Towards a Critical Indigenous Archaeology in the Western Arctic
Type de publication:Conference Paper
Résumé (en anglais):
Archaeologists are increasingly aware that engaging First Nations peoples in the research enterprise is essential to current practices. This concern forms part of a more general call for accountability in the social sciences to the needs of public audiences, and in the realm of anthropology, to the cultural 'others' who traditionally formed the centre of inquiry. This paper describes a collaborative project between a Western Arctic indigenous community and an archaeologist towards the development of a program of public archaeology. The study combines a critical theory perspective with a participatory approach aimed at empowering community members to address their heritage concerns. Critical theory suggests that the past is always seen through the lens of the present, and seeks to understand the social, political, and ideological context of a given research environment. In the present study, critical theory is used to examine the historical relationships between the community and the state and the present sociopolitical context of doing heritage research in an Arctic community in order to produce a less biased interpretation of the community's past. The ultimate objective of a critical indigenous archaeology is to understand the given viewpoints of archaeological practitioners, subject communities, and other parties so as to bridge the gaps in communication between us.