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Authenticity in Aboriginal Cultural Landscapes Author(s): Thomas D. Andrews and Susan Buggey Source: APT Bulletin, Vol.

39, No. 2/3 (2008), pp. 63-71 Published by: Association for Preservation Technology International (APT)Association for Preservation Technology International (APT) Stable URL: Accessed: 09/12/2010 19:00
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in Aboriginal












living landscapes where

involves authenticating


The Western notion of authenticity is considered crucial to the cultural value

of heritage thenticity But what places. mean in relation does to places au or






plores cultural value in aboriginal cul tural landscapes and how the concept of authenticity relates to heritage value in
these landscapes.1 The paper also exam

landscapes valued by aboriginal peo ples? The standard interpretation of

authenticity, gible things, where on the the focus is on tan attributes of mate

rial evidences, and on the integrity of physical fabric, does not resonate with aboriginal people and bears little rele
vance nous scapes. to the reasons for which value certain communities indige land

ines ways inwhich approaches broached in the Nara Document on Authenticity and theWorld Heritage Convention Operational Guidelines open opportuni
ties for considering aspects and meaning

of authenticity

in aboriginal cultural

to respect the

of authenticity
cultural contexts

need instead
to which

such places belong, the belief systems associated with them, and the related
concepts of land, time, and movement

The evolution of the concept of authenticity in the past 15 years has expanded understanding of the idea, as well as consideration of how it can be effectively assessed.3 The recognition of both cultural diversity and heritage di
versity in the Nara Document on Au

that embody meaning

landscape. Nor

in the cultural

is authenticity

sively about places; rather, it is about the ? living traditions people and cultures
that commemorate, recognize, and

thenticity and theWorld Heritage Con vention Operational Guidelines has broadened the approach to addressing
authenticity in cultural heritage, encom

value heritage places through the daily activities of their lived lives. Using pri marily Thcho examples from Canada's

that relate passing different worldviews to place in fundamentally different ways. Aboriginal cultural landscapes are
expressions material of a worldview that sees

land in essentially
terms and

spiritual rather than

regards humans as

an integral part of the land, inseparable

'" ' * sm!lla?BU .' ______________________________^_____B^H_H^^^^^^|fig^^^^f-;'":; : W* ^__________________B_gf|pf^ from ^;]"?||||| Key its animals, expressions and spirits.4 plants, are value of cultural



^,^. ^-'-''*$-^ii^!?ili^^^^^^^_^_________j ^H^^^^^^^^l tions,

immaterial, such as oral tradi

practices, and intense



interactions with
components of the

living and nonliving

environment. Growth

and change are integral to these living

landscapes and their cultural value.

In terms of theWorld Heritage Con vention aboriginal cultural landscapes

may be seen primarily as associative

cultural landscapes, characterized

"powerful associations one of many places in Nagwichoonjik National Historic Site. Often Fig. 1. A fish camp at Diighe'tr'aajil, of used for centuries, fish camps evoke both individual memories of using the place and memories to ideas ancestors that continually adds layers of complexity using the place before them, a process of Ingrid Kritsch. of cultural value. Courtesy artistic religious, of the natural or element



rather than by material cultural evi dence, which may be insignificant or

even absent."5 The recognition of the









/ 39:2-3,



moose hunt following a successful Fig. 2. Tiicho Elder Harry Simpson in an archaeological while participating survey, underscoring as "living land importance of regarding aboriginal cultural landscapes All images by Thomas D. Andrews, Government of Northwest scapes." unless otherwise noted.


places along the Fig. 3. Fat Fish Lake, the name of one of many significant of their long and intimate relationship with Idaa Trail, reminds the Tiicho are the numerous this area. Unseen spiritual and corporeal animal-persons gazing back at the traveller.





in contemporary


In part,




them complex. While

scapes change, commemorate astute the ages so do them. of

cultural land
the David cultures that Lowenthal's across counts

society closely associated with the tradi tional way of life, and inwhich the evolutionary process is still in progress" in aboriginal cultural landscapes has sometimes led to their being classified as evolved continuing landscapes, but the
usual evidence absence of "significant over its evolution of material time" as

reflect the intense international dialogue that has accompanied the adoption in 2003 of the UNESCO Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cul
tural Heritage, expressions traditions, edge and and of social which cultural centers on such as oral knowl heritage and practices,

exploration demonstrates

authenticity that what

as authentic has continually

form, space, and we time: choose "the reflect authenticity

shifted in
criteria current of

principal holder of heritage value con flicts with this categorization.6 As well,
associative cultural ? landscapes and

practices the universe.9

nature concerning of The Declaration

aboriginal cultural landscapes

involve vation cultural such experts temporal working

do not

Conser linearity. associative with that au

San Antonio points to the direct rela tionship between authenticity and iden tity, authenticity and social value (spiri tual meaning manifested through
customs and traditions), and authentic

views about how yesterday should serve and inform today." What people value as authentic is an attribute of the here
and now rather than the past.11 As

anthropologist Richard Handler elabo rates, "The link between living cultural traditions and the past is not a physical
one, not even in those cases involving

thenticity of a continuing

recognize landscapes the maintenance "may mean association between

ity and stewardship. Where cultural identity is the "foundation of our cul
the tural heritage of the values and a site its conservation" are "an anchor of and

cultural property, or physical heritage objects; rather, the link is a semiotic one.
We use objects can to refer to, or to think

people and the place, however itmay be expressed through time[,]" and "must not exclude cultural continuity through
change, of relating which may to or caring introduce for new ways the place."7

cultural identity," aboriginal cultural

landscapes ancestral customs communities, are often examples that

about, the past. But those cultural links

to the past exist only in the present

"sustain communal

life, linking it to the

through Indigenous creators and stew

and only within

activities. To save

or conserve

the past,

Inspired by the Nara Document, recent changes to theWHC Operational Guidelines with respect to authenticity and integrity have extended explicit recognition to the intangible aspects of
cultural recognize heritage. traditional New attributes practice, that language,

past...manifested and traditions."10 as the

tradition, or heritage
new, today."12 This

is to do something
fundamental aspect

ards of the heritage related to aboriginal

cultural landscapes, value these places as

of authenticity

is not applied well

practice. relevant

to abo

an integral part of their identity. By identifying heritage values within their worldview and cultural framework,
communities encompass what long

heritage-conservation any test of authenticity this context.


riginal cultural landscapes must


spirit and feeling of place, and other forms of intangible heritage as truthful and credible expressions of cultural value for assessing authenticity help to
focus attention on values that are impor

established heritage frameworks

where recognize as historical,



tant in aboriginal cultural landscapes while allowing tradition and cultural

continuity in communities to be main

social, ecological, and spiritual values (Fig. 1). The dynamic nature of both cultural
values and cultural landscapes makes

Aboriginal Cultural Landscapes: Living Landscape What


are aboriginal cultural land scapes? As archaeologist Denis Byrne and historian Maria Nugent explain in
relation to Australia, "the concept of

the process of identifying and protecting







ability with

to communicate


the animals themselves,


the ability

to communicate


spiritual growth,
land and animals,

is given to you by the

every time you go out.

Sometimes those things will be replaced by modern spirituality. But the land, history and spiritual growth that comes
from the land never changes."17 with


the The ho "dwell" in their

engaged and spirit-beings, an creates places, where embodied their



?:h* ~v<<%?1**: ?Jir??&v?%.


cultural landscape. Building on the work of anthropologist Tim Ingold, British geographers Paul Cloke and Owain Jones note that "dwelling is about the rich intimate ongoing togetherness of beings and things which make up land scapes and places, and which bind to
gether flotilla of canoes Fig. 4. Like an armada, the homecoming of Tessa Macintosh, program arrive at Behchok?. Courtesy from the Tiicho Tiicho Trails of our Ancestors nature and culture over time."18


sites is not sufficient for representing, reflecting and recording Aboriginal

post-contact cultural heritage.... are It is

world. waters, the

It also animals

encompasses and

the that

earth's inhabit and

The concept of dwelling, finding its of foundation in the phenomenology Martin Heidegger and championed by British anthropologist Tim Ingold, pro
vides an appropriate perspective for con


plants and marine world,

the landscapes themselves

be considered heritage...they

that ought to

with the significance inscribed by those who have lived in them and claimed
them tural as their own."13 are landscapes Aboriginal not sites or cul relics.

spirits that dwell in the land. Humans are an integral part of this living world, where their lives are interdependent with
its other aspects. "The land is an inte

textualizing change in aboriginal cul tural landscapes. Ingold defines dwelling

as sion "a perspective that treats of the organism-person of existence. From continually the immer envi in an

ronment or lifeworld as an inescapable

condition spective, this the world per comes

gral part of who we are and how we

define ourselves.... take care The of the land takes care Sur of us, we land.'"15

