Archaeology and Ongoing Human Rights Violations in North America

Please read and circulate the following articles about archaeology and ongoing human rights violations in the United States and Canada:

Archaeology and Human Rights Violations on the Dakota Access Pipeline Project

Archaeology and Human Rights Violations on the Site C Dam Project

While reading, keep in mind the following World Archaeological Congress resolution, passed in 2012: “It is unethical for Professional Archaeologists and academic institutions to conduct professional archaeological work and excavations in occupied areas possessed by force.”


Maritime Heritage in Crisis: Indigenous Landscapes and Global Ecological Breakdown

ICHT co-founder Richard Hutchings’ new book Maritime Heritage in Crisis: Indigenous Landscapes and Global Ecological Breakdown is now available from Routledge.

About the Book

Grounded in critical heritage studies and drawing on a Pacific Northwest Coast case study, Maritime Heritage in Crisis explores the causes and consequences of the contemporary destruction of Indigenous heritage sites in maritime settings. Maritime heritage landscapes are undergoing a period of unprecedented crisis: these areas are severely impacted by coastal development, continued population growth and climate change. Indigenous heritage sites are thought to be particularly vulnerable to these changes and cultural resource management is frequently positioned as a community’s first line of defense, yet there is increasing evidence that this archaeological technique is an ineffective means of protection.

Exploring themes of colonial dislocation and displacement, Hutchings positions North American archaeology as neoliberal statecraft: a tool of government designed to promote and permit the systematic clearance of Indigenous heritage landscapes in advance of economic development. Presenting the institution of archaeology and cultural resource management as a grave threat to Indigenous maritime heritage, Maritime Heritage in Crisis offers an important lesson on the relationship between neoliberal heritage regimes and global ecological breakdown.


BC Studies 2017 – VIU, Nanaimo

BC Studies Conference 2017

Vancouver Island University, in association with BC Studies, is hosting the multidisciplinary BC Studies Conference in 2017, on the theme (Un)Settling British Columbia.

The conference will be held May 4-6, 2017.

Please see the Call For Papers.

Hay ch qa’ sii’em siye’yu mukw mustimuxw.

We wish to acknowledge and thank the Coast Salish people on whose traditional territory Vancouver Island University resides. BC Studies 2017 will take place on Snunéymuxw First Nation territory, and we appreciate and value the opportunities we have to share, learn, and live together.

We invite you to join us in Nanaimo!

Themes and ideas that this conference addresses include:

  • Colonialism and resistance
  • Treaties and treaty-making
  • Land – its uses and meanings
  • Truth and Reconciliation
  • Energy past, present, and/or futures
  • Gender roles, identities, and expressions
  • Immigration and identities
  • British Columbia in Confederation
  • Indigenizing the Academy in BC

We welcome proposals for individual papers, panels, and posters from scholars and researchers across all disciplines, and encourage multi-disciplinary or thematic panels on any topic related to British Columbia (including comparative/transnational studies). Student proposals are encouraged, as are proposals for interactive workshops or roundtables.

What Makes Us Squirm—A Critical Assessment of Community-Oriented Archaeology

Read our new article What Makes Us Squirm—A Critical Assessment of Community-Oriented Archaeology (Canadian Journal of Archaeology 40[1]:164-180) here:

Here is the abstract (French below):

We provide a critical response to Andrew Martindale and Natasha Lyons’ 2014 special section on Community-Oriented Archaeology (Canadian Journal of Archaeology Volume 38, Issue 2), discussing the authors’ definitions, interpretations, and motivations around archaeology and community. By not defining archaeology in terms of how it is most commonly practiced, we argue the collective work misses the mark, with serious consequences for descendent communities. We show how Community-Oriented Archaeology appropriates the challenge posed to archaeologists to make their discipline relevant and responsive to Indigenous communities; instead, the authors foreground archaeology itself and reaffirm the privilege of non-Indigenous archaeologists, especially academic archaeologists. By considering what is excluded and taken-for-granted, we examine the special section in terms of selection bias and revisionist history. We suggest Community-Oriented Archaeology coopts aspects of Indigenous, critical, and radical discourses to legitimize the institution and practice, in the process forgetting what is at stake for Indigenous peoples. Rather than focusing on the needs of archaeology and archaeologists, we emphasize the interests of Indigenous communities and address uncomfortable truths about institutional racism and systemic inequality. As the editors had hoped, Community-Oriented Archaeology makes us “squirm,” but not for the reasons they intended.

Nous offrons une réponse critique à Andrew Martindale et Natasha Lyons sur leur section spéciale de 2014 concernant l’archéologie axée sur la communauté (Journal canadien d’archéologie volume 38, numéro 2) en évaluant les définitions, interprétations et motivations des auteurs à propos de l’archéologie et la notion de communauté. En évitant de définir l’archéologie par la façon dont elle est la plus souvent pratiquée, nous soutenons que le travail collectif manque la cible, non sans conséquences pour les communautés descendantes autochtones. Nous démontrons comment l’archéologie axée sur la communauté s’approprie le défi lancé aux archéologues de rendre leur discipline pertinente et sensible aux communautés autochtones; à la place, les auteurs mettent à l’avant-plan l’archéologie elle-même et réaffirme le privilège des archéologues non-autochtones, particulièrement des archéologues académiques. En considérant ce qui est exclus et pris pour acquis, nous examinons cette section spéciale sous les plans du biais en sélection et d’histoire révisionniste. Nous suggérons que l’archéologie axée sur la communauté combine des éléments de discours autochtones, critiques et radicaux pour légitimer l’institution et sa pratique, en oubliant dans le processus ce qui est en jeu pour les peuples autochtones. Plutôt que de se concentrer sur les besoins de l’archéologie et des archéologues, nous mettons l’emphase sur les communautés autochtones et adressons les inconfortables vérités sur le racisme institutionnel et l’inégalité systémique. Comme les éditeurs l’avaient espéré, l’archéologie axée sur la communauté nous met dans l’embarras, mais pas pour les raisons dont ils en avaient l’intention.

EDRA48Madison—Voices of Place: Empower, Engage, Energize

Environmental Design Research Association 48th Annual Conference

EDRA’s mission is to advance and disseminate behavior, design, and conservation research toward improving understanding of the relationships between people and their environments. In its four decades of existence, its annual conference has always featured the work of researchers that use social science methods to understand the unique relationship people have with the historic environment. EDRA’s Historic Environment Knowledge Network, created in 2008, helps to promote the work of interdisciplinary social science researchers and practitioners who focus on architectural, urban, and landscape conservation.

The theme for the 2017 conference, which will take place in Madison, Wisconsin (USA), May 31 to June 3, 2017,  is “Voices of Place: Empower, Engage, Energize.”

The deadline for submission of Pre-Conference Intensives, Individual or Group Presentations, and Mobile Sessions is Friday, September 23, 2016.