B.C. Government Payments Divide Gitxsan Nation, Called ‘Bribery’

By Trevor Jang | February 7, 2017

Earl Muldon sits at his kitchen table surrounded by family, sipping coffee. His wife Shirley brings over a plate of cream cake topped with huckleberries. They’re hand-picked from the land surrounding his two-storey home in Gitanmaax, a village of about 800 people from the Gitxsan Nation in northwestern British Columbia, near the town of New Hazelton.

To the Gitxsan people, 80-year-old Muldon is known by another name: Delgamuukw. That name — a symbolic ancestral chief name passed down from generation to generation of Gitxsan people — is also one of the most well-known chief names in the rest of Canada. Delgamuukw was the lead plaintiff in a historic court case that confirmed that Aboriginal title, ownership of traditional lands had not been extinguished by any colonial government.

“It’s a name that’s greatly respected. We’ve earned respect for it,” says Muldon, who was one of three people to hold the Delgamuukw name during the court proceedings.

The 1997 Supreme Court win against the B.C. government was important to Indigenous people across Canada because it provided a new test to prove ownership over their traditional lands and waters. It was monumental to the Gitxsan because they seemed poised to assert self-governance over their 33,000-square-kilometre territory.

Fast-forward to the fall of 2016, when it emerged that Muldon was among a group of nine Gitxsan chiefs who had accepted money in exchange for their support of a controversial liquid natural gas (LNG) pipeline without consulting all of their nation’s members. Some Gitxsan people say that decision broke “ayook,” traditional Gitxsan law — and could undermine what the nation fought to prove in court 20 years ago.

So how did Muldon, who holds the hereditary name, Delgamuukw, that represented the unified Gitxsan Nation in their fight for their land, come to be among the group supporting resource development and spurring internal conflict among the Gitxsan? …

Read the rest of this article at DeSmog Canada:



CFP=Heritage Crime=ACHS.2018

Call for Papers


Association of Critical Heritage Studies
4th Biennial Conference
1-6 September 2018
Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, China

Session title:
Heritage Crime

Session organizers:
Richard Hutchings & Marina La Salle, Vancouver Island University, and Institute for Critical Heritage and Tourism, British Columbia, Canada

Session abstract:
What is heritage crime and who perpetrates it? Who are its victims? What are the implications for those victimized? For the perpetrators? For society at large? Taking a critical approach to both heritage and crime, contributors to this cutting edge interdisciplinary session explore the emerging field of heritage crime studies. Suggested subject areas covered include:

State-sanctioned heritage crime
Heritage crime across borders
Crime against Indigenous and ethnic minority heritage
Heritage crime and international law
Crime against state heritage
Heritage crime and war
Looting and trafficking
Fakes and forgeries
Heritage crime as resistance
Policing and prosecuting heritage crime
Crime against intangible heritage and intellectual property
Cultural resource management (CRM) / cultural heritage management (CHM)

Please submit title and 200-word abstract by 27 March 2017 to icht.bc[at]gmail.com

Association of Critical Heritage Studies 2018 Conference

Association of Critical Heritage Studies, 4th Biennial Conference

1-6 September 2018

Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, China

Call for Session Proposals (link): Deadline 31 March 2017

Theme: “Heritage Across Borders”


The global rise of heritage studies and the heritage industry in recent decades has been a story of crossing frontiers and transcending boundaries. The 2018 Association of Critical Heritage Studies conference, held in Hangzhou, China, thus takes ‘borders’ as a broadly defined, yet key, concept for better understanding how heritage is valued, preserved, politicised, mobilised, financed, planned and destroyed. Thinking through borders raises questions about theories of heritage, its methodologies of research, and where its boundaries lie with tourism, urban development, post-disaster recovery, collective identities, climate change, memory or violent conflict. Held in the city of Hangzhou, China, Heritage Across Borders will be the largest ever international conference in Asia dedicated to the topic of heritage. It has been conceived to connect international participants with local issues, and in so doing open up debates about the rural-urban, east-west, tangible-intangible and other familiar divides.

Borders tell us much about the complex role heritage plays in societies around the world today. Historically speaking, physical and political borders have led to ideas about enclosed cultures, and a language of cultural property and ownership which marches forward today in tension alongside ideals of universalism and the cosmopolitan. More people are moving across borders than ever before, with vastly different motivations and capacities. What role can heritage studies play in understanding the experiences of migrants or the plight of refugees? And what heritage futures do we need to anticipate as the pressures of international tourism seem to relentlessly grow year by year?

Heritage Across Borders will consider how the values of heritage and approaches to conservation change as objects, experts, and institutions move across frontiers. It will ask how new international cultural policies alter creation, performance, and transmission for artists, craftspersons, musicians, and tradition-bearers.

What are the frontiers of cultural memory in times of rapid transformation? How can museums engage with increasingly diverse audiences by blurring the distinctions between the affective and representational? And do digital reproductions cross important ethical boundaries?

One of the key contributions of critical heritage studies has been to draw attention to the role of heritage in constructing and operationalising boundaries and borders of many kinds-national, social, cultural, ethnic, economic and political.  In what ways do international flows of capital rework indigenous and urban cultures, and reshape nature in ways that redefine existing boundaries?

We especially welcome sessions and papers that challenge disciplinary boundaries and professional divides, and explore cross-border dialogues. What lessons can be learned from Asia where the distinctions between the tangible and intangible are less well marked? And how can researchers bridge cultural and linguistic barriers to better understand these nuances?

Organised by Zhejiang University this major international conference will be held in Hangzhou, China on 1-6 September 2018.

Conference website:


Natural World Heritage Sites Face Threat From Humanity

Areas shown in yellow, orange and red show the amount of forest lost in natural World Heritage Sites around the globe.

More Than 100 World Heritage Sites Face Threat From Humanity

By Nick Visser | January 31, 2017

Almost half of the planet’s natural World Heritage Sites, areas designated as holding “outstanding value to humanity,” face growing threats of destruction due to human activity that has already caused lasting damage to places like Yellowstone National Park, a new report says.

The study, published Monday in the journal Biological Conservation, found more than 100 internationally protected sites around the globe are “rapidly deteriorating and are more threatened than previously thought.” Natural World Heritage Sites are selected by UNESCO for their beauty and biological importance, and include famed areas like the Congo’s Virunga National Park, the Galapagos Islands and the Everglades.

“These sites have been inscribed by the United Nations as some of the most important, beautiful places on earth,” James Watson, a professor at the University of Queensland and a senior author of the study, said in a video release. “They hold incredible numbers of species, they are the jewels of the crown when we think about nature.” …

Read the rest of this article at the Huffington Post: