ICHT “Heritage After Trump” Award Submission


The Institute for Critical Heritage and Tourism recently submitted the following entry to Tom King’s “Heritage After Trump” Award. While ICHT’s submission did not win (our argument meant we were unable to follow King’s strict rules), we do hope it sheds some light on the deeply flawed logic upon which the award is based, notably the idea that global ecological breakdown is a technical problem that can be fixed by bureaucrats in Washington, D.C. (or any capital) simply by replacing legislation. Like most experts who study planetary crisis, we see the problem as inherently structural.

We have been told a dedicated Heritage After Trump website is in development. In the meantime, and after reading our submission below, you can read our other work on the subject, Heritage in the Age of Trump.

A PDF of ICHT’s submission is available here: https://www.academia.edu/30866000/ICHT_Heritage_After_Trump_Award_Submission.


January 6, 2017

The Signatories of this Document follow the 1992 World Scientists’ Warning to Humanity (Union of Concerned Scientists 1992) in asserting the following five principles:

  • We must bring environmentally damaging activities under control to restore and protect the integrity of the earth’s systems we depend on.
  • We must manage resources crucial to human welfare more effectively.
  • We must stabilize population. This will be possible only if all nations recognize that it requires improved social and economic conditions, and the adoption of effective, voluntary family planning.
  • We must reduce and eventually eliminate poverty.
  • We must ensure sexual equality, and guarantee women control over their own reproductive decisions.

We also follow the World Scientists’ Warning to Humanity in recognizing

A new ethic is required—a new attitude towards discharging our responsibility for caring for ourselves and for the earth. We must recognize the earth’s limited capacity to provide for us. We must recognize its fragility. We must no longer allow it to be ravaged. This ethic must motivate a great movement, convincing reluctant leaders and reluctant governments and reluctant peoples themselves to effect the needed changes.

As a consequence, the Signatories of this Document do not believe a one-size-fits-all heritage policy—however well-intended (Scott 1998, 2010)—can bring about this new ethic. Indeed, we believe the promotion by experts of a single-policy solution runs the risk of (1) misleading the public and other scholars into thinking potentially intractable contemporary socioenvironmental problems (Fassbinder 2016) are resolvable by modern governments and (2) reinforcing the idea that experts have either the knowledge or capabilities to enact meaningful change (Homer-Dixon 2007). A useful point of departure on this subject is this observation by Fikret Berkes and colleagues (2007:308):

Resource management is at a crossroads. Problems are complex, values are in dispute, facts are uncertain, and predictions are possible only in a limited sense. The scientific system that underlies resource management is facing a crisis of confidence in legitimacy and power. Top-down resource management does not work for a multitude of reasons, and the era of expert-knows-best decision making is all but over.

It is time for heritage experts to move beyond single-policy solutions (Ostrom et al. 2007).

Recognizing the scope and scale of the global heritage crisis (Fassbinder 2016; Union of Concerned Scientists 1992), and to avoid the trappings of naïve optimism in dealing with that crisis (Homer-Dixon 2007), we have sought a simple but realistic heritage stewardship model. We believe we have found two key strategies that define that model.

The first strategy is John Bodley’s Small Nation Solution, which confronts among many issues (e.g., elite directed growth) the core problem of population. According to Bodley (2013:vii),

The Small Nation Solution offers a very simple solution to the world’s biggest problems of poverty and environmental decline. The solution is simply that first each nation needs to be the optimum size, which means small, preferably fewer than ten million people.  Its citizens then need to reach a consensus on what they value most highly, and how these valued objects can be most justly distributed. In addition to scale and consensus, the small nation solution requires adherence to two fundamental principles that apply both within individual small nations and in a small nation world system: subsidiarity and heterogeneity. Subsidiarity means getting decision-making as close to the people as possible. Heterogeneity is about people in each small nation having maximum freedom to find the best solution(s) for their particular situation.

Bodley’s concept of small nations is intentionally flexible, reflecting his belief in “societies being the best size to solve human problems, not in categorizing for the sake of categorizing.”

As a step towards implementing small nation solutions, the second strategy is Alan Parker’s Recommendations to Native Government Leadership. According to Parker (2012:189-91), “communities must adapt to changing conditions at a pace that will stress their social, economic, and cultural fabrics. But, we cannot afford to join our fellow Americans in massive denial. The time to plan and adapt is now.” Below is Parker’s 10-point plan (amended):

  1. Gather information on the impacts of global ecological breakdown in your region and make it available to your community.
  2. Secure sources of water.
  3. Secure sources of food.
  4. Prepare for impacts on plant and animal species.
  5. Develop relationships with neighboring governments and communities regarding disaster planning.
  6. Consider political alliances to build a renewable energy policy.
  7. Consider strategies to unite communities around the protection needed to defend treaty rights.
  8. Consider active involvement as sovereign governments in global climate change negotiations.
  9. Get youth involved in cultural education and defending their future.
  10. Work with other communities across imposed colonial boundaries on the basis of being natural regions.

