, 1912). To outsiders, the people they called the Thompson
Indians appeared to be doomed.
On his second journey through the interior of British Columbia, Dawson stopped
briefly in the frontier town of Lytton in May of 1876, where he found “Indian Remains” on
the banks of the Thompson River (Cole and Lockner 1989b:191-192), although whether
he collected any materials is unclear. He returned to Lytton on September 25, 1877 and
in his journal he wrote:
[I] went across to point between Fraser & Thompson to see reported
Indian burial place, which told by Mr. Good & the Indians so ancient that
those living know nothing about it, & do not even appear to Count the
dead there as their friends. Find a wonderful display of bones and
implements. Gather a large number of the latter, & return to Lytton. After
getting packs off, go quietly with Douglas & appropriate seven skulls, the
best we could find without excavation. Carry them back in a gunny sack &
pack the whole collection in a couple of boxes for Victoria. [Cole and
Lockner 1989b:406-7]
Dawson obtained information about the site from Nlaka’pamux informants,
although he suggests that they disavowed any connection with the “ancient” burials. He
may have used this denial as ethical justification for the “appropriation” of the skulls, but
his choice of words and the fact that he returned “quietly” to the site to undertake the
collection suggests that he was aware that the Nlaka’pamux would object to the
181
disturbance of these ancestral remains. Dawson’s furtive looting may have also been
partly in response to the prohibitions of the colonial-era Indian Graves Ordinance, in
force since 1865, however unlikely that any official in frontier Lytton would have felt
compelled to enforce this law. Dawson hoped his admittedly unsystematic ethnological
observations and archaeological collections, described in subsequent publications,
would serve “as a useful contribution to the knowledge of the ethnography of the region”
and assist future investigations (Dawson 1887, 1891:3). 53 Within this ethos, the benefits
of archaeology for the Nlaka’pamux people were elusive. Certainly they had little say in
how or where archaeological collecting was done, much less if it should occur at all.54
Some ten years later, in September of 1887, the German botanist Carl A. Purpus
revisited the Lytton burial site:
Shortly after we climbed up the sand dune covered banks of the two
rivers, we came to an old Indian graveyard, covered with wind borne sand
and surmounted by a lonely pine tree. The very same [graveyard] was
ransacked by antiquity collectors, and skulls and bones were scattered
everywhere, a sad picture of earthly transience. Amongst the bones, I
found a couple of flattened copper pieces, covered with verdigris, and a
pointed instrument made of bone, which is still used by Indians for the
preparation of their elaborate baskets made from the bast of red cedar
(Thuja gigantean). [Purpus 1892a:393] 55
His dismay and romantic sentiments contrast with the extant public attitude about
indigenous antiquities. Indeed, a lengthy period of looting followed Dawson’s visit,
perhaps accelerated by the arrival of the Canadian Pacific Railway in Lytton in 1884.
Purpus made an additional important contribution to the archaeological knowledge of the
region by making the earliest published reference to local pictographs (Purpus
1892b:254).
In July of 1888, during his first expedition sponsored by the British Association for
the Advancement of Science (BAAS), Franz Boas stopped briefly in Lytton with the
intention of gathering a vocabulary and old stories (Rohner 1969). Finding that he had
little luck collecting ethnographic material, Boas spent his spare time collecting
53
Dawson’s collection, housed at the Museum of the Geological Survey of Canada, was later
described and illustrated by Harlan I. Smith (1913).
54
Dawson briefly returned to Lytton in 1888, at which time he travelled a short distance up the
Stein valley and attempted to climb Stein Mountain, but there is no evidence that he made
additional collections on this trip.
55
Translated from German by Ursula Arndt.
182
specimens. 56 In his diary for July 13, 1888, he wrote: “At seven this morning I
breakfasted and then went in search of a suitable Indian. After some trouble I found one.
Before that I visited all the graveyards and gathered a few bones, but nothing of great
value. I also found a bone dagger and a stone hammer” (Rohner 1969:99).
Like many other educated people in the late nineteenth century, Boas was
convinced that the cultures and languages of Indigenous peoples were rapidly facing
extinction, and indeed the people themselves were in danger of vanishing (Boas 1889,
1902). For Boas, collecting ancestral remains and artifacts was thus a scientific
necessity in order to answer anthropological questions about human and cultural origins
(Cole 1985). In particular, Boas was interested in the earliest history of Indigenous
peoples in North America and their relationship to the peoples of Asia (Boas 1903:73,
1910). He believed that coastal cultures had diffused from Asia through the mid-Fraser,
and “it would be exceedingly interesting to obtain prehistoric skulls from this area” (Boas
quoted in Carlson 2005:138). Boas promoted an early interest in the archaeology of
British Columbia, and encouraged archaeological collecting, with a particular emphasis
on ancestral remains and grave goods from archaeological burials. He was keenly
aware of the finite and imperilled nature of archaeological sites and artifacts, and
advocated for their preservation and collection. This was an imperative, as the “once
abundant material of old native crania and skeletons lying scattered all over the province
is becoming more and more scarce as it decays” (Boas 1889:235). Although Boas
lamented that “it is most unpleasant work to steal bones from a grave,” it still had to be
done for the greater scientific good (Cole 1985:119; Rohner 1969:88).
Throughout the late 1800s, private collectors, including the Lytton Indian Agent
J.W. McKay, continued to scour sites in the Lytton area for human remains and artifacts.
Materials taken during “casual visits to the old burial-place near Lytton” were housed in
the Provincial Museum at Victoria, the Royal Ethnographic Museum in Berlin, and the
Geological Survey of Canada, as well as in “various private cabinets of antiquities” in
British Columbia (Smith 1899b:129, 1913). One of the most prolific private collectors was
Charles Hill-Tout, a schoolmaster with a strong interest in ethnology and archaeology. In
perhaps the first treatise on British Columbia archaeology (Noble 1972), Hill-Tout refers
56
The Lytton artifacts collected by Boas were deposited with the Geological Survey of Canada
in 1889 (see Lepofsky and Arnett 1988).
183
to his collection of arrow and spear points, as well as jade pieces, “taken from the Lytton
burial heaps” (Hill-Tout 1895:113).
On Boas’ fifth research expedition to British Columbia on behalf of the BAAS in
1894, he met James Teit at Spences Bridge on the Thompson River (Rohner 1969:140).
This fortuitous meeting initiated a research partnership that lasted until Teit’s death in
1922 (Boas 1923). Teit had lived in Spences Bridge since 1884, was married to a
Nlaka’pamux women, Susannah Lucy Antko, and had become fluent in the Nlaka’pamux
language. Through his close association with the Nlaka’pamux, Teit had developed a
scholarly interest in indigenous cultures that was encouraged and fostered by Boas
(Thompson 2007:17; Wickwire 1998). In addition to assisting Boas on research trips to
the area, Teit also amassed a large collection of ethnological and archaeological objects
from the region between 1895 and 1905 for the American Museum of Natural History. A
significant contribution that Teit made was a detailed “ethnoarchaeological” description
of stone tool manufacture, pithouse and lodge construction, pictograph, ethnobotany,
and burial customs (Teit 1896, 1900, 1930). He recognized the relationship of
contemporary and archaeological features and artifacts, and, unlike prevailing
archaeological research of the time, saw the value in observing and interviewing
Indigenous peoples in terms of understanding the archaeological past. For the
remainder of Boas’ field research, Teit acted as a much-needed local contact with the
Nlaka’pamux.
In March 1897, Boas launched the Jesup North Pacific Expedition for the
American Museum of Natural History, an ambitious archaeological and anthropological
investigation of ethnological relationships between Siberia and the Northwest Coast
(Cole 1985:147). In the British Columbia interior, the archaeological work was entrusted
to Harlan I. Smith, a staff archaeologist of the American Museum of Natural History. At
Spences Bridge, Smith spent a week photographing pictographs, “prospecting” in
housepits, and excavating a single grave (Carlson 2005:141-142). Teit originally
discovered this grave, and collected some artifacts after “digging into it” (Smith
1900:434). Some Nlaka’pamux assisted Smith as he excavated this grave, “which had
been unknown to them,” but they did not wish him to “explore” numerous other nearby
graves (Smith 1900). After a stint in Kamloops, where he encountered resistance to his
grave digging from the local Secwepemc (Carlson 2005; Smith 1898), Smith travelled
downriver to Lytton on July 4, where John J. Oakes and Charles Hill-Tout joined him.
184
The latter assisted him for two or three weeks, probably as a volunteer (Maud 1978:15).
Over the next 18 days, Smith and his colleagues collected enough material to fill 33
boxes–29 filled with “antiquities” (artifacts and human remains) from housepit and burial
sites, three filled with grave posts, and another containing ethnological specimens
(Carlson 2005:149; Lepofsky and Arnett 1988; Smith 1899b). 57
Most of Smith’s investigations and collecting around Lytton took place at the
large burial site on the north side of the confluence of the Fraser and Thompson rivers,
which Smith considered “by far the most important site near Lytton” (1899:130). He
described the site as a “well-known burial place where most of the remains have been
disturbed by curiosity seekers” (quoted in Carlson 2005:149-150). Local men (likely
Nlaka’pamux) assisted Smith, but he did most of the digging himself as he found the
workers to be expensive and hired as few as possible (Carlson 2005:149). Smith and
Oakes also made the first “scientific” investigation of the Stein pictographs, visiting three
sites and making drawings and taking photographs of the paintings. Smith was led to
these sites by a Nlaka’pamux guide named Jimmie (Lepofsky and Arnett 1988), although
in a letter dated July 11 he complained that his “pack Indian” wanted too much money
and food in return for his services (see Carlson 2005:149).
Like his experience at Kamloops, Smith also encountered resistance among the
Nlaka’pamux. In a letter from Lytton dated July 11, 1897 Smith states that “Both here
and at Kamloops the site of work is on Indian reserves–at both places I was welcome to
take stone, shell etc. but refused human bones” (quoted in Carlson 2005:145). At
Kamloops, this issue was at least partially resolved through a council meeting, but Smith
never indicates if the issue was discussed or resolved at Lytton. Years later, he wrote:
In the same way that we desire to cling to the property of our ancestors,
so the Indians reverence and guard the land of their forefathers. It was
sometimes difficult to persuade the Indians who owned the land where
most of the explorations were conducted to allow the work to be carried
on. But when the purpose of the investigation was explained to them,
some of the Indians highly appreciated the work… [Smith 1913:4]
57
This review of Smith’s work in the Lytton area was aided by reference to copies of his notes
and correspondence on file at the Nlaka’pamux Nation Tribal Council, Lytton, B.C. The
provenance of the originals of these notes and letters are not always recorded in this
collection. However, many of these letters are also cited and quoted extensively in Lepofsky
and Arnett (1988) and Carlson (2005). Wherever possible the latter source is cited in order to
permit readers access to information on the original source.
185
Whether Smith successfully persuaded the Nlaka’pamux at Lytton to appreciate
the disinterment of their ancestors is unknown, but in any case he was undeterred by
their opinions. In a letter to Boas in mid-September, Smith confided that the Indian Agent
from Westminster told him that “every Indian Agent here received notice that there was a
liability of parties digging in Indian grave yards and to look out for them as it was against
the law,” and the agents had been instructed to “warn the Indians & instruct them on the
law” (quoted in Carlson 2005:152). 58 As his future actions would indicate, Smith
apparently felt comfortable that this law did not apply to his efforts.
During the 1898 season of the Jesup North Pacific Expedition, Smith stopped
briefly in Kamloops, Spence’s Bridge, and Lytton. His interior fieldwork consisted mainly
of “ethnographic collecting, photography of earth-houses, and re-checking of the areas
he had excavated in the previous year, with some limited surface collecting and
excavation in a pithouse at Spence’s Bridge,” the latter with the assistance of Teit
(Carlson 2005:156). More importantly, Teit read and commented on Smith’s draft paper
on the archaeology of Lytton, and requested copies of the illustrations “in order that he
may inform us of what he knows of them & enquire about them of Indians before we
publish any of them” (quoted in Carlson 2005:155). In late September of 1899, Smith
returned to the interior, where he and Teit spent two weeks in the Nicola valley above
Spence’s Bridge. Although much of his time was spent taking photographs, he and Teit
also collected numerous skeletons and artifacts from talus burials. During this trip Smith
was also able to review the artifact illustrations in his draft monograph with several
Nlaka’pamux elders (Smith 1900:440). According to Smith, “nearly all doubtful points
[were] explained” by information from these elders (quoted in Carlson 2005:160).
Although this information came too late to include in his Lytton memoir, he incorporated
it in his subsequent paper on the archaeology of Spences Bridge and Kamloops (Smith
1900:440). On October 7, Smith left for Michigan, never to return to the interior of British
Columbia.
In a subsequent ethnographic report on the Nlaka’pamux for the BAAS, Hill-Tout
again references his large collection of artifacts from Lytton, and notes that some of his
artifacts were sent to the Provincial Museum in Victoria and the Geological Survey in
58
It is unclear which law the Indian Agent from Westminster was referring to, as the federal
government had repealed the pre-confederation Indian Graves Ordinance of 1867 in 1886
(although it may have still been on the books with the province) (Apland 1993:3).
186
Ottawa (see Newcombe 1909:63; Smith 1899a:20).59 Like Teit and Smith, Hill-Tout
recognized the applicability of traditional knowledge and ethnographic analogy in the
interpretation of material culture. He relied on Nlaka’pamux informants for insights into
the manufacture and function of what we would now consider to be archaeological
artifacts and features, including housepits and the Stein pictographs.60 In particular, HillTout acknowledged the contribution of Chief Mischelle (or Machelle) whom he met in
Lytton around 1898.
Of all the late nineteenth century collectors, Smith had the greatest impact on the
relationship of the Nlaka’pamux to archaeologists. His excavations differed little from that
of looters, with the only favourable distinction being that the artifacts were recorded and
housed in public institutions (Lepofsky and Arnett 1988:5). Some credit Smith with
introducing the “first systematic archaeological fieldwork in southern British Columbia”
(Carlson 2005:134; see also Noble 1972:31). Smith also involved Indigenous peoples in
fieldwork and interpretation to a greater degree than had occurred in the past. He
recognized their interests and knowledge, men from the communities were hired as
labourers (although he minimized this wherever he could), and before excavating burials
on reserves he actively sought the permission of those communities. Smith also
recognized that there was a cultural and historical connection between the
archaeological record and living Indigenous peoples, and recognized the value of their
knowledge for understanding and interpreting material culture and features. Notably, he
acknowledged the contribution of his informants (see Smith 1900).
Some argue that Smith found his own actions “ethically problematic” (Carlson
2005), but his fieldnotes suggest that he was not overly perturbed. Even by the
standards of the times he was complicit in the morally and legally questionable tactics of
collecting human remains. His letters and fieldnotes make clear that he knew his actions
were of doubtful legality, and he was well aware that Indigenous peoples generally
opposed the excavation of burials. In some cases, Nlaka’pamux representatives
appeared ambivalent about permitting graves to be disturbed, while in other cases
explicit permission to excavate graves was given, albeit with restrictions. However,
59
60
Smith (1913) later illustrated and described at least ten artifacts from Lytton and vicinity
donated by Hill-Tout to the Museum of the Geological Survey of Canada.
It is not clear from Hill-Tout’s report when he visited the Stein pictographs, but it may have
been as early as 1894 in the company of James Teit (Lepofsky and Arnett 1988).
187
Smith took active steps to avoid full disclosure of his activities, and his notes give the
impression of relief that he got away with this deception. Even where permission from
the appropriate community was sought or obtained, their wishes were not always fully
respected. Although under intense pressure from Boas to collect as many skulls as
possible, Smith furthered his own interests with his burial excavations, which yielded
abundant and significant material culture intrinsic to his research. Despite the knowledge
that their actions were questionable, Boas and Smith were swayed by their own scientific
imperative and driven by the competition for developing impressive museum exhibits, all
the time certain that they were salvaging the remains of a dying race.
After Smith’s departure from the interior, collecting persisted at archaeological
sites in the mid-Fraser region (see Newcombe 1909:62). Notably, sometime before 1909
the compulsive and entrepreneurial collector Lt. George T. Emmons acquired a number
of artifacts from Lytton that he later sold as part of larger Northwest collections to the
philanthropist George G. Heye and to the Washington State Museum (now the Burke
Museum). 61 Emmons may have travelled to Lytton specifically to collect jade artifacts,
which he would have been aware of from Dawson’s earlier publication on the subject
(Dawson 1887). A comment on one of the Burke catalogue record notes that the “people
of the present day have little or no knowledge of this art or manufacture,”62 but there is
no evidence that Emmons had any contact with the Nlaka’pamux while at Lytton, much
less sought their permission or knowledge.
James Teit continued to send material each year to New York and Ottawa right
up until his death in 1922, but after the turn of the century “scientific collecting” declined
throughout British Columbia, partly due to the decreased market among museums, as
well as the diminished supply of objects (Cole 1985:212, 244). As their social and
economic condition worsened after the turn of the century, the Nlaka’pamux and their
neighbours began to organize themselves politically, assert claims to title, and exercise
their rights (Tennant 1990:85). Interior Salish nations were among the most outspoken
as they felt the most impact from the effects of settlement. Pressures on Nlaka’pamux
61
62
Heye eventually established a private foundation to house his collections. Originally the
Museum of the American Indian in New York, it is now the National Museum of the American
Museum (Smithsonian Institute), in Washington, D.C. The Washington State Museum is now
the Burke Museum, at the University of Washington in Seattle.
Burke Museum catalogue record on file at the Nlaka’pamux Nation Tribal Council, Lytton,
B.C.
188
heritage also increased. For example, in a series of letters to Harlan Smith, who became
head of the archaeology division at the Geological Survey of Canada in 1911, Teit
described how construction of the Canadian Northern Railway (CNoR) had disturbed old
burial sites and how construction workers were taking artifacts away. 63 In the end, Teit
shipped a number of boxes of ancestral remains to Ottawa, but his correspondence with
Smith suggests that he was less upset by the actual impacts to the burials themselves
than he was concerned that the skulls and bones were being lost to “science.” Teit’s
response to the CNoR impacts is significant in that it was an example of “salvage
archaeology,” long before the concept was articulated.
Over the next years, the interior tribes continued to lobby the federal government,
but in April of 1927 the government unanimously rejected all claims of Indigenous title.
To make matters worse, the federal government immediately passed an amendment to
the Indian Act (s.141), prohibiting Indians from raising money for advancing land claims,
filing court cases on land claims, or retaining a lawyer. Hope for greater control of their
land and its resources, and by extension authority over their heritage, were thus
significantly set back. This impediment to heritage stewardship also coincided with the
end of the “great age” of museum collecting (Cole 1985:279), and marked the beginning
of a long hiatus in archaeological research in the region. A further constraint on heritage
was the enactment of the Historic Objects Preservation Act in 1925, which gave the
province the power to designate any rock art site, structure, or “natural object” to be a
“historic object” protected from any form of disturbance (Smith 1927).64 Soon after, a
1927 amendment to the Indian Act (section 106A) prohibited the sale, removal, or
disturbance of any “Indian grave-house, carved grave-pole, totem-pole, carved housepost or large rock embellished with paintings or carvings on a Indian reserve” without the
written consent of the Superintendent General of Indian Affairs. With these instruments,
the provincial and federal governments explicitly asserted that these objects were
property of the Crown (Yellowhorn 1999b). Nlaka’pamux authority over their own
heritage had reached a nadir, and they had essentially lost control of their ancestral
remains and physical past.
63
64
Canadian Museum of Civilization, Archaeology Archives, Box 1, File 12 Teit, and Box 14, File
2 Teit, Gatineau, PQ. Copies of Teit’s notes and correspondence cited here are also on file
with the Nlaka’pamux Nation Tribal Council, Lytton, B.C.
The text of the Historic Objects Preservation Act is appended to Smith’s 1927 paper.
189
Culture History and Resource Management (1961–1980)
After the death of James Teit, archaeological research was absent from the midFraser region for nearly 40 years, although “relic hunters” continued to scour sites
throughout the area, with Indian Agents and other persons of authority among the worst
offenders (see Lepofsky and Arnett 1988). During this period, Nlaka’pamux communities
increasingly came under the control of the local Indian Agent. Although Section 141 of
the Indian Act was eventually repealed in 1951, the Nlaka’pamux required several
decades to regain the nation-level political organization they possessed up until the
1920s (Tennant 1990:127).
The era of “modern” scientific archaeology in the province began in the 1950s
when Charles Borden of the University of British Columbia (UBC) started his work in the
Fraser Delta region (Noble 1972:31-32). He also conducted the first archaeological
research in the lower Fraser Canyon, when he excavated the Milliken site near Yale (just
south of the mid-Fraser region) from 1959 to 1961 (Borden 1960, 1961a).65 Under
Borden’s influence, the Archaeological and Historical Sites Protection Act (AHSPA) was
enacted in 1960, becoming the first comprehensive archaeological legislation in British
Columbia (Apland 1993). It firmly cemented the province’s claim of ownership over
archaeological heritage, leaving little room for Indigenous authority, but it also addressed
the growing threats to sites. In the first half of the century, the pace of agricultural,
transportation, and resource development in the Lytton area had accelerated, leading to
increasing impacts to archaeological sites, especially burials (Lepofsky and Arnett 1988).
In the spring of 1961, for example, Borden investigated a burial site at Texas Creek, on
the west side of the Fraser River between Lytton and Lillooet, where logging operations
and “subsequent uncontrolled digging” had heavily disturbed an unknown number of
interments (Borden 1961b; Sanger 1968b). This incident was an early stimulus for
salvage excavations at burial sites in British Columbia (Sanger 1966b, 1969b).
Acting on the recommendation of Borden, David Sanger, a young graduate
student in archaeology from the UBC, undertook the first systematic archaeological
research in the mid-Fraser since the time of Harlan Smith (Sanger 1961). Following
65
Borden also judgementally surface collected various archaeological sites in the mid-Fraser
region during the 1950s and 1960s, including the Lytton ossuary, which he visited at least five
times between 1950 and 1964. Robert Kidd and D. Manders of UBC also made a surface
collection in 1958. These collections are now held at the University of British Columbia.
190
excavation of two graves in May of 1961, he began a three-month burial site survey
along a 100-km stretch of the Fraser River, from north of Lillooet to Lytton (Sanger
1961:9). Sanger noted that various developments and “digging by totally untrained and
unqualified persons” had taken a heavy toll on archaeological sites, and burial sites had
“suffered the most heavily” (Sanger 1961:2). For Sanger, “working with informants
generally proved more productive than random test-pitting” (Sanger 1961:5). Yet his
Indigenous informants remain nameless, even though he identified a number of local
landowners. For the final month he surveyed the west side of the Fraser River north of
Lytton, which he called the “most productive” area of the survey, with little evidence of
looting. Sanger was also impressed with a “complex” of sites near the mouth of the Stein
River: “Several seasons could be spent investigating in this area, which has potential
exceeding any area in the Interior plateau known to me” (Sanger 1961:21). He described
the area as “inhabited solely by Indians” who were “eager to cooperate being pleased
and flattered that such an interest should be taken in their fast disappearing past”
(Sanger 1961:13). To successfully survey in this area, he required a guide and
interpreter, and in his acknowledgements he wrote that a “special note of appreciation is
due to Andrew Johnny, Jr., a Thompson [Nlaka’pamux] youth who accompanied me
during the month of September” (Sanger 1961:2). He also acknowledged the assistance
of Andrew Johnny, Sr., the father of his guide and interpreter.
Despite the interest of Nlaka’pamux community members in Sanger’s work and
their key logistical assistance, they had little authority over the archaeological research
itself. For instance, Sanger notes that since “most of the sites are on Indian reserves, the
Superintendent of the Lytton Indian Agency ... initially should be contacted if any future
work is considered” (Sanger 1961:21). In 1961, the Indian Agent still maintained local
authority and band councils held little autonomous power; indeed, Sanger acknowledged
the assistance of the local Indian Agent but made no mention of chiefs or councils
(Sanger 1961:2). Likewise, the contribution of contemporary Nlaka’pamux to the
interpretation of the archaeological record is not acknowledged, while he cited the work
of ethnographers such as Teit (Sanger 1961:26). Even in an area “solely inhabited by
Indians” that still practiced their “aboriginal skills and customs,” they had little voice in
archaeological practice.
The near absence of the Nlaka’pamux from archaeological discourse would
become even more striking over the next decade, when the “culture history” approach
191
prevailed in British Columbian archaeology. In this approach, archaeological and
contemporary cultures are distinct, and the latter are rarely considered as a source for
interpretations. Following his burial survey, Sanger conducted extensive excavations at
the Nesikep Creek and Lochnore [Lochore] Creek localities in 1962 and 1964 (Sanger
1962, 1964, 1966a). In a classic culture history approach, Sanger used the excavations
to produce the basis for the first local chronology and artifact sequence for the midFraser region (Sanger 1967a, 1967b, 1969a, 1970). In this reconstruction, the
“ethnographic” and contemporary Nlaka’pamux are notably absent. For example, he
states “[o]ur knowledge of aboriginal Thompson society is very limited,” save what can
be reconstructed from Teit’s “meagre” descriptions and what little can be observed in
“present behaviour” (Sanger 1967:23).
In his Ph.D. dissertation, Sanger made no explicit mention of Nlaka’pamux
individuals or agencies in two pages of acknowledgements (Sanger 1967b, 1970). Only
in the list of field crewmembers is Andrew Johnny, Jr., acknowledged (although he is not
explicitly identified as Nlaka’pamux). Indeed, the knowledge, assistance or authority of
the contemporary Nlaka’pamux is absent from all of Sanger’s “official” academic
publications, without any evidence that permission, or even approval, was sought from
Nlaka’pamux bands or community members. Even in his popular magazine account of
his Lytton research, there is only a brief summary of the ethnographic record and no
mention at all of the contemporary Nlaka’pamux (Sanger 1968a). Nonetheless, reading
his unpublished burial survey report shows that Sanger relied extensively on
Nlaka’pamux for local knowledge, assistance and logistical support (Sanger 1961). This
exclusion of Indigenous presence from the “official” archaeological literature served to
distance living descendants from the practice of archaeology, and diminished the
connections and links between the past and the present.
Sanger went some way toward rectifying this omission in 1988, when he wrote a
letter in support of preserving the Stein valley as a significant sacred place for the
Nlaka’pamux (Sanger 1988). He describes how he was “fortunate enough to be hosted
by Andrew [Sr.] and Sarah Johnny” while conducting his burial site survey in 1961, and
how he and Andrew Johnny, Jr., around 17 years old at the time, became “fast friends”
as they explored along the Fraser and “chatted with elderly Thompson people”: “So
while I had the typical young man’s conviction that I knew it all (well, most all), I found a
wealth of unpublished information that I had not the skills to document” (Sanger
192
1988:179). Sanger’s belated recognition of Nlaka’pamux support coincided with the
political and social changes that had swept through Indigenous communities, and
society as a whole, in the years since his research in the area.
The 1970s saw a renewed sense of political unity and purpose among
Indigenous nations in British Columbia following the defeat of the 1969 federal “white
paper” on Indian policy (Schaepe 2007; Shuswap Nation Tribal Council 2010; Tennant
1990). By the early part of the decade, the Indian Agent system had been dismantled,
band councils were able to operate more autonomously, and tribal councils representing
the interests of an entire nation had been established. At the same time, Indigenous
communities were responding to the civil rights movement and the American Indian
Movement of the late 1960s with greater political activism, and some segments of
society were becoming more sympathetic to Indigenous values and concerns. During
this same period, archaeological practice in the province was shifting from a focus on
pure research to a greater emphasis on “salvage” excavation, highlighting ongoing
threats to sites and the need for conservation measures (Apland 1993; Canadian
Archaeological Association 1970; Carlson 1970; Fladmark 1981).
After Sanger’s fieldwork in the mid-1960s, no archaeological research was
undertaken around Lytton until the early 1970s, with the exception of some research on
several Stein pictographs (Corner 1968). In 1973, James Baker of Vancouver City
College (now Vancouver Community College) obtained provincial summer student
funding to undertake an archaeological survey project in the Lytton region (Baker 1973a,
1973b). Baker had previously identified the Lytton to Lillooet region as a relatively
untouched area that deserved additional archaeological attention: “Full scale
archaeological investigations should be conducted in the area before the information that
exists there now is irredeemably lost” (Baker 1970:53). 66 Despite methodological
shortcomings (Lepofsky and Arnett 1988:13), the project demonstrated the density of
archaeological sites in the Lytton area–a point that would become important in the
events of the late 1970s and 1980s. Notable aspects of this project include the
permission sought from the Lytton Indian Band prior to conducting the survey, and the
66
As an archaeology student at Simon Fraser University during the late 1960s, Baker also
judgementally surface collected from sites in the Lytton area, including the Lytton ossuary.
His parents were also well known collectors, with all or part of their collections now held at
Simon Fraser University.
193
employment of eight students from the band. A Lytton band council resolution (BCR)
supporting the project was also remarkable in its assertion of Indigenous authority; not
only did the BCR give Baker permission to conduct archaeological work on Lytton Indian
reserves, but also on “lands formerly held or settled by Indian People.”67 Further, the
BCR stated that “all material recovered from the digs shall remain the property of the
Lytton Indian Band” but would remain on loan to Vancouver City College until such time
that the band had an appropriate facility to display them.
The following summer, Baker undertook another project near Lytton in the
Botanie Creek valley, this time funded by the Canada Council and the provincial
Archaeological Sites Advisory Board (Baker 1975). Again, Lytton Indian Band council
gave permission for the project, and many of the twenty members on the Botanie crew
were from the band. Additional community members were acknowledged for their
interest and the “information provided to the project” (Baker 1975:ii). The 1973 and 1974
surveys were unprecedented in terms of the degree of Nlaka’pamux involvement and in
the recognition of their authority. Many years would pass before this level of community
engagement would be duplicated again in Nlaka’pamux territory.
By the 1970s, the focus of research along the middle Fraser had shifted
northward to the Lillooet area. For the next 40 years, academic archaeologists largely
neglected the Lytton area, and research in the region shifted to ethnographic,
ethnobotanical, and linguistic studies (much of which is, of course, relevant to
archaeology). 68 On the other hand, the province carried out salvage excavations near
Spences Bridge (von Krogh 1977) and Siska Flat (Sneed 1977, 1979), as the emphasis
in the region soon turned to “conservation archaeology,” particularly after passage of the
Heritage Conservation Act in 1977 (Apland 1993:11). For example, the Heritage
Conservation Branch undertook a “Heritage Resources Study” of the entire mid-Fraser
region in 1977, with the intention of providing the “necessary regional framework for
heritage conservation” in the region (British Columbia Heritage Conservation Branch
1980:7; Sneed and Smith 1977). The study identified the value of “heritage resources” in
strengthening community and identity, and its educational, recreational and tourism
67
68
Lytton Band Council Resolution, dated 3 July 1973, on file in the archives of the Nlaka’pamux
Nation Tribal Council.
Although a number of research projects occurred in the late 1980s in the Cornwall Hills and
upper Oregon Jack Creek areas, well within Nlaka’pamux territory, these projects lie outside
the mid-Fraser region geographical scope covered by this dissertation.
194
benefits, but also recognized that this heritage must be protected and “managed.” The
study acknowledged the particularly strong connection of the region to Indigenous
communities:
the extensive native Indian settlement … is a predominant cultural force
in the study area. Heritage conservation objectives thus should include
assistance in the protection, enhancement and interpretation of Indian
history and culture… the desirability of greater Indian involvement in
developing local resources and particularly their own cultural heritage.
[British Columbia Heritage Conservation Branch 1980a:29-30]
The study identified the Lytton-Stein area as “especially rich in aboriginal cultural
heritage resources,” and notes that prior heritage conservation efforts in the region
focussed on primarily on the inventory of archaeological sites and non-native historical
structures. Even so, the study recommends that the emphasis at Lytton should focus on
post-contact transportation features (e.g., HBC Brigade Trails and the Cariboo Wagon
Road) and “Indian history and culture.”
The province’s interest in heritage conservation in the mid-Fraser region was
short-lived, and the brief period of direct government involvement in inventory and
salvage projects soon came to an end. In 1979 and 1980, the Heritage Conservation
Branch conducted the last region-wide archaeological assessments of government
referrals within the mid-Fraser region (Rousseau 1979; Rousseau and Richards 1980).
With the adoption of the “proponent pays” model in the early 1980s came a rapid
increase in the number of consulting archaeologists and firms, and “cultural resource
management” or CRM supplanted academic research and conservation archaeology
(Apland 1993:12; Fladmark 1993). The implementation of CRM coincided with a
reinvigoration of Nlaka’pamux political activism, which would lead to a dramatic collision
between industry, archaeologists and First Nations. Like the St’át’imc and CP 146, the
ensuing conflict served to strengthen the unity and resolve of the Nlaka’pamux nation.
Nlaka’pamux Activism and Archaeology
During the 1970s, several provincial mega-projects exposed the Nlaka’pamux
Nation to the potent mix of environmentalism and Indigenous politics, and the potential
of these forces in the context of heritage stewardship. When BC Hydro and Power
Authority briefly revisited plans in 1970 for the enormous Moran Dam on the Fraser
River north of Lillooet (originally proposed in the 1950s), a coalition of environmental
195
groups quickly swung public opinion against the project (Evendon 2004:227). First
nations up and down the Fraser River also strongly opposed the dam on the basis of its
impact on the salmon fishery. The provincial government was forced to retreat, and the
project never went beyond initial geotechnical work. This victory signalled the growing
influence of the environmental movement. It also provoked the Nlaka’pamux into taking
collective action on other major developments affecting them, and identified
environmental groups as potential allies.
Soon after plans for the Moran Dam were abandoned, work began on another
energy mega-project, this time within Nlaka’pamux territory just north of the mid-Fraser
region. In 1974, BC Hydro initiated preliminary studies for a large open-pit coal mine and
2,000 Mw coal-fired thermal power plant in the upper Hat Creek valley, with a combined
potential impact footprint of up to 2,500 ha. The preliminary environmental impact study
noted the generalized concerns of local “Indian bands,” which were “accentuated by their
perception of historical injustices and the land claims issue” (BC Research and Dolmage
Campbell & Associates Ltd. 1975:11). The environmental assessment was also notable
in that it recommended that the Crown corporation initiate an archaeological study of the
proposed project through the Provincial Archaeologist (BC Research and Dolmage
Campbell & Associates Ltd. 1975:98).
Two years later, the Provincial Archaeologists Office contracted academics from
the University of British Columbia to subject the upper Hat Creek valley to an impact
study that became a multi-year, large-scale inventory and research project (Beirne and
Pokotylo 1979; Pokotylo 1976, 1978; Pokotylo and Beirne 1978). It was a significant
departure from previous CRM studies in British Columbia, because none had previously
integrated the aims of conservation archaeology with those of academic research goals.
Specifically, the project incorporated elements of the “New Archaeology” in vogue at the
time, and utilized a stratified probabilistic sampling method for identifying survey
quadrats in the large study area. Over four years the team identified 199 archaeological
sites, and predicted a further 1,085 sites for the entire study area. Test excavations
unearthed substantial evidence for higher elevation root gathering and processing
(Pokotylo and Froese 1983). The Hat Creek archaeological project was one of the
largest surveys ever undertaken in the province (Fladmark 1981), but unfortunately it all
but ignored contemporary Indigenous peoples. In keeping with the zeitgeist of the New
Archaeology, traditional knowledge was seen as offering little to research goals.
196
Nlaka’pamux involvement in the Hat Creek project, either as labourers or informants,
was apparently absent, while their interest in heritage stewardship went unrecognized.
This absence would soon become a flashpoint during future archaeological assessment
projects in the region.
Like the Moran Dam, the Hat Creek coal mine and power plant proposal met
strong opposition from the strengthening environmental movement. The Nlaka’pamux
and neighbouring First Nations were also united in their resistance. Ultimately, BC Hydro
was forced to abandon the plan in the 1980s. The Moran Dam and Hat Creek megaprojects galvanized Nlaka’pamux communities around their common opposition to
proposed industrial development of their land. In particular, they would thereafter take an
active and direct role in the “assessment and management” of archaeological and
heritage sites. This experience aptly prepared them for mobilizing against the
subsequent development proposal that would cut right through the heart of their territory.
CN Rail Twin-Tracking (1983–1988)
As one corporate interest was defeated, another emerged as a threat to
Nlaka’pamux heritage. In the early 1980s, CN Rail’s proposed “twin-tracking” of the
existing rail line from Valemount to Vancouver became a source of controversy. This
project would affect a lengthy stretch of Nlaka’pamux territory along the Thompson and
Fraser rivers, cutting through numerous reserves. The Nlaka’pamux Nation Tribal
Council, the Stó:l! Nation Tribal Council, and several Secwepemc communities
emphatically opposed the project, and together they formed an ad hoc “Alliance of Tribal
Councils” to fight the proposal. Their alliance represented 36 communities potentially
affected by the twin-tracking project, with a combined constituency of more than 7,000
people.
The alliance was particularly concerned about potential impacts on the salmon
fishery from construction activity. In a disturbing historical parallel, they also recognized
the impacts the project would have on their archaeological heritage. Less than 75 years
earlier, James Teit had complained about the negative impacts on Nlaka’pamux burials
during the original construction of the Canadian Northern railway in 1911-1914. As one
representative of the alliance noted, heritage sites had already been unearthed once by
railway construction, and now CN Rail was about to do it again (Mohs 1984:3). Except
for Teit’s limited salvage of burials, the company had never been held accountable for
197
the impacts to archaeological sites from the construction and subsequent operation of
the railway. By the early 1980s, the provincial government no longer had a direct role in
organizing and implementing archaeological impact assessments, and these were now
the financial and regulatory obligation of development proponents. As such, CN Rail
hired a private archaeological consulting firm to undertake an inventory and assessment
of the proposed twin-tracking route as part of the environmental impact assessment. The
subsequent non-permit inventory and assessment was conducted over a four-month
period during the winter of 1983-1984, with numerous archaeological sites identified and
registered throughout the length of the study area.69 When the Alliance of Tribal Councils
reviewed the resulting report, they felt that “many heritage sites had either been missed
or overlooked by the heritage consulting company … hired by Canadian National railway
and that Indian concerns were not being adequately addressed” (Mohs 1984:3).
The alliance representatives considered the study to be incomplete, with
inadequate consultation with Indigenous communities and informants. As such, they
hired Gordon Mohs, an archaeology graduate student at Simon Fraser University, to
conduct a similar study for presentation to the Federal Environmental Assessment
Review Panel. The objectives of the study were to: 1) record heritage sites known to
Indigenous informants but had been missed in the previous study, 2) survey additional
areas reported to have heritage sites that were overlooked, 3) document Indigenous
knowledge and concerns, and 4) draw the public’s attention to these matters (Mohs
1984:7). It was a significant turning point in the relationship of the Nlaka’pamux nation to
the practice of archaeology, and it was the first instance where archaeologists were
recognized as potential allies. Over the summer of 1984, almost 30 community members
from the North Thompson River to the lower Fraser River were consulted or interviewed.
Reported archaeological and other heritage sites were identified and recorded, and
selected sections of the proposed twin-tracking right-of-way were surveyed. Within the
Nlaka’pamux portion of the twin-tracking project, five community members were
consulted or interviewed by researchers, and 6.8 km of right-of-way were surveyed
between Ashcroft and Kanaka Bar. Of nineteen heritage sites identified or revisited,
twelve were newly registered, and seventeen were in potential conflict with the proposed
69
The report for this study [Stryd, A. H. and S. Lawhead (1984) C.N. Rail Twin Tracking Project:
Valemount to Vancouver, Final Statement, Heritage Resource Inventory and Assessment
(Non-Permit). Arcas Associates, Kamloops, B.C.] is unavailable, but project results and site
descriptions are found in the provincial site records.
198
development. Based on these survey results, the study estimated that an average of two
sites per kilometre had been missed or overlooked during the CN Rail-sponsored impact
assessment (Mohs 1984:22). The report also noted that only a small sample of the CN
Rail line had been surveyed, and that there had been insufficient time to search for many
of the sites reported by informants. The author concluded that, “the current evidence
would indicate that the Nl’akapxm [sic] leaders are right” that the number and extent of
heritage sites along the railway is “greater than reported” in the initial study (Mohs
1984:31).
Within a few weeks of releasing its preliminary results, their heritage study was
getting public attention. A Kamloops newspaper article reported that the twin tracking
would “damage more than 100 Indian heritage sites that are up to 3,000 years old”
(Morran 1984). Meanwhile, the shortcomings of the CN Rail heritage study were raised
at a public meeting of the environmental assessment review panel in Kamloops
(Patterson 1984). At a subsequent news conference the Native Brotherhood of British
Columbia and the Union of British Columbia Indian Chiefs pledged their support
(Anonymous 1984), but the publicity surrounding the heritage studies eventually led to
controversy within the archaeological community itself (Bernick 1984). The Alliance of
Tribal Council’s final report recommended that “a moratorium on Twin Tracking
development be implemented until such time that a complete and thorough inventory is
completed” (Mohs 1984:61). Fallout from the conflicting studies forced CN Rail to
conduct a follow-up inventory and assessment by the original consulting firm, as well as
additional survey by alliance personnel (Mohs 1987). Over the next several years,
archaeologists from both the CN Rail and the NNTC carried out competing surveys of
the proposed
In the end, the twin-tracking proposal through Nlaka’pamux territory was shelved
indefinitely, not because of heritage concerns, but instead due to a court-ordered
interlocutory injunction (Pasco vs. C.N.R., [1985] B.C.J. No. 2818, 69 B.C.L.R. 76). After
negotiations fell apart, a blockade of the railway line began on April 1, 1985. Risking
their lives, members of the Nlaka’pamux Nation stood on the tracks and stopped the
trains. Not coincidentally, the blockade was located at an ancient burial site.
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Subsequently, an application for an injunction was led by Robert Pasco of Nteq’em,70 a
Nlaka’pamux community that would be directly affected by the project. The community
claimed rights to the Fraser River fisheries, including rights based on Aboriginal title.
Although the judge did not give weight to this argument, he granted an injunction against
further work by CN Rail pending the outcome of a court action examining the
infringement on fishing rights and underlying title on reserves. This case has never gone
to trial, and the interlocutory injunction remains in place to this day.
The Alliance of Tribal Council’s heritage study of the CN Rail twin tracking
proposal brought archaeological and heritage sites to the forefront of Nlaka’pamux
efforts to oppose unrestrained development, paralleling the similar situations evolving at
the same time elsewhere in the province, most notably the conflicts over logging and
heritage at Meares Island and Gwaii Haanas (Blomley 1996; Wilson 1998). The CN Rail
controversy also introduced the Nlaka’pamux to the potential of using archaeology as a
political tool in issues of title and rights, while highlighting archaeologists as prospective
opponents and allies. For the author of their study, however, the experience precipitated
a shift in perspective, whereby the conception of heritage now extended beyond the
physical archaeological site to encompass intangible heritage and landscape context. He
wrote: “In the course of these investigations, a few native Elders expressed a concern
that Twin Tracking would impact several of their 'spiritual sites'. Others pointed out that
the question of impacts to their heritage and spiritual places extended well beyond the
proposed right-of-way of the railroad and that past, present, and future concerns should
also be addressed (Mohs 1987:2).
Up to that point, CRM archaeologists and provincial heritage managers in British
Columbia had paid little attention to matters of sacred sites and landscape–issues that
remain largely unresolved to this day. Several reasons contributed to archaeologists’
reluctance to address these issues, including the processual emphasis on physical
evidence and tangible values, the limited interaction between archaeologists and
Indigenous peoples, and the confidential nature of spiritual information (Mohs 1987:3-4).
For the Nlaka’pamux nation, all of the heritage issues and limitations of CRM raised by
the twin tracking experience–local knowledge, sacred sites, intangible heritage,
70
Nteq’em is one of the communities that comprise the Oregon Jack Creek Indian Band, and
Robert Pasco was and still is the band chief.
200
landscape context–would figure prominently in their next conflict with a proposed
development and their battle to save the Stein valley.
The Stein Valley (1984–1988)
By the late 1960s, logging roads and industrial logging activities had penetrated
almost every major valley in the mid-Fraser region, and one of the last intact watersheds
was the Stein River northwest of Lytton (M'Gonigle and Wickwire 1988). Encompassing
more than 106,000 ha, the Stein watershed contains extensive snowfields, alpine
meadows, and forests (Figure 12). Stands of ponderosa pine are found in the dry lower
valley, Douglas fir forests dominate the mid-valley, and hemlock, cedar, spruce and fir
grow in the higher elevations (Figure 13). The Stein has also long been known for its
significant pictograph sites and the concentration of archaeological sites near the mouth
of the river (Baker 1973a; Corner 1968; Purpus 1892b; Sanger 1961; Smith 1899b; Teit
1900). Until the 1970s, few archaeologists had explored beyond the first few kilometres
of the valley.
Although timber companies had contemplated logging the Stein valley since at
least the 1920s, its inaccessibility and the high cost of road building had always made
industrial logging uneconomical. In 1972, however, the British Columbia Forest Service
completed a new feasibility study for logging the Stein valley, and appeared to give
forestry operations the green light to proceed. This development set the stage for a
divisive conflict lasting for more than two decades, which pitted the provincial
government against environmental groups, eventually drawing archaeologists and First
Nations into a political and philosophical debate that exposed shifting values within the
profession.
201
Figure 12.
Stein Valley Nlaka’pamux Heritage Park and associated Lytton First
Nation reserves (map courtesy of Lytton FN).
202
Figure 13.
The lower Stein River valley.
Alarmed at the prospect of timber harvesting in a pristine valley, late in 1973 the
provincial Fish and Wildlife Branch and the Federation of Mountain Clubs of British
Columbia both urged a moratorium on logging (Freeman and Thompson 1979;
M'Gonigle and Wickwire 1988). The provincial government responded early in 1974 by
suspending forestry planning for a two-year period in order to prepare the Stein Basin
Moratorium Study. Completed in February of 1976, the study concluded that logging was
not currently economically feasible and as such the valley should be removed for the
time being from annual allowable cut allocations (see M'Gonigle and Wickwire 1988;
Wilson 1998). It also identified potential recreation and wilderness preservation values in
the Stein (British Columbia Heritage Conservation Branch 1980), but recommended that
the Stein valley “should be operated for a mix of resource uses, as and when this option
becomes economically feasible” (see M'Gonigle and Wickwire 1988; Wilson 1998). At
the same time, the Federation of Mountain Clubs of British Columbia conducted its own
study highlighting the substantial recreational values of the valley (Freeman and
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Thompson 1979). In the end, even before Stein Basin Moratorium Study was completed,
a newly elected Social Credit government announced that logging in the Stein would
proceed, rendering the study recommendations moot.
As the Forest Service renewed their logging plans, seventeen environmental
organizations formed the Save the Stein Coalition in early 1977 (Freeman and
Thompson 1979:154). The coalition launched a public awareness campaign, raising the
profile of the river and valley. One of its early efforts was the publication of a trail
guidebook, which brought the issue to a wider audience (Freeman and Thompson
1979). It next succeeded in forcing the Ministry of Forests to create a Stein River Public
Liaison Committee (PLC) in 1978, which compelled a number of coalition members to
set aside their politics and participate (Wilson 1998). Initially the committee had some
success with preservation issues, but it had little power to influence policy decisions. The
terms of reference of the PLC were ultimately based on the premise that logging would
proceed, and in 1981 it began drawing up logging plans that initially advocated a “backdoor” route to haul out logs that spared the lower valley (Wilson 1998). Against this
advice, the Forest Service unilaterally announced in 1982 that timber would be hauled
out via the lower valley, thus eroding confidence in the effectiveness of the PLC. In
protest, many coalition members withdrew from the committee, which then disbanded.
With this setback, groups opposed to logging in the Stein turned their focus to
studies showing the economic disadvantages of timber harvesting, and the benefits of
recreation and heritage tourism (M'Gonigle and Wickwire 1988). Nonetheless, early in
1985 the Ministry of Forests announced that road building into the watershed would
commence as soon as possible. The demise of the PLC and the subsequent roadbuilding announcement were the catalysts that ultimately turned the Stein cause into a
major grassroots protest movement. With the announcement of impending road building,
local residents from Lytton and Lillooet were prompted into action and created the Stein
Action Committee. Like-minded environmentalists formed the Stein Wilderness Alliance
in Vancouver, and together with the Western Canada Wilderness Committee they began
a major campaign to raise public awareness of the threats to the Stein (Western Canada
Wilderness Committee 1985a). This movement would ultimately intersect with the
political and cultural interests of the Nlaka’pamux.
204
A significant characteristic of the early years of the Stein conflict was the
absence of First Nation voices from the public debate. The government did not
encourage their participation, and the restricted terms of reference of the PLC
“effectively precluded the local Indian Bands from participating, unless they were willing
to prejudice their land claim interests” (M'Gonigle 1988:110-111). Ethnographic research
was not undertaken in conjunction with the committee's work, and the Ministry of Forests
remained largely unaware of the cultural significance of the Stein to the Nlaka’pamux
(M'Gonigle 1988). On the other hand, the Heritage Conservation Branch conducted a
preliminary survey of archaeological sites in the lower Stein, in order to create an
inventory prior to proposed logging operations (Rousseau 1979). This brief survey of the
trail identified five previously unregistered archaeological sites and four new pictograph
sites. The Lillooet-Fraser Heritage Resources Study also identified the lower Stein as
one of the most archaeologically significant areas in the mid-Fraser region (British
Columbia Heritage Conservation Branch 1980). However, neither of these studies
influenced the debate.
For those opposed to logging in the Stein, the primary issue was largely framed
in terms of environmental values versus economic values. Their emphasis on
“wilderness” preservation and maintaining recreational opportunities for urbanites was
the impetus for efforts such as the hiking guidebook Exploring the Stein River Valley
(Freeman and Thompson 1979). It briefly describes Indigenous peoples’ use of the
valley, mentions several of the pictograph sites, and acknowledges the contributions of
several Nlaka’pamux individuals. However, the spiritual and cultural significance of the
landscape to the Nlaka’pamux was never identified as an argument for preservation.
This perspective, however, would change dramatically by the mid-1980s, when
indigenous activism forced the Canadian public to recognize their issues. Meanwhile,
cooperation between environmental and Indigenous groups had proven effective, as
demonstrated by the escalating campaigns at Meares Island and Gwaii Haanas (see
Ross 2005; Wilson 1998).
Despite their exclusion from the public planning process, the Nlaka’pamux were
well aware of the Stein debate. In 1982 and 1983, Lytton First Nation, along with Lil’wat
First Nation (affiliated with the Lillooet Tribal Council), hosted a Stein cultural hiking
program for young people from native and non-native communities in the area. Later in
1984 the Nlaka’pamux Nation filed a comprehensive land claim with the federal
205
government that included the Stein (M'Gonigle 1988). Tom Waterland, then Forests
Minister, responded by saying “I'm not concerned with any Native claim on the Stein.
The British Columbia government, regardless of what party has been in power has never
recognized land title claims” (Lay 1985). The provincial government’s hard-line stance
against land claims served to galvanize local First Nations into action. A significant
development in the Stein preservation campaign occurred when the Lillooet Tribal
Council publicly declared their opposition to logging in the summer of 1985. In
conjunction with this declaration, the Lillooet Tribal Council, in collaboration with
environmental groups, announced that they would sponsor a “Voices for the Wilderness”
festival to be held in the Stein valley (Western Canada Wilderness Committee 1985b).
Their motivations were to “bring public attention and awareness to the Stein Valley, and
to create better understanding between Native and non-natives working to protect the
Stein” (Rainer 1985). Chief Perry Redan of the Lillooet Tribal Council declared, “For the
Stein Wilderness, for our Cultures, this festival will be a step toward survival” (Western
Canada Wilderness Committee 1985b). On the Labour Day long weekend in 1985, more
than 500 people hiked via Texas Creek into the upper Stein watershed of North
Cottonwood Creek to attend the festival (M'Gonigle and Wickwire 1988; Rainer 1985).
The festival presented one of the first opportunities for members of the St’át’imc and
Nlaka’pamux nations to speak directly to the urban preservation movement, marking a
significant turning point in the preservation campaign strategy (Rainer 1985; Western
Canada Wilderness Committee 1985b; Wickwire 1992:64-65).
The Nlaka’pamux and St’át’imc continued to use the Stein campaign to present
their values and perspectives. Additional festivals were held over the next four years,
culminating in 1989, when over 30,000 people attended the Voices for the Wilderness
festival hosted by the Lil’wat Nation at Mt. Currie. Speaking to receptive audiences,
Indigenous elders and leaders made emotional speeches that mobilized public support
(Western Canada Wilderness Committee 1987a). Indigenous advocates identified
traditional resources, title and rights, and spirituality as the values of greatest
significance in the Stein (see M’Gonigle and Wickwire 1988:136, 143, 147).
Environmental groups quickly capitalized on the public relations value of incorporating
indigenous voices in its campaign. Before long, statements on spirituality and the sacred
value of the Stein became fixtures in their campaign literature, shifting the tenor of the
debate (Rainer 1985; Western Canada Wilderness Committee 1985c, 1987d).
206
In September 1985, Lytton First Nation joined with the Lillooet Tribal Council to
formally declare their opposition to the Stein logging plans (M'Gonigle and Wickwire
1988; Western Canada Wilderness Committee 1985c). In a press release, Chief Ruby
Dunstan identified the main issue was that logging would violate their Aboriginal title,
which had never been relinquished. Chief Dunstan stated that the Nlaka’pamux
“specifically oppose any Stein development, including tourism, until their Nation's
general land claim is settled,” and that they “want the Stein preserved because it is a
place with special spiritual and sacred significance” (Western Canada Wilderness
Committee 1985c). When the Nlaka’pamux added their voice to the Stein debate,
archaeological and other heritage features became a major issue, and the movement for
preservation gained strength.
To this point, ethnographic and archaeological studies had been marginal issues,
but they soon became central to the political conflict (Wickwire 1992). In the summer of
1985, the provincial Heritage Conservation Branch ordered BC Forest Products to
conduct an archaeological impact assessment of the proposed logging haul road, one of
the first forestry-related archaeological impact assessments in the province, which had
until this time been a low priority (see Klimko et al. 1998). In the politically charged
atmosphere, however, an AIA was considered prudent. The well-known archaeological
significance of the lower Stein (Baker 1973a; British Columbia Heritage Conservation
Branch 1980; Rousseau 1979; Sanger 1961) was also likely a factor behind
requirements for an AIA of the haul road.
In the summer and fall of 1985, a consulting firm conducted an archaeological
inventory and assessment within a 50-m-wide corridor and associated impact zones
along 32 km of the proposed road right-of-way up the Stein valley as far as Cottonwood
Creek (Wilson 1988b).71 A two-person crew accompanied by an “observer” from the
Lytton Indian Band identified seven new sites for the proposed logging road, and an
additional 13 previously recorded sites were re-visited and updated. The preliminary
report for this project, released in October 1985, identified four sites that were in
potential conflict with construction of the road: two artifact scatters without “further
archaeological value” would be completely destroyed by road construction, and two
71
This AIA also included a brief reconnaissance of the proposed location of the bridge crossing
the Fraser River, but an impact assessment and recommendations for this area were not
provided.
207
pictograph sites at the bottom of talus slopes that were in potential danger from falling
rocks during construction (Wilson 1988:94).72 Impact assessments or management
recommendations were not provided for “recent activity” sites, including a large stand of
culturally modified cedar trees, nor was the trail itself evaluated for its heritage
significance. The report concluded that, “the archaeological record indicates that beyond
its mouth, the Stein River was only sporadically utilized on a subsistence basis, probably
for short periods of time” (Wilson 1988:89). Even so, the report recognized that “based
on the high proportion and relative frequency of pictograph sites, the study area was of
mythical or spiritual significance” (Wilson 1988:90). However, consideration was not
given to the potential impacts to intangible values associated with this heritage.
In conjunction with the archaeological impact assessment, an ethnographic and
ethnohistoric study of Indigenous peoples’ land use and history in the Stein valley, based
on archival sources as well as interviews with local Nlaka’pamux and St’át’imc
informants, was prepared and appended to the archaeological report (Bouchard and
Kennedy 1988). This study included a historical summary, an inventory of named places,
resource areas, and other sites, and a summary of corresponding indigenous knowledge
for each place. The authors concluded that the Stein valley was not an important travel
route, and that it had not been used in the past century for spiritual purposes. As such,
the ethnographic study supported the general conclusions and recommendations of the
archaeological impact assessment (Wickwire 1992). Just as the preliminary
archaeological and ethnographic reports were released, a road building contract for the
Stein haul road was awarded in October of 1985.
In response to these “official” reports prepared for BC Forest Products, groups
opposed to the logging commissioned their own studies (Wickwire 1992). The first of
these was an archaeological survey of the Cottonwood Creek area on behalf of the Stein
Heritage Committee and the Institute for New Economics, funded by the BC Heritage
Trust (Rousseau 1985). Although the project was intended to be “independent” research
with the objective of determining the archaeological potential of the area (Wickwire
1992), the final report presented its findings in the standard format of an archaeological
72
Two additional pictograph sites on a “protected” rock face were not re-visited in the fieldwork,
and the preliminary assessment report released in 1985 did not assess potential impacts to
these sites; as described later in this section, these sites were visited and assessed in the
1988 final report in response to the criticisms raised by researchers working on behalf of the
Nlaka’pamux.
208
impact assessment complete with mitigation recommendations. It identified nine postcontact heritage sites, including cabins, recent activity areas, and culturally modified
cedar trees, but only four of these places were considered to meet the provincial criteria
for regulated archaeological sites. Mitigation recommendations were presented for the
“protected” sites and the culturally modified tree site. Significantly, this study did not
involve Indigenous peoples, although it did utilize ethnographic information from the
1985 study. In the end, the limited number of sites identified, and the absence of precontact sites, did not serve the purposes of the preservationist camp.
Likewise, Lytton and Lil’wat (Mt. Currie) First Nations commissioned their own
study of the Stein valley, with a greater focus on ethnographic research. Released in
February of 1986, the Stein River Heritage report consisted of two parts: an
ethnographic study and an archaeological study (Wickwire and Lepofsky 1986). The first
part critiqued the ethnographic research in the BCFP report, and argued that there was
substantial evidence for Indigenous peoples using the Stein valley in the past and
continuing well into the twentieth century. In particular, the spiritual significance of the
valley was greater than reported in the BCFP study, as shown by the pictographs and as
described in Nlaka’pamux traditions and ethnographic studies. The second half of the
report evaluated the archaeological component of the BCFP study. In response to
concerns that sites had been overlooked in potential impact zones, the author identified
two additional pictograph sites in the lower Stein valley and a grove of culturally modified
cedar trees on Stryen Creek. The report also described a pictograph cave located high
above the mid-valley, first observed in the fall of 1985, and also noted that the trail itself
was not treated as a heritage site, despite its historic significance. It also contested the
assumption that Indigenous peoples made limited use of the middle and upper valley,
given the extensive ethnographic and historic evidence throughout the watershed. Most
important was recognition that spiritual and heritage values associated with pictograph
locations encompass the surrounding environment and landscape. In other words, the
entire Stein valley, as a place for vision questing and spiritual training, was a “site” with
intrinsic cultural value for the Nlaka’pamux (Wickwire and Lepofsky 1986:58-60). This
perspective anticipated the cultural landscape concept well before this term had entered
the archaeological vocabulary in British Columbia.
To address the growing controversies over wilderness protection, the provincial
Ministry of Environment appointed an eight-member Special Advisory Committee on
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Wilderness Preservation (generally referred to as the Wilderness Advisory Committee) in
October 1985 (Wilson 1998). Its terms of reference stipulated a three month window to
resolve outstanding issues through hearings held across the province, including Lytton.
The growing strength of the alliance between environmental groups and First Nations,
and the real prospect of direct action, elevated the priority of the Stein (M'Gonigle 1988;
Wilson 1998). To diffuse tensions, a moratorium on road-building in the Stein valley was
established for the duration of the committee’s work (Wickwire 1992).
In January of 1986, the authors of the Stein River Heritage report made
presentations to the Wilderness Advisory Committee at the Vancouver sessions
(Lepofsky 1986; Wickwire 1986). In particular, Wendy Wickwire described the role of
“wilderness” in native culture, and how logging in the Stein valley would destroy an area
central to Nlaka’pamux spirituality (Wickwire 1986). Notably, she described wilderness
as “unchanged” and “undisturbed nature,” where the fundamental physical character of
the landscape is unaffected by culture. Although this representation is somewhat at odds
with contemporary notions of landscape and the illusory idea of “wilderness,” it was
intended to support the contention of the Stein valley as a “pristine” setting for spiritual
activities. The Wilderness Advisory Committee also heard Lytton First Nation state its
opposition to development in terms of unextinguished indigenous title in the Stein, and
their suspicion that the province was attempting to strip the land before addressing their
claim (M’Gonigle 1988; M’Gonigle and Wickwire 1988:139). In the end, the committee
recommended that logging should be permitted in order to save local forestry jobs, but at
the same time recommending that archaeological sites in the lower Stein be managed in
consultation with Indigenous peoples, and road-building should proceed only with a
formal agreement between the government and Lytton First Nation (Wickwire 1992
While the province considered the committee’s recommendations, the Lytton and
Lil’wat communities took further steps to assert their rights to the valley. They initiated
the “Stein Rediscovery” program in the summers of 1986 and 1987, during which local
youth were taken on two-week long trips in the Stein valley and taught wilderness skills
and cultural traditions (Anonymous 1986; M'Gonigle 1988; M'Gonigle and Wickwire
1988; Western Canada Wilderness Committee 1987e). The annual Voices for the
Wilderness festivals continued to draw large crowds, and the Lytton First Nation worked
with the Western Canada Wilderness Committee to making the Stein more accessible to
supporters by clearing trails, building bridges, and installing cable crossings (M'Gonigle
210
1988; Western Canada Wilderness Committee 1988a). In response to threats of a court
injunction halting this trail work from the Ministry of Forests, the Nlaka’pamux pointed out
that they had been using trails in the valley for generations (M’Gonigle 1988). Facing a
media backlash about protesting trail construction where they intended to build a road,
the Ministry quickly ended their threats.
