Archaeology and Heritage in the News, Summer 2016

Below is an excerpt from our recent work Archaeology and Heritage in the News, Summer 2016, the complete version of which can be read online here:


Archaeology and Heritage in the News, Summer 2016

Richard Hutchings

With summer officially in the rear-view mirror, it’s a good time to pause and reflect on the events of the past few months. For me, two stories stand out. First, I believe 2016 will be regarded as the year the world became aware of the scope and scale of the global heritage crisis, particularly as it relates to climate change impacts (see CBC News, May 26).

The second story is important because it illustrates perfectly the problems inherent to archaeology and the modern heritage-industrial complex in which it is so deeply enmeshed. On August 9, Amnesty International called for a stop-work order on British Columbia’s $8.8 billion plus Site C hydroelectric dam, saying the Peace River megaproject threatens the human rights of Indigenous peoples. As reported by The Globe and Mail,

The independent human-rights advocate released a report Tuesday calling on the federal and provincial governments to immediately suspend or rescind all construction approvals and permits related to the project in northeast B.C. The report, The Point of No Return, also says the project should only proceed on the basis of free, prior and informed consent of all affected Indigenous peoples. At least two area First Nations are challenging the project in court.

Presumably, this suspension includes all archaeological permits….

Read the rest of the article here.