Our model for heritage stewardship recognizes the links between the ideology of growth, development, and progress, and environmental thus cultural heritage destruction. To counter this, an emancipatory approach to heritage, as outlined here, begins with local control and questioning authority (Smith 2004). Designed to promote heritage resilience into the future, the result is not one but many solutions.


Richard M. Hutchings, Ph.D.

Marina La Salle, Ph.D.

Institute for Critical Heritage and Tourism, British Columbia, Canada



Berkes, Fikret, Derek Armitage, and Nancy Doubleday
2007. Synthesis: Adapting, Innovating, Evolving. In Adaptive Co-Management, edited by D. Armitage, F. Berkes, and N. Doubleday, pp. 308-27. UBC Press, Vancouver.

Bodley, John H.
2013. The Small Nation Solution: How the World’s Smallest Nations Can Solve the World’s Biggest Problems. AltaMira, Lanham.

Fassbinder, Samuel Day
2016. The Literature of the Anthropocene: Four Reviews. Capitalism Nature Socialism DOI: 10.1080/10455752.2016.1245918.

Homer-Dixon, Thomas
2007. The Upside of Down: Catastrophe, Creativity, and the Renewal of Civilization. Vintage Canada, Toronto.

Ostrom, Elinor, Marco A. Janssen, and John M. Anderies
2007. Going beyond Panaceas. PNAS 104(39):15176-8.

Parker, Alan
2012. Recommendations to Native Government Leadership. In Asserting Native Resilience: Pacific Rim Indigenous Nations Face the Climate Crisis, edited by Z. Grossman and A. Parker, pp. 189-92. Oregon State University Press, Corvallis.

Scott, James C.
1998. Seeing Like a State: How Certain Schemes to Improve the Human Condition Have Failed. Yale University Press, New Haven.
2010. The Trouble with the View from Above. CATO Institute September 8. Electronic document, http://www.cato-unbound.org/2010/09/08/james-c-scott/trouble-view-above.

Smith, Laurajane
2004. Archaeological Theory and the Politics of Cultural Heritage. Routledge, London.

Union of Concerned Scientists
1992. 1992 World Scientists’ Warning to Humanity. Electronic document, http://www.ucsusa.org/about/1992-world-scientists.html.

Threats to Archaeology and Heritage—Free Access

Threats to Archaeology and Heritage—Free Journal Access

Publisher Routledge/Taylor & Francis is offering free access to fourteen articles on the theme Threats to Archaeology and Heritage. The offer expires 30 April 2017.

The publisher writes:

From the devastating war in Syria and the destruction of Palmyra, the impacts of climate change and natural disasters to issues of governance and policy, threats to archaeology and heritage come in many forms. This article collection presents papers which examine some of those threats and provide potential solutions or policies to help us protect our pasts.

The articles are:

Commentary: ‘I Dwell in Possibility’ — Ethical Futures for Heritage and Archaeology
Azania: Archaeological Research in Africa | Link
Tracy Ireland

Protecting a Moveable and Immoveable Feast: Legal Safeguards for Yemen’s Cultural Heritage
Conservation and Management of Archaeological Sites | Link
Stephen Steinbeiser

A Framework for Assessing the Vulnerability of Archaeological Sites to Climate Change: Theory, Development, and Application
Conservation and Management of Archaeological Sites | Link
Cathy Daly

Managing, Valuing, and Protecting Heritage Resources in the Twenty-First Century: Peatland Archaeology, the Ecosystem Services Framework, and the Kyoto Protocol
Conservation and Management of Archaeological Sites | Link
Benjamin R. Gearey, William Fletcher & Ralph Fyfe

Adaptation to Climate Change at UK World Heritage Sites: Progress and Challenges
The Historic Environment: Policy & Practice | Link
Helen Phillips

Looting and vandalism around a World Heritage Site: Documenting modern damage to archaeological heritage in Petra’s hinterland
Journal of Field Archaeology | Link
Clive Vella, Emanuela Bocancea, Thomas M. Urban, Alex R. Knodell, Christopher A. Tuttle & Susan E. Alcock

Excavation is Digitization: Advances in Archaeological Practice
Journal of Field Archaeology | Link
Christopher H. Roosevelt, Peter Cobb, Emanuel Moss, Brandon R. Olson & Sinan Ünlüsoy

Cultural Heritage at Risk in the Twenty-First Century: A Vulnerability Assessment of Coastal Archaeological Sites in the United States
Journal of Island and Coastal Archaeology | Link
Leslie A. Reeder-Myers