In the fall of 1987 the provincial government announced that logging would
proceed in the Stein, thus over-riding the Wilderness Advisory Committee position that
an agreement with Lytton First Nation should precede road-building (Western Canada
Wilderness Committee 1987b, 1987d; Wickwire 1992). This unilateral action prompted
Chief Ruby Dunstan of Lytton First Nation and Chief Leonard Andrew of Lil’wat First
Nation to sign the Stein Declaration in October 1987, which forcefully reiterated their
position concerning unextinguished title to the Stein watershed (Lytton & Mt. Currie
Indian Bands 1987). The declaration also stated that the valley would be maintained in
perpetuity as a wilderness area under the cooperative authority of both bands.73 By this
time, an injunction against logging had been imposed on Meares Island, and Gwaii
Haanas was in the process of being converted into a national park. The logging industry
thus saw the Stein as their symbolic “last stand” and they launched a public relations
campaign in local communities that explicitly discounted claims of Indigenous title
(Wickwire 1992; Wilson 1998:117). For its part, the Western Canada Wilderness
Committee held public meetings in Boston Bar, Lytton, and Lillooet wherein they
“endorsed the native spiritual and physical connection to the land” (Wickwire 1992:65).
Meanwhile, the Lytton and Lil’wat First Nations turned up the pressure on the provincial
government by preparing a formal complaint to the United Nations that alleged that the
province had violated their human rights by permitting road construction (Western
Canada Wilderness Committee 1988b). Given the inflexibility of the province, the
obstinacy of industry, and the growing assertiveness of the Lytton and Lil’wat leadership,
confrontation seemed inevitable.
73
The Stein Declaration is remarkable in the similarity of its wording and tone to that of the
Laurier Memorial of 1910. Like the Memorial, the Declaration stresses the unresolved issue
of Indigenous title and the failure of the Crown in following through with promises, while at the
same time offering to share the land with those that respect Nlaka’pamux sovereignty and
values. In other words, the fundamental position of the Nlaka’pamux on sovereignty and
sharing remained unchanged, stretching in an unbroken thread from the Spintlum treaty of
1858, through the Nlaka’pamux constitution of 1879 and the Laurier Memorial of 1910, to the
Stein Declaration.
211
Against this backdrop, the heritage debate continued to develop. The logging
industry established the Stein Task Force, which distributed a “Share the Stein”
newsletter in May of 1988 that included interviews with the BCFP archaeologists and
ethnographers praising its work in protecting heritage. One article entitled “Forest
Companies Protect Native Culture” claimed that the BCFP impact assessment was “the
most extensive archaeological and ethnographic … study ever conducted for a proposed
logging road” (quoted in Wickwire 1992:68). Ironically, this was indeed the case, despite
the many limitations identified in these studies by opponents and the logging-friendly
nature of the recommendations (Lepofsky and Arnett 1988:14).
Nonetheless, the Stein preservation movement intensified its efforts at
capitalizing on the heritage angle, making potential impacts to the pictograph sites a
major point in their campaign, and they strongly criticized the BCFP archaeological
assessment (Western Canada Wilderness Committee 1987c). The original
archaeological impact assessment and ethnographic report on the Stein logging road
was revised in early 1988 to address some of the criticisms levelled against it, without
amending the conclusions and recommendations (Wickwire 1992; Wilson 1988b).
Subsequently, the Western Canada Wilderness Committee released a
“dendrochronological analysis” of the lower and middle valley that focussed on the
culturally modified cedar trees (CMTs), an approach that this group had used effectively
in other campaigns on the coast. In late 1987, the three CMT sites recorded in the 1985
and 1986 studies (see Lepofsky 1986; Rousseau 1985; Wilson 1988b) were revisited by
a dendrochronologist, who also examined four additional sites located within or near the
proposed road right-of-way and logging blocks (Parker 1988). Increment core samples
were used to date twenty CMT features at six sites, with the resulting ages ranging from
before 1836 to as late as 1936. An unusual feature on a cedar CMT scar known as an
“arborgraph,” consisting of charcoal drawings resembling the painted pictographs found
elsewhere in the Stein valley, was found at one site. The study confirmed that the
planned logging would destroy many CMTs of considerable historical and scientific
significance.
In response to publicity from this study (Wickwire 1992), the BCFP archaeologist
reviewed Parker’s report and revisited the CMTs. This review critiqued the increment
coring method, arguing that cutting down the trees to get “stem-round” samples was
more accurate, and questioned the authenticity and age of the arborgraph (Wilson
212
1988a).74 The potential impacts from road building were also minimized, leading to the
conclusion that “only a few CMTs would be affected by road construction” while the
arborgraph was not in any danger (Wilson 1988a:8). The author also argued that
scientific objectives trumped conservation values because the CMTs would eventually
rot and die anyway, and “more information can be gained from these trees by cutting
them down and obtaining stem-round samples than from avoiding them” (Wilson
1988a:8). Nonetheless, a detailed study of the CMT sites was recommended prior to
road construction. Archaeologists working for the Nlaka’pamux called the BCFP
justification for cutting down the CMTs “fallacious” and “irresponsible,” as adequate
dates could be obtained from increment cores (Lepofsky and Arnett 1988:16). Moreover,
they pointed out that CMTs held other cultural and historic values beyond knowing their
calendar age.
In the summer of 1988, yet another archaeological impact assessment was
conducted for BCFP, this time focussing primarily on the westernmost 23 km of the
same proposed road right-of-way (Wilson and Eldridge 1988). In addition to identifying
potential impacts to archaeological sites, the assessment was also intended to
document the CMTs identified in the Western Canada Wilderness Committee study.
Although no new sites were identified, the consultants mapped and recorded 229 CMTs
in four separate stands (Wilson and Eldridge 1988:10). No dates were obtained, as this
step was proposed for the actual road construction phase, nor was their significance
evaluated. The authors estimated that 34 of the CMTs would be affected by road
construction, but they concluded that these impacts would be mitigated by the additional
scientific information obtained from the felled trees. In the end, the recommendations in
this study remained the same as those found in the previous BCFP archaeological
assessments, with the exception of recommending further dating of felled CMTs.
As the BCFP archaeological assessments were in process, the Lytton and Lil’wat
First Nations were actively pursuing their own research agenda in the Stein. In late 1987,
the province rejected the requirement for a formal agreement with Lytton First Nation,
but facing a potential injunction the province agreed to meet. In February of 1988, Chief
74
The issues of authenticity and age of the arborgraph were not raised in the subsequent
impact assessment (Wilson and Eldridge 1988), and the CMT specialist involved in the study
has recently acknowledged that the charcoal drawings are likely Indigenous in origin and may
date closer to the age of the scar (Morley Eldridge, pers. comm. 2011).
213
Andrew and Chief Dunstan met with then Minister of Forests Dave Parker and argued
that a logging moratorium was necessary to give the communities more time to conduct
their own studies and identify alternatives to logging. After intense negotiations the
Minister agreed to a seven-month long study period so that this research could take
place (Western Canada Wilderness Committee 1988c; Wickwire 1992). The Minister
also acknowledged that the Stein had significant historic, economic, and spiritual values
for the Nlaka’pamux, and agreed to respect the Wilderness Advisory Committee
recommendation that no logging road be built without a formal agreement with Lytton
First Nation (Western Canada Wilderness Committee 1988c). Following this
breakthrough, the Nlaka’pamux Nation Development Corporation obtained funding for a
feasibility study for wilderness tourism and a proposed cultural centre, and money was
set aside for ethnographic and archaeological research to support this initiative.
Although several ethnographic reports had been prepared in response to the
proposed logging, “a larger and more systematic field study, covering a larger network of
Native consultants, was necessary to give a more complete picture of the Valley” for the
tourism and cultural centre project (Wickwire 1988a:2). Over the course of three weeks
during the summer of 1988, 27 people were interviewed, with the majority being
Nlaka’pamux residents in the Lytton area (Wickwire 1988a, 1988b).75 Knowledgeable
people with information on the historical and “ethnographic” use of the Stein valley were
“far more numerous than had been expected” and not all potential consultants
contributed to the study (Wickwire 1988a:2). The interviews provided extensive data on
place names, traditional resources and resource areas, resource activities (e.g., plant
and medicine gathering, hunting, fishing, trapping), travel routes, and associated oral
histories and traditions, demonstrating that the entire Stein watershed, including the
headwaters and tributary valleys, was utilized by the Nlaka’pamux and St’át’imc
(Wickwire 1988a:4). Moreover, the study showed the persistence of spiritual values
remained within their contemporary communities.
The Stein ethnographic study proved effective for Nlaka’pamux heritage
stewardship for a number of reasons. It provided a volume of traditional knowledge
about a specific place that was unprecedented for the region. It also employed a
75
Twelve of the interviews were recorded on audiotape (currently housed at University of
Victoria). The final report for this ethnographic study also included transcripts of interviews
with four individuals made in 1985, with two of these individuals interviewed again in 1988.
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landscape approach that incorporated tangible aspects of heritage (archaeological sites
and traditional resources), as well as intangible aspects (place names, oral traditions,
spiritual and ceremonial values). In its scope and intent, it was a precursor of the
“traditional use study,” which would not become commonplace until the following
decade. It also bore features of the “cultural landscape” approach that was emerging in
international contexts such as the U.S. National Park Service and UNESCO (Fowler
2003b; Page et al. 2005), but still relatively unknown in British Columbia. The study
revealed the heritage priorities of the Nlaka’pamux consultants, with place names,
traditional resources, and spiritual places ranking higher than archaeological sites and
material culture. Last, the study was an example of an “applied ethnography” with
primarily practical objectives, in this case environmental protection and the economic
potential of cultural tourism.
At the same time as the ethnographic study, the Nlaka’pamux commissioned two
archaeological studies to support their plans for wilderness tourism and a cultural
heritage centre. One focussed specifically on a systematic evaluation of the pictographs
in the Stein valley by Brian Molyneaux, a rock art specialist (Molyneaux 1988), while the
other concentrated on gathering available information on Stein “prehistory” (Lepofsky
and Arnett 1988). The pictograph report was highly critical of the recording methods
used in the earlier BCFP assessment, which lacked “even the most basic information
necessary for further analysis” (Molyneaux 1988:3). A close examination of the
pictographs resulted in revised identifications and the discovery of additional elements,
panels, and even sites. Importantly, the pictographs were recognized as “part of the
natural and cultural landscape,” and their significance was deemed greatest in an
environment that retains its original integrity (Molyneaux 1988:9). The entire valley
presented a rare opportunity to be “conceived and studied as an integrated
environment,” with potential for studying related cultural deposits and spatial
associations (Molyneaux 1988:12). In a newspaper interview, Molyneaux described the
Stein pictographs as “absolutely astounding” and “world-class” in significance (quoted in
Wickwire 1992:69). The logging plans were a serious threat to the integrity and context
of the pictographs, and would result in the tragic loss of a significant heritage.
The second archaeological study involved several days dedicated to updating
pictograph records along with comprehensive archival research and documentation of
artifact collections (Lepofsky and Arnett 1988). Following an overview of previous
215
archaeological research in the area, the authors compiled a list of artifacts held in
various institutions across North America, and listed and described the archaeological
sites in the Stein. The report also provided interpretive information on the archaeological
heritage there that could support development of heritage tourism and a cultural centre.
The report also devoted an entire chapter to the Stein pictographs, providing a
comprehensive overview of past research, detailed pictograph descriptions, and
interpretations of the images and sites based on ethnographic, historical, and
contemporary data. The pictograph chapter is notable for its careful incorporation of
traditional explanations of the paintings, including new information obtained from
interviews with Nlaka’pamux elders. The authors stressed the opportunity for public
education and for promoting cross-cultural awareness and understanding through
archaeology, and they identified the Stein as an excellent candidate for “Native operated
wilderness tourism.” The report recommended incorporating archaeology into an
interpretive centre, hosting public archaeology excavations, and completing a systematic
inventory of sites.
All three of the heritage reports commissioned by the Nlaka’pamux, along with
four economic and tourism studies, were presented to the Minister of Forests in October
of 1988 (Wickwire 1992). Together, the seven studies presented a detailed plan for a
wilderness tourism and cultural heritage approach to economic development in the Stein
watershed. At this point, however, the 15-year campaign to preserve the Stein had
effectively come to a halt. Lytton First Nation and the Ministry of Forests had continued
negotiations since the beginning of that year, but this process had been terminated
shortly before the reports were delivered (M’Gonigle 1988). In September 1988,
Fletcher-Challenge Canada Ltd., a New Zealand-based multinational, bought BC Forest
Products. Soon after, Fletcher-Challenge unilaterally declared a one-year moratorium on
logging in the Stein valley (Wickwire 1992). In 1989, the Lytton and Lil’wat First Nations
declared the entire watershed to be “Stein Valley Tribal Heritage Park: A Living Museum
of Cultural and Natural History” (BC Parks 2000).
The Minister of Forests never responded to the Nlaka’pamux studies, and after
the Fletcher-Challenge moratorium ended in 1990, neither the province nor the logging
company took further action on development. In the early 1990s, the Social Credit
government, beset by scandals, had little appetite for resolving the Stein controversy,
and it largely fell off the government’s agenda. With the election of a New Democratic
216
Party (NDP) government in the fall of 1991, a new era of wilderness preservation and
reconciliation with First Nations was at hand. In November 1995, the provincial
government announced that the entire Stein watershed would be permanently protected
as a “Class A” provincial park, to be cooperatively managed by Lytton First Nation and
BC Parks (BC Parks 2000:3). 76
Formal protection of the Stein was a major victory for the Nlaka’pamux, as well
as a significant lesson for the environmental movement in British Columbia.
Nlaka’pamux and St’át’imc activism in the “wilderness” campaign was a decisive factor
tipping the balance in favour of preservation. Indeed, with the emergence of indigenous
involvement, environmental groups were effectively sidelined in terms of negotiations
with the province (M’Gonigle 1988). The Nlaka’pamux also shifted the emphasis of the
Stein campaign from one that saw “nature” as the priority to one that focussed on
“culture,” simultaneously supporting preservation while undercutting the idea of a pristine
“wilderness” untouched by humans. Thereafter, collaboration between environmental
groups and First Nations became a fixture in subsequent preservation campaign
strategies (M’Gonigle 1988).
Initially, the Stein victory also seemed to be a clear example of how archaeology
and ethnography could benefit the interests of First Nations. Like the 1984 CN Rail twintracking study, Nlaka’pamux communities had independently commissioned and
directed successful archaeological and ethnographic research for their own purposes.
“Advocacy research” was another significant strategy developed by the Nlaka’pamux for
asserting greater control over land and heritage (M’Gonigle 1988). It also exposed the
widening gulf between the perspectives and practices of CRM and activist practitioners,
ultimately pitting individual archaeologists and ethnographers against each other.
Dramatic differences in results and recommendations from competing consultants in the
Stein dispute showed that independent and neutral archaeologists and ethnographers
were non-existent (Wickwire 1992). Conflicting “ideologies” led to both sides entangling
their conclusions according to their interests and those of their clients. Whereas
advocates of indigenous interests viewed culture as present and ongoing, those
76
The management plan for Stein Valley Nlaka'pamux Heritage Park states that the Lil’wat (Mt.
Currie) Nation declined participation in the negotiations that led to the 1995 Cooperative
Management Agreement with Lytton First Nation, but subsequently the Lil’wat Nation
“indicated a renewed interest in participation” (BC Parks 2000:6). However, the Lil’wat Nation
currently does not participate in the Stein Management Board.
217
supporting corporate interests viewed the assessment process as an inventory of the
remnants of a past culture. As research funded entirely to fulfil regulatory requirements
is inherently biased in favour of corporate interests, First Nations had to find their voice
and assert their authority while archaeologists and ethnographers had to reflexively
critique their methods (Wickwire 1992).
The Stein valley heritage debate was an important milestone for sacred sites and
cultural landscape discourse in the mid-Fraser region. It highlighted the epistemological
problems with the “site-specific” approach used in the legislated archaeological
assessment process, which involved creating an inventory of physical remains
separated from the larger landscape, thus allowing each site to be “managed” and
mitigated in isolation, without reference to its cultural and physical setting. For example,
considering cultural and landscape context is essential for understanding why
pictographs exist and what they mean. In this way, ethnography imbues the Stein valley
with meaning and significance, which cannot be determined on the basis of sites and
artifacts alone (Wickwire 1992).
The successful Stein campaign seemed like a good model for future landscape
management planning throughout Nlaka’pamux territory. It also appeared to signal the
onset of a new era in community-based archaeology, with the Nlaka’pamux poised to
assert greater sovereignty over heritage stewardship in their territory. Over the next
years, the Nlaka’pamux Nation Tribal Council (NNTC) focussed on developing the skills
and building the capacity needed to undertake heritage research, even as development
pressures made this objective increasingly difficult.
NNTC Heritage Research (1987–1994)
The Nlaka’pamux experiences with CN Rail and the Stein valley highlighted how
archaeological and ethnographic research could advance their interests. By the late1980s, the NNTC had stepped up its own heritage research program, with Deb McIntyre
from Skuppah and Doug McAlister of Lytton conducting place name research, oral
history interviews, fishing station inventories, and archival studies in support of specific
land claims and other title and rights issues. Around the same time, the NNTC began to
develop an active program of archaeological research in their territory, largely
independent of CRM objectives and designed primarily to support Nlaka’pamux goals.
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In 1987, Chief Wilfred Campbell of the Boothroyd band approached Sylvia
Albright, an archaeologist on staff with the NNTC, with the idea of conducting an
archaeological inventory in his community, “since a number of old sites known to elders
of the band had not been recorded during previous surveys” (Albright 1988:1). Using
funds from the federal Challenge ‘88’ Program and the British Columbia Heritage Trust,
Albright and eight students from the band spent five weeks in 1988 surveying the
terraces above the Fraser River in the Boothroyd area. Information collected from
interviews with five elders informed the survey design, resulting in the identification and
recording of 45 sites. The crew also updated several previously recorded sites, and
carried out a limited excavation at a housepit feature (Albright 1988). Several of the
newly recorded sites were threatened by the proposed CN Rail twin-tracking, while other
previously identified sites in the right-of-way turned out to be larger than originally
recorded. Their fieldwork also revealed that many of the sites in the survey area had
been heavily impacted by construction and maintenance of the railway lines and the
highway (Albright 1988).
With the success of this project, another survey was launched the following year,
again with funds from the federal Challenge ‘89’ Program and the British Columbia
Heritage Trust. In this case the project was undertaken on behalf of the Cook’s Ferry
band, with the survey area along the Thompson River at Spences Bridge (Albright
1989). Eight elders provided the local knowledge used to design the project, while six
students from the band participated in the survey. Eighty-three archaeological sites were
identified and recorded, along with a number of post-contact Nlaka’pamux “historic”
structures. Many of the sites were impacted by construction of the CN and CP railways.
Moreover, relic collectors had by then removed most of the diagnostic artifacts from the
sites. Like the previous year’s project, the 1989 survey stands as an example of a
proactive Nlaka’pamux research designed for their own purposes, as opposed to a
reactive CRM approach.
Over the next years, Albright and Deb McIntyre compiled ethnographic and
archaeological information in support of specific claims and other projects in the Nicola
valley, Oregon Jack, Siska, Skuppah, and Spuzzum areas (Albright 1992b). 77 They also
addressed heritage issues arising from Lytton Indian Band-initiated developments, such
77
Also see Archaeology files (NAb), NNTC Archives, Lytton.
219
as on-reserve logging plans in the Botanie valley, and the construction of a pump house
and water line from the Stein River to reserves in the vicinity of Lytton (Albright 1992a).
Even so, outside consultants were still hired to conduct the fieldwork for the waterline
(Rousseau 1992a), and a subsequent 1994 excavation of one of the sites (Handley and
Merchant 1995). These projects were notable for their limited Nlaka’pamux involvement,
despite the fact that the developments were community-initiated and much of the work
took place on reserves. Concerned that the Nlaka’pamux perspective was not heard,
NNTC researchers became involved with indigenous forums reviewing the development
of new provincial heritage legislation. Influenced by developments ongoing with other
First Nations, the need for a Nlaka’pamux nation heritage policy was identified as early
as 1992 (Albright 1992b).
As CRM expanded in the early 1990s, responding to development referrals
became one of the major duties for the NNTC archaeologist. For example, the proposed
Scuzzy Creek Hydroelectric Project established a benchmark for Nlaka’pamux
involvement in CRM projects, even though the initial AIA disregarded them (see Carlson
1990). After reviewing the report for this project in early 1992, the NNTC wrote the
Ministry of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources with a number of heritage issues,
including inadequate background research, insufficient field survey, and a lack of
consultation. A subsequent independent review of the 1990 AIA dismissed the major
concerns, while identifying shortcomings in the research and fieldwork (Rousseau
1992b). One passage in this review illustrated how archaeology consultants still had
much to learn from the conflicts of the 1980s. The author of the review wrote:
I fully agree with Albright that the Boston Bar Band and the Nlaka'pamux
Tribal Council should have been notified prior to conduction of the
archaeological impact assessment study. This responsibility rightly befalls
to both the development proponent and the archaeological consultant,
and notification would have provided these groups with the opportunity to
participate in the study, and to assist in providing oral information about
traditional and/or historic Native land use within the project area. As a
consultant, I have found that cooperation and direct consultation with
Band informants is an excellent way to secure important oral information,
and to develop and strengthen good public relations between
development proponents and local Bands. [Rousseau 1992:3]
This same critic was later contracted to conduct a “post-impact” assessment of
the Scuzzy Creek archaeological sites disturbed by construction of the power house
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access road in 1993 (Rousseau 1994). In this case, however, the Boston Bar community
participated in the study, and the NNTC and its legal counsel reviewed the report before
it was submitted to the province.
By 1992, the Nlaka’pamux Nation had made “considerable effort in negotiations
to have greater input into management decisions concerning forestry resources and
logging activities” (Albright 1992b:2). As a consequence, the NNTC was asked to
conduct an overview of heritage resources and values in the Nahatlatch River valley as
part of the “integrated resource management” planning process of the Chilliwack Forest
District. This was their opportunity to produce a comprehensive study of an entire
watershed utilizing the full range of heritage information being gathered by their
researchers, including place name information, oral history interviews with
knowledgeable Nlaka’pamux community members and local residents, ethnographic and
historic sources, and archaeological evidence. Moreover, the Nahatlatch employed a
holistic view of heritage, encompassing all the tangible and intangible elements of a
group of people that in combination represents their cultural identity (Albright 1993:2). It
also identified habitat and landscape integrity as central to the ability of the Nlaka’pamux
to continue and maintain traditional practices and values. The final draft of this study
provided a high-level heritage planning document that countered the narrow-focus of the
“site-specific” CRM reports typically produced for impact assessment purposes (Albright
1993). By challenging the prevailing management ethos, the NNTC study introduced the
concept of landscape stewardship and protection to integrated resource management
planning in the region.
The Nahatlatch report also recommended that a systematic heritage inventory be
undertaken in the areas that were most exposed to recreational use, with priority given
to the “high potential” flats and benches in the valley bottom (Albright 1993). A
subsequent field inventory sponsored by the Ministry of Forests identified fourteen
heritage sites, with the consultant concluding that the results “substantiate the
conclusions of Albright's 1993 Overview Report, that the Nahatlatch valley bottom is an
area of high heritage potential” (Zacharias 1994a:35). A subsequent AIA of a proposed
talc mine near the mouth of the Nahatlatch River was modelled after this overview
(Zacharias 1994b). In keeping with the general goals of integrated resource
management, the author recommended for maintenance of habitat integrity to minimize
impacts to traditional Nlaka’pamux resource activities. In the end, the Chilliwack Forest
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District never followed through with the full potential for integrated resource management
planning in the Nahatlatch valley. However, the NNTC landscape approach was partially
validated in 1999 when an area covering 1,760 ha in the valley bottom was designated a
provincial park and protected area.
Through the early 1990s, the NNTC continued to document the archaeological,
historical and traditional significance of various places to support specific claims and
review CRM projects in the areas of Boston Bar, Kanaka Bar, Nicomen, Nohomeen,
Oregon Jack, Spapium, and Tuckozap. 78 By the mid-1990s, the escalating pace of
development in the region led to a surge in the number of CRM projects in Nlaka’pamux
territory, with five times more CRM permits issued by the end of the decade than in the
1980s (Figure 14). However, integration of archaeological management into forestry
practices was an even more important factor affecting Nlaka’pamux heritage
stewardship.
The Nlaka’pamux and Forestry Archaeology (1994–2004)
The 1991 and 1993 court decisions in the Delgamuukw case compelled the
province to make greater efforts at consultation and reconciliation with First Nations. At
the same time, changes to forestry practices led to the 1994 protocol agreement
between the Archaeology Branch and the Ministry of Forests and the subsequent
incorporation of heritage values into forestry legislation. Later that year, the first forestryrelated AIA under this new process took place in Nlaka’pamux territory, and by the end
of the decade, 23 Heritage Inspection permits for forestry AIAs had been issued for the
mid-Fraser region along with an additional six forestry alteration permits. Indeed, by the
end of the 1990s, forestry AIAs exceeded the combined total of all other types of CRM
projects for the entire decade (Figure 14). With forestry developments suddenly subject
to archaeological assessments, NNTC research staff could no longer effectively monitor
the number of incoming archaeology referrals, a situation made especially acute with the
departure of the staff archaeologist in 1995. Consequently, the involvement of the NNTC
and Nlaka’pamux communities in forestry AIAs varied over the next few years.
78
See Archaeology files (NAb), NNTC Archives, Lytton, B.C.
222
Figure 14.
Number of archaeology permits issued by decade in Nlaka'pamux
territory, mid-Fraser region.
With the shift in power relations in the post-Delgamuukw environment, the
Nlaka’pamux Nation took a firmer stance on resource development issues. A major
turning point in their advocacy was the 1995 declaration of the Nlaka’pamux Nation
Resolution on Natural Resources and The Principles of Their Management, which set
out the position of the Nation in the context of indigenous title and rights. Despite issues
with capacity, Nlaka’pamux perspectives on resource development influenced CRM
practices and the forestry AIA process during this period. For example, in a 1995 project
undertaken with the “cooperation” of the Cook’s Ferry band (a Nlaka’pamux community
not affiliated with the NNTC), consulting archaeologists hired field assistants from the
community, Elders and community members provided traditional knowledge (Bailey
1996). Chief David Walkem reviewed the permit application and draft report, and the
acknowledgements section of the report gives a hint at the nature of his comments and
the shifting attitudes of archaeologists:
The study could not have been a success without the participation of the
Cook's Ferry Band. We thank Chief David Walkem for his valuable
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comments on the permit application and for his interest and cooperation
throughout the project. Chief Walkem's comments on a draft of the report
reminded us how pervasive our own world view is, and how much it
affects our archaeological interpretations. [Bailey 1996:vi]
The following year, these consultants undertook another forestry AIA in the same
general area, but now in a location where both the Cook’s Ferry band and the Oregon
Jack Creek band (affiliated with the NNTC) had an interest. Whereas the former band
participated in the AIA, the latter declined to do so, instead focussing on developing a
protocol agreement with the forestry company (Eldridge et al. 1997). By the fall of 1996,
other communities affiliated with the NNTC were declining to become involved in forestry
AIAs (Biely and Wilson 1996), and by early 1997 the NNTC was informing consulting
companies to refrain from conducting AIAs pending the development of a protocol
governing these studies (Biely 1997). This position stemmed in part from the concern
that several bands had participated in a traditional use study that the NNTC felt had
undercut their efforts to assert their title and rights.
To implement the new NNTC protocol, developed in late 1997, and to address
the growing number of referrals, the NNTC hired an archaeologist, Karen Aird, to work
with their Resource Policy Advisor. They immediately began investigating proposed
cutblocks prior to archaeological assessments (Aird 1997), and liaising with forestry
proponents in the hope that Nlaka’pamux perspectives would be considered and
community concerns addressed during their operations. Although some consulting
companies simply chose to ignore the NNTC and made no effort to involve Nlaka’pamux
communities, others complied with the protocol or honoured its spirit. For example, of
the eleven forestry-related AIA permits issued to six archaeological consulting firms in
1997 through 1999 for work in their territory, four firms holding eight permits informed
bands of the proposed work, solicited information from the community, and hired
community members, while the remaining two companies (holding three permits) did not
involve them in a meaningful way.
Several companies elected to work closely with the NNTC or Nlaka’pamux
communities, knowing this business practice would ultimately be in their best interests.
For example, in 1997 the NNTC and Golder Associates Ltd. jointly held archaeological
assessment contracts with two forestry proponents, and in 1998 the NNTC held
contracts with two forestry proponents and the Ministry of Forests where Golder was
224
subcontracted to provide archaeological services (Wada and Bailey 1999; Wada et al.
1998b). These projects led to the inspection of 37 cutblocks, three roads, and a landing.
In 1997 Forest Renewal BC also awarded the NNTC with a major grant to undertake an
inventory of trails within the portion of Nlaka’pamux territory falling within the Chilliwack
Forest District, and again Golder was subcontracted to assist with this project. The
objective of this study was to compile baseline data on traditional Nlaka’pamux trails, in
order to contribute to archaeological site modelling and enhance heritage management
in forestry operations (Wada et al. 1998a).
Nlaka’pamux communities also turned to forestry-related AIAs for evidence,
particularly in the form of CMTs, to support their pursuit of Aboriginal title and rights (see
Perreault 2002:74; Ross 2005:65). In one case, Siska First Nation (a Nlaka’pamux
community not affiliated with the NNTC) worked closely with a consulting firm on a
forestry-related AIA in the upper Siska Creek valley. They identified 17 cedar CMTs, all
presumed to post-date AD 1846 (Hill and Nussberger 1997). This result led to a
protracted battle over logging plans. Siska First Nation had declared a Tribal Park in the
Siska valley in September of 1994, but four years later J.S. Jones Timber Co. began
building a road into this area. Among other values in the valley, including its use for
sustenance and spiritual practices, Siska First Nation had specific concerns over the
post-1846 cedar CMTs identified in the archaeological assessment (Ross 2005:65,107).
A legal petition asking for a court injunction against further road-building was dismissed
in July of 1998, and one year later the Ministry of Forests issued a cutting permit for
several cut blocks. Logging proceeded until October 6, when about 40 members of the
Siska First Nation blockaded the road, trapping some logging contractors behind the
barricade. That led to a physical confrontation between the two sides, which ended the
next day when a court injunction was obtained against the protestors to remove the
blockade.
Subsequently, Siska First Nation sought a judicial review of decisions made by
the Ministry of Forests, and petitioned for an interlocutory injunction against roadbuilding in the Siska valley. They argued that this activity would infringe aboriginal rights
and title, and that the Crown failed to fulfil its duty to consult with them before granting
the approvals in question. Specifically, they asked for an injunction against alterations of
CMTs and other sensitive heritage values. However, the judge asserted that the actual
concern of the First Nation was not “site-specific” in nature. Instead,
225
[t]he real issue dividing the parties arises out of their different
perspectives. The respondents want the Band to identify what are
described as site-specific infringements so that they may take steps to
prevent them. The Band insists that it does not rely on site-specific
infringements but on intangible values that involve all things in the
watershed. As the petitioner's counsel put it, the Band takes a holistic
approach to the watershed and asserts that any timber harvesting activity
whatsoever will permanently damage the cultural and spiritual practices of
its members. [Siska Indian Band v. British Columbia 1998]
In the end, the judge ruled that road building would not interfere with any “sitespecific interests of the Band,” and furthermore, the petitioner did not demonstrate
“significant irreparable harm to the Band's asserted rights”. In a subsequent 1999
petition by the Siska First Nation for an interlocutory injunction against timber harvesting,
the judge ruled that the harm to the logging company and the broader community that
would come from preventing logging outweighed the harm to the Siska community.
These decisions illustrate the sharp epistemological divide between Nlaka’pamux and
legislative approaches to heritage stewardship. Whereas in the 1980s First Nations had
used the “court of public opinion” to successfully halt logging in the Stein valley, in the
late 1990s the legal system was not nearly as sympathetic.
The pace of logging operations and the logistics of forestry CRM projects
strained the capacity of First Nations. After 1998 the NNTC no longer directly held
contracts with logging companies or other proponents, and by the new millennium
consulting companies began dealing directly with individual communities. As in the
preceding years, most consulting companies informed communities of the proposed
work, solicited information from them, and hired their members. Of the 11 forestryrelated permits issued to seven consulting firms from 2000 to 2004, all but three included
the involvement of Nlaka’pamux bands, although whether these relationships were in the
best interests of the nation and it’s communities is not certain. Nonetheless, a broader
nation-based “integrated resource management” approach to land use planning, CRM
practice, and heritage stewardship, modelled on the Nahatlatch Valley experience earlier
in the decade, remained unrealized.
Chapter Summary: Renewal and Transformation
The Nlaka’pamux engagement with archaeology and heritage stewardship over
the past 135 years reflects the decline and subsequent renewal of indigenous activism
226
and authority, as well as the growing recognition of the responsibility of the discipline to
descendant communities. The fifty-year period beginning in 1877 is characterized by
diminishing Nlaka’pamux authority over land, resources, and heritage. At best,
archaeologists during this period sought permission from Nlaka’pamux communities
while working on reserves, and community members were hired only when necessary.
By 1927, the proclamation of federal and provincial legislation firmly asserted Crown
ownership over Indigenous heritage.
The period from 1927 until the late 1960s represents the nadir of Nlaka’pamux
political power. The accompanying decline in their participation in heritage stewardship
was not due to a lack of interest in exercising their rights but instead was a matter of
systemic exclusion. Permission from communities for archaeological projects was no
longer sought, and the shift to culture-historical archaeology led to the near total
absence of Nlaka’pamux voice within research products. Even the modest economic
benefits accrued from archaeology in the late nineteenth century was absent, with
Nlaka’pamux workers largely replaced by the voluntary labour of university students. A
limited transfer of authority to the Nlaka’pamux occurred in the late 1960s and early
1970s with the political revitalization of First Nations. This led to a greater role for
Nlaka’pamux communities in archaeological projects, and increased recognition of their
interests in the archaeological record. Nonetheless, this progress was weakened by the
shift to cultural resource management and consulting archaeology during the late 1970s
and early 1980s. In the CRM paradigm, corporate interests and economic imperatives
left little room for Nlaka’pamux involvement.
In the early 1980s, the Nlaka’pamux reacted strongly against prevailing CRM
practice. Some archaeologists began directly supporting Nlaka’pamux objectives, and
challenging the practices and ethics of other members of their discipline, particularly
those working for development proponents. While they did not acquire any greater legal
authority over their heritage, Nlaka’pamux moral authority was on the rise. Along with the
CN Rail twin-tracking heritage project, the successful “save the Stein” campaign during
the late 1980s was a high water mark of Nlaka’pamux heritage stewardship. However,
the Stein outcome was not duplicated elsewhere in the mid-Fraser region, and the
potential for Nlaka’pamux archaeology was not fully realized.
227
In the 1990s, legal decisions and regulatory changes favoured greater
recognition of Nlaka’pamux authority over heritage, particularly in the forestry sector.
CRM archaeologists increasingly accepted a place for Indigenous peoples in heritage
stewardship, and the Nlaka’pamux took on a larger role in archaeological practice, as
participants, managers, and decision-makers. Although not universally embraced, the
responsibility of archaeologists to Indigenous peoples reflected a shifting of ethics in the
discipline as a whole. In the early years of the new millennium, the Nlaka’pamux had
less direct involvement with archaeological consultants and development proponents,
but continued to actively pursue heritage research in the context of specific claims
research. By the middle of the 2000s, the NNTC and member communities were
searching for new opportunities and approaches to heritage stewardship.
The Nlaka’pamux experience described in this chapter differs in a number of
ways from that of the St’át’imc. The latter nation was first exposed to archaeology in a
substantial manner in the 1970s, a period when Indigenous political revitalization was
underway and academic archaeologists made somewhat greater efforts to acknowledge
and involve Indigenous peoples. This may have encouraged greater collaboration with
archaeologists, and acceptance of CRM practice, by the St’át’imc, and led to successful
efforts at development-specific heritage stewardship. In contrast, the more
confrontational approach to CRM taken by the Nlaka’pamux in the 1980s and 1990s led
to a number of successes against major developments, but this strategy did not translate
into a collaborative relationship with industry. Nonetheless, the similarities between
Nlaka’pamux and St’át’imc perspectives on heritage and stewardship are pronounced,
and both nations share common aspirations for archaeological practice and landscape
stewardship. In the next chapter, I describe how these perspectives and aspirations
converge in current Nlaka’pamux efforts at asserting greater authority over heritage and
landscape.
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Chapter 7.
Nlaka’pamux Case Study: Tradition and
Landscape in Heritage Stewardship
Those First Nations active in protecting heritage
are those who have a strong sense of identity and confidence;
a core need for maintaining tribal identity.
Raymond Phillips, Lytton, 2010
Over the last decade, the Nlaka’pamux Nation Tribal Council (NNTC) has been
compelled to react to growing pressure from resource and industrial activities in their
territory. Even as timber harvesting waned in the region, other major projects have been
proposed or initiated, such as solid-waste disposal sites near Ashcroft and Cache Creek,
expansion of the Highland Valley copper mine, and the BC Hydro Interior-Lower
Mainland transmission line. Likewise, most unprotected watersheds are now being
considered, or under development, for so-called independent power projects (run-of-theriver hydroelectricity facilities). All this puts heritage at greater risk of disturbance and
destruction, while the Nlaka’pamux struggle to balance economic and stewardship
needs. This encroachment on the integrity of their lands has created a sense of urgency
for Nlaka’pamux concerned with heritage stewardship. Against this backdrop, the NNTC
recognized a need for a more proactive engagement with development referrals and
heritage impact assessments, with the objective of more effectively asserting their role
as both stewards and owners of heritage.
The case study presented in this chapter is based on the processes and
outcomes of two significant Nlaka’pamux heritage stewardship initiatives launched since
2005. The first is the NNTC effort to develop a heritage law and regulations that will
apply to research and development projects within their territory. This project involved
consultation via community meetings and workshops, and resulted in the documentation
of substantial Nlaka’pamux traditional knowledge pertaining to heritage. The second is
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the specific effort by Lytton First Nation to commemorate the Stein and Botanie “cultural
landscape” as a National Historic Site of Canada. A successful outcome of this project
was the accumulation of a large collection of knowledge about specific places on their
land (Figure 15). At the same time, it also exposed some of the challenges and
limitations facing First Nations in their attempts to manage their own heritage within a
settler society.
Figure 15.
Alison Duncan and John Haugen of the NNTC ground-truthing place
names on Stryen IR 9, 2006.
This Nlaka’pamux case study is at once analogous to and distinct from the
St’át’imc experience (presented in Chapters 4 and 5). In the preceding chapter I related
the past engagement of the Nlaka’pamux with archaeology, which described a different
historical arc than that of their St’át’imc counterparts. Whereas the St’át’imc had a
relatively recent introduction to archaeology and its potential benefits, the Nlaka’pamux
had a much earlier and generally negative exposure to the discipline. These contrasting
experiences may have influenced the two nations to differ in their responses to the
230
practice of archaeology over the last few decades. By the 1990s, the St’át’imc had
pragmatically adapted archaeological methods to suit their own needs, and their case
study described how they successfully engaged in the practice of development-specific
CRM while collaborating with archaeologists, albeit with their own objectives, processes
and methods. In contrast, beginning in the 1980s the Nlaka’pamux reacted strongly
against CRM practice and countered it with their own research emphasizing their
perspectives, while employing both archaeologists and ethnographers as their allies. On
the other hand, except for a few brief ventures, the Nlaka’pamux did not directly engage
in CRM practice, instead focussing their efforts on landscape level planning and
stewardship. Despite the initial differing responses of the two nations, their efforts and
approaches are now converging. The St’át’imc now emphasize landscape level
stewardship in the context of development-specific CRM, while the Nlaka’pamux are
moving toward greater direct involvement in development-specific CRM in the context of
landscape stewardship.
In this case study, I review the underlying principles that inform Nlaka’pamux
perspectives on heritage stewardship, particularly in the context of asserting greater
authority over heritage stewardship, and consider how these principles might be put into
effect in the protection of the Nlaka’pamux landscape. In the first half of the chapter, I
describe contemporary Nlaka’pamux perspectives on heritage, as found in traditional
knowledge and community attitudes. Although largely derived from the research
conducted by the NNTC for their heritage law, I supplement their documentation with the
results of my own research and information from conversations with individuals. In the
second half of the chapter, I describe the genesis and background of the Stein-Botanie
Nlaka’pamux cultural landscape National Historic Site of Canada proposal, and its
relationship to their ideas of landscape and intangible heritage. This project is a “realworld” example of integrating Nlaka’pamux heritage perspectives with the priorities and
principles of community-based research. I also examine some of the obstacles facing
cultural landscape designations, and consider the pros and cons of alternative
management and stewardship approaches, in the context of archaeological practice and
heritage stewardship objectives.
The two projects described here illustrate differing conceptions of heritage as
articulated by government policy and Indigenous peoples. This case study highlights the
231
complexities of stewardship, offers insights into developing new forms of archaeological
practice, and reveals the importance of place and landscape in relation to heritage.
Nlaka’pamux Perspectives on Archaeology and Heritage
In late 2008, the NNTC began community consultations for developing a
comprehensive heritage stewardship law. 79 By 2010, two roundtable planning meetings,
a technical staff workshop, and six community workshops had gathered the information
that formed the nucleus of their proposed heritage regulations. At their request, I
participated in the planning and implementation of the community research, attended the
meetings and workshops, provided a summary of the responses, and analyzed the
results. Subsequently, I helped develop the structure and content of the proposed
regulations for review and revision by their leadership, technical staff, and community
members. My participation in the NNTC heritage regulations research provided me with
substantive insights and privileged information regarding Nlaka’pamux perspectives on
heritage and stewardship, and the following sections contain my synthesis of these
viewpoints.
Research Methods
Before beginning the community research for my dissertation, a research
protocol and information-sharing agreement with the NNTC was signed (Appendix B).
The process for developing the NNTC heritage law started in October 2008. My
involvement began with reviewing heritage policies and processes of other First Nations
in the province, and developing potential heritage impact assessment methods and
procedures for the NNTC. By the summer of 2009, a preliminary protocol was in place,
complete with field forms and report templates. At the same time, I helped develop
preliminary research questions for gathering community perspectives on heritage
79
In the context of this discussion, I use the term “law” to encompass the various terms
proposed by the NNTC for their instruments intended to implement cultural heritage
stewardship, including principles, policy, and regulations.
232
stewardship, largely derived from similar research (see Bell and Napoleon 2008a:491)
and the heritage policies of other First Nations in British Columbia.80
Community discussions for the law started with two roundtable meetings
organized by NNTC technical staff in the fall of 2009. The first was used to outline the
potential content of the heritage law, and review the proposed research questions for
subsequent forums. At the second meeting they reviewed and approved the preliminary
outline and overall objectives of the heritage law. Thirty-eight invited shaytknmahh
(Nlaka’pamux people) and other participants attended these meetings, with an emphasis
on Elders and leaders but also including administrators and technical staff, all told
representing a wide range of parties with experience in heritage stewardship.81 They
identified core issues and spoke to concerns that should be addressed by heritage
protocols. Videotapes of these planning meetings were transcribed, and summaries of
key points from both meetings were prepared. Guided by the results of these meetings,
10 questions were developed for use in subsequent community workshops in order to
gain the specific direction and data for developing the content of the law (Table 13).
In January of 2010, a “pilot” workshop was held with 16 administrative and
technical personnel of the NNTC and a facilitator. Eight shaytknmahh also provided
written submissions. Based on the results and feedback gathered from the workshop
and written submissions, a revised set of nine questions were prepared for the
subsequent community workshops held during March 2010 in the Nlaka’pamux
communities of Boothroyd, Boston Bar, Kanaka Bar, Lytton, Skuppah, and Spuzzum.
Members from both Ashcroft and Oregon Jack Creek attended the earlier planning
meetings, but did not participate in the workshops. A facilitator verbally posed the
research questions to each of the groups, and the ensuing responses and discussions
were recorded on compact disc and also summarized in point form on flipcharts. In total,
43 shaytknmahh participated in these community workshops, including several that took
part in the pilot technical workshop.
80
81
The heritage policies reviewed included those of the Sto:lo Nation, the Upper Similkameen
Indian Band, the In-SHUCK-ch Nation, the Lil’wat First Nation, and the Gitanyow, as well as
heritage-related memoranda of understanding from the Hul’quminum Treaty Group and
Ktunaxa Treaty Council.
Nineteen individual shaytknmahh and four shAma. (non-Native people) attended one or both
planning meetings.
233
Table 13. Questions used in the Nlaka’pamux Community Heritage Workshops.
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
What is Nlaka’pamux cultural heritage?
Why is it important to protect heritage?
What are Nlaka’pamux teachings (customary laws) about caring for and protecting cultural heritage?
What are the major threats to Nlaka’pamux heritage, and some of the challenges for protecting it?*
What should be the priorities for protecting heritage?
Should heritage stewardship be community-based or Nation-based, or a combination of the two?
What role should Elders, leadership, technical staff, and community members have in decision-making and
implementing a heritage policy?
Should there be rules concerning copyright and confidentiality, and rules about collecting objects and
intellectual property?
What actions should be taken against those that disregard Nlaka’pamux laws and regulations?
* In the original set of questions, “threats” and “challenges” were posed as separate questions.
All told, 59 Nlaka’pamux individuals (and six non-Nlaka’pamux) participated in
the roundtable meetings, technical workshop, and community forums, and an additional
seven provided written submissions (Appendix B). They represented the voices of
Elders, chiefs and councillors, tribal and community technical staff (natural resources,
heritage, language, fisheries, health and social services), band and tribal administrative
staff, and ordinary community members (Table 14). The participants do not represent a
randomly selected cross-section of the Nation’s membership, as they were invited or
self-selected on the basis of their own interest in the process and subject. In terms of the
community roles, however, the participants represent a fairly even number of Elders,
leaders, administrators, and members, providing each of these segments with a similar
degree of authority. Although technical persons are over-represented, this is not
unexpected given the nature of the process.
Members from six communities affiliated with the Nlaka’pamux Nation Tribal
Council attended the meetings or workshops (Table 15), with the majority coming from
Lytton First Nation (the largest of the NNTC communities). Individuals from three
communities (Ashcroft, Lower Nicola, and Nooaitch) not affiliated with the NNTC also
attended. Lytton is under-represented on the basis of total registered population, while
the remaining participating NNTC communities are over-represented. Overall, the
process used in the roundtable meetings and workshops reflected Nlaka’pamux values
and customs. The roundtable meetings with invited participants provided an opportunity
for Elders and leadership to provide initial guidance, reflecting the respect for their
knowledge, wisdom, and experience. The workshops, on the other hand, provided all
234
interested members of the Nation with an opportunity to comment and expand on the
initial guidance and themes provided by the Elders and leaders, reflecting the pluralist,
communitarian, open and accessible characteristics of Nlaka’pamux decision-making
and civic life. This approach is not intended to submerge variation or suppress individual
opinion; rather, consensus in a group meeting is consistent with Nlaka’pamux traditions.
Table 14. NNTC Workshop Participants. Table 15. NNTC Community Participation.
Community Role
#
%
Elders
14
18
Leadership
11
15
Ex-leadership
4
5
NNTC technical
12
16
Community tech
11
15
NNTC admin
6
8
Community admin
3
4
Community member
15
20
TOTAL
76*
101†
* Total exceeds 59 because some individuals were
identified with multiple community roles.
† Total exceeds 100% due to rounding.
Community
# Part.
%
Ashcroft
1
1.7
Boothroyd
8
13.6
Boston Bar
3
5.1
Kanaka Bar
8
13.6
Lytton
22
37.3
Oregon Jack
1
1.7
Skuppah
6
10.2
Spuzzum
5
8.5
Unknown
3
5.1
Lower Nicola
1
1.7
Nooaitch
1
1.7
TOTAL†
59
100.2
† Total exceeds 100% due to rounding
The following sections summarize of the responses to each question from the
community workshops, the pilot workshop, and the written submissions. These
summaries are based on the flipchart notes taken during the workshops, supplemented
with information from the community planning meetings and other sources as
indicated. 82
Nlaka’pamux Heritage
When asked to define Nlaka’pamux cultural heritage (Question 1), workshop
participants described a range of features, attributes, and values that extend beyond
conventional conceptions of heritage, both in the narrow sense of archaeological
heritage and in the broader sense of culture. Seven broad categories coalesced from the
diverse responses to this question (Table 16).
82
Due to technical difficulties, not all workshop recordings were usable, and for consistency’s
sake only flipchart notes were used to summarize the workshop data for this dissertation.
235
Table 16. Categories and Components of Nlaka’pamux Heritage.
Category
Components
Knowledge
Stories, history, and teachings, as well as knowledge of the land, water, animals, and plants
Language
Including place names
Traditions
Customs and laws, including those pertaining to ceremonies, drumming, dances, songs,
games, rituals (death, burial, puberty), and healing
Traditional practices
Activities pertaining to land and resource use, such as fishing, hunting, gathering, and the
methods for tanning, making clothing, basketry, carving, net- and tool-making, food
preparation and preservation
Land and resources
Including water, air, ecosystems and the environment, as well as all animals, fish, plants, and
traditional foods
Cultural places
Spiritual sites for fasting and visions, coyote and transformer sites, landmarks and historical
sites (e.g., battlefields), structures and dwellings, river crossings, trails, gathering and trading
sites, hunting grounds, gathering areas, fishing sites, culturally modified trees, and all places
conventionally categorized as archaeological sites, including pithouses, cooking pits, cache
pits, fishing sites, burial grounds, pictographs (rock paintings) and petroglyphs (rock carvings)
Cultural objects and
technology
Traditional tools (e.g., dipnets, baskets, digging tools, carvings, canoes), as well as
archaeological artifacts
Participants strongly emphasized the intangible aspects of Nlaka’pamux heritage,
and consistently identified knowledge as the single-most important feature, followed
closely by language, traditions, and traditional practices. The land and the related
aspects of water, air and resources were also frequently included in their conception.
Less common were references to tangible heritage, such as places and sites (e.g.,
sacred sites, archaeological sites, fishing sites) as well as artifacts, objects, and
technology. The relative emphasis placed on each category is graphically represented in
a “word cloud” (Figure 16), where the size of each term represents the relative frequency
that it was identified by workshop participants.
Specifically, heritage is derived from the knowledge and traditions learned from
ancestors, and passed from generation to generation. More generally, it includes the
history of the Nlaka’pamux, and where they came from: “the story about who we are,
where we lived, [and] how we survived.”83 It also consists of Nlaka’pamux knowledge
and use of the land, water, trees, fish, animals and plants, in the past and present: “What
our people have been doing for thousands of years.” Elders now carry this knowledge
and these traditions, and are the teachers of the children, but the responsibility for
83
All quotations in this and the following sections are taken directly from the community
workshop flipchart notes, which represent the paraphrased statements of individual
participants. Although not necessarily word-for-word statements, each of these were vetted
by the participants during the workshop and accurately represent their views.
236
passing on this knowledge is a common duty. Significantly, nlha.kApmhhchEEn (the
Nlaka’pamux language) is the main vehicle for passing on Nlaka’pamux culture and
traditions, and a central marker of their identity.
Figure 16.
A “word cloud” representing the relative frequency of terms used in
the workshops.
Participants made little distinction between intangible and tangible features of
heritage–instead, they are viewed as inextricably related components. Moreover, their
conception incorporates all facets of the natural environment needed for survival, and
their respect for the land, water, air and natural resources. Indeed, their expansive view
encompasses all aspects of the world that allow them to exist as a distinct people.
Overall, participants described heritage as the source of Nlaka’pamux identity. This
expansive point of view challenges conventional perspectives of heritage stewardship,
which generally focus on tangible and site-specific features, and a better analogue for
the Nlaka’pamux conception of heritage is the contemporary anthropological idea of the
“cultural landscape.”
237
Protecting Heritage
Not surprisingly, given their broad vision, shaytknmahh in the workshops
attached considerable significance to preserving and protecting heritage (Question 2).
Responses to this question spoke to the following themes: 1) maintaining traditions and
language, 2) maintaining identity, 3) saving the land and places, 4) showing
responsibility to future generations, 5) asserting title and rights, and 6) educating and
guiding broader society. Their answers were often statements that simply expressed
“why heritage is important.”
Maintaining Traditions and Language. On a fundamental level, preserving
traditions and language are considered inherently important, because they represent the
essence of being Nlaka’pamux–a “good way of life that we don’t want to lose.” Indeed,
loss is a common theme that ran through these conversations, and therefore a
concerted effort at protecting what is left is essential. Some thought the “true
Nlaka’pamux way and language” is in danger of disappearing, because the “language
and traditions are slipping away, traditions are changing, [and] things have been added.”
The participants recognize that Nlaka’pamux communities are losing knowledge at a
rapid pace, especially as Elders pass away, instilling a fear that their heritage “will end
up only in books on shelves.” In particular, one participant bluntly stated that the “death
of a people’s language is the death of a people.” Without heritage and language, “people
are lost, [and become] assimilated.”
Maintaining Identity. Preserving a Nlaka’pamux sense of identity was important to
the participants, and protecting heritage is a vital component of this goal. As one
participant put it, “those First Nations active in protecting heritage are those who have a
strong sense of identity [and] confidence; [it is] a core need for [maintaining] tribal
identity.” Cultural heritage “says who we are, [that we’ve] been here a long time, and
[are] not going anywhere–so our ancestors can hear us.” Protecting heritage was about
ensuring that “our identities won’t be lost and so that our children and future generations
can survive on the land and inherit our traditional ways of life, so that they can continue
to pass on this knowledge and experience to their future generations for many years to
come.”
Saving the Land and Places. Tangible heritage–artifacts, pithouses, rock
paintings, and the environment itself–reflects and encapsulates Nlaka’pamux culture and
238
history. Much of the land has already been disturbed, and development continues to
destroy the environs and resources important to them. As such, they “need to protect
what we still have, [as] enough has been taken away [already].” Protecting tangible
heritage and stewardship of the land are important facets of maintaining Nlaka’pamux
identity.
Responsibility to Future Generations. A common refrain in the workshops was
the participants’ collective responsibility to future generations of Nlaka’pamux. Many
expressed the critical importance of teaching children and youth about customary
lifeways, so that this knowledge is available to future generations. As one participant
explained, “we are protecting what our ancestors wanted us to know.”
Asserting Title and Rights. Cultural heritage also has inherent properties that
hold political and practical implications. As indigenous title to their land has never been
extinguished, protecting heritage is their way of asserting, maintaining, and exercising
their collective title and rights. Practising and preserving their traditions “confirms and
proves we are the original people, [and] ensure[s] the well-being of the people.” The
Nlaka’pamux verify their presence through the sites and features found on the land,
which recounts their long history of occupation.
Education and Guidance. Educating society about their culture and history is a
duty that they equally share. By building awareness of Nlaka’pamux heritage, they hope
that Canadians and corporations will be more supportive and understanding of their
aspirations. Their efforts will also provide guidance to non-Nlaka’pamux about their
heritage stewardship values and priorities. However, participants felt that Nlaka’pamux
knowledge and heritage should be controlled to prevent its misuse, appropriation, and
exploitation by others. In this vein, some participants felt that any financial gain from their
heritage, whether commercial or institutional in nature, should stay with them. One
respondent noted that the Nlaka’pamux are “willing to share, but need something back.”
Traditional Teachings
Responses to Question 3 overwhelming conveyed three general themes: 1)
respect and responsibility, 2) take only what you need, and 3) teaching by example.
Although participants did not specifically identify traditions relating to the care and
protection of heritage, the importance of traditions and customary practices relating to
239
hunting, fishing, gathering, puberty, and death were emphasized. These interrelated
principles illustrate an overall Nlaka’pamux ethic towards heritage stewardship.
Participants indicated that caring for and protecting heritage begins with showing
respect to the land and other beings. They do this by giving offerings and prayers before
using the land and its resources, by giving thanks for what is received, and by giving
back to the land. This reciprocal arrangement, for instance, is manifested in the tradition
of burning forests and grasslands to rejuvenate plant growth and improve food for game
animals. Sustainability, in their view, is only possible if you take just what you need,
never let anything go to waste, and share what you have with others. Some participants
also pointed out that in the past there was no need for “laws” to protect heritage, and
stewardship was just a part of everyday life. Parents taught children what to do, and they
“watched and learned from the way people behaved.”
Their observance of the principles of respect, sustainability, and teaching by
example are evident by specific traditional practices. For example, in the “first fish” and
“first deer” ceremonies, novice hunters and fishers demonstrate their generosity and
gratitude by giving away the first deer they kill and the first salmon they catch, thereby
ensuring that sometime in the future they will be recipients of someone else’s kindness.
When digging cedar roots, people had to have a “respectable appearance, had to be out
of there [the cedar grove] before dark, thank the tree for taking its roots, leave a tobacco
offering, [and] leave the site the way you found it.” Hunters will talk to the animals, and
explain what they need. After killing and cleaning an animal, they will thank it for giving
up its life for them. All of these practices keep the Nlaka’pamux mindful of their
responsibilities to maintaining and conserving the land and its beings.
Participants emphasized the importance of traditions relating to death and burial.
They described a variety of observances in the presence of graves and human remains
that show their respect for their ancestors. Furthermore, any human remains
encountered should be left undisturbed wherever possible, while artifacts associated
with graves should be avoided and left where they are found. If disturbance to human
remains and associated artifacts is unavoidable, appropriate protocols must be followed.
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Threats and Challenges
The Nlaka’pamux participants were keenly aware that their heritage is under
extraordinary threat, from both internal and external sources. 84 Responses to Question 4
related to the following themes: 1) social, economic, and political threats; 2) assimilation
and loss of knowledge; 3) industry and developments; 4) lack of capacity; 5) government
policy; 6) environmental issues, and 7) collectors.
Social, Economic, and Political Threats. Many of the participants identified social,
economic, and political factors as the biggest threat to Nlaka’pamux culture and
heritage. These threats come from both outside and inside their communities. Changes
in their society began with the arrival of Simon Fraser, while colonization took away
traditional lifestyle, leading to social problems, economic hardships, and political
upheaval. The subsequent Indian Act imposed by Canada created the reserve system
that divided the nation, and eroded their unity and strength. Internal divisions and
disputes with neighbours over land and resources have weakened the Nlaka’pamux
nation, and they are now “selling resources instead of using them.” Some felt that
introducing the cash economy led to greed and a dependence on money, which has
become the source of many social problems, including dependence on drugs and
alcohol. Outside cultural influences, such as mass media and the internet, continue to
erode Nlaka’pamux identity, to the extent that many of the younger generation do not
want to learn or practice traditional ways. Many Nlaka’pamux “who disavow language
[and] traditions are becoming assimilated [and] giving up their rights.” The participants
stressed that they need to unite as a nation, and work together to revitalize their
heritage.
Assimilation and Loss of Knowledge. As happened for other Indigenous peoples
in Canada, the greatest rupture in Nlaka’pamux knowledge occurred during the
residential school period. Alienating children from their language, their families, and their
connections to the land and to traditional practices was intended to force their
assimilation into Canadian society. While residential schools were responsible for the
initial catastrophic loss of knowledge, the challenge facing them now is how to halt this
ongoing erosion, and revitalize their ancestors’ knowledge and practices.
84
In the workshop with NNTC staff, “threats” and “challenges” were posed as two separate
questions. Their responses to these questions have been combined in this section.
241
Industry and Development. Although their encounter with colonization resulted in
substantial erosion of intangible Nlaka’pamux heritage, extant industrial development
and resource exploitation now threaten the land and tangible heritage. Participants
identified mining, forestry, hydroelectric, transportation and tourism developments as the
main causes of the “mass destruction” of archaeological sites, graves, hunting areas,
plant gathering areas, and other physical manifestations of Nlaka’pamux heritage.
Commercial exploitation of renewable resources, such as fish and mushrooms, has also
led to over-harvesting. An emerging threat involves pharmaceutical companies bioprospecting for medicinal plants. These activities are undertaken by “people who have
no respect for the land and from people who want to change the land–which in the end
leads to environmental issues, impacts over the years and it affects many things such as
the animals, our way of life, the natural traditional foods, [and] the air we breathe.”
Lack of Capacity. Although participants readily identified the external and internal
threats to their heritage, they also readily acknowledge that a critical challenge is the
lack of community capacity to protect, manage, and promote it. As a whole, the
Nlaka’pamux nation does not currently possess sufficient personnel, training, education,
resources, or time to effectively and independently take on heritage stewardship. To a
certain degree, the resolution to this situation is internal, but through promoting
education, revitalizing traditions, and prioritizing heritage stewardship alongside
economic development they can yield positive results. At the same, the solution must
also come from external sources, such as the provincial government, non-governmental
organizations, and even resource companies with an interest in their area.
Government Policy. The federal and provincial governments were also identified
as sources of threats to heritage. A succession of federal and provincial laws, from the
federal Indian Act to the provincial Heritage Conservation Act, have disregarded
Aboriginal title and rights and curtailed Nlaka’pamux sovereignty, and have impeded
their efforts to control their own heritage. Respondents commented on how laws,
regulations, and policies favour the interests of the federal and provincial governments
over those of the Nlaka’pamux. Some laws also differ on-reserve and off-reserve. The
current treaty process is also not seen as a solution to the problem, as it will involve the
loss of title and rights.
242
Environmental issues. Dangers to Nlaka’pamux heritage sometimes emanate
from far beyond the borders of their land. Climate change and El Niño, the pine beetle
infestation, pollution in the Fraser River, and the decline of the salmon runs are among
the external environmental threats identified by the participants that arise in distant
places. They often feel powerless to combat these destructive forces, which compromise
their desire for “seeing that the land, food, water and air are in a ‘Healthy’ state for our
future generations so that they will be able to survive in the future and to carry on with
our traditional ways of life.”
Collectors. The actions of looters and collectors threaten both tangible and
intangible heritage. Nlaka’pamux artifacts and objects have been stolen and sold, both in
the past and the present, and even some band members traffic in artifacts and
heirlooms. Because money is involved, protecting these artifacts is difficult. In the past
researchers from universities and other institutions have also taken away recordings of
stories and songs, and in some cases the Nlaka’pamux have lost rights of access to this
intangible heritage. Several of the participants also linked the threat posed by collectors
to other issues, including the need for an inventory of collections, repatriating objects
and artifacts from individuals and institutions, and protecting intellectual property.