They are living landscapes that indige nous people identify as fundamentally
important to their cultural heritage,

vival derives from respectful interaction with the land, including sustained obser
vation and appropriate behavior. Places

into being around the inhabitants [as they travel through it], and itsmanifold
constituents their tern significance through into a regular pat incorporation For the The ho, of life activity."19 and animal-persons are take on

areas that embody their relationship with the land. Dynamic change is inher ent in such cultural landscapes. They
as a result of natural constantly change are and cultural processes; they always

deemed sacred within

cultural often landscape of sustained importance

an aboriginal
underscore observation the and


statement and

interrelated, and as John B. Zoe's

history to under humans,

respectful behavior. For example, Tiicho

sacred form their travels places require travelers which whenever the place only can to per augur their in an one's rituals, geomantic future well-being, take them season. past Not ?

growing. As the British anthropologist

Barbara Bender has shown, landscapes,

above demonstrates, serve personal experience score the importance between

like time, never stand still. They are continuously in the process of being shaped and reshaped by social, eco
nomic, forces tures, political, that have characteristics, cultural, effects and upon natural their fea

animals, and place in aboriginal world view (Fig. 3). Moving

Humans persons therefore


past behavior
ritual, failure

impact the outcome

to stop to "try

of the

in Landscapes
engage and with

of Knowledge
other organism and lies at

and meanings

(Fig. 2).14 The key to the heritage value of aboriginal cultural landscapes lies in a people's relationship with the land. Indigenous peoples around the world value the land. An understanding of the term land extends far beyond the earth's
surface to include cosmological relation

is a sign of deep disrespect, threatening the possibility of a positive

outcome in a future visit.16 The land





travel, through or mobility,

scape becomes
behavior and continuously this way, cultural,

the arbiter of appropriate

sustained respectful ecological, observation actions. and In spiri


the heart of aboriginal cultural land scapes. When people live with the land, they move in it and do so in the course of daily and seasonal activities, such as hunting, trapping, trading, gathering, camping, and meeting family. Routes through landscapes are the paths by which people move from place to place,

ships with

the heavens and the under

tual values are inseparably intertwined in this holistic and dynamic living world. As statesman Tiicho John B. Zoe








/ 39:2-3,


stone quarries solely by examining

language of the place names.23 Trails


dog team have long disappeared

form elders routes of everyday continue using conveyance, to travel today Kevlar

as a

link these named places and, together with the narratives residing in them,
create edge. a complex topology of knowl

youth these





(Fig. 4). As part of a

these journeys are


The key for gaining knowledge is through the direct experience of travel. By moving from place to place an indi vidual can collect the stories resident along the way, as the physical form of a
named ory geographic recall. Thus, feature children mem triggers were educated

students "strong like designed two people" by providing them with the cultural experience of their traditional
landscape as an aspect a decade of the bricks-and

to make


school setting. The first trips,

than ago, overlapped


the period when

the Thcho were

and socialized through travel as parents and elders helped them learn the names and narratives through storytelling. The ? daily practice of living setting traps
or a net, finish a lodge by Fig. 5. Ttjchp seamstresses painting a red ochre band around the main seam to protect future inhabitants from malevolent are permitted to paint on entities. Only women that are passed lodges, part of the practices down from generation to generation. snowmobiles, tracking harnessing dogs, butchering a moose, cooking repairing a caribou, favorite

negotiating ment and

a comprehensive self-govern land-claim with the agreement the North the trips

of Canada and governments west Territories. As a result,

came to symbolize the nation building the Thcho were engaged in.26As the Chiefs' Executive Council of the Thcho
Government notes, "canoes were signifi this

foods, cutting and sewing hide clothing, framing a birch-bark canoe, lashing a
snowshoe, spring travelling safely ? ice or rough water over was thinning taught

cant in charting the history of who we

are as Thcho. We continue to keep

history alive by traveling the trails of

our ancestors to our annual gatherings, today."27

by walking, by watercraft, and recently by vehicle. As Christopher Tilley has noted, it is "through walking...[that]
landscapes are woven that are woven into the into life, and lives landscape, and never-ending."20 of such "meshworks," places in the a process

through demonstration as youth watched experienced adults undertaking these activities. Viewed through the lens
of personal the experience, a becomes scape repository storied of land informa

Jean-Guy Goulet has Anthropologist noted that the "Dene expect learning to
occur through an observation expectation rather consistent than instruction,

is continuous

or Networks, routes connect

tion, ready to be called upon when required. Through the daily travel re quired to make a livelihood and using
the mnemonic cue of landmarks to recall