Vandalised and Looted, Rock-Cut Toombs of the Roman and Byzantine Periods: A Case Study from Saffa Village, Ramallah Province
Palestine Exploration Quarterly | Link
Salah Hussein Al-Houdalieh

The Values of Archaeological and Heritage Sites
Public Archaeology | Link
Arjo Klamer

Threats to the Archaeological Heritage in the Laissez-Faire World of Tourism: The Need for Global Standards as a Global Public Good
Public Archaeology | Link
Douglas C. Comer

Preservation as ‘Disaster Capitalism’: The Downside of Site Rescue and the Complexity of Community Engagement
Public Archaeology | Link
Anne Pyburn

Heritocide? Defining and Exploring Heritage Crime
Public Archaeology | Link
Louise Grove

Gridlock: UNESCO, Global Conflict and Failed Ambitions
World Archaeology | Link
Lynn Meskell

Year in Review—Archaeology and Heritage in the News, 2016

Year in Review—Archaeology and Heritage in the News, 2016

By Richard M. Hutchings | 28 December 2016

With 2016 in the rear-view mirror, it’s a good time to pause and reflect on the year that  was. For me, two stories stand out. First, I believe 2016 may be regarded as the year the archaeology world became aware of the scope and scale of the global heritage crisis, particularly as it relates to climate change impacts (Hutchings 2016; Kawaja 2016; Markham et al. 2016).

This awareness is timely because 2016 is set to be the hottest year on record and a new high for the third year in a row, meaning 16 of the 17 hottest years on record will have  been this century (Carrington 2016a; Thompson 2016). This is of particular concern for coastal communities (Hutchings 2016) as sea level rise estimates doubled this year, a result of Antarctica’s rapid meltdown. Previously expected to rise 1 metre by 2100, 2 metres by 2200, and 3 metres by 2300, global seas are now estimated to rise upwards of 2 metres by the end of this century (Carrington 2016b) and 3 to 5 metres by 2200. The loss of ice on Antarctica alone could cause seas to rise more than 15 metres (50 feet) by 2500 (Dennis and Mooney 2016).

The fear now is that climate change is escalating so fast it could be “game over” in terms of stabilizing global temperatures below “dangerous” levels (i.e., below 2C [3.6F] above pre-industrial levels by 2100) (Johnston 2016). While previous “business as usual” models—characterized by continued use of large amounts of fossil fuels—have meant the Earth’s average temperature will rise by between 2.6C (4.7F) and 4.8C (8.6F) degrees above pre-industrial levels by 2100, new estimates suggest the actual range could be  between 4.8C (8.6F) to 7.4C (13.3F) degrees by 2100 (Friedrich et al. 2016). As Ian Johnston (2016) writes,

It is a vision of a future so apocalyptic that it is hard to even imagine. But, if leading scientists are right, planet Earth could be on course for global warming of more than seven degrees Celsius within a lifetime. And that, according to one of the world’s most renowned climatologists, could be “game over”—particularly given the imminent presence of climate change denier Donald Trump in the White House.

Along with “Anthropocene” (Fassbinder 2016) and “President Trump” (King 2016), it appears we must also now add the term “runaway global warming” to the heritage lexicon.

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, as well as how that system is connected to the climate crisis (Hutchings 2016). On August 9, Amnesty International (2016) 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. …

Read the rest of this article here:


Site C Highway Route Will Desecrate Graves


First Nations Chiefs Say Site C Highway Route Will Desecrate Graves, BC Hydro Disagrees

By Sarah Cox | Thursday, November 24, 2016

The route chosen by BC Hydro for a Site C dam highway relocation will “desecrate” a First Nations burial ground and destroy a culturally significant site used by the Dunne-za people for millennia, says West Moberly First Nations Chief Roland Willson.

“This is a very serious matter,” Willson wrote in a letter to B.C. Transportation Minister Todd Stone, co-signed by Prophet River First Nation Chief Lynette Tsakoza. “Digging up graves is not acceptable in our custom.”

Willson told DeSmog that the graves are in an area of the Peace River valley known locally as Bear Flats/Cache Creek, which BC Hydro plans to clear cut this winter for the first phase of a $530 million project to move 30 kilometres of a provincial highway out of the Site C dam flood zone.

Called as tluuge by the Dunne-za, or Beaver people, an ethno-linguistic grouping within the Treaty 8 Tribal Association, the area slated for the first part of the highway realignment contains known B.C. archaeological sites, a natural spring, a sweat lodge, and a campground used by First Nations for elder and youth gatherings.

“The Dunne-Za people have been using Bear Flats for thousands of years and we’re still using it today,” Willson said in an interview.