Priorities for Preserving Heritage
Confronted by profound cultural loss, participants identified preserving and
passing on Nlaka’pamux knowledge and traditions to future generations as their highest
priority for the preservation of their identity and heritage (Question 5). In particular,
maintaining and enhancing the Nlaka’pamux language was stressed as essential.
Tackling these priorities will require an emphasis on education and traditional teaching,
as well as enhanced research and documentation of heritage. In addition, protective
measures for the land, resources, and cultural places and objects were identified as a
priority. Successfully achieving these goals rest on aspirations to further develop
Nlaka’pamux laws, based on traditional teachings and the guidance of Elders.
For many, the key to preserving Nlaka’pamux heritage begins with teaching their
language and traditions. Language training and heritage education should start in the
school system, with curricula designed for all grade levels. Even so, learning language in
school is different than a living language. As such, Elders should also teach the younger
generation “on the land,” while learning and teaching traditional ways should also involve
243
families, which will serve to strengthen family ties. Organizing cultural retreats,
workshops, and gatherings involving entire communities or the nation would further
facilitated education and teaching. A greater focus on training, capacity, and resources,
including training in archaeology and other heritage professions, was also identified as a
priority.
Comprehensive traditional use and occupancy studies, along with research and
documentation of all aspects of Nlaka’pamux culture, would serve as a baseline for
heritage preservation and protection. Audio and video recordings would be an important
step for preserving the stories, histories, and traditional knowledge of Elders. An
inventory of places and objects should also be a focus; for instance, mapping and
documenting sacred places, cemeteries, and burial locations using GPS and GIS.
Private and public artifact collections also need to be identified, while archival sources
need to be copied and deposited in a central repository. All communities would benefit
from a comprehensive, centralized inventory that safely and securely preserves
Nlaka’pamux heritage, while a cultural centre or museum would serve to enhance
education and teaching.
Revitalizing traditional practices by incorporating them into daily life was also a
prime concern for workshop participants. Cultural heritage has to be actively practiced in
order for it to be retained, so traditions need to be encouraged and reinforced. These
include first fish, first deer, smokehouse, and sweatlodge ceremonies, as well as rites of
passage such as vision quests for boys and puberty training for girls. However, several
participants pointed out that external influences have altered some traditional practices,
such as pan-Indigenism, making authenticity a critical issue.
Whereas preserving intangible heritage (i.e., language, knowledge, and
traditional practices) was considered critical, considerable emphasis was also directed to
tangible heritage (i.e., the land, resources, places, and objects). Participants felt that
traditional teachings should be used to guide how tangible heritage is treated and
protected. For instance, portable cultural objects (e.g., artifacts, tools, carvings) should
not be taken, damaged or sold, while sacred sites should be respected and avoided. On
the other hand, specific measures should also be implemented to protect places,
resources, and the land. Although significant places need to be protected individually,
similar measures must be implemented on a landscape scale, because places are
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closely associated with resources, features and the environment. For example, one
participant pointed out that teaching and maintaining cedar root basketry has become
very hard because of the difficulty in finding suitably large cedar trees. In other words,
protection of the landscape itself is necessary for traditional practices to continue and
flourish.
Developing and implementing rules, policies and guidelines for the protection of
all aspects of heritage also must be a priority for the nation. Both the leaders and
members need to “take control of what little is left.” Through communal effort the goal of
developing a coherent heritage law based on traditional teachings and “customary law”
is considered achievable. Drafting these regulations would enhance communication and
cooperation between communities. It would also serve to educate “outsiders” and raise
awareness of the requirements for protecting Nlaka’pamux heritage.
The Role of Communities and the Nation
Not surprisingly, consensus did not exist among participants in regards to
whether heritage stewardship should primarily be a community concern or if that
responsibility belongs to the nation (Question 6). Although linked by language, traditions,
and history, the Nlaka’pamux Nation constitutes fifteen politically autonomous “bands”
under the federal Indian Act. Many of these bands are also comprised of one or more
communities organized along residential and ancestral lines. This is further complicated
by the affiliation of the bands with two separate tribal councils. Although they often work
together toward shared goals, this is the source of tension as these various entities
struggle to balance band and community interests against common causes. Those who
favour a community-based approach point out the importance of family rights, and
champion the importance of grassroots power. Strengths identified for this case include:
local knowledge, special interests, grassroots authority, and control over sensitive
information. Others favour a nation-based approach, as they feel heritage stewardship
affects everyone equally. Advantages identified for this position include: capacity,
consistency, unity, sovereignty (title), and authority. Moreover, developing and
implementing a heritage law requires shared capacity building, communication, and
education from individuals, communities, and the nation. Nonetheless, the majority of the
participants saw heritage stewardship as a joint responsibility of the communities and
the nation, with complementary roles for both entities. Whereas participants felt that the
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nation as a whole should take the lead, substantive input, guidance and assistance is
required from advisors from each community. This arrangement recognizes the diversity
and differences of the communities, while at the same time giving the law more
consistency, “clout,” and authority.
Ideally, all 15 Nlaka’pamux bands and their constituent communities would be
involved in developing and implementing a heritage law. Indeed, this was seen as an
ideal opportunity for the nation to enhance unity, by working together on a shared and
common goal. One participant recalled that this was the process used in the past to
make decisions. According to her grandmother, if a decision was needed the issue “was
always brought to the people” first. Their decision would then go to each council for
review and discussion, before passing it along to the chief of each community. Finally,
the decision would be reviewed and approved by the head chief. If a decision is rejected
at any stage of this process, it would go back to the people again: “this was the way it
was [done] always till we were split up [by the imposition of bands under the Indian Act].”
Decision-making and Implementation
The participants recognized roles for Elders, community members, technical staff
and leadership in heritage stewardship initiatives (Question 7). In particular, there was
strong support for the role of Elders, who are recognized as having the most relevant
experience and knowledge. Workshop participants recommended establishing an
Elder’s Council, with membership drawn from all communities, to provide guidance. To
ensure substantive input and guidance from the nation, local advisory bodies nominated
by the communities must be involved at every stage. The advisory body should be
composed of members with appropriate skills and experience because its main purpose
would be liaising with community members. At the same time, leadership and technical
staff have specific expertise and skills needed to develop and implement a heritage law.
Ultimately, the participants identified decision-making as the people’s responsibility, and
the role of leadership to act on their decisions.
Collecting Intellectual and Cultural Property
While participants were in favour of rules protecting intellectual and cultural
property, there was less certainty as to how to specifically tackle these in a Nlaka’pamux
heritage law (Question 8). There was general support for asserting copyright using
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existing federal laws, which should be utilized and enforced to their full extent. The idea
of copyright was also wrapped up in the issue of research practices. For instance, some
participants expressed their concern about researchers in the past taking knowledge
(e.g., stories, songs) from Elders and then either using it for their own gain, or not
returning the information to the “informants” or the nation when requested. In cases like
this, stronger protection for intellectual property was desired. Other participants were
concerned about the possibility of pharmaceutical companies obtaining and
“trademarking” or patenting medicinal knowledge and medicinal plants. They suggested
that the Nlaka’pamux should take steps to halt such a possibility, perhaps by using
trademarks and patents themselves.
Participants were more specific in their concerns with confidentiality. In particular,
there was a strong feeling that medicinal knowledge should not be disclosed to
outsiders, and locations of culturally significant places kept confidential. Elders may also
have proprietary interest in ceremonial or traditional knowledge, and disclosure of this
information should be left up to each individual. In order to maintain confidentiality, a
system of rules was needed, including confidentiality agreements, information-sharing
protocols, consent forms, and release forms. These rules should apply equally to
consulting projects and academic studies, so that information can be controlled by the
nation under all circumstances.
Some participants also stressed that collecting objects and artifacts should be
prohibited except under special circumstances. In cases where artifacts and objects
must be collected, they should be recorded first and they should remain within the
territory. Although one participant suggested that community members be permitted to
collect objects and artifacts for their own use, most others indicated this was not
acceptable. Some felt that all artifacts belonged to the nation, while others pointed out
that they should be respected as the property of the ancestors and left in place. There
was also general agreement that objects, artifacts and ancestral remains already
collected and stored in museum collections be repatriated to the Nation, so that they
could be reunited with the land and the ancestors.
Consequences
Without effective sovereignty over traditional lands, implementing and enforcing a
Nlaka’pamux heritage law poses difficulties (Question 9). Nonetheless, respondents had
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opinions about how to deal with those who contravened a Nlaka’pamux heritage law.
One approach would be to base enforcement on customary or traditional law. In other
words, a contravention of the law would be brought before a council of Elders that would
review the case and recommend an action. The recommendation would then be taken to
leadership for review and a final decision. Some suggested that punishment should also
be based on traditional methods, such as banishment from the community, posting or
advertising the names of offenders, restrictions or taking away rights to certain places or
resources, demands for restitution and compensation, and apologies. Others felt that
fines or even imprisonment should be considered, although the process for
implementing this action was abstract.
The “restorative justice” model was another proposal for applying a heritage law,
where the intent is not punishment but rather to create an opportunity for people to make
amends. By emphasizing education and community service, the hope is to change
attitudes and behaviours, in keeping with Nlaka’pamux traditional ways. Such a scheme
has been implemented with some success in other situations within their communities.
Knowledge and Traditions, Places and Landscape
A common thread running through the responses recorded during the community
workshops is a pervasive sense of loss–of language, traditions, connections to places,
and, most lamentably, the loss of identity. At the same time, the participants were
hopeful they could mitigate, and perhaps even reverse this distressing trend. The
community workshops show that the Nlaka’pamux have a clear awareness of what
heritage is, why it is important, and why they must protect and preserve it. Moreover,
these convictions are rooted in traditional knowledge and teachings, and grounded in a
strong sense of identity. Although they were not a random sample of the population, they
represent those individuals with an interest in heritage, and have a potential role in its
stewardship. Perspectives expressed within this group are remarkably consistent,
reflecting a strong internal cultural cohesion, derived from common experience, shared
knowledge, and sense of identity. Despite more than 150 years of colonization,
missionization, confiscation of land, and the abrogation of their rights, the stewardship of
heritage remains important to Nlaka’pamux.
As a collective inheritance, heritage is passed down from the ancestors with
stewardship the responsibility of each generation. Although broadly accepted, this
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principle is complicated by community members who collect artifacts and objects for
personal use, and by the fact that heirlooms, such as baskets or songs, are passed
down within families. Contemporary perspectives on heritage stewardship are founded in
traditional Nlaka’pamux knowledge and teachings. The basic components of respect,
sustainability, and guiding by example are reinforced by traditional ceremonies and
teachings. Core responsibilities of contemporary Nlaka’pamux include respect for
ancestors and Elders, and passing on their cultural legacy to future generations. Their
highest priority is their language, nlha.kapmhhechEEn, which they regard as
fundamental to maintaining their distinct identity and critical to their assertion of
sovereignty.
The Nlaka’pamux participants were acutely aware of the forces eroding their
language, traditions, and places, and the challenges they must overcome to preserve
them. Confronting these will require research and education, along with building capacity
and public support. Managing and mitigating negative external pressures will also
require the development of a comprehensive law that stems the ongoing loss and
diminishes the threats to heritage. Although there is demonstrated support for this
approach, the parameters of a law to safeguard heritage must clarify a number of issues,
such as jurisdiction and enforcement. International instruments, such as the UN
Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (United Nations General Assembly
2007), express broad support for indigenous authority over heritage, but their tenets are
more aspirational than operational and are not codified in Canadian or provincial laws.
For Nlaka’pamux laws to carry legal weight would require instruments derived from the
assertion and recognition of indigenous title and rights. However, until such time the
state fully recognizes their sovereignty or they achieve self-government through
negotiation, a Nlaka’pamux heritage law would be largely “extra-legal” in nature–in other
words, mostly without legal force in federal or provincial courts. When considering
options for enforcement, the most effective influence is through moral persuasion
leading to protocols with third parties, such as municipalities, industries, and ministries.
A particular challenge is resolving the tensions between the interests of the
individual communities and those of the Nlaka’pamux nation as a whole, as well as
sorting out the competing concerns of the different tribal councils and their agencies. On
the other hand, this also presents an opportunity for the various communities and tribal
councils to work together for a common cause. As expressed by one workshop
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participant, once the people have voiced their preferences, leadership’s responsibility is
to act on those decisions. Complicating matters is the dual role of leaders who must
balance their advocacy for economic development with heritage stewardship. The need
for Nlaka’pamux economic development is unequivocal, but the danger of yielding to
double standards is also present. As such, participants stressed that vigilant oversight
from the people is necessary, and the same standards need to apply to all parties,
whether on- or off-reserve.
The Nlaka’pamux perspectives documented here have informed their past
heritage stewardship efforts and guide the current heritage discourse. Industrial
development and resource exploitation continue to have an impact on their meaningful
places and the land itself. Their conception of heritage is exceedingly inclusive, and
encompasses not only tangible and intangible features, but also the land and
environment. All of these interdependent components form a single entity, and as such
they cannot be compartmentalized or addressed separately. This broad conception of
heritage challenges the conventional approach to legislated stewardship, which is biased
toward the protection and management of places and things. While protecting significant
places is important because these features are manifestations of their culture and
history, from the Nlaka’pamux perspective heritage stewardship must also incorporate
intangible heritage. Given the connections between knowledge, traditions, places,
resources, and the land itself, landscape becomes a critical component of protecting
their heritage. In the following section, I discuss the challenges for heritage stewardship
in the context of the Nlaka’pamux landscape.
The Stein-Botanie National Historic Site Project
In 2005, Lytton First Nation initiated the process to nominate the Stein and
Botanie valleys as an “Aboriginal cultural landscape” under the federal National Historic
Sites of Canada program (Figure 12 and 17). Given its status as an undeveloped
protected area with demonstrated cultural significance, the Stein Valley clearly fits the
criteria of this program. The Botanie valley, on the other hand, is a “multiple-use” area
with a variety of ongoing land activities and numerous public and private stakeholders.
Key parts of it have been Indian Reserves since the 1860s, and resource tenures and
private land holdings occupy the greater part of the watershed. The province also
created an ecological reserve above its headwaters in 1978, in recognition of its
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significant subalpine ecology. Although held in particular esteem by the Nlaka’pamux,
the diversity of land uses and resource extraction activities makes the Botanie a more
difficult candidate for National Historic Site of Canada designation (Lytton First Nation
and Klahanee Heritage Research 2006).
The documented “traditional use” of the Stein Valley reveals a continuum of
activities from ancient times until the present. It has played a significant role in the
traditional economy, with hunting, trapping, and gathering (primarily cedar and
mushrooms) frequent activities. More important, Nlaka’pamux continue to regard it as a
spiritual area. In the past, power was sought in isolated locations and visions were
subsequently recorded as pictographs. Non-indigenous use of the Stein watershed has
been minimal, with limited prospecting, small-scale mining, hunting, and trapping from
the late 1800s until the mid-twentieth century, while recreational activities became more
frequent by the late 1900s.
In contrast, the Botanie Valley has always played a larger economic and social
role in Nlaka’pamux society, which explains the allocation of several reserves near its
heart (Figure 18). Although an important deer hunting area, it is known in particular as a
significant source of berries and root crops. Traditionally, Nlaka’pamux travelled there
every spring and summer to gather these abundant foods, and during these times large
social gatherings were common. To this day, Nlaka’pamux continue to pursue these
activities in the valley. Roads penetrated the Botanie in the early 1900s, and its
accessibility has subjected it to extensive development activities, such as agriculture and
forestry, and much of the valley bottom is now privately owned. Despite their different
roles and histories, both the Stein and Botanie valleys also figure prominently in Creation
stories.
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Figure 17.
Botanie Valley (dashed line), Skwaha Ecological Reserve, and
associated Lytton First Nation reserves (map courtesy of Lytton FN).
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Figure 18.
The upper Botanie Valley, on Bootahnie IR 15.
Lytton First Nation sought commemoration of the “Stein-Botanie Nlaka’pamux
Cultural Landscape” for a number of reasons (Lytton First Nation and Klahanee Heritage
Research 2006). Official recognition confers a national and international profile on the
areas, and highlights their cultural and historical importance. The feasibility study was an
opportunity to collect comprehensive Nlaka’pamux knowledge about the valleys, and to
archive and map these data for research and educational purposes. A successful
nomination would also make potential sources of assistance available for developing
conservation and presentation plans. National Historic Site of Canada designation also
ties in with future opportunities for cultural tourism and a proposed cultural heritage
centre, as well as “cultural rediscovery” programs for Nlaka’pamux youth and community
members. Ultimately, commemoration would instigate a management plan for the
Botanie Valley to complement the one for the Stein. Despite the potential benefits and
strong support from Lytton First Nation, pursuit of this designation has faced a number of
obstacles.
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National Historic Site Designation and the Stein-Botanie
Designation of National Historic Sites of Canada (NHSC) occurs under the
provisions of the federal Historic Sites and Monuments Act [R.S., c. H-6, s. 1], which
established the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada (HSMBC), and gave it
the mandate to make recommendations to the Canadian government for designating
places, people and events of national historical significance. As of 2011, the federal
government has commemorated more than 2,000 places, people, and events under this
act. A strategic priority of the HSMBC is a focus on designating under-represented
historical themes, such as the history of Aboriginal peoples, women, and ethnocultural
communities (Parks Canada 2000:39). Since 1999, the HSMBC has also recognized
Aboriginal Cultural Landscapes as places eligible for commemoration (Historic Sites and
Monuments Board of Canada 2008:14).
Designating historic sites begins with submitting an “application for nomination,”
prepared by interested individuals, groups or agencies, to the HSMBC secretariat. Next,
with the assistance of Parks Canada, a preliminary evaluation determines if the
nomination meets the criteria of national historic significance. If so a detailed
“submission report” follows, generally prepared by Parks Canada or jointly with the
nominating organization or agency. The submission report is then considered at one of
two annual meetings of the HSMBC, at which point a supplementary report may be
requested for clarification of the nomination or to provide additional information. Based
upon further review, the board provides a positive or negative recommendation to the
Minister of Environment. The designation process takes a minimum of two years, or
longer depending on the complexity of the nomination property. In the case of the SteinBotanie cultural landscape, a feasibility study funded by Parks Canada preceded the
formal application. It gathered and summarized the relevant information to determine if
the proposed nomination met the specific criteria.
The initial feasibility study prepared for the Stein-Botanie cultural landscape
highlighted a number of potential obstacles facing the nomination, namely the
identification of the proposed boundaries of the cultural landscape, obtaining support of
all owners and lessees, and demonstrating the integrity and appropriate management of
the proposed landscape (Lytton First Nation and Klahanee Heritage Research 2006).
The boundary issue was a particular concern, as the HSMBC will not consider an
application for designation without the written consent of all property owners or
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landowners. Moreover, for Aboriginal cultural landscape nominations “the Board must be
satisfied that there is agreement by all interested parties, Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal,
before considering a cultural landscape for its historic significance” (Historic Sites and
Monuments Board of Canada 2008). A submission report must also demonstrate the
integrity of the nominated property, identify all development pressures and threats, and
the type and level of protection provided to the nominated property. Given these
stringent requirements, nominating a cultural landscape with multiple land uses is a
difficult and complex undertaking. An additional hurdle involves the issue of land claims:
“Before the HSMBC begins evaluating a potential national historic site related to the
history of Aboriginal peoples and located on federal or provincial land subject to pending
or ongoing land claims, all such claims must first be settled and land ownership clearly
established” (Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada 2010). Given that the
Nlaka’pamux submitted a comprehensive land claim to the federal government in 1985
asserting ownership to all Crown land in their territory, this presents a considerable
potential impediment for including public lands in a nomination. However, the HSMBC
may consider including Indian reserves in a nominated place even if land claim
negotiations are pending or underway, provided that written consent has been obtained.
Most of the potential obstacles facing the application revolve around the issue of
the cultural landscape boundaries. In the 2006 feasibility study, Lytton First Nation
proposed boundaries that corresponded to those of Stein Valley Nlaka’pamux Heritage
Park, Skwaha Ecological Reserve in the upper Botanie valley, and five reserves located
in and adjacent to the Stein and Botanie watersheds (two at the mouth of the Stein, and
three within the Botanie watershed). Consultation with Lytton First Nation also revealed
a strong interest for expansion of the cultural landscape proposal to encompass the
entire Botanie Creek watershed (Lytton First Nation and Klahanee Heritage Research
2006), which would serve to achieve greater Nlaka’pamux involvement in the
management and heritage stewardship of this area. Such a designation, however,
presented a number of challenges endemic to landscape stewardship. Since the
Crown’s assertion of colonial rule in 1858, land and resource use has followed very
different trajectories in the Stein and Botanie valleys. The environmental conditions that
favoured traditional resources in the Botanie also made it attractive for settlement,
agriculture, and forestry, which has meant that much of the bottomlands were pre-
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empted by settlers, while the remainder of the valley is subject to agricultural leases and
forestry tenures.
Heritage stewardship on a landscape scale is complex and controversial
because of the inherent presence of competing interests, and the Stein-Botanie cultural
landscape is a case in point. Protection of the Stein valley was publicly contentious and
took decades to resolve, even though the land tenure issues were relatively simple.
Heritage designation and stewardship in the Botanie valley, on the other hand, are
considerably more complex to sort out. Devising a workable co-management strategy for
landscape heritage stewardship in the context of the Botanie valley is a challenge, and
the NHSC designation efforts expose the difficulties inherent in multiple-use land
management, and the conflict between land tenure and the underlying issue of
indigenous title and sovereignty.
Co-management and Multiple-use
Judging from their previous efforts with land and resource issues, heritage
stewardship on a landscape scale has long been a high priority for the Nlaka’pamux.
The designation of the Stein Valley Nlaka’pamux Heritage Park in early 1995
demonstrated the potential of this approach. The successful outcome of the Stein
campaign proceeded from their direct involvement in following actions:
• Formal opposition to a proposed development in a “pristine” landscape.
• Public campaigning and collaboration with environmental groups.
• Extensive traditional use and archaeological research.
• Assertion of sovereignty over disputed area.
• Unilateral declaration of a “tribal park.”
• Direct negotiation with government.
Notably absent during the Stein preservation campaign in the 1980s was direct
action, such as blockades, physical confrontation, and court actions. Moreover, the
involvement of Lytton First Nation in the campaign led to the development of a comanagement approach for the Stein valley, and the lack of industrial land use and
resource tenures on provincial Crown land made eventual protection feasible.
Environmental groups had confronted the provincial government on the Stein
issue since the early 1970s, but only after the Nlaka’pamux and St’át’imc entered the
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debate in 1985 did the balance finally tip in favour of preservation. While the
Nlaka’pamux as a whole supported the Stein preservation initiative, approval was not
universal within the nation or Lytton First Nation (M'Gonigle 1988:121). Under the
leadership of Chief Ruby Dunstan, Lytton First Nation rallied public support and broader
Nlaka’pamux backing to save the Stein valley from logging. The successful collaboration
between First Nations and environmental organizations owed much to the latter’s
effective use of media, events, and advocacy to mobilize public support (M'Gonigle
1988). Yet the positive outcome of the campaign ultimately turned on the argument of
Nlaka’pamux title and rights, bolstered by their extensive research establishing their
long-term use and cultural significance of the valley. Indeed, by the late 1980s, First
Nations firmly controlled the Stein preservation agenda, and environmental groups were
largely absent from the negotiations that eventually led to the designation of the park.
As a consequence of their activism, Lytton First Nation and the Government of
British Columbia signed the Stein Valley Nlaka'pamux Heritage Park Cooperative
Management Agreement on the same day that the park was publicly announced (BC
Parks 2000). 85 It stated that management and development of the park would be
“designed to complement and highlight the historical and cultural presence of the Lytton
Nlaka'pamux in the Stein watershed, as well as to preserve and maintain traditional
Lytton Nlaka'pamux sustenance, cultural and ceremonial activities in the area” (BC
Parks 2000:6). Moreover, the agreement “provides assurances to the Lytton First Nation
that their rights and interests are not prejudiced by the creation of the park,” and “defines
the manner in which the Lytton First Nation will participate with the Government of British
Columbia as an equal partner in the planning and management” of the park (BC Parks
2000:6). Most important, it established a management board, consisting of three
representatives of the Government of British Columbia and three representatives of the
Lytton First Nation, to “oversee and manage all initiatives and undertakings relating to
the planning, operation and management of the park” (BC Parks 2000:4).
Embedded in the cooperative management plan was a cultural heritage subagreement ensuring that “recognition, understanding, preservation, protection,
communication and proper management of cultural heritage resources” was a primary
85
Although Lil’wat (Mt. Currie) First Nation had also been deeply involved in the Stein
preservation campaign, it declined participation in the negotiations that led to the signing of
the cooperative management agreement (BC Parks 2000:6).
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goal of park management (Ministry of Environment Lands and Parks 1997:62). 86 Among
the provisions of the sub-agreement were commitments to strike a cultural heritage
management committee, draft cultural heritage resource management plan and policies,
establish cultural heritage wardens to implement the provisions of the sub-agreement
and subsequent management plans, develop regulations governing research activities in
the park, and carry out inventory and monitoring of cultural heritage resources (Ministry
of Environment Lands and Parks 1997). The Cultural Heritage Resource Management
Plan was intended to form a separate, special section, highlighting the central role of
heritage in park planning. On June 30, 2000 both sides approved a management plan
for Stein Valley Nlaka’pamux Heritage Park, confirming Lytton First Nation as an equal
partner in the planning and management of the park, and incorporating the principles of
the cooperative management agreement and cultural heritage sub-agreement in the
park management and zoning concepts (BC Parks 2000). Since then, the Stein
Management Board has met on a quarterly basis to implement provisions of the park
management plan and sub-agreements. 87
The Stein management regime set a precedent not only for cooperation between
the province and a First Nation, but also for the central role of heritage in the
management of provincial land. Short of full recognition of Indigenous title over the
watershed, designation of the park and the subsequent co-management agreement
likely represents the highest level of protection and greatest degree of Nlaka’pamux
control over the Stein cultural landscape possible. However, the groundbreaking
approach they employed in the Stein is not necessarily workable in all situations, as
indicated by subsequently attempts elsewhere in the mid-Fraser and the British
Columbia interior.
Seeking a similar level scenario for the Botanie has proven much more
complicated, with a number of issues making it less feasible to seek protective status for
the watershed. The Stein watershed was primarily Crown land with few active resource
tenures prior to becoming a provincial park. In contrast, private landholdings and several
Lytton First Nation reserves with land and resource interests occupy most of the Botanie
86
87
Additional sub-agreements pertaining to fisheries and wildlife and tourism were signed at the
same time.
Although a separate cultural heritage management plan has yet to be completed, the Stein
Management Board continues to work towards that goal (John Haugen, pers. comm. 2011).
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valley bottom, while grazing, forestry and mining tenures encumber the Crown land in
the watershed. Only a single, small protected area exists within the watershed (Skwaha
Ecological Reserve), with limited potential for expansion. Moreover, considerable
agriculture in the lower valley and extensive logging in higher elevations has altered the
landscape considerably, and from the perspective of environmental proponents much of
the landscape is far from “pristine” and there are few natural values remaining to
conserve. At this point, alternative strategies for “multiple-use” regime in the Botanie are
required, and potential landscape stewardship alternatives include interim measures and
treaties, industry sector agreements, and land-use plans.
Since 1992, those First Nations in British Columbia involved in the federalprovincial treaty talks have used that forum to address heritage stewardship. Ratified
agreements routinely include a culture or heritage “chapter” that includes provisions for
the managing heritage sites on settlement lands, and measures for protecting key sites
of cultural and historical significance outside those boundaries. In some cases, “interim
measure” agreements provide protective measures before or during treaty negotiations
for situations where immediate attention is needed. For example, in 2001 Cowichan
Tribes and Hul’qumi’num Treaty Group signed a renewable agreement with British
Columbia and Canada to protect 1,700 ha of Crown land encompassing a sacred site
known as Hu’teshatsun, with the expectation that this provision would be incorporated
into the final agreement they negotiate (BC Treaty Commission 2001; Ross 2005:188).
However, this approach is not presently feasible for the Botanie valley as the
Nlaka’pamux disagree with the terms of the current treaty process. Even if provincial
treaty talks were to be initiated, this would not resolve the issue of the private property
within the Botanie valley.
More commonly, heritage stewardship in British Columbia now involves the
inclusion of specific objectives in high level provincial land-use planning, such as Land
and Resource Management Plans (LRMP), Sustainable Resource Management Plans,
and Ecosystem-based Management plans. In the 2008 Sea-to-Sky LRMP, for example,
the province agreed to protect areas of cultural significance to the In-SHUCK-ch,
Squamish, and Lil’wat nations using a number of land-use designations, including new
conservancies (protected areas), wildland zones (where mining and tourism are
permitted, but commercial logging is not), cultural places, and cultural management
areas or CMAs (British Columbia 2008). Cultural places are locations embued with
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meaning to First Nations, and may include traditional use areas, village sites, and sacred
places. Although not formally or categorically protected, the management intent of the
LRMP is to maintain the cultural values of these places. Specific implementation
direction is provided for these sites, and may include the withdrawal of these places from
future tenures issued under the Land Act. CMAs are larger tracts with historic and
contemporary significance identified by First Nations in government-to-government
agreements. All forms of resource and economic development are permitted within
them, but these “require that full consideration be given to First Nation interests,
including cultural and heritage resources” (British Columbia 2008:91). Existing
procedures for managing heritage values under current legislation also remain in place.
Including cultural places and CMAs in high-level provincial land use planning was
a significant development, as their management is specifically intended to maintain and
enhance opportunities for cultural and spiritual uses. Another important benefit of these
designations is their equal application to all resource ministries, thereby avoiding the
need for separate agreements for areas of cultural significance. These plans also
specifically identify the role of First Nations in setting management objectives for cultural
areas. Overall, this suggests that opportunities for collaborative heritage stewardship
exist under these high-level plans, and they could have advantages over the existing
regulatory regime.
During the planning process for the Lillooet LRMP area, which includes the
Botanie valley, an opportunity for incorporating cultural places and CMAs existed.
However, the NNTC, along with the St’át’imc nation, declined to participate for a number
of reasons. One concern is that CMA designations institute a two-tier system for heritage
stewardship, thus implying that some areas within a nation’s territory are less significant
than others. The St’át’imc Nation, for example, countered with its own land-use plan, in
which they recognized that all parts of its territory are equally significant (St'át'imc Land
and Resource Authority 2004). Their plan requires that the same levels of consultation
and co-management apply throughout their territory. Moreover, they point out that the
provincial LRMP does not provide any additional legal protection for heritage, over and
above the existing legal obligations of the provincial and federal governments for
consulting with First Nations where title and rights may be infringed. Indeed, for the
Nlaka’pamux, participation in LRMP planning was not acceptable because the process
260
was wrapped up in the issue of their indigenous title. Without recognition of Indigenous
title, the NNTC refused to recognize provincial authority in the planning process.
Lacking St’át’imc and Nlaka’pamux participation, the provincial government
unilaterally established six new parks and two park additions, along with three “mining
and tourism areas,” within the Lillooet LRMP planning area in April 2010 (British
Columbia 2010). No other land use planning designations or management regimes were
included in this order. With this action, the province considers the LRMP process to be
completed, although “other aspects of the draft plan have been provided to statutory
decision makers as operational guidance for the management of Crown land and
resources, subject as appropriate, to further First Nations consultation” (Ministry of
Forests Lands and Natural Resource Operations 2010). As such, future opportunities for
designating a CMA or similar land zone for the Botanie valley within a high-level
provincial land use plan appear limited.
In the end, the lack of viable options for landscape designation or comanagement for the Botanie Valley highlights the underlying issue of Nlaka’pamux
sovereignty. The extant provincial legislative and regulatory framework is incompatible
with their autonomy because the issue of Aboriginal title remains a legal burden. In the
absence of a comprehensive settlement, perhaps the only short-term alternative is
rethinking the heritage stewardship and regulatory paradigm, shifting it from top-down to
co-management, and from site-specific to landscape. As such, opportunities and
challenges for co-management of the Botanie will benefit from a review of the concept of
the Nlaka’pamux landscape.
The Nlaka’pamux Landscape
The Stein Valley research compiled in the 1980s demonstrated the breadth and
depth of Nlaka’pamux knowledge available about this landscape. An abundance of
intangible and tangible heritage was documented and recorded: place names, sacred
places, oral histories, traditional use areas, resources and activities, trails,
archaeological sites, culturally modified trees, and pictographs. These data represent a
seminal articulation of the cultural landscape concept, even though the researchers
never framed it in those terms. This conception was further borne out in the 2010
community workshops in which Nlaka’pamux heritage was described as a diverse and
261
holistic range of features and attributes bound together by a web of relationships,
anchored in the land and in significant places.
In the context of the National Historic Site of Canada proposal, the Botanie Valley
is an instructive example of how the Nlaka’pamux used and perceived their landscape.
The valley figures prominently in a number of their spataqulh (Creation stories) and
spEElahhem (histories), all of which highlight its significance as a place for hunting, plant
collecting, and social gatherings. One story describes the supernatural origins of the
valley’s abundance of root crops (Teit 1917). In it, a woman named KwEskapI'nEk
wished to provide for her children after she married the Sun: “Therefore she filled her
basket with edible roots. She repaired to BEta'ni (or Bota'ni), and emptied her basket,
saying, ‘Henceforth roots will grow in abundance in this place; and my children shall
repair here to dig them.’ Therefore almost all kinds of edible roots now grow there” (Teit
1917:21).
The powerful nature of the valley and its sacred origin is reinforced by the
Nlaka’pamux belief that the first root-digging visit of the season brings on rainy weather
(Teit 1912:374). The Botanie was also the original home of the four Black Bear Brothers,
and the place where they escaped from Grizzly Bear, before they became transformers
(Boas 2002 [1895]:84; Hanna and Henry 1995:71; Teit 1912:218). More famously, the
Botanie valley is where Ntl’ík’semtm (Coyote’s son) had many of his adventures (Boas
2002 [1895]:88; Hanna and Henry 1995:28-31, 35; Teit 1898:24-27, 1912:297). After
having been tricked into the sky country by his father, who coveted his son’s wives,
Ntl’ík’semtm is lowered back to earth in a cedar basket at Lytton, where he discovers
that all of his people including his wives have left for the Botanie to dig roots and hunt
deer. He follows their trail up the valley, performing miracles along the way, with a
named place corresponding to the location of each of these events (see Hanna and
Henry 1995).
One of the oldest spEElahhem or histories, on the other hand, relates that many
Nlaka’pamux were camped in the Botanie valley during the height of the root digging
season when Simon Fraser and his party visited nKemchEEn (Lytton) during late June
of 1808 (Teit 1912:414). Other histories describe an encounter with a war party, the
murder of an evil shaman, and the death of Chief Spintlum, all taking place during times
when the Nlaka’pamux had gathered in the Botanie for root digging (Teit 1912:403, 407,
262
413). More recent narratives reflect its continuing economic and social significance
(Hanna and Henry 1995:134, 149, 150). In one of these, recorded in 1973, Mary
Williams recounts experiences of her youth:
In the month of August, the people gathered up in Pétani [Botanie Valley].
People gathered from all over–Spences Bridge, Nicola, and 30 Mile…
Lots of people went up there to the flat up at the place they call Red
Crown or Top [for] foot races, horse races, and everything else… Then
the people dug roots such as sk’á´mats [yellow avalanche lily], tatúwen
[western spring beauty], water leaf and tiger lily; and they picked
mountain berries and gathered all the other kinds of food there. They shot
deer and roasted them over open fires… They dried their meat and fruit
and even made jam… My, we used to have nice times in those days!
[Hanna and Henry 1995:149]
In another interview, Annie York echoed this sentiment: “They come down to
Botanie Mountain, everybody from everywhere. From Spences Bridge, they come there
to dig their roots… that’s where they come to… That mountain’s one of the wealthiest
mountains with roots food” (quoted in Turner et al. 1990:123). Other informants said that
in the past people would spend between ten days to three weeks in the Botanie digging
roots, and in good areas a medium-sized basket could be filled in a few hours (Turner et
al. 1990:123).
Having first come to the notice of European and Canadian scientists in the late
th
19 century, the Botanie has long been recognized among researchers for its cultural
and historical significance. While making a botanical collection in the valley in July 1887,
the German botanist Carl Purpus observed Nlaka’pamux camps surrounded by drying
roots (Purpus 1892a). As he travelled up the valley, “more and more groups of Indians
came out of the woods and cheerfully greeted us while passing” as they returned from
their camps near Botanie Lake:
Each of the Indians drove two or three ponies ahead, packed with
household goods and baskets that were filled with roots, which had been
collected by the women in the mountains. The digging of roots and
collection of berries is the main activity of the Indian women over the
summer in this area while the responsibility of the men is hunting and
fishing. In June, when the snow has melted and the mountains have
attained their spring robe, no Indian can be held in their cramped
dwelling. He packs his belongings and moves with wife and child, bringing
263
their ponies into the mountains, where they spent most of the summer.
[Purpus 1892a] 88
Three years later, the geologist George M. Dawson entered this passage in his
diary for July 4, 1890: “Move on to a camp … near head of Botanie Valley… Several
camps of Indians up here at present, the women being engaged in digging roots…”
(quoted in Turner et al. 1990:15). The next day he observed, “Before we left Camp this
morning, a number of Indian women passed on way to dig roots, each with a basket on
back & digging Stick…” (quoted in Turner et al. 1990:15). Dawson subsequently
translated the meaning of Botanie as “perpetual root place” (Dawson 1891:40), and
wrote that it was among the “most noted localities” for the collection of edible roots such
as those of the avalanche lily (Dawson 1891:20). In his words, the Nlaka’pamux
considered it their “special resort.”
Likewise, James Teit noted that the Botanie was “from time immemorial a
gathering-place for the upper divisions of the tribe, chiefly for root-digging during the
months of May and June. Sometimes over a thousand Indians, representing all the
divisions of the tribe, would gather there” (Teit 1900:294). Word of the natural and
cultural significance of the upper Botanie valley eventually reached John Davidson, the
provincial botanist. In 1914 he made an extensive collecting trip through the area, with
James Teit acting as guide and translator (Davidson 1915):
At the time of our visit many Indians were met, and much interesting
information was obtained regarding the uses of several of the plants
which abound in the mountains and valleys… The information obtained
from the Indians was supplemented by Mr. Teit’s knowledge of the uses
to which many of the plants are put by the Indians, and visits to old
camping-grounds showed to what an extent these nomadic peoples
depend on the native flora to supply their needs. The remains of root-pits,
earth-ovens, sweat-houses, etc. were pointed out and their uses
explained. [Davidson 1914:44]
In the 1970s and 1980s researchers working with the Nlaka’pamux renewed their
interest in the Botanie, amassing considerable data on the area. For example, an
archaeological inventory recorded a number of roasting pits and camp areas near
Botanie Lake (Baker 1975). Around the same time, the ethnolinguist Randy Bouchard
travelled with the elder Louis Phillips through the Botanie valley and adjacent upper
88
Translated from the original German by Ursula Arndt.
264
Laluwassin watershed, recording 53 place names in nlha.kapmhhchEEn and
photographing their locations (Bouchard n.d.). During the 1980s, Nancy Turner, an
ethnobotanist at the University of Victoria produced a compendium of Nlaka’pamux plant
use, in which the upper Botanie Valley figured prominently (Turner et al. 1990). She
pointed out that the Botanie valley warranted “special attention” because it “was and is
such a unique and important resource area” (Turner et al. 1990:15-17). Toponyms and
plant names from Turner’s research were subsequently incorporated into a Nlaka’pamux
dictionary and orthography (Thompson and Thompson 1992, 1996). More oral narratives
and histories from the Botanie and elsewhere in their territory were gathered during the
early 1990s (Hanna and Henry 1995). Over the past 15 years or so, the NNTC
supported an active program to document Nlaka’pamux geographical and historical
knowledge of their territory, compiling additional data for the Botanie valley.
Beginning in 2005, as part of the Stein-Botanie National Historic Site of Canada
nomination research, extant Nlaka’pamux narratives and histories pertaining to the
Botanie valley were gathered and organized. Named places, resource areas, sacred
places, trails, archaeological sites, and historic locations were ground truthed and
mapped with GIS, and their records updated. During this process additional named
places and archaeological sites were located and recorded. Historic and archival
sources dating from Simon Fraser’s visit in 1808 until the early twentieth century were
identified, along with numerous archival collections with materials relating to the Botanie,
including maps, photographs, archaeological artifacts, ethnological objects, song
recordings, and interview tapes. On the basis of the accumulated data, the Botanie
Valley was one of the most intensively studied and best-documented indigenous
landscapes in British Columbia, if not Canada. Still, a cultural landscape is more than an
inventory of places, stories, and archaeological sites. Nlaka’pamux perceptions and
knowledge of the Botanie landscape reveal that it hosts a web of relationships between
intangible heritage and meaningful places, linking the land to people, both in the past
and the present.
Heritage, Landscape, and Archaeology
At the centre of Nlaka’pamux heritage is nlha.kapmhhchEEn, their language, as it
is through language that heritage is passed down from generation to generation. It also
includes their spataqulh (Creation stories), spEElahhem (histories), ash hhken
265
(knowledge), and shzaytn (practices), as well as their nkshaytkn (relations) between
people, ancestors, neighbours, and other living beings. In addition, heritage
encompasses all of the wA.hhten (places), hhA.hh.OOyemwuh (spiritual areas), and
chOOmeen (objects) that are important to them and linked to their history and traditions.
Moreover, heritage incorporates the temEEwuh (land) and nwha.pEEtn (resources)
necessary for survival and the practice of their traditions.89 Given the wide range of
heritage attributes, and their interrelationships with resources, environment, and land,
the concept of landscape is a useful approach for encompassing and understanding
Nlaka’pamux heritage.
The Nlaka’pamux landscape incorporates the tangible and intangible aspects of
their past, but contemporary perspectives shape the landscape’s cultural meaning in the
present. One way to imagine this layering of past and present is to think of landscape as
a “palimpsest,” the analogy being a writing surface where inscriptions have been erased
and written over, but where traces of earlier drafts can still be detected (Nabokov 2005).
In this sense, a cultural landscape is the “accumulation of layers of beliefs” and “the
stacking of the stories that fix them in tradition,” with all of these attached to place
(Nabokov 2005:149). Moreover, the layers are fused to produce what we perceive today,
with the past conflated into a synchronic present (Figure 19). Peeling the layers away
may reveal glimpses of beliefs, and associated physical alterations, related to prior
conceptions (Figure 20), but ultimately we can only comprehend place and landscape
from the perspective of its contemporary manifestation.
Because their experience with their landscape occurs primarily in the present,
Nlaka’pamux place much less emphasis on chronology and temporality. While they
recognize a historical aspect to places, determining the specific age or a chronology for
them is not a priority. Indeed, in traditional Nlaka’pamux thought, there are only two time
periods: the distant past, the time of spataqul (the Creation stories), and the more recent
past, the time of spEElahhem (memories and personal histories). These periods are
marked on the landscape with names and stories. For example, the place in the lower
Botanie known as shqueekooTLquaTLt shwuhA-yem (Entrails Thrown) is where
transformers, after killing a monster, threw the entrails and smeared them across the
rock face in the distant past (Figure 21). The place known as QUooQUooTLa.hhAtn
89
I am grateful to John Haugen and Beverly Phillips of Lytton First Nation for providing the
transcriptions and translations of nlha.kapmhhchEEn words used in this section.
266
(Race Track), on the other hand, is the location in the upper Botanie where historically
the people would gather for competitions and games in the recent past. In other words,
knowing precisely when something happened is not important. Instead, recalling where
and why an event occurred are more germane to their cognitive geography. Although
influenced by and grounded in history and tradition, the meaning and significance of
places is ascribed in the present day.
Figure 19.
A generalized view of cultural landscape attributes: place names,
archaeological sites (red triangles), and resource areas (yellow
polygons).
267
Figure 20.
Cultural landscape attributes may be discernible within one or more
“layers” of time, but all are perceptible, and meaningful, in the
present.
Nlaka’pamux also imbue their landscape with a nested hierarchy of spatial,
contextual, and cognitive relationships that form a multi-layered network of meaning. For
example, a culturally significant place is only one node in a lattice, with each node
connected by its physical, cognitive, and temporal relationships with its neighbours.
These relationships extend ever outward, bounded only by the limits of an observer’s
interests, experiences, or perceptions. Each place is associated with a specific event,
memory, or activity, while an entire valley is an interconnected grid of places that create
a physical and temporal space containing a related set of Creation stories, memories,
subsistence activities, and social gatherings. In turn, each valley is a node within the
larger Nlaka’pamux landscape that holds the accumulated history, experiences, and
places of the nation.
These conceptions of landscape differ from conventional archaeological
perspectives in a number of ways, and as a consequence have implications for
archaeological theory and practice. As archaeologists consider their discipline to be the
study of changes in human behaviour evidenced by the relationship of material culture to
the environment over time, they tend to gravitate to material evidence analyzed in the
268
context of chronology and environment. As such, they often place much less emphasis
on immaterial attributes and generally overlook those qualities that give places
contemporary cultural meaning. The study of cultural landscapes, on the other hand, is
concerned more with how the past is manifested in the present, a palimpsest instead of
discrete chronological layers.
Figure 21.
The striped rock face known as shqueekooTLquaTLt shwuhA-yem
(Entrails Thrown), in the lower Botanie Valley.
Moreover, archaeologists generally think of objects and sites as the basic units of
analysis, but a cultural landscape involves different conceptions of boundedness. Unlike
archaeological sites, which ostensibly have a discrete boundary, Nlaka’pamux places
are diffuse–they blend with the larger landscape. And whereas a significant focus of
archaeological studies is environmental context, cultural landscapes take on meaning
from cultural context, in the form of both tangible and intangible attributes. Places exist in
a wider setting, both physical and cognitive, that gives them significance: place names,
environmental setting, spiritual values, association with trails and travel, connections to
stories, relationships to traditional resources and land use, and links to people.
269
Chapter Summary: Landscape and Practice
In the first half of this chapter, Nlaka’pamux participants in the heritage
workshops expressed their deep interest in heritage, and their strong desire to see it
protected from internal and external threats. They described many of the challenges
facing Nlaka’pamux efforts to preserve and revitalize their heritage, but also identified
how Elders, individuals, communities and the nation could work together to develop and
implement a comprehensive heritage stewardship framework. Most important, the
Nlaka’pamux participants stressed that their conception of heritage was broad and
inclusive, incorporating all the material evidence (e.g., archaeological sites) and the
accumulated knowledge (e.g., traditions) of their culture, history, and identity. From their
perspective, Nlaka’pamux heritage guides them in their relationships to the world around
them. It is the source of their identity, and defines who they are as a people.
Although this chapter has focussed on Nlaka’pamux perspectives on heritage
and landscape, these conceptions are remarkably homologous to those expressed by
participants in the St’át’imc case study (Chapters 4 and 5). In both studies, heritage was
integral to identity and cultural revitalization, and in both cases archaeology and heritage
stewardship are seen as critical components of asserting authority and sovereignty.
Moreover, the idea of cultural landscape closely corresponds to Nlaka’pamux and
St’át’imc conceptions of heritage, and provides a framework for landscape stewardship
that can encompass tangible and intangible attributes. Conversely, the site-specific and
materialist approach of conventional archaeology is a poor fit with indigenous
perspectives on heritage, and has contributed to the uneasy relationship of Indigenous
peoples with archaeologists. However, this is just one of a number of factors that have
affected this relationship over time. In the next chapter, I evaluate the evolving
engagement of St’át’imc and Nlaka’pamux in archaeology and heritage stewardship, and
discuss how this engagement reveals potential ways for archaeological practice to better
accommodate indigenous views, from the perspective of ethics, authority, intangible
heritage, and landscape.
270
Chapter 8.
Discussion:
Indigenous Aspirations, Better Practices
Overall, two overarching themes emerge from this exploration of St’át’imc and
Nlaka’pamux perspectives on heritage stewardship and their engagement with
archaeology. One is their strong desire to increase their level of meaningful participation
in stewardship and assert greater authority over the archaeological process. The other is
their insistence that archaeological practice is transformed so that it better addresses
their needs and reflects their perspectives, particularly in relation to intangible heritage
values and landscape contexts. In this chapter, I assess these themes in greater detail.
First, I examine earlier models that attempt to evaluate the extent and
effectiveness of indigenous engagement in archaeology, and present an alternative
evaluative framework that addresses the separate issues of participation and authority.
Using these dual axes, I gauge the levels of involvement and control of the Nlaka’pamux
and St’át’imc nations in the practice of archaeology and heritage stewardship, both in the
past and present. In the second part, I examine four areas of archaeological practice
amenable to critique and transformation based on indigenous perspectives highlighted
by the case studies, namely the ethics of heritage stewardship, indigenous authority and
sovereignty over heritage, intangible heritage and traditional knowledge, and indigenous
conceptions of the cultural landscape. In many cases, international “best practices” in
these areas have evolved beyond the current state of affairs in British Columbia, and I
highlight these approaches where appropriate. These offer a potential strategy for
bridging disciplinary goals and indigenous expectations for archaeological practice.
Measuring Indigenous Engagement
The St’át’imc and Nlaka’pamux have a long history of interacting with
archaeologists, but their level of engagement with the discipline has fluctuated, relative
271
to their level of political authority and social cohesion. In the last two decades, however,
both nations have become deeply engaged with archaeology and heritage stewardship.
Evaluating where they have been, where they are now, and where they want to be in
terms of their participation and authority in heritage stewardship helps us to understand
the challenges still facing them. In most discussions evaluating indigenous or community
engagement in archaeology, two approaches are generally used. The first uses a
checklist of criteria that typify community participation and effective collaboration. An
alternative approach envisions community involvement falling at a particular point along
a ladder or a continuum, progressing from a lower to higher degree of involvement.
In the first approach, criteria that might characterize successful archaeological
collaboration with a community include: mutual respect, building relationships,
collaborative research design and project planning, willingness to subordinate academic
objectives, flexibility, willingness to localize project benefits, sharing credit and voice,
willingness to participate in corollary projects, and willingness to share expertise and
resources (see Carr-Locke 2004:40; see also Moser et al. 2002; Tully 2007). In a
Canadian example, Sarah Carr-Locke identified nine elements of successful communitybased archaeology: understanding indigenous issues, local indigenous involvement in
research, respecting community protocols and traditions, local training and education,
community curation of artifacts and materials, development of local culture histories,
involvement in long-term projects, accessible results, and indigenous rights taking
precedence over academic or institutional interests (Carr-Locke 2004:93). However,
Carr-Locke points out that this list is not exhaustive, and not all of the elements need to
be present in a project for it to be considered to be community-based. Likewise, in her
book Community-based Archaeology, Sonja Atalay identified five principles that
“community-based participatory research” archaeological projects have in common,
namely they are community-based partnerships, participatory in all aspects, capacitybuilding, involve reciprocity, and recognize multiple knowledge systems (Atalay
2012:63). Community members collaborate in all aspects of the project, including:
planning, funding, defining a research question, developing research strategies,
designing research instruments, collecting and interpreting data, disseminating results,
and curating data (Atalay 2007, 2012:63).
These collaborative elements are present in various combinations in different
examples of community-based archaeology. Although not presented as a prescriptive
272
set of rules, presumably when more of these elements are incorporated into a project a
greater degree of participation is achieved, while the inclusion of all of them represents
an ideal level of collaboration. Checklists such as these are useful for developing a
research design or for project planning, but they do not specifically measure or rank the
relative degree of community involvement in archaeological projects or heritage
stewardship.
In the second “continuum” approach, the degree of community involvement is
presented as a step-like progression through stages or levels, increasing from limited
involvement to full collaboration. In particular, Sherry Arnstein’s influential “Ladder of
Citizen Participation” is noted as the inspiration for many models representing
participation as a continuum (Cornwall 2008; De Paoli 1999:78). For example, a similar
model was described in the context of resource negotiations between governments and
indigenous groups in northern Canada (Berkes 1994), and later modifications of this
model have been developed to represent degrees of resource co-management with First
Nations (De Paoli 1999:85).
In a British Columbian context, Mary De Paoli developed a “framework for
Indigenous participation” in resource management decision-making (including
archaeological management) largely based on Berke’s approach, with various stages
representing increasing community participation (De Paoli 1999:87). Important
distinctions of this framework from that of Berke’s are the inclusion of a stage denoting
full community control, and the deliberate horizontal orientation of the stages to avoid the
top-down approach of other models (Figure 22). In this model, the degree of community
participation is envisioned as falling along a continuum, with each stage grading into the
next (De Paoli 1999:90). Importantly, the stages represent a unilineal progression from
lesser to greater indigenous participation in management, and this continuum represents
participation within an imposed system. In other words, the assumption is that authority
ultimately rests with government, and each stage represents an increasing degree of
delegation of this control to indigenous groups.
Another articulation of indigenous participation in heritage stewardship is the
“collaborative continuum” (Colwell-Chanthaphonh and Ferguson 2008b:10). This
continuum consists of resistance and collaboration at opposite ends and participation in
the middle, with a number of characteristics defining each of these modes (see Figure
273
4). Again, the authors recognize that each mode grades into the others. A significant
distinction from De Paoli’s model is that the modes are not representative of a strictly
unilineal progression from lesser to greater community participation, and each mode
could be equally representative of local or governmental authority. For example, the
resistance mode could equally describe a situation where an indigenous group is in
control of heritage stewardship or research with little collaboration with government or
academics, or a situation where government is in full control with little involvement with
Partnership
Community
Control
Start of
two-way
information
exchange;
local
concerns
begin to
enter
management plans,
and joint
management
actions
may take
place
without
joint
jurisdiction
Management
Boards
Community
starts to
have input
into
management; local
knowledge
is solicited,
and
community
members
are
involved at
low levels
as
assistants
or guides
Advisory
Committees /
Councils
Start of
face-toface
contact;
community
input heard
but not
necessarily
heeded
(generally
late in the
planning
process)
Communication
Cooperation
Community
is informed
about
decisions
already
made; oneway
communication
between
government
agencies
and
community
Consultation
(token)
Informing
indigenous communities.
Partnership
in decisionmaking
starts; joint
action on
common
objectives,
but
communitie
s have nonbinding
advisory
powers
only
Participation in
developing
and
implementing
management plans,
with local
input
exceeding
an advisory
role
Partnership
of equals;
institutional
-ized and
formally
recognized
joint
decisionmaking;
control
delegated
to the
community
where
feasible
Indigenous
groups
make
decisions
independent of
government or
with very
limited
governmental
involvement
Less Participation
Figure 22.
More Participation
De Paoli’s Framework for Indigenous Participation (adapted from De
Paoli 1999).
What the latter two models have in common, however, is that they conflate two
related but distinct facets of community engagement–participation and authority.
Imagining a situation where a community enjoys a great deal of participation in
archaeology and heritage stewardship, but has little direct control over the project or
274
process, is easy. Likewise, we can envision cases where a community has a great deal
of control over archaeology, but does not participate in it directly. Indeed, involvement is
not the same as participation (McTaggart 1997:28), and being “involved in a process is
not equivalent to having a voice” (Cornwall 2008:278). For Indigenous communities, both
participation and authority are important in terms of the aspiration for greater Indigenous
involvement in heritage stewardship (see Welch et al. 2006), but they are two different
things.
Participation and Authority
Given the limitations of the “checklist” and “continuum” approaches outlined
above, an alternative framework is required to gauge the St’át’imc and Nlaka’pamux
relationship to archaeology and heritage stewardship. Indeed, the distinction between
participation and authority has implications for how we evaluate the effectiveness of
indigenous engagement in archaeology. The idea of a unilineal sequence of increasing
community participation and collaboration does not reflect the highly variable reality of
indigenous engagements with archaeology. Instead, this engagement is better
conceptualized along two axes: participation (or collaboration) and authority (or control).
These axes also better reflect variations between different forms of archaeological
practice–conventional, community-based, participatory action, and indigenous–each of
which address participation and authority to different degrees (Figure 23).
In this conceptualiztion, a constellation of values or criteria lie along each of the
axes, representing varying degrees of participation and authority. For example, values
along the participation/collaboration axis might include: employment of fieldworkers or
technicians, training, ceremonial sanction, Elder consultation, incorporation of
ethnographic data and traditional knowledge, input into research objectives, active
sharing results (e.g., reports, meetings), input into interpretation and results, and access
to funding. On the other hand, values lying along the authority/control axis might include:
notification, implicit consent, non-rejection, formal consent, control of funding and
contracts, meaningful input, consensus or veto on management decisions, veto on
interpretation and results, project veto, compliance with permits and protocols,
information-sharing agreements, and control over information and intellectual property.
Each case of indigenous involvement in archaeology incorporates an array of these
values falling along these axes. For simplicity, these values group into sequential
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categories that range, respectively, from no participation to full participation, and from no
authority to full authority (Tables 17 and 18). Although simplifying and essentializing a
complex set of inter-related values, this approach is useful for visualizing and measuring
the relative degree of indigenous engagement in archaeology.
#
"
Indigenous
Archaeology
Participatory /
Action Research
Greater collaboration
Lesser collaboration
!
Community
Archaeology
!
Conventional
Practice
Figure 23.
Forms of practice plotted on axes of participation and authority.
Situating St’át’imc and Nlaka’pamux Practice
Utilizing the framework outlined above, the degree of Nlaka’pamux and St’át’imc
participation and authority in archaeological practice can be roughly plotted at various
points over the past (Figures 24 and 25). For both nations, this analysis indicates a
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general increase in participation, as well as control, over time. For instance, during the
1870s and 1880s, the Nlaka’pamux had no control over the actions of archaeologists,
while their participation in research was restricted to the provision of local knowledge on
the whereabouts of sites or artifacts. By the 1890s, participation had increased to include
the employment of community members as field assistants and the incorporation of
traditional knowledge, and implicit consent for archaeological excavations was generally
obtained, at least for work on reserves.
When archaeological research resumed in the 1960s–this time in both
Nlaka’pamux and St’át’imc territory– indigenous participation had diminished to a
minimal use of local knowledge and assistants, with virtually no recognition of their
authority. Nonetheless, St’át’imc and Nlaka’pamux participation and authority in
archaeological research increased substantially through the 1970s and 1980s.
Community members took part in fieldwork and training, Elders provided input on
traditional practices and knowledge, and public education and site visits were
encouraged. At the same time, nations gave explicit permission for research projects,
granted access to their resources and cultural information, and had some formal input
into research objectives and interpretations. In at least some cases, authority extended
to stipulation of specific conditions governing the conduct and outcomes of the research.
On the other hand, the level of indigenous participation and authority did not
keep pace during the same period within the growing CRM practice. Although
indigenous communities were generally informed of CRM projects and occasionally
assisted with fieldwork, this engagement did not extend to formal input, collaboration, or
consent. Only when the Nlaka’pamux and St’át’imc challenged conventional CRM
practice and countered it with their own studies and processes did the level of their
participation and authority increase. For the Nlaka’pamux, the studies they produced
during the 1980s in the context of the CN Rail and Stein Valley conflicts marked a
dramatic shift in their archaeological and heritage engagement. A similar expansion
happened for the St’át’imc beginning in the mid-1990s, first as a result of the Stl’átl’imx
Heritage and Resource Inventory and Stl’átl’imx Nation Hydro initiatives, and later as a
consequence of the Seton Lake / CP 146 conflict and the formation of the LTC cultural
heritage team.
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Degree of Participation
Examples of Participation Objectives
Collaboration
Full participation of peers in all aspects of a project
Community priorities for research design and project
Community access to funding and disbursement
Management and monitoring role for community
Equal participation in research and assessments
Partnership
Economic benefits and joint business ventures
Long-term relationships and social interaction
" Increasing Participation
Table 17. Indigenous Participation in Heritage Stewardship.
Local curation of materials and data
Equal weight to community interpretation (multivocality)
Joint authorship and equal credit
Collaboration on research design and project planning
Open and ongoing dialogue
Continual reflection and review
Exchange
(information and
resources)
Educational and youth programs and materials
Active sharing and review of results
Partnerships with local organizations
Flexibility in project design and implementation
Sharing credit and acknowledging contributions
Sharing expertise and resources
Input into research design and project planning
Formal input from Elder and community members
Contribution
Input into interpretation and results
Provision of ethnographic data and traditional knowledge
Informal communication of results
Access to results and data
Ceremonial authorization (blessing)
Sanction
Mutual respect and recognition of issues
Respect community protocols and traditions
Formal training programs
Sharing information and assistance with data management
Public awareness programs and site visits
Informal input from Elder and community members
Community fieldworkers and technicians
Assistance
(employment)
Inventory and data management roles
Advisory and custodial roles
Informal training
Informing
One-way flow of information
Local knowledge
No participation
278
Decreasing Participation !
Capacity
(training / sharing)
Degree of Authority
Examples of Authority Objectives
Control
Fully independent community authority over stewardship
Community ownership of knowledge and products
Compliance with FN assessment permits and process
Compliance
(partial control and
consent)
Control of funding/contracts
Control over archaeologist selection
Compliance with FN values
Veto/binding comment on permits and/or research objectives
Veto/binding comment on projects
Veto/binding comment on management recommendations
Consensus on project location
Site designation/conservation
" Greater Indigenous Authority Authority
Table 18. Indigenous Authority over Heritage Stewardship.
Monitoring/auditing process
Consensus on overview/modelling criteria
Consensus
(joint decision-making)
Consensus on government permit conditions, research objectives, management
recommendations, results and interpretations
Consensus on range of protected heritage
Improved community-based enforcement
Confidentiality / information-sharing / intellectual property agreements
Joint selection of archaeologists
Input into project location
Elder/community monitors process/project
Input into selection of archaeologists
Advisory
(formal input)
Input into AOA/modelling criteria
Respect for indigenous values
Formalized comment on government permit conditions or research objectives
(non-binding)
Formalized comment on management recommendations, results and
interpretations (non-binding)
Cooperation
(access to resources)
Discussion
(non-binding
consultation)
Notification
No control
Informal comment on permit conditions or research objectives
Informal comment on recommendations, results and interpretations
Explicit consent
Incorporation of traditional values / knowledge
Access to community resource people
Access to community information sources
Provincial permit tracking
Project review
Report review
Referral and permit notification
Implicit consent
Full government/institutional control
279
Lesser Indigenous Authority !