Local knowledge ?
self, your ? environment,


with the Dene view that true knowledge is personal knowledge. The Dene prefer this kind of knowledge since it is the
form being that has the most as true secure and claim to accepted valid."28

and your


tionship to other organisms

with you interaction

that live

the information stored in the landscape, individuals gradually acquired the knowledge needed to dwell in a chang
ing world. For the Thcho. tural a landscape travel today a cul through is seen as a com


then, is acquired through

experience and observation,

is generated, then, through between organism-persons life and travel. Travel over

and through the direct experience of


storied or cultural landscape is a key component of Thcho pedagogy, who use

the land as a way containing aspects information of Thcho narratives of ordering to all relevant geo

ponent of nation building, reflecting traditional ways that continue to be valued in a modern world.24 Travel by
foot, birch-bark canoe, or dog team over

often in the presence of others, drawing upon, when needed, a codified set of information passed through an oral
tradition. Since stories are tied to geo

life.22 Prominent

graphic features and locations where

dramatic named events and have occurred narratives are usually associated

thousands of kilometres of trails has been embedded in the Thcho way of being for millennia; indeed, Thcho oral tradition speaks of mythical beings and
giant trails creatures that humans same the very travelling to use.25 continue


them. The physical structure of the

is used as a mnemonic provide to recall information the which

graphic features, the landscape is both a repository of knowledge and a stage on which actors gain experience through the embodied activities of daily life (Fig. 5). The fact that the northern aboriginal system of knowledge acquisition differs Western science markedly from that in
leads sometimes to distrust and misun


the birch-bark canoe and the


about history, identity, and lifeways. The

names, as expressions a link of Thcho lan "There

are many




guage and unchanged

years, provide

for hundreds of
to older expres

hill, so when we get there Iwill tell stories about it. There will be many,
many stories."?Harry Simpson,

sions and sometimes codify specific information not available through other
means. For example, Thcho elders were

able to lead archaeologists

to ancient

Tiicho elder, Gameti, from Northern Ethnographic Landscapes: Perspec tives from Circumpolar Nations

derstanding when individuals from these different epistemological traditions interact. Addressing this, anthropologist Colin Scott has argued that aboriginal traditional knowledge results "from intellectual processes not quantitatively different from those ofWestern sci
ence."29 are seen More as and more, sciences, or both traditions to ethnosciences,





Fig. 6. Youth and elders work together traditions and practices through making canoe.

in intergenerational a traditional Tiicho


of oral


traditional caribou-skin Fig. 7. Five young Gwich'in men proudly model as part of a knowledge-repatriation seamstresses outfits made by Gwich'in the continuity of long-lived traditions. project ensuring


the wording science

of American

anthropol since its

dislocation the past, formative tion.31 tions,

ogist Melford
"all modern science

Spiro. As Spiro has noted,

is ethnoscience. isWestern Hence, science,


of self-reinterpretation the significance of trans in cultural roles revitaliza than pursuing an F. King, these expert direc in


the sustainability of aboriginal cultural landscapes (Fig. 6).34 In exploring appli

cation of the concept to cultural her

Rather Thomas

truth claims (and canons of proof) are no less culturally relative than those of
any other ethnoscience."30 that oral tradition, require In short, a canon to of

itage inAfrica, ICCROM conservation experts Jukka Jokilehto and Joseph

King process see "an invitation the to undertake of her a where authenticity As

that the

cultural properties,
approach sort of role

to au


thenticity may be to ask whether

place plays "the


itage is gradually being revealed as the

true essence of the place."35 the

proof in aboriginal society, be subjected to additional tests of authenticity to

ensure trism. cepted its veracity Certainly the concept smacks the Thcho that of ethnocen ac have there

in a com

is some

thing to learn from people from a different epistemological system. Travel ling traditional birch-bark canoe trails in
modern Kevlar canoes provides a way a

for elders and youth to interact in an old

setting the in a new way. By incorporating in a storied

munity's cultural integrity that people say it does"; this approach raises the question of how community is identi fied.32 The Northwest Territories Pro tected Areas Strategy leaves this com plex matter to the community itself to resolve in the course of initiating and carrying through its eight-step process for the identification, evaluation, and
protection tural and of areas natural of significant value.33 With cul tradi

association between people and land defined by their worldview lies at the heart of aboriginal cultural landscapes, how is authenticity conserved in such landscapes? Enlarging the range of attributes for meeting the conditions of authenticity in
order to encompass several attributes

related to intangible heritage opens the

way to addressing authenticity in abo

traditional pedagogy of teaching through

experience of travel

landscape within
and-mortar school

the frame of a bricks

system, the Thcho

tional knowledge being lost rapidly through lack of intergenerational trans fer of oral traditions and "spatial prac
tices," tial as Lisa Prosper activities, terms experien community land-related

have turned this into a positive force for their children, creating, in their words,
students ple." who are "strong like two peo


is particularly

important to

riginal cultural landscapes.36 Traditions of respect for the land, traditions of observation and ecological knowledge, in the landscape, traditions of movement traditions of activity related to the land, and traditions of storytelling all root people in the land. Aboriginal cultural
landscapes are the expression of this

Authenticity: Conserving Essence of the Place

Some conservation

the True

Authenticity nance of

"may a continuing


the mainte association

relationship over time. Continuity of traditions is thus a key indicator of authenticity. Currently, identified attri
butes do not, however, get to the core of



ing with places associated with aborigi nal peoples have questioned the rele vance of applying the concept of
authenticity to them. Debate has cen

between the people and the place, however itmay be expressed through time" and "must not exclude cultural continuity through change, which may introduce new ways of relating to
or caring for the place." ?Asia

tered on issues of the historical validity of ethnographic data, the imposition of cultural bias in interpreting them, the impact of historical diaspora and social

on Asso Pacific Regional Workshop ciative Cultural Landscapes, Report,


the heritage value of such landscapes, which centers on a people's relationship with the land. That relationship lies in continuity of association with the land. Continuity of access to and activities in the land, continuity of oral traditions and practices bound to the land, respect for the knowledge and skills of the







/ 39:2-3,


elders, and engagement of youth and community in continuity of memory and identity through intergenerational trans
fer and some continuing conditions ? these are practices the that can conserve






of traditional tions. Documentation ? including place names, knowledge

narratives, ? practices more than ecological has been knowledge, extensively and prac

cultural value of aboriginal cultural them, the landscape landscapes. Without loses the traditional knowledge and
practices value and that are essential to its cultural authenticity.

ticed in the Northwest

25 years.38




to documenting oral traditions and aboriginal cultural landscapes as Terri torial historic sites provide some readily tools for accessible, community-based
such documentation.39

Continuity: People, Communities, Cultural Landscapes


Cultural value in aboriginal cultural landscapes centers on the living land scape, a dynamic world defined by
continuity, growth, and change, where

Language is an integral part of main taining a people's relationship with the land. Numerous culturally specific terms in aboriginal languages are essential to retention of ecological knowledge in
cultural tant landscapes to understanding Bender examines and are nuances also impor of oral

the land, travel in it, and continuing practice of traditional activities related to the landscape, such as traveling, working on the land, and storytelling, are crucial to transmitting knowledge and experience of the land and the oral traditions associated with it. Continuity of these traditions involves both learning and ongoing practice of appropriate behavior on the land, skills for living with the land, and creation of tradi tional forms (Fig. 7). Elders are the knowledge holders, the cornerstone of knowledge about aborigi nal cultural landscapes; by mentoring youth in oral traditions, language, and traditional practices, the elders help
sustain their culture. Youth are the core

human life is interactive with a natural and spiritual world integral to the land. As anthropologist Colin Scott explains,
intricate human-animal-plant relation

traditions. British anthropologist

bara place,

Bar in

of sustainability of oral traditions and aboriginal cultural landscapes. They can

learn language, traditions, and practices


ships are central to practical empirical knowledge that guides decision making of whole on the land.37 Considerations
ness or intactness, the defining condi

and language to show how a word

the language of a person's experience

by listening to storytelling by the elders and by traveling the land with them to
learn observation, places, practices, and

evokes memory, while that word in another language often fails to engage
the meanings with memory.40 and For connections example, associated for most

skills, so they too can participate

sustaining community memory


tions of integrity of the cultural

scape, context. must situate within groups this may Aboriginal

cultural con

sider authenticity

to be lost where
intrude on

southern Canadians the word caribou evokes a sense of the North, of wilder
ness, and of a cultural orientation as a


identity and the landscapes that are integral to them. Engaging youth mean ingfully and using new technologies
familiar to youth For to assist learning con


their access to the land and their contin uing relationship with it. is always relative, not Authenticity is fixed, and negotiated, not imposed. It has to work with the cultural context in which it is being applied. Credibility of information sources is rightly an issue in applying theWestern concept of authen ticity. Credibility is, however, itself a
cultural value that needs to be inter

northern nation. Yet few would be able to identify the image of the animal
every stamped coin as a caribou. on Canadian In contrast, 25-cent for all

tinue the cultural tradition of adapting

to change. example, using computer

assisted mapping


in school
of tradi

to document

northern aboriginal peoples the word ? ? caribou especially ckwp inThcho

when expressed evokes language, in their the very own aboriginal essence of life, in a It repre and habita

tional land use provides an opportunity for youth to learn from elders while acquiring new skills appropriate to life today. These new technologies also
create new ways of learning, as old

of an existence

living in harmony with

embodied landscape. clothing,

animal-persons cultural northern sents tools, food,

new ways.

is digitized and presented

For example, Lessons from


to preted within the cultural context which it is being applied. Considering the authenticity of aboriginal cultural landscapes within their cultural context
requires traditions acceptance are a valid not only source that of oral informa

tion, for all of these things were pro vided by the caribou. Most of all, it does
not evoke a sense of wilderness but

the Land: A Cultural Journey through the Northwest Territories, developed as

a school program, centers on the mean

tion but also that they are a canon of proof in aboriginal society. Oral traditions include storytelling and active listening, place names, songs, and kinship relations, all of which con
tinue to grow in response to a changing

Embodying knowledge, history, language, and identity, these

traditions record of are a mnemonic the ongoing shared experience people's


instead a sense of home, for without the caribou human life could not have existed in the harsh northern environ ment for the millennia it has. Intergenerational transfer of oral traditions, language, and traditional a practices from elders to youth is key in value cultural of retaining component term The cultural landscapes. aboriginal tradition by definition means "the trans mission of customs or beliefs from
generation to generation" and "a long to

a ing and experience of the Idaa Trail, Slave Great Thcho from trail traditional Lake to Great Bear Lake. Stopping a points in this virtual journey form web of connected places along the trail that include traditional caribou and fishing places, campsites, places associated with legendary figures, grave sites, portages and abandoned village sites, all impor
tant to Thcho identity.42 Learning about

the "old days" through projects de signed to revisit ancient examples of

material culture provides opportunities

? historical with the land events, expe riential and mythic journeys, dangerous

this way."41

custom or belief passed on in

Assured long-term access

for youth and elders to interact, while also creating display objects to enrich











thentic' indigenous actors outside global cultural trends and changing ideas and
technologies."46 In a similar vein, this paper has at

tempted to reflect on how theWestern test of authenticity is applied to aborigi nal cultural landscapes in the context of
heritage preservation. For the Thcho. the

process of educating children while en route through a storied landscape and engaged in the practice of daily life is an
ancient and "authentic" pedagogy. No

one would
some ways

suggest otherwise:
this process

indeed, in

is the perceived we

ideal thatWestern
ity attempt

notions of authentic

to uphold.

argue here that teaching their children today while traveling a storied landscape
in Kevlar ern in the barrenlands Fig. 8. Youth and elders walk together along an esker camp," during a "science them to share their knowledge with youth of many cultures and reflecting the changing of the Northwest Territories. demography allowing tic, school because canoes and as part of a mod curriculum it applies is just as authen same the very

cultural principles and values, albeit in the context of an introduced pedagogy

that uses modern transportation tech

the school setting and providing yet other opportunities for learning new skills, such as video recording and film making. The knowledge and skills to
continue creating traditional forms ?

authenticity in the context of indige nous identity politics, Beth Conklin invokes the memory of a Gary Larson
cartoon: of anthropology Every connoisseur department bulletin boards knows this Far Side cartoon native man in a (Larson 1984): A grass-skirted tall headdress stands at the window of a thatched hut. He has just spotted a couple of creatures coming pith-helmeted, camera-toting ashore and sounds the alarm: "Anthropologists! His two companions, simi Anthropologists!" larly attired with bones through their noses, rush to unplug their television, VCR, lamp, and telephone and stash them out of sight. The cartoon captures a persistent about stereotype peoples and cultural authenticity. The idea is that outsiders first, obvious (anthropolo gists included) tend to see complex Western as a corrupting force that under technology mines traditional cultures. "Real" natives don't use VCRs.44 Conklin sketch further contains notes that Larson's more subtle native

nology and while participating

in a

of implementing process self-govern ment as part land-claim and provisions

renewal through traditional know-how holds people together with their cultural heritage and cultural identity. Projects like the Thcho caribou-skin lodge and birch-bark canoe and the Gwich'in clothing project engage com munities in retention of their heritage
with As the cultural the landscape.43 evidence community-based make

of nation building. Today the Thcho cultural landscape is under the jurisdiction of a complex
and land-claim agree self-government over vast ment that provides control areas to the Thcho. while important other remain under Canadian parts government joint-management venture mining mineral control, albeit within This a


regime allows the Thcho

agreements companies resources with wanting while

to pursue
multinational to develop


and community-based
in this paper

projects discussed
community associated


protecting for centuries today.


values and

is crucial to both identifying

conserving places

Thcho right to hunt caribou, an activity

that and has one sustained that them continues However,

with aboriginal people. Elders and youth, indeed all parts of a community, are engaged in the continuity of cultural landscapes. They are living landscapes that evolve with the life of the commu nity. The community holds identity and
memory and nurtures them from the

a second,

idea: "Hide the television, but keep the grass skirt, and the 'authenticity' of the
natives analysis goes Conklin's unquestioned." demonstrates that Western

in preparing for a hunt today, a hunter is as likely to refer to a map from the
government's as he wildlife department his own show

ing the location of GPS-collared

is to reference



past through the present into the future. The engagement of youth is critical to
this tural continuity landscapes. and to conserving cul

notions of cultural authenticity require that indigenous people must match a perceived ideal of indigenousness that is
ahistorical, foreign mits the unchanging, and influences, "error of and pure to from com in so doing

of caribou behavior or the stories passed down from his father and grandfather
about caribou.47 motorboat, He may a snowmobile, use or a truck, a plane a to

To introduce an important article re


Lee.45 As


this "leaves


flecting on Western

views of cultural

little room for intercultural exchange or

reach the hunting area and will surely dispatch the caribou with a modern, high-powered rifle. A century ago, the Thcho landscape was firmly under the colonial control of the Canadian govern
ment, and their ? agents the church, the








/ 39:2-3,


Royal Canadian Mounted

the Hudson's Bay Company

Police, and
? adminis

are an Athapaskan, 1. The Tiicho. or Dogrib, or Dene, group that the occupied traditionally area between Great Slave and Great Bear lakes successfully government in the Northwest In 2003 they Territories. a land-claims concluded and self to and are now working agreement its many provisions. implement, November 8, 2007.


tered it on their behalf. A century before that, the cultural landscape was subject only to the agency of the Thcho, the animals and spiritual entities they shared itwith, and physical components of the landscape itself.What might the Thcho landscape look like a century from now? Which of these versions of the Thcho cultural landscape are authentic? The only possible answer is that while they all are authentic, only the landscape of today is available to us: the others can only be conceived in our imagination (Fig. 8). To seek a sense of authenticity in the past is to search for an artificial construction. As David Lowenthal has
noted, in "historic preservation, as in

16. Thomas D. Andrews, John B. Zoe, and Aaron Herter, "On Yamozhah's Trail: Sacred Sites and the Anthropology in of Travel," Sacred Lands: Aboriginal World Views, Claims, and Conflicts, ed. J. Oakes, R. Riewe, K. Canadian Kinew, and E. Maloney (Edmonton: Circumpolar Institute, 1998), 305-320. 17. John B. Zoe, ed., Trails of Our Ancestors: a Nation (Behchoko, Northwest Building Thcho Community Territories: Services Agency, 52. 2007), 18. Paul Cloke and Owain Jones, "Dwelling, An Orchard in Somer and Landscape: and Planning 33 (2001): set," Environment 651.

on Authenticity 2. Nara Document in UN ESCO, World Heritage Convention, Opera tional Guidelines for the Implementation of the World Heritage Convention, 2005, Annex 4, -en http ://whc. unesco. org/archi ve/opguide05 8, 2007. .pdf, accessed November 3. Rolf Diamant, Nora and Jeffrey J.Mitchell "Place-based and Traditional Products Roberts, and the Preservation of Working Cultural CRM: The Journal of Heritage Landscapes," 4, no.l (2007): 6-8. Stewardship to Aboriginal 4. Susan Buggey, An Approach Cultural Landscapes (Ottawa: Parks Canada, 1999), 1-2. See also accessed March 28, r/pca-acl/index_e.asp, 2008. Heritage Annex Guidelines, 6. Quotes Convention 3.10 (ii). taken 5. World Convention 3.10 (iii). from the World Operational


19. Tim Ingold, The Perception of the Environ ment: Essays in Livelihood, and Skill Dwelling, 153. (London: Routledge, 2000), 20. Christopher Tilley, A Phenomenology Places, Paths and Monuments Landscape: 1994), 29-30. (Oxford: Berg Publishers, 21. Tim Ingold, don: Routledge, Lines: 2007), A Brief History 80-82. of

heritage generally, what is sought is apt to be the semblance of authenticity, a search that inevitably yields contriv


Aboriginal cultural landscapes are living landscapes that change as time

progresses, where oral tradition is the


Heritage Annex Guidelines, on Associa 1995, accessed

22. Thomas D. Andrews, "The Land is Like a in the Book': Cultural Landscapes Management inNorthern Northwest Territories, Canada," Perspectives from Landscapes: Ethnographic R. ed. I. Krupnik, Nations, Circumpolar D.C.: and T. Horton Mason, (Washington, 301-322. Smithsonian Institution, 2004), Thomas D. Andrews and John B. Zoe, "The Idaa Trail: Archaeology and the Dogrib Northwest Cultural Landscape, Territories, in At a Crossroads: and Canada," Archaeology First Peoples in Canada, and ed. G. P. Nicholas T. D. Andrews Press, (Vancouver: Archaeology Simon Fraser University, 1997), 160-177. "On Yamozhah's Zoe, and Herter, Andrews, Trail." 23. Andrews 160-177. 24. Zoe. 25. Thomas D. Andrews, John B. Zoe, and Sacred Sites and the Aaron Herter, "Yamoozha: in Trails of Our of Travel" Anthropology 29-31. Ancestors, 26. Zoe, 27. Zoe, 5. preface. and Zoe, "The Idaa Trail,"

canon of proof and where changing practices of embodied experience with

landscapes grow from generation to

7. Asia-Pacific Regional Workshop tive Cultural Landscapes, Report,, November 8, 2007. 8. World Guidelines, Convention Heritage II. E. 82 and 83.

generation, all the while being acted out on a global stage. Any test of authentic
ity, therefore, and endorse must change. recognize, Ultimately, expect, how


ever, the reality that aboriginal cultural landscapes are located in the here and
now and are under a process the need of continu for a test ing change challenges

9. UNESCO, Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage, 2003, accessed November 8, 2007. ?pg=00006, 10. The Declaration of San Antonio, Article B.l, 4, and 6, accessed November 8, 2007. san_antonio.html, from South ICOMOS members of countries and the Caribbean, Central America America, in the as well as North America, participated on Authenticity in Interamerican Symposium of the Cultural Conservation and Management 1996. in San Antonio, Heritage Past and "Authenticities Lowenthal, CRM: The Journal of Heritage (2008): 9. 5, no.l Stewardship 11. David

of authenticity at all.We believe that the Nara Document on Authenticity and The Declaration of San Antonio have made significant advances in this critical
area, and we hope this paper stimulates

further debate.
Archae is Territorial D. ANDREWS THOMAS of the Northwest ologist with the Government and is based at the Prince of Wales Territories He in Yellowknife. Centre Northern Heritage re in numerous collaborative has partnered in search projects with a variety of Dene groups north over the last 30 years. the Canadian of Histori former Director BUGGEY, is a Fellow of cal Services for Parks Canada, as North American APT. She participated, of UNESCO in the development representative, for Convention World Heritage guidelines cultural landscapes. Her research interests focus on values of cultural and the mean landscapes SUSAN ings of landscapes in diverse cultures.


and "Cultural Property 12. Richard Handler, Culture Theory," Journal of Social Archaeology 3, no. 3 (2003): 355. Byrne and Maria Nugent, Mapping to Aboriginal A Spatial Approach (New South Wales, Heritage and of Environment Australia: Department 73-74. Conservation, 2004), 13. Denis Attachment. Post-Contact 14. Barbara Bender, Current Anthropology "Time and Landscape," 43 (2002): S103-S112.

28. Jean-Guy Goulet, Ways of Knowing: and Power among the Experience, Knowledge, of British Dene Tha (Vancouver: University is an Atha Columbia Press, 1998), 27. Dene people or man and, in paskan word meaning serves as Territories of Canada, the Northwest a group identifier for the various regional Tlicho. bands speaking Gwich'in, Hare-Slavey, or Chipewyan. the term is sometimes However, used to denote other Athapaskan languages The three regions of North America. occupying the northern northern Athapaskans occupy and interior Alberta, parts of Saskatchewan, as well as significant British Columbia, portions and the Northwest of Alaska, Yukon Territory, and comprise 23 languages. The Territories, 18 lan Pacific Coast Athapaskans, comprising of the west coast of guages, occupy portions The and California. Oregon, Washington,

Areas Territories Protected 15. Northwest