“The desecration of burial sites is a very serious matter. There’s absolutely no reason for them to disrupt those graves. They can move the highway over.”

According to BC Hydro itself, the Bear Flats/Cache Creek area is classified as an “archeological site complex,” an area noted for its high density of archeological sites.

Eighteen archeological sites at the Bear Flats/Cache complex will be affected by the $8.8 billion Site C project, including four Class 1 sites and 10 Class 11 sites.

In July 2015, BC Hydro received an eight-year permit from the B.C. Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations (FLNRO) to “alter” 163 archeological sites for Site C, including for the construction of permanent roads, clearing, surface stripping, excavations and inundation from the reservoir. The permit says all work must cease if human remains are found and the Archaeology Branch must be contacted for further direction.

In a statement e-mailed to DeSmog, BC Hydro said it has undertaken “extensive archeological fieldwork including extensive subsurface shovel testing” and has not found  “any specific burial locations that would be directly affected by the Highway 29 alignment” at Bear Flats/Cache Creek….

Read the rest of this article at DeSmog.ca



Learn more about “Site Alteration Permits” and the systematic destruction/dismantling of Indigenous heritage landscapes in British Columbia:

  • https://journals.uvic.ca/index.php/midden/article/view/15532/6199
  • https://www.routledge.com/Maritime-Heritage-in-Crisis-Indigenous-Landscapes-and-Global-Ecological/Hutchings/p/book/9781629583488

CFP: Critical Heritage Studies in Canada: What Does Heritage Do?

Critical Heritage Studies in Canada: What Does Heritage Do?
Deadline to Submit: December 22, 2016

Journal of Canadian Studies / Revue d’études canadiennes

Drawing on the debates of the June 2016 Association of Critical Heritage Studies (ACHS) Conference in Montreal, this theme issue seeks contributions (articles and review essays) that reflect on the state(s) of heritage in Canada – both tangible and intangible – from critical perspectives. Contributions to this special issue will focus critically on ‘What Does Heritage Do?’ in Canada. What have been its limitations and what might be its possibilities? This special issue of JCS/REC seeks to reflect upon, analyze, expand and critique heritage perspectives in Canada. We call on academics, cultural producers and heritage practitioners to contribute to critical heritage discussions in Canada through this special issue.

Authors must submit a 500-word abstract and 50-word bio to Susan Ashley at susan.ashley@northumbria.ac.uk in English or French by December 22, 2016. Key for us will be how you conceptualize the word heritage in your proposals.

To read the full Call for Papers, please visit http://bit.ly/JCSCFPHeritage. For further information, please contact JCS/REC Guest Editors, Susan Ashley (susan.ashley@northumbria.ac.uk) or Andrea Terry (aterry@lakeheadu.ca).

Appel D’Articles
Études critiques du patrimoine au Canada : un patrimoine, ça fait quoi?
Date limite de soumission : le 22 décembre 2016

Journal of Canadian Studies / Revue d’études canadiennes

Ce sujet s’inspire des débats qui ont marqué le troisième congrès bisannuel de l’Association of Critical Heritage Studies, organisé en juin 2016 à Montréal. Pour ce numéro thématique, nous sommes à la recherche de contributions (articles et revues de littérature) qui réfléchissent sur l’état ou les différents états du patrimoine canadien – aussi bien tangible qu’intangible – d’un point de vue critique. Les contributions à ce numéro spécial tâcheront de répondre de façon critique aux questions suivantes : « Le patrimoine, ça fait quoi? Quelles ont été ses limites et quelles pourraient être ses possibilités? » Ce numéro spécial de la RÉC/JCS souhaite repenser, analyser, élargir et critiquer les perspectives de la critique dans le champ patrimonial au Canada, en demandant ce que la notion de patrimoine accomplit effectivement au Canada, et ce qu’elle pourrait accomplir. Nous invitons les universitaires, les créateurs du milieu culturel et les intervenants actifs dans le domaine du patrimoine à apporter leur contribution aux échanges critiques sur le sujet en participant à ce numéro spécial de la Revue.

Les auteurs doivent fournir un résumé de 500 mots accompagné d’une notice biographique de 50 mots, en français ou en anglais, à Susan Ashley, susan.ashley@northumbria.ac.uk, au plus tard le 22 décembre 2016. Nous accorderons une attention particulière à la façon dont le mot patrimoine sera conceptualisé dans les propositions.

Pour lire l’Appel d’articles complet, veuillez consulter http://bit.ly/JCSFRCFPHeritage. Pour de plus amples renseignements, veuillez contacter les directrices invitées de la JCS/REC, Susan Ashley (susan.ashley@northumbria.ac.uk) ou Andrea Terry (aterry@lakeheadu.ca).


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.

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.