Influence
(information exchange)
!
LTC Applied 2000s
SHRI/SNH Applied 1990s
Decreasing community participation
Research 1970s-1990s
!
Increasing community participation
!
!
CRM 1970s-1990s
! Research 1960s
Figure 24.
St’át’imc participation and authority in archaeological practice.
Although their trajectories and circumstances have differed, by the mid-2000s the
Nlaka’pamux and St’át’imc had reached roughly the same place in terms of their
involvement in heritage stewardship. They made great strides toward their goal of
controlling and participating in heritage stewardship, and their involvement had a major
influence on archaeological practice in their respective territories, and by extension to
British Columbia as a whole. Even so, these nations are not yet where they want to be in
terms of heritage stewardship, wherein they exercise full authority over it. As such, the
greatest impact from the efforts of the St’át’imc and Nlaka’pamux may not be in what
they have accomplished so far, but what influence they may yet have on the discipline.
280
NNTC Research 2000s
!
NNTC Applied 1980s
!
! Research 1970s
Decreasing community participation
Increasing community participation
! CRM 1990s
! CRM 1980s
Research 1870s
!
Figure 25.
! Research
1890s-1910s
! Research 1960s
Nlaka’pamux participation and authority in archaeological practice.
The Evolution of Practice
While the St’át’imc and Nlaka’pamux have endeavoured to assert their authority
over heritage stewardship, archaeological practice in the province has often lagged
behind in recognizing indigenous perspectives. Despite substantial change over the last
several decades, this practice still does not meet the expectations of First Nations. From
the points raised in the Nlaka’pamux and St’át’imc case studies, four overarching
themes emerge indicating where practice could be transformed to address indigenous
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concerns, particularly in the CRM and applied realms: acknowledging Indigenous
peoples as the primary authority in the stewardship of their own heritage, understanding
the nature of Aboriginal title and its impact on indigenous authority over archaeological
practice, taking a much broader view of archaeology that incorporates relationships to
intangible heritage, and adopting a landscape perspective for heritage stewardship. In
this section, I briefly describe some of the “best practices” and standards that could be
adopted to at least partly address the heritage stewardship concerns of the Nlaka’pamux
and St’át’imc.
Ethics and Stewardship
The ethics of archaeological practice are directly relevant to Nlaka’pamux and
St’át’imc aspirations for greater participation in heritage stewardship. Many Indigenous
peoples dispute the idea of archaeologists as self-appointed stewards of the
archaeological record (see Joyce 2002; Smith 2004; Wylie 2009), and this is
demonstrated by the positions articulated in the case studies. Indeed, they maintain that
CRM and legislation de facto favours the interests of archaeologists and the province
over that of First Nations. In order to have a constructive debate on how archaeologists
and Indigenous peoples can work together to improve heritage stewardship, First
Nations have demanded acknowledgement that they have a greater position in the
heritage process and legislation than other interested parties.
International conventions support the position taken by the St’át’imc and
Nlaka’pamux. For example, Article 11 of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous
Peoples states that Indigenous Peoples have the right to “maintain, protect and develop
the past, present and future manifestations of their cultures, such as archaeological and
historical sites, artefacts, designs, ceremonies, technologies and visual and performing
arts and literature,” while Article 12 maintains that Indigenous peoples have “the right to
maintain, protect, and have access in privacy to their religious and cultural sites” (United
Nations General Assembly 2007:5). Article 11 of the Declaration also states that redress
and restitution is required where cultural, intellectual, religious and spiritual property has
been taken without the free, prior and informed consent of Indigenous peoples. In other
words, Indigenous peoples are the primary authority on and stewards of their own
archaeology and heritage.
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Likewise, the International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World
Bank Group, has developed “performance standards” applicable to IFC-supported
projects (primarily in developing countries) acknowledging the primary role of Indigenous
peoples in heritage stewardship. For example, the free, prior, and informed consent
(FPIC) of Indigenous peoples is required in situations where a project may have
significant impact on “critical cultural heritage,” including natural areas with cultural or
spiritual values, and where the “knowledge, innovation, and practices” of Indigenous
peoples are to be used commercially (International Finance Corporation 2012a:5). The
requirement arose from the growing international recognition of the indigenous right to
FPIC in the context of resource development and other activities (MacKay 2004:43). The
IFC standard for cultural heritage states “the client will consult with Affected
Communities within the host country who use, or have used within living memory, the
cultural heritage for long-standing cultural purposes. The client will consult with the
Affected Communities to identify cultural heritage of importance, and to incorporate into
the client’s decision-making process the views of the Affected Communities on such
cultural heritage” (International Finance Corporation 2012b:2).
In contrast, the provisions of British Columbia’s Heritage Conservation Act (HCA)
do not require consultation or accommodation with First Nations, or provide First Nations
with a decision-making or co-management role. Although the duty to consult is
recognized by the province where Aboriginal rights may be infringed, the principles of
FPIC have not been enshrined in legislation or regulation. The “fiduciary minimalism”
practiced by the province effectively off-loads the consultation burden onto those
archaeological consultants willing to accept it (Hammond 2009:61).
The current CRM system in British Columbia is structured around legislation
based primarily on the principles of conservation archaeology, which privileges
universalism and scientific authority. In turn, archaeologists and archaeological
managers use these principles to legitimize their claims to stewardship over indigenous
heritage. The original articulation of conservation archaeology did not advocate
preservation of heritage for the primary benefit of descendant communities, much less
acknowledge a role for these communities in decision-making and drafting legislation
and regulations (see Lipe 1974). Nor did it recognize that First Nations might have their
own customary laws that govern their relationship to their heritage. A major concern
expressed by the St’át’imc and Nlaka’pamux is that they are not legally entitled to a
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decision-making role under the rubric of conservation archaeology-based CRM
regarding which sites are to be recorded, mitigated, managed, or destroyed.
Archaeologists and bureaucrats have reserved for themselves much of the power to
make these decisions, and they generally privilege scientific values over indigenous
ones (see Joyce 2002:103). Under the universalizing ethics of conservation
archaeology, archaeological heritage is claimed as the concern of all people. The de
facto result is that the competing and conflicting interests of different stakeholders and
interested parties leads to scientific interests being placed ahead of other interests, and
the privileged rights of descendant communities go unrecognized.
Although Kitkatla vs BC (Supreme Court of Canada 2002) found that the HCA is
a law of “general application” (meaning that it applies equally to all people and does not
single out Indigenous peoples), this is not equivalent to saying that First Nations should
not have a say in the way their heritage is “managed.” Indeed, the decision recognizes
that the law has a “disproportionate” effect on indigenous heritage because the vast
majority of archaeological sites protected by the HCA are linked to First Nations.
Because of this effect, there is little ethical or legal ground to support the idea that First
Nations should not also have a disproportionate role in deciding the fate of their heritage.
To be fair, the HCA does not exclude the possibility of creating a special role for
First Nations in archaeological stewardship. Section 4 of the HCA explicitly recognizes a
special role for First Nations, stating that the province may “enter into a formal
agreement with a First Nation with respect to the conservation and protection of heritage
sites and heritage objects that represent the cultural heritage of the aboriginal people
who are represented by that First Nation.” This type of agreement would identify a “a
schedule of heritage sites and heritage objects that are of particular spiritual, ceremonial
or other cultural value to the aboriginal people for the purpose of protection” under the
Act, and would make provisions for conditions for issuing permits, delegating ministerial
authority to First Nations, and listing actions that constitute a “desecration” of the listed
heritage sites. However, when the First Nations Leadership Council attempted to
negotiate a pilot Section 4 agreement (Sayers et al. 2011), the province ultimately failed
to engage in this process (First Nations Leadership Council 2012).
The failure of the province to amend or implement existing legislation to address
First Nation concerns on heritage stewardship means it is incumbent on archaeologists
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to affect change within the discipline itself. As described in Chapter 3, some
archaeologists responding to the indigenous critique increasingly question the idea that
archaeologists or bureaucrats have a privileged role in stewardship, and instead
emphasize collaboration, negotiation and co-management with indigenous and
descendant communities. As early as the 1990s, the World Archaeological Congress
and national archaeological associations in Australia, New Zealand and Canada adopted
codes recognizing the fundamental role and relationship of descendant communities to
archaeology. The codes of both the Canadian Archaeological Association (CAA) and the
British Columbia Association of Professional Archaeologists (BCAPA) specifically
recognize the privileged role of indigenous communities in heritage stewardship. The
CAA Statement of Principles for Ethical Conduct Pertaining to Aboriginal Peoples guides
the ethical behaviour of members in the areas of consultation, aboriginal involvement,
and sacred sites and places. Yet, the terms used in the document–“respect,”
“acknowledge,” “recognize,” “encourage,” “support”–are neither prescriptive nor
professionally obligatory. Likewise, the BCAPA code of conduct pertaining to cultural
groups recognizes that First Nations have an interest in the protection, management,
interpretation and presentation of their archaeological past. However, the specific
clauses in the code use phrases that leave considerable room for manoeuvring, such as
“strive to respect,” “to the best of his or her ability,” and “make an effort to follow.”
Although the CAA and BCAPA principles are important steps towards recognition
of the ethical role of Indigenous people in the practice of archaeology, they are not
legally binding. Moreover, in practice they are often not fully operationalized, and as
such they do not meet the level of participation aspired to and expected by First Nations.
In order to be meaningful for First Nations, mandatory principles of participation and
collaboration must be built into these codes. Although compulsory implementation of the
full range of participation outlined in Table 17 may be unattainable in the short term, a
good start for archaeological associations would be a commitment to meaningful
consultation; mandatory implementation of First Nation protocols, policies and permit
systems; requirements for employment and training; and consequential incorporation of
indigenous knowledge and values in interpretation and management decisions. Many of
these actions are explicit goals of community-based archaeology in academic settings,
yet they are neither codified nor consistently applied in CRM contexts.
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In the long-term, however, effective and comprehensive implementation of a full
range of indigenous participation in heritage stewardship will likely require negotiated
agreements and substantial changes to legislation, including the principles of FPIC in the
context of heritage. First nations must have a central position in these developments, as
neither legislation nor ethical standards give archaeologists a privileged role in heritage
stewardship. As such, adopting a model of collaborative heritage stewardship requires
not just recognition from government, but also a commitment from archaeologists to
transform the principles and ethics of practice.
Authority and Ownership
For the Nlaka’pamux and St’át’imc, transforming the ethics of heritage
stewardship to ensure greater participation and collaboration in archaeology is an
important aspiration. However, both nations desire more than just a primary role in
heritage stewardship; for them, the principles of community-based archaeology, which
recognize the primary role of descendant communities, do not go far enough. Instead,
they want jurisdiction over heritage stewardship, and ownership of heritage places and
objects. These goals are more in line with the principles of indigenous archaeology,
which demands recognition of indigenous control and authority over heritage and its
interpretation.
Fully accepting indigenous authority and ownership is not necessarily possible
for (or desired by) non-indigenous archaeologists, due to conflicting goals and
conceptions of practice but more importantly because of the existence of legislation
governing heritage places and archaeological practice. For example, archaeologists
cannot simply ignore provincial permitting regulations or hand over artifacts to First
Nations without putting themselves into a legal quandary. Nonetheless, archaeologists
can still undertake their work in ways that further the goals of First Nations in terms of
control and authority, without contravening their legal responsibilities or the ethical
principles of their professional associations. To understand this potential role for
archaeologists, it’s useful to review international conventions and legal rulings relevant
to the relationship of indigenous heritage to Aboriginal title and ownership.
Article 11 of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples
states that Indigenous peoples have the right to “restitution … with respect to their
cultural, intellectual, religious and spiritual property taken without their free, prior and
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informed consent or in violation of their laws, traditions and customs” (United Nations
General Assembly 2007:5). Likewise, Article 12 declares that Indigenous peoples have
“the right to use and control of their ceremonial objects; and the right to the repatriation
of their human remains” (United Nations General Assembly 2007:5). Although neither
article explicitly states that Indigenous peoples retain ownership of archaeological sites
and artifacts, this is implicit in the use of terms such as restitution, control, and
repatriation.
The Declaration also lends support to the principle of indigenous control and
ownership of their own heritage as a function of the indigenous right to sovereignty.
Article 3 declares “Indigenous peoples have the right to self-determination” (United
Nations General Assembly 2007:4). Article 26 refers to rights of Indigenous peoples “to
own, use, develop and control the lands, territories and resources that they possess by
reason of traditional ownership or other traditional occupation or use,” and that “States
shall give legal recognition and protection to these lands, territories and resources”
(United Nations General Assembly 2007:8). Although First Nations in British Columbia
have cited the Declaration as support for Aboriginal sovereignty (John 2010:55), it is not
specific in how traditional ownership can be established. Indeed, many states opposed
any references to indigenous sovereignty, territory, autonomy, and restitution during the
drafting of the Declaration (Malezar 2010:30), with the result that Article 46 states in part
that nothing in the document authorizes or encourages actions that would “impair, totally
or in part, the territorial integrity or political unity of sovereign and independent States”
(United Nations General Assembly 2007:11).
While Canadian courts have ruled that Aboriginal title exists, they have also
decided that it must be proven in court or established through negotiations (such as
treaties), with the burden of proof placed on First Nations (Knafla 2010:7). Even where
Aboriginal title is recognized, however, this does not necessarily translate into
recognition of indigenous jurisdiction (Yarrow 2010:95). Modern-day treaties in British
Columbia do accept limited indigenous jurisdiction over lands and resources on
settlement lands. In particular, they acknowledge ownership of artifacts and heritage
objects (as well as those in federal collections), and also have provisions for “lawmaking” (or jurisdiction) in respect to the conservation, protection, and management of
heritage sites. The St’át’imc and Nlaka’pamux, however, like other First Nations outside
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the treaty process, are seeking jurisdiction and ownership over heritage throughout their
traditional territory.
In British Columbia, the issue of jurisdiction may ultimately be resolved as part of
legal efforts leading to the recognition of Aboriginal title to traditional territories, but the
prospect for a negotiated resolution to the question of title appears to be dim. For a brief
period in 2008-2009, former Premier Gordon Campbell’s New Relationship initiative
seemed to suggest that a negotiated outcome was possible. As part of this initiative,
legislation was proposed that would recognize title for approximately 30 sovereign First
Nations, along with provisions for revenue-sharing and co-management of resources
(which likely would have included heritage). The First Nations Leadership Council initially
supported the proposed legislation (Mandell 2008:14), but this endorsement quickly
evaporated in the face of grassroots opposition (First Nations Leadership Council 2009).
In the end, the proposed legislation faced a number of insurmountable hurdles, including
the uncertainty of its impact on indigenous title and rights, the complexity of negotiating
overlapping territorial boundaries, and internal tension between and within nations and
communities.
Given the limited chances for a negotiated resolution, the only other available
option is seeking recognition of Aboriginal title through the courts. In this scenario,
archaeologists have a major role to play, much as they have had in past litigation and
land claims. In the United States, the establishment of the Indian Claims Commission in
1946 resulted in anthropologists and archaeologists becoming “expert witnesses” for
both the federal defendants and indigenous plaintiffs, and contributed to “the
development of the interdisciplinary approach to Native history known as ethnohistory”
(Ray 2010:37). Although use of ethnohistorical data in Canadian land claims and other
litigation has lagged behind that of the United States, archaeological evidence played a
significant role in the Meares Island (1985), Ure Creek (1991), and Siska Creek (1999)
cases (see Ross 2005), as well as the Kitkatla (2002) (Bell 2001) and Delgamuukw
cases (Leclair 2005:114; Ray 2010:46). Recent court cases have identified
archaeological data as primary evidence, even ranking the evidentiary weight of such
data ahead of oral narratives (Miller 2011:111). Indeed, when dealing with Aboriginal title
the evidentiary requirements of the courts has placed “archaeologists, anthropologists
and historians…in the middle of the battlefield” (Leclair 2005:110).
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To date, perhaps the clearest indication of how Aboriginal title could be
established with the assistance of archaeology is the decision of Judge Vickers in
Tsilhqot'in Nation v. British Columbia, 2007 BCSC 1700. In this case, the Tsilhqot'in
Nation satisfied the legal test for Aboriginal title for nearly half of their claim area, while
the court also recognized that they possess certain Aboriginal rights throughout their
claimed territory (John 2010:49). Although the judge was unable to issue a declaration of
title due to a legal technicality, this was a significant milestone in the quest for proving
Aboriginal title. 90 To mark this occasion, and the adoption of the Declaration earlier the
same year, more than 120 indigenous leaders in British Columbia signed a declaration
of “Sovereign Indigenous Nations” affirming Aboriginal title to their respective territories
(John 2010:55).
The Tsilhqot'in case is precedent setting in terms of how it established the
specific evidentiary requirements for proving Aboriginal title. Little note, however, has
been made within the professional archaeological community of the critical role
archaeological evidence played in this decision, or of the implications this decision has
for the application of archaeological research to questions of Aboriginal title.
Archaeological evidence is cited no less than 74 times in the Tsilhqot'in judgement, and
was used to corroborate all other forms of evidence the trial judge used to identify
Aboriginal title.
Of the three elements (occupation, exclusivity, continuity) in the test for
Aboriginal title identified in Delgamuukw, Justice Vickers in Tsilhqot'in placed the
greatest emphasis on evidence of occupation. In this context, archaeological sites were
an important form of corroborating evidence for determining the existence of Aboriginal
occupation at the time of the presumed assertion of Crown sovereignty in 1846.
Specifically, archaeological evidence in the Tsilhqot’in Claim Area was used to
corroborate oral testimony, historical documents, and other forms of evidence
90
In William v. British Columbia, 2012 BCCA 285, the B.C. Court of Appeal overturned Judge
Vickers’s decision recognizing Tsilhqot’in title to half the claim area, while upholding their
Aboriginal rights. In this decision, the idea that “title can be proven based on a limited
presence in a broad territory” was rejected, and instead it “must be proven on a site-specific
basis … defined by a particular occupancy of the land (e.g., village sites, enclosed or
cultivated fields) or on the basis that definite tracts of land were the subject of intensive use
(specific hunting, fishing, gathering, or spiritual sites).” Despite this setback, the role of
archaeology in proving title is not diminished. In January 2013, the Supreme Court of Canada
agreed to hear an appeal of William v. British Columbia.
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demonstrating occupation, exclusivity, and continuity. The judge also considered
archaeological data useful for determining Aboriginal occupation of “definite tracts of
land,” in addition to the more narrow site-specific occupation. A significant emphasis was
placed on the importance of trails, trail networks, and travel corridors in relation to
archaeological sites and “managed resource locations.” As noted by Judge Vickers,
“sites and their interconnecting links set out definite tracts of land in regular use by
Tsilhqot’in people at the time of sovereignty assertion to an extent sufficient to warrant a
finding of Aboriginal title” [paragraph 959]. Indeed, a stronger case for proving Tsilhqot’in
title in a larger portion of the claim area may have been possible had additional
archaeological evidence been available.
The Nlaka’pamux and St’át’imc case studies in this dissertation repeatedly
identified indigenous title and “strength of claim” as two areas where archaeological
evidence has great utility, and the decision of Judge Vickers in the Tsilhqot’in case
demonstrates that archaeological evidence can play an important role in determining
title. The implication for archaeologists is that they must recognize how their work is a
critical component of indigenous political and legal objectives. Even where
archaeologists are not directly engaged in gathering evidence for proving title, they must
understand that their data may be used for and, for that matter, against that purpose.
The role of anthropologists in land claims has long been important, but archaeologists
and archaeological evidence are growing in importance. As such, archaeologists have
an ethical responsibility to gather and interpret evidence in a way that does not hamper
these objectives. This means linking archaeological evidence to the other forms of
evidence cited by Judge Vickers as applicable to proving title, such as place names, oral
traditions, seasonally occupied villages, managed resource areas, hunting grounds,
fishing sites, and trail networks.
As a significant source of corroborating evidence for proving Aboriginal title,
archaeological evidence can support oral testimony obtained in the form of legends and
traditions, place names, and oral histories. In this context, many archaeologists,
particularly in North America, have become “applied anthropologists who are actively
working for and with native groups–mostly in the areas of land claims and renewable
resources” in order to “give voice to native perspectives [and] present emic views”
(Kelley 2008:187). To support indigenous objectives, research should focus on
correlating archaeological sites to place names and locations described in oral testimony
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(villages in particular), identifying sites that dated to the period before and after AD 1846
(when the Crown asserts sovereignty), evidence of activities linked to the practice of
Aboriginal rights (e.g., resource gathering), and linking archaeological sites directly to
living descendants through oral history or historical documents. This form of research is
more in the spirit of ethnohistory, which offers a “bridging discipline” between oral
narratives and scientific method (Miller 2011:57). To be most effective, then,
archaeological research needs to incorporate a broader range of evidence than that
regulated under the HCA, wherein archaeologists uncover and illuminate the links
between the material heritage of the past and the intangible heritage of the present.
Intangible Heritage
Among the more emphatic points raised by the Nlaka’pamux and St’át’imc in the
case studies is that archaeological evidence is a small part of a much broader range of
heritage. In the same vein, they pointed out that archaeological evidence cannot be
considered in isolation from its cultural context, and many objects and places have no
meaning without reference to cultural values attached to them. Archaeologists tend to
focus on the material and tangible aspects of heritage. On the other hand, Indigenous
peoples emphasize the relationship of archaeology to the non-material aspects of their
heritage, what is now commonly referred to as intangible cultural heritage. Despite the
vagueness of this term, which conceivably could refer to all “immaterial elements that
influence and surround all human activity” (Stefano et al. 2012:1), at its core intangible
heritage refers to those forms lacking physical manifestation, including knowledge and
practices. 91
Although the “Eurocentric” categories of tangible and intangible heritage “are
increasingly understood as arbitrary and interconnected” (Hennessey 2012:43; see also
Kirshenblatt-Gimblett 2004:60; Nicholas et al. 2011:12; Nicholas and Wylie 2012:199),
Western governments have traditionally focussed on identifying, legislating, protecting,
and designating the material and monumental aspects of the past (Bouchenaki 2004:7;
Munjeri 2004:13). Likewise, traditional knowledge and cultural expressions have largely
remained outside the scope of intellectual property laws (Coombe 2009:247). This
emphasis on tangible heritage and property has led to an international movement to
91
This conception of intangible cultural heritage also encompasses what is referred to in legal
terms as intellectual property.
291
provide similar safeguards to intangible aspects of heritage, through promoting,
protecting, and revitalizing cultural expressions and practices (Stefano et al. 2012:1).
Again, international standards and conventions are at the forefront of
contemporary approaches to intangible cultural heritage. UNESCO’s 2003 Convention
for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage defines it as “the practices,
representations, expressions, knowledge, skills–as well as the instruments, objects,
artefacts and cultural spaces associated therewith–that communities, groups and, in
some cases, individuals recognize as part of their cultural heritage” (UNESCO 2003:2).
More specifically, UNESCO defines intangible heritage to include “traditions or living
expressions inherited from our ancestors and passed on to our descendants, such as
oral traditions, performing arts, social practices, rituals, festive events, knowledge and
practices concerning nature and the universe or the knowledge and skills to produce
traditional crafts” (UNESCO 2009:3). The Convention calls for signatory states to identify
and define intangible heritage with the participation of communities, groups and
organizations, and to take steps to safeguard this heritage.
In addition to the arbitrary categorization of tangible and intangible heritage,
critics have pointed out that the Convention has other weaknesses (Stefano et al. 2012).
These include its prescriptive approach, the paradox of making permanent what is
innately impermanent, the inherent tension in universalizing the significance of local
cultural expressions, and the issues of ownership. Like other UNESCO conventions,
recognition of intangible cultural heritage on international lists is also largely symbolic
and without legal force. Nonetheless, the Convention has highlighted the importance of
intangible heritage to cultural communities and its lack of formal recognition, particularly
by Western governments. For example, Articles 11 and 12 of the UN Declaration on the
Rights of Indigenous Peoples do not separate tangible and intangible aspects of heritage
(United Nations General Assembly 2007:5).
The Convention has also influenced international “best practices” intended to
protect intangible cultural heritage, such as the Cultural Heritage performance standard
of the International Finance Corporation (IFC). The objective of the standard is to protect
heritage (including natural features with cultural significance and intangible heritage)
from adverse impacts from IFC-funded project activities, and to ensure that benefits from
the use of heritage are equitably shared (International Finance Corporation 2012b). This
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standard requires that when “intangible forms of culture that are proposed to be used for
commercial purposes, such as cultural knowledge, innovations, and practices of
communities embodying traditional lifestyles,” funded proponents must consult with the
affected communities and ensure fair and equitable benefits from the commercialization
of this heritage (International Finance Corporation 2012b:1).
Although Canada is not a signatory to the Convention, provisions of the federal
Historic Sites and Monuments Act capture a number of its elements. For example, a
defining action, episode, movement, or experience in Canadian history can represent an
“event” of national historic significance (Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada
2008). The National Historic designation in 2011 of cedar basket-making as a tradition
central to Nlaka'pamux cultural identity that embodies the role of women as culture
bearers, serves as an example. The recent efforts of Parks Canada to identify
associative values and the “spirit of place” at National Historic Sites, especially those
with little material evidence (Oliver 2008), can also be seen as an exercise in identifying
intangible heritage. Identification of Aboriginal cultural landscapes as National Historic
places also encapsulates many aspects of intangible heritage articulated in the
Convention (see Buggey 1999). However, these federal designations offer no legal
protection to intangible heritage.
In a British Columbian context, legislation for the commemoration and protection
of intangible heritage is absent or undefined. Although the HCA has provisions, such as
Section 4, that can be interpreted to lend some recognition of intangible heritage in the
management of places, these provisions have yet to be tested. On the other hand, the
legal recognition of Aboriginal rights in the land has forced the province to consult First
Nations in situations where those rights may be infringed by resource activities, and the
establishment of those rights is often contingent on the identification of associated
intangible heritage. The province’s short-lived traditional use study program (circa 19942003) was a response to this scenario, as was the inclusion of cultural values in the
identification of cultural management areas in land use planning agreements with First
Nations (see Chapter 3). In reality, however, intangible heritage rarely comes into play in
cultural resource management within resource development contexts.
In conventional CRM practice in British Columbia, an archaeological impact
assessment (AIA) focuses almost exclusively on direct impacts to physical
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“archaeological sites,” with a strong emphasis on “regulated” sites pre-dating AD 1846.
Most AIA reports state that these studies were not specifically designed to address
issues of traditional indigenous use of project areas, and they attempt to assess the
significance of archaeological sites and provide recommendations for their
“management” in a near total absence of reference to intangible heritage. As such, most
AIA reports incorporate only a limited amount of indigenous knowledge, do not assess
impacts to “non-regulated” archaeological sites or significant places lacking material
evidence, and most importantly do not address impacts to intangible heritage. However,
the St’át’imc and Nlaka’pamux, like other First Nations, stress that heritage significance
of tangible places and objects cannot be determined in isolation from other intangible
attributes. Archaeological sites are just one aspect of a much broader range of heritage
attributes, including named places, sacred sites, traditional resources, traditional land
use practices, knowledge and traditions, and language. Reference to this information
provides a more complete understanding of the archaeological site, and this knowledge
must be considered in determining the appropriate “management” of the site.
One approach for addressing impacts to intangible heritage in CRM would be to
consider “contextual impacts.” These refer to changes to the setting, environment, and
experience of the site, including altered landforms, vegetation changes, and visual and
auditory impacts. These types of indirect impacts can occur well outside the defined
boundary of an archaeological or traditional use site, and yet still have a major impact on
the context and value of the site. Contextual impacts may affect the traditional and
spiritual values of a place, as well as its traditional or spiritual uses. An example of a
well-developed set of practices in relation to intangible heritage and context (or setting)
are the Guidelines for Evaluating and Documenting Traditional Cultural Properties
(Parker and King 1998) and Defining Boundaries for National Register Properties
(Seifert 1997), both developed for the U.S. National Register of Historic Places. Since
1992, traditional cultural and religious properties of value to Native Americans may be
considered under the U.S. National Historic Preservation Act. In general, research
concerning traditional cultural properties requires direct involvement of Indigenous
peoples.
In terms of intangible heritage, a wide gulf separates the aims of CRM and the
aspirations of First Nations. The firmly held position of the St’át’imc and Nlaka’pamux is
that heritage stewardship needs to consider both tangible and intangible elements, and
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archaeologists have a responsibility to incorporate this evidence in their research,
interpretations, and recommendations. This form of research forces archaeologists into
the realms of ethnohistory and ethnography, even though their training and methods are
not equivalent to field-based ethnography (Miller 2011:120). As archaeology broadens
its mandate to incorporate traditional knowledge, and as anthropologists continue to shy
away from working with indigenous communities, archaeologists have by default
incorporated ethnography within their practice (Kelley 2008:186; Stapp 2000).
Nonetheless, consideration of intangible heritage in archaeological stewardship is
necessary to reflect Nlaka’pamux and St’át’imc conceptions of place and heritage. This
requirement also has a bearing on the conception of cultural landscape.
The Indigenous Landscape
The St’át’imc and Nlaka’pamux case studies show indigenous heritage to be a
diverse and holistic range of tangible and intangible elements, all bound together by a
web of temporal, spatial and cognitive relationships. At the same time, the case studies
demonstrate that this heritage is grounded in physical space and meaningful places.
Underlying all aspects of indigenous heritage is a connection to the land and its
traditional resources; appreciating and understanding heritage requires experiencing the
places where it originated. The implication is that indigenous heritage loses much of its
value and meaning when access to the land is lost or diminished. Moreover, when the
landscape is altered, particularly through industrial development, places lose their deep
meaning, and collective memories are truncated.
Seen in this way, the concept of heritage expressed by the Nlaka’pamux and the
St’át’imc corresponds to ideas of cultural landscapes proposed by anthropologists and
heritage managers. Over the last two decades, the idea of cultural landscape has
become common in archaeological discourse and widespread in heritage designations,
within both national and international contexts. Although Carl Sauer introduced the
modern idea of cultural landscape to the discipline of geography in the 1920s (Sauer
1925), the concept did not gain traction within archaeology and heritage stewardship for
another 60 years (David and Thomas 2010b:38). A significant development in the
stewardship sphere was the identification in 1981 of cultural landscapes–including
“sociocultural” landscapes–as a resource type in the U.S. National Park Service’s
document NPS-28: Cultural Resource Management Guideline (Page et al. 2005). By
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1984, Australia also had legislation recognizing “Significant Aboriginal Areas” where land
or water held particular importance in Aboriginal tradition. That same year, the World
Heritage Committee began debating how to identify “mixed” natural and cultural
properties that met the criteria of the 1972 UNESCO World Heritage Convention (Fowler
2003a, 2003b).
After nearly a decade of discussion, cultural landscapes were included in the
1992 Operational Guidelines for Implementation of the World Heritage Convention
(Buggey 1999; Rössler 2003; UNESCO 2008). Accordingly, they became a category of
cultural properties representing the “combined works of man and nature” (Article 1 of the
Convention) that are “illustrative of the evolution of human society and settlement over
time, under the influence of the physical constraints and/or opportunities presented by
their natural environment” (UNESCO 2008:85). The Operational Guidelines define three
categories of cultural landscape–intentionally designed and created, organically evolved,
and associative–with the latter category generally most applicable to Indigenous
landscapes. Associative landscapes are characterized by “powerful religious, artistic or
cultural associations of the natural element rather than material cultural evidence, which
may be insignificant or even absent” (UNESCO 2008:85).
Following UNESCO recognition of cultural landscapes, other jurisdictions
adopted similar definitions. For example, the revised NPS-28: Cultural Resource
Management Guideline of the U.S. National Park Service included an entire chapter on
cultural landscapes (Page et al. 2005). It defined them as “a geographic area, including
both natural and cultural resources, associated with a historic event, activity, or person”
and recognized ethnographic landscapes to be those “associated with contemporary
groups and typically … used or valued in traditional ways” (National Park Service 1998).
Likewise, the guidelines developed for the U.S. National Register of Historic Places
address the identification and management of heritage places and “traditional cultural
properties” in a landscape context (Parker and King 1998; Seifert 1997).
Parks Canada also recognized cultural landscapes within their mandate in the
early 1990s. A Parks Canada position paper from this period builds on the ideas of
“associative” and “ethnographic” cultural landscapes. It stated:
An Aboriginal cultural landscape is a place valued by an Aboriginal group
(or groups) because of their long and complex relationship with that land.
It expresses their unity with the natural and spiritual environment. It
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embodies their traditional knowledge of spirits, places, land uses, and
ecology. Material remains of the association may be prominent, but will
often be minimal or absent. [Buggey 1999:27]
This definition was a significant addition to, and refinement of, the international
recognition of indigenous heritage, with this “particular sort of cultural landscape [being]
extremely relevant to World Heritage” (Fowler 2003b:17). The Historic Sites and
Monuments Board of Canada (HSMBC) subsequently adopted this definition for the
purposes of identifying and designating indigenous cultural landscapes significant to
Canada’s history. Prior to this, they were recognized and defined by the HSMBC solely
on the basis of their archaeological features, and evaluated only in scientific terms
(Buggey 1999:17-18).
By the new millennium, cultural landscapes were widely accepted by heritage
protection agencies internationally. While their definitions remain fluid, the prevalent
focus is on the “inter-relatedness between human society and the natural environment”
and the “intangible values that indigenous peoples attach to landscape,” including
“spiritual associations in the absence of material remains” (Buggey 1999:17). They exist
in the present, and are products of contemporary perceptions of tangible and intangible
values that have both a temporal and a spatial dimension. Although they can include
archaeological sites, a cultural landscape differs from an “archaeological landscape,”
because the latter refers specifically to the contemporary manifestation of archaeological
evidence within a geographical context.
In the discipline of archaeology, the consideration of landscape has generally
fallen within the purview of what is known as landscape archaeology (David and Thomas
2010b:36). Beginning in the 1980s archaeologists viewed landscape primarily in terms of
a geographical and environmental setting. By the late 1990s, however, the concept of a
social or cultural landscape was increasingly influential in anthropological and
archaeological discourse (Knapp and Ashmore 1999; Robertson and Richards 2003;
Ucko and Layton 1999). This reconfiguration stresses symbolic, structural and
phenomenological angles (McGlade 1999), where landscape is a socially constructed
entity “that exists by virtue of it being perceived, explained, and contextualized by
people” (Knapp and Ashmore 1999:1). While “constructed” landscapes consist of
gardens, houses, villages and monuments built in meaningful association with
physiographic features, “conceptualized” landscapes involve cultural meanings invested
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in natural features (Knapp and Ashmore 1999). For example, local physiographic
features are linked to symbols and ancestral beings, and cultural meanings and
experiences mediate the selection, use, modification, and avoidance of places. These
perspectives, however, extend beyond the material world, and include “ideational”
landscapes that are imagined or emotional conceptions (Knapp and Ashmore 1999). In
other words, a landscape may not physically exist per se, but is instead a socially
constituted perspective of the world held in common by a people (Darvill 1999).
Definitions and approaches to cultural landscapes have since proliferated, making a
unified concept elusive and consensus on how to accommodate landscape in
archaeological studies does not exist (Anschuetz et al. 2001; see, for example, chapters
in David and Thomas 2010a). Although these new conceptions have broadened the
definition of landscape, they have not entirely replaced traditional views. Nonetheless,
the use of landscape in archaeological discourse has largely shifted from an emphasis
on its economic, environmental, and ecological dimensions to that of a “socially and
experientially engaged place” (David and Thomas 2010b:39).
Within British Columbia, little of this transformation has filtered down to the
practice of CRM or heritage protection. Outside of a few commemorative National
Historic Site of Canada designations, the explicit incorporation of cultural landscape
perspectives remains unrealized in heritage stewardship. They are not specifically
recognized within provincial heritage conservation legislation (despite the potential for
heritage designation of land under Section 9(1)(b) of the HCA), and there is no
consistent provincial process for identifying, managing, or protecting them. While the
“traditional use study” program of the 1990s offered some promise for managing cultural
landscapes, this program was abandoned long before it was fully implemented. Other
approaches, such as land-use planning, have gone some way towards this objective, but
these also have their limitations and drawbacks (see Chapter 3).
Despite growing acceptance of cultural landscapes within the discipline of
archaeology, indigenous conceptions of landscape have not been fully problematized in
terms of implications for archaeological theory and practice. In a North American context
at least, indigenous concepts of heritage and landscape challenge some tenets of
research and CRM archaeology, because they differ in key areas such as materiality,
space, and time. Ontological and epistemological distinctions raise the question of how
archaeologists, and archaeology, can integrate an indigenous conception of landscape.
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A solution integrating these divergent approaches remains elusive. Even so, for applied
archaeologists the answer may require shifting from the emphasis on collecting empirical
data on material culture and sites to including a wider range of intangible data. For
example, bounded “sites” and their diachronic provenience may have to yield to the idea
of places in a landscape with an emphasis on synchronic spatial relationships.
Indeed, the concept of cultural landscape provides a unifying frame of reference
linking the preceding themes explored in this section. It coincides with the principles of
community participation through the potential application of eco-system and landscapebased management. The importance of connections to the land gives shape and
substance to community authority and indigenous claims of title and ownership. Perhaps
most importantly, indigenous cultural landscapes envelope all of the tangible and
intangible aspects of heritage that are important to the Nlaka’pamux and St’át’imc. In
other words, the concept of cultural landscape offers archaeologists a theoretical and
methodological bridge between the conventional archaeological paradigm and
indigenous perceptions of heritage stewardship.
Chapter Summary:
In the first section of this chapter, I evaluated the historic and contemporary
engagement and aspirations of the St’át’imc and Nlaka’pamux in heritage stewardship,
from the perspectives of their participation and authority in archaeology. From this
review, four important observations can be made. First, both nations have a strong
interest in indigenous heritage stewardship. Second, from the perspective of the
Nlaka’pamux and St’át’imc, there has been significant progress in improving heritage
stewardship. Third, there still is a place for archaeologists in this process of
implementing indigenous heritage stewardship. And last, indigenous perceptions of
heritage stewardship have implications for transforming archaeological practice in British
Columbia, as well as elsewhere.
In the second section, I outlined four areas where archaeologists can revise their
practice to better serve indigenous interests, particularly in the CRM and applied realms.
These are: 1) acknowledging Indigenous peoples as the primary authority in the
stewardship of their own heritage, 2) recognizing the impact of Aboriginal title on
archaeological practice, 3) taking a much broader view of archaeology that incorporates
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relationships to intangible heritage, and 4) adopting a landscape perspective for heritage
stewardship. None of these changes alter archaeologists’ ability to do their work, and in
fact they have the potential to not only strengthen interpretations but also improve the
stewardship of archaeological heritage. However, accepting the changes implicit in these
four themes would require considerable relinquishment of control by non-indigenous
practitioners as well as governments. Fully embracing them would also necessitate a
substantial revision of existing provincial heritage legislation and regulations. There likely
would be significant resistance among those groups where their power and authority
were diminished, but these changes may be inevitable and indeed many are already
underway. As the courts rule on legal challenges that define Aboriginal title, comanagement and control over natural resources will continue to devolve to First Nations,
with a concomitant impact on the ways archaeology and heritage are controlled and
managed.
At the same time, indigenous groups are pushing for changes to legislation that
will increase indigenous authority over heritage and stewardship. Moreover, the broader
discipline is slowly moving toward accepting the ethical and political positions of
indigenous groups, and in many cases international practices go well beyond the narrow
scope of current provincial heritage regulations and guidelines. As indigenous authority
over their heritage increases, archaeologists in British Columbia must be prepared to
adapt to this transforming political environment if they wish to remain relevant to heritage
stewardship. Although archaeologists could simply wait for changes to be forced upon
them through legislation or political action, a better alternative would be to proactively
adopt them as ethical and professional standards of practice. There is no need to wait
for legislation to catch up, as archaeologists can choose to transform their own practice.
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Chapter 9.
Conclusion:
From Practice to Praxis
In this dissertation I set out to answer some fundamental questions about the tensions
and relationships between indigenous perspectives on heritage stewardship and
archaeological practice in British Columbia, using the experiences of the Nlaka’pamux
and St’át’imc nations as case studies. Is archaeology relevant or important to these
nations? Does archaeology fit within their indigenous conceptions of heritage
stewardship? What level of participation and authority do the St’át’imc and Nlaka’pamux
have in heritage stewardship, both in the past and the present? Another objective of my
dissertation was to evaluate how the standpoints and strategies of the Nlaka’pamux and
St’át’imc may provide insights into how applied archaeological practice can be
transformed to better serve indigenous perspectives on heritage stewardship. In other
words, how can archaeology support indigenous efforts at stewardship? And, perhaps
most importantly for me, how can archaeologists transform practice to better
accommodate indigenous perspectives?
In this concluding chapter, I briefly review the outcomes of the case studies in the
context of answering these questions. In the St’át’imc and Nlaka’pamux case studies, I
documented their perspectives on archaeology, their historical involvement with the
discipline, and their recent efforts at improving heritage stewardship. This research
shows that heritage stewardship is indeed relevant to these nations, and that there is a
place for archaeology in their conceptions of stewardship. This dissertation also shows
that the Nlaka’pamux and St’át’imc have greatly increased their degree of authority and
participation in heritage stewardship since their earliest engagement with archaeology,
although they may not yet have reached the level that they desire and demand. The
perspectives of these two nations also show how archaeology has the potential to
support their heritage stewardship aspirations, particularly in the realm of Aboriginal title
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and indigenous identity. In order to remain relevant to First Nations, archaeologists must
be prepared to adopt new approaches to ethics, indigenous sovereignty, intangible
heritage, and indigenous landscapes. For archaeologists, though, the dilemma is how to
reconcile their practice with the aspirations of First Nations, as supporting indigenous
perspectives requires a degree of relinquishment of control over practice. The solution to
this quandary is to transform archaeological practice through collaboration and action. I
end this chapter with a discussion of archaeological praxis and participatory action
research as approaches for bridging the gap between indigenous perspectives and the
status quo–approaches that offer a way for archaeology to remain relevant in a shifting
political and social environment.
Practice: The Aspirations of the St’át’imc and Nlaka’pamux
For the Nlaka’pamux and St’át’imc, archaeology and heritage stewardship deeply
matter. The case studies presented in this dissertation demonstrate that both nations
have a strong interest in the preservation of their heritage. Not only is this critical for
maintaining their identities and revitalizing their traditions, it is also a fundamental
component in their struggle to assert greater sovereignty over the land and its resources.
Moreover, the case studies show that the identification, interpretation, protection, and
management of archaeological sites are important elements of their heritage
stewardship objectives. As such, these nations recognize that archaeology can benefit
them in many ways, and it plays a central role in the political and social aspirations of
these nations. The participants in the case studies demonstrated considerable familiarity
with archaeology, both as a discipline and as a political tool, and they recognized that it
has various political, economic and social benefits. At the same time, they identified a
number of specific limitations and drawbacks in archaeological practice, as currently
carried out and regulated in their territory. Nonetheless, archaeology continues to be
relevant to the St’át’imc and Nlaka’pamux, and they continue to pursue collaboration
with archaeologists, but on their own terms. In particular, the nations continue to aspire
to greater participation and authority in archaeology and heritage stewardship.
Nlaka’pamux and St’át’imc engagements with archaeology followed different
trajectories. The St’át’imc have been exposed to academic archaeology since the 1970s,
which has been a generally positive experience for them. Through this encounter they
recognized the utility of the discipline, but also became aware of shortcomings in the
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cultural resource management (CRM) process. This encouraged their participation in
archaeology and heritage stewardship during the 1980s, and helped build relationships
with archaeologists. This ultimately influenced their efforts at exercising control and
influence over practice, and led to their direct involvement in the business of
archaeology by the mid-1990s. In recent years, however, the emphasis has shifted from
a reactionary response to individual developments to a proactive landscape-based
approach to stewardship. The Nlaka’pamux, on the other hand, had an earlier, and
generally more negative, encounter with archaeology during the late nineteenth and
early twentieth centuries. When archaeological research commenced in the 1960s, they
had virtually no participation or authority in its practice. As such, they had limited direct
involvement in archaeology until the 1980s, when they were exposed to the CRM
process and reacted strongly against it. They successfully countered this process with
their own research, with a focus on traditional knowledge and indigenous landscape
central to their approach, and they continued to produce independent studies into the
1990s. However, this oppositional strategy led to an ambivalent relationship with CRM
that limited their opportunities for direct engagement or collaborative practice during the
late 1990s and early 2000s. Only in recent years have they moved closer to a model of
direct involvement in the business of archaeology and heritage stewardship.
The different approaches taken by these two nations over the past three decades
have their strengths and shortcomings, but their strategies are now converging. This
shows that despite their unique historical and cultural contexts, there are strong
underlying commonalities in their vision of heritage and the role of archaeology.
Moreover, the Nlaka’pamux and St’át’imc interest and involvement in archaeology belies
the commonly held belief that indigenous values are anti-science or anti-archaeology.
The indigenous perspectives articulated in the case studies do not preclude the
continued archaeological investigation of sites and materials; rather, the Nlaka’pamux
and St’át’imc are open to archaeological methods and scientific research and many
individuals are personally interested in the outcomes. The participants in this study have
demonstrated strong interests in the methods and interpretation of archaeology, but
these interests often come with different agendas and objectives. Although interested in
many of the same questions posed by academics, the motivations for archaeological
practice of the two nations often differ from their academic counterparts. In many ways,
the St’át’imc and Nlaka’pamux perspectives align more closely with the objectives of
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CRM and applied archaeology. For example, the CRM emphasis on the inventory and
management of archaeological sites has aided in the preservation of their tangible
heritage, and also directly provides proof of occupancy in the context of Aboriginal title
and rights. Even so, the greater focus on spatial relationships of artifacts and sites
across the landscape, and the linkages of tangible heritage to narratives, traditional
practices, and land use go beyond the typical concerns of CRM. Nonetheless, the goals
of archaeological research and CRM do not necessarily conflict with their perspectives,
as archaeological methods can be useful within an indigenous ontology (Yellowhorn
2006).
At the same time, the St’át’imc and Nlaka’pamux expect archaeology to more
directly serve their purposes, and demand greater participation in archaeological
practice and insist on asserting their authority. The heritage stewardship aspirations of
these nations are closely linked to deep values expressed by the participants in these
case studies, including maintaining their identity, strengthening their culture, improving
their quality of life, and ultimately asserting their independent sovereignty. Moreover, the
Nlaka’pamux and St’át’imc engagement with archaeology since the 1980s has
challenged practitioners to make greater efforts to acknowledge and accommodate
indigenous perspectives and to recognize their authority. Indeed, the case studies show
that when these nations have had a greater role in CRM, archaeological practice has
benefited and heritage stewardship objectives have been better served. What the
heritage stewardship projects described in the case studies have in common is that in all
cases the Nlaka’pamux and St’át’imc were in control of the agenda, and the importance
placed on archaeological research by these nations cannot be over-emphasized. They
identified the need for research, determined the appropriate processes, and controlled
the outcomes. They used archaeology to affect both concrete results and abstract
transformations. Tangible outcomes include employment and economic benefits,
protecting places that matter, preserving the integrity of landscapes, and strengthening
their claims to the land and resources. Less tangible outcomes have been its role in
maintaining cultural identity, preserving cultural traditions and knowledge, and
empowering individuals, particularly the awareness that their knowledge matters and
their heritage has value. In other words, the case studies demonstrate how the St’át’imc
and Nlaka’pamux see archaeology and heritage stewardship as agents for social and
political change.
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Praxis: The Responsibilities of Archaeologists
From the perspective of ethics, three observations are apparent from this review
of the Nlaka’pamux and St’át’imc engagement with CRM and archaeological practice in
British Columbia. One is the failure of the current legislative framework to accommodate
indigenous perspectives of heritage stewardship. The second is that, in the current
system, archaeologists and bureaucrats remain the self-appointed stewards of the
archaeological “resource.” Third, First Nations in British Columbia are determined to
assert more authority over heritage stewardship. In this context, both community-based
and indigenous archaeologies offer ways for First Nations to engage with archaeology.
However, as discussed in Chapter 2, community-based archaeology is often more suited
to serving the interests of academic research; although these projects provide benefits to
the community, outside researchers largely retain control of the process and research
agenda. Indigenous archaeologies, on the other hand, are often political and partisan
and generally serve the interests of indigenous practitioners and polities, often providing
a largely passive role for non-indigenous archaeologists.
My own research and collaboration with the St’át’imc and Nlaka’pamux has
informed how I practice archaeology, engage in heritage stewardship, and conceptualize
the indigenous landscape. Working collaboratively with indigenous communities requires
the setting aside of personal research objectives in favour of incorporating their
perspectives and concerns, leading to practical results that better serve their interests.
As a non-indigenous archaeologist, serving as an advisor to First Nations and acting as
an advocate for indigenous heritage stewardship, the challenge for me has been finding
a process that bridges the disciplinary standpoint with indigenous perspectives. I
contend that the opportunity for a more active role for non-indigenous archaeologists
comes in the form of collaborative practices that intersect with the principles of
participatory action research (PAR). Through this approach, disciplinary objectives for
understanding the past can be tethered to the political and social benefits central to
indigenous perspectives and practice.
A variety of models are available that “promote ethical and equitable forms of
practice” when working with descendant communities and their heritage (Nicholas and
Wylie 2009:36), but PAR is explicitly an “emancipatory” mode of collaborative research,
with its genesis in activist-oriented research programs “designed to address problems
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that concern the most disadvantaged and marginal communities, and that make social
justice their explicit goal” (Wylie 2009:6). In the sense of PAR, collaboration in heritage
stewardship involves a shift from archaeological practice to archaeological praxis, or
what McGuire calls “theoretically informed action” (2008:3). Praxis involves “ gaining
knowledge of the world, critiquing the world, and taking action to change the world”
(McGuire 2008:3). Most archaeologists endeavour to gain knowledge of the world, while
“alternative” archaeologies, including feminist, indigenous, and Marxist approaches,
have critiqued the production of knowledge and the role of archaeology, but fewer
archaeologists have explored how the discipline can be used as a “means of political
action to challenge society” (McGuire 2008:3). An emancipatory praxis, then, is a way for
archaeologists to engage in social change and political action, and serves as justification
for the practice of critical archaeologies, including those that advocate dialogical
participation. This form of research recognizes that there are multiple ways of
understanding the past and present, that different publics may have different insights,
and that the hermeneutical play between these understandings results in better
interpretations. More important, these understandings are the basis for actions that lead
to social and political change.
Although PAR can manifest in various grades of collaboration (Atalay 2012:4750), Alison Wylie (2009:7) contends that the strongest form currently employed in
archaeology is the model of “mutual engagement” (see Petras and Porpora 1993:114),
whereby “PAR researchers take up questions identified by community members and
pursue them through a process of joint decision making and problem solving,” with
community empowerment the explicit goal of the inquiry. An even higher level of
collaboration would involve institutional transformation, where technical and theoretical
knowledge is transferred to the community so that they can “speak authoritatively in their
own behalf” (Petras and Porpora 1993:118), but this still remains “a more ambitious
vision of collaborative practice than is typically advocated in archaeology” (Wylie
2009:7). Nonetheless, successful archaeological praxis in the context of working with
Indigenous peoples is characterized by four main points (McGuire 2008:80): it serves the
interests of indigenous communities, it relies on collaboration, it requires multi-vocality,
and it has to be of material benefit to indigenous communities. Likewise, successful
collaboration in this context requires making the “terms of engagement” explicit at the
outset of the research, and a commitment to long-term involvement with a community
306
(Wylie 2009:5). In this way, PAR and emancipatory praxis emphasize a greater sharing
of control and an enhanced dialogical relationship. Although critics of PAR and praxis
claim that it compromises the integrity of archaeological research, these risks are
outweighed by the epistemic benefits of collaboration with communities, primarily in the
value of the expertise and critical perspectives arising from “situational knowledge” lying
outside of the discipline (Atalay 2012; Wylie 2009:7).
For some Indigenous peoples, collaboration in archaeological practice may not
be the ultimate goal. In the case of the St’át’imc and Nlaka’pamux, however,
archaeology continues to be relevant, and these nations continue to pursue collaboration
with archaeologists, but under their own terms. As articulated in the case studies,
archaeological practice needs to accommodate indigenous values for heritage
stewardship by incorporating a number of key themes: participation, consultation, and
consent; ownership, control, and authority; intangible heritage and traditional knowledge;
and meaningful places and indigenous landscape. By addressing these themes, and
guided by the principles of praxis and PAR, archaeologists with a commitment to political
and social change have an opportunity to further the objectives of indigenous heritage
stewardship. The transformation of archaeological practice into emancipatory praxis,
through the application of the principles of PAR, may offer a way to bridge the gap
between the archaeological discipline and indigenous aspirations for heritage
stewardship.
307
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Appendices
351
Appendix A.
St’át’imc Consultants, Topics, and Research Agreement
St’át’imc Consultants
Name
Date
Community
Art Adolph
Sept. 5, 2007
Xaxl’ip
Chief; LTC Chair, Advisor (policy); Councillor
Terry Adolph
Sept. 20, 2007
Lil'wat
Fisheries technician; Fieldworker (heritage); Archaeological training
Marie Barney
Sept. 6, 2007
T'it'kit
Community representative; Consultant / Manager / Fieldworker (LTC
heritage); Archaeological training
Dean Billy
Oct. 10, 2007
T'it'kit
Councillor; Manager (admin); Fieldworker (heritage); B.A. (archaeology)
Larry Casper
Sept. 5, 2007
Tsalalh
SGS Stewardship Coordinator; Manager (LTC resource / heritage);
LTC Chair; Chief; Councillor
Sam Copeland Oct. 9, 2007
T’it’kit
Fieldworker (heritage); Forestry technician; Archaeological training
Michelle
Edwards
Sept. 7, 2007
Sekw'elw'as
Chief, Consultant / Manager / Fieldworker (heritage); Community rep;
Archaeological training
Randy James
Sept. 6, 2007
Tsalalh
Councillor; GIS technician; Fieldworker (heritage); Archaeological
training
Susan James
Sept. 5, 2007
Xwisten
LTC Administrator (tribal); Councillor
Darwyn John
Oct. 3, 2008
Tsalalh
Forestry liaison (MFLNRO); Fieldworker (heritage); Support worker;
Archaeological training
Albert Joseph
Sept. 19, 2007
Xwisten
Elder; Community representative; Fieldworker (heritage);
Archaeological training; Logger
Rodney Louie
Nov. 16, 2007
Tsalalh
SGS Director; Manager (resource sector); Chief; Councillor
Brenda
McDonald
Oct. 4, 2008
Ts'kwaly'ax
Researcher / Councillor; Fieldworker (cultural heritage)
Gerald Michel
Sept. 18, 2007
Xwisten
Manager (resource sector); Community representative; Archaeological
training
Cathy Narcisse Oct. 4, 2008
Sekw'elw'as
Advisor (policy); Ph.D. student; Manager (resource sector); Support
worker
Ida Peter
Tsalalh
Councillor; Manager (resource / heritage); Fieldworker (heritage);
Archaeological training; Instructor (language)
Desmond Peters Sept. 19, 2007
Sr.
Ts'kwaly'ax
Grand Chief, Elder; Community representative; Instructor (language)
Perry Redan
Oct. 10, 2007
Sekw'elw'as
Councillor; Chief; LTC chair
John Terry
Sept. 19 & 20,
2007
Xwisten
Fisheries technician; Fieldworker (heritage); forestry technician;
Archaeological training
Saul Terry
Nov. 16, 2007
Xwisten
Chief; Manager (resource sector); Councillor; UBCIC chief; SCC chair
Kenny Thomas Oct. 11, 2007
Xwisten
Elder; Fieldworker (heritage); Archaeological training; Logger
Oct. 3, 2008
Current and/or Former Role(s)
352
Generalized St’át’imc Conversation Topics
Introduction (research objectives, informed consent)
St’át’imc Perspectives on Archaeology
• Encounters with Archaeology
• Defining archaeology
• Archaeology and cultural heritage
• Heritage and landscape
• Benefits and drawbacks of archaeology
Legislative and Regulatory Issues
The Rise of St’át’imc Archaeology
The LTC Heritage Assessment Process
• How does LTC process differ?
• Advantages?
• Disadvantages?
• Management Decisions
• CHO process/strengths/weaknesses/issues
• HFR process/strengths/weaknesses/issues
• AIA process/strengths/weaknesses/issues
• Reporting process/strengths/weaknesses/issues
• Management process/strengths/weaknesses/issues
• Why ended?
• Community vs. nation based
The Future of St’át’imc Archaeology
• Nation Level Planning
• On/off reserve / academic research
• Direction/Issues
• Progress
• Role of archaeologists
• Ideal process
353
LTC Research and Information-Sharing Agreement
354
355
LTC Letter of Approval
356
Appendix B.
Nlaka’pamux Participants and Research Agreement
Participants in Nlaka’pamux Heritage Meetings and Community Workshops
Name
Community
Role
R1
R2
Anonymous written (x7)
Lytton
Unknown
Bernice Abbott
Lytton
NNTC computer tech
Debbie Abbott
Lytton
Buster Adams
T
C
NNTC executive director
1
1
Lytton
Elder, language speaker
1
1
Ken Adams
Lytton
Elder, language speaker
1
Sandra Andrew
Boothroyd
Administrator
Thomas (Hank) Andrew
Boothroyd
Elder, councillor
Chief Melvin Bobb
Spuzzum
Chief, ex-BC Hydro worker
SP
Nita Bobb
Spuzzum
Councilor, craftworker
SP
Shelly Bobb
Spuzzum
Community health worker
SP
Charles Brown
Lytton
Artist, TUS worker
Lorraine Campbell
Boston Bar
Elder
BR
Rick Campbell
Boothroyd
Elder, artist
BR
Amy Charlie
Lytton
Elder, language teacher
1
1
1
Jeanie Charlie
Lytton
NNTC researcher
1
1
1
Lester Charlie
Lytton
Elder
Pauline Douglas
Non
Researcher
Jeanette Duncan
[Xaxli’p]
NNTC executive assistant
1
Kevin Duncan
Lytton
NNTC conservation officer
1
Tawnya Durant
Non
NNTC natural resources tech
Ruby Dunstan
Lytton
Elder, ex-chief
Les Edmonds
Ashcroft
Elder, ex-chief
Gordon Edwards
Spuzzum
Elder, ex-councillor, fisheries worker
SP
Edith Florence
Boston Bar
Cook, administrator
SP
Jean Florence
Skuppah
Elder, language speaker
S
Chief James Frank
Kanaka Bar
Chief, language speaker
KB
Sherry Grosart
Lytton
NNTC community health worker
Donna Hance
Kanaka Bar
Artist/craftworker
JR Hance
Kanaka Bar
Councilor, NNTC natural resource worker
John Haugen
Lytton
NNTC researcher, councilor, language
Larisa Hunsbedt
Skuppah
Student
S
Lee-ann Hunsbedt
Skuppah
Community health worker
S
N’kixw’stn James
Lytton
Elder, retired teacher
L
1
1
L
SP
1
1
BR
L
L
L
357
1
1
1
1
1
1
L
1
L
KB
KB
1
1
1
L
Name
Community
Role
R1
R2
T
C
Jennifer Jmayoff
Kanaka Bar
Child and family services worker, museum
and heritage FCIA
Jackie Johnson
Spuzzum
Administrator, ex-chief, craftworker,
language speaker
Jane Jones
Boothroyd
Cook
Michael Klassen
Non
Consultant
Madeline Lanaro
Lower Nicola
Elder
Freda Loring
Lytton
Craftworker, support worker
Deb McIntyre
Skuppah
NNTC bookkeeper, ex-heritage worker
Chief Doug McIntyre
Skuppah
Chief, maintenance worker
S
Sherry McIntyre
Skuppah
Councillor
S
Theresa McIntyre
Kanaka Bar
Community health worker
KB
Eleanor McKay (part)
Boothroyd
Georgina McKay
Boothroyd
Craftworker, plant knowledge
BR
Theodore McKay
Boothroyd
Natural resource worker
BR
Patrick Michell
Kanaka Bar
Ex-lawyer, community liaison (Kwoiek DC)
Emily Milliken
Non
Researcher
L
1
1
SP
BR
1
KB
L
1
1
1
S
BR
KB
1
Chief Dolores O’Donaghey Boston Bar
Chief, Elder
BB
Chief Robert Pasco
Oregon Jack
Chief, Tribal Chair
1
1
Gloria Dorothy Phillips
Boothroyd
Elder, language teacher
1
1
Raymond Phillips
Lytton
Lawyer
Shirley Raphael
Lytton
NNTC financial manager
Teresa Raphael
Lytton
NNTC archivist
Vanessa Raphael
[Chawathil]
NNTC secretary
Donnie Sam
Lytton
NNTC fisheries tech
Crystal Samson
Kanaka Bar
Councillor
Ivy Shackelly
Nooaitch
NNTC community health
Byron Spinks
Lytton
NNTC restorative justice, ex-chief, exfisheries tech
Cyril Spinks
Lytton
Maintenance worker, collector
Jordon Spinks
Kanaka Bar
Councillor
Verna Spinks
Lytton
Daycare worker
Chief Janet Webster
Lytton
Chief
Lorraine Williams
Lytton
Elder, language speaker
Mary Williams
Lytton
Elder, language speaker
Wesley Williams
Lytton
Elder, ex-chief
BR
L
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
KB
1
1
1
L
KB
L
1
TOTALS
L
1
1
1
1
18
20
16
43
R1 = Roundtable Meeting 1 (Oct. 26, 2009); R2 = Roundtable Meeting 2 (Nov. 9, 2009); T = Pilot workshop with NNTC
technical staff (Jan. 22, 2010); C = Community Workshops (BR = Boothroyd, Mar. 23, 2010; BB = Boston Bar, Mar. 15,
2010; KB = Kanaka Bar, March 1, 2010; L = Lytton, Mar. 25, 2010; S = Skuppah, Mar. 18, 2010; SP = Spuzzum, Mar.
19, 2010).
358
NNTC Research and Information-Sharing Agreement
359
360
NNTC Letter of Approval
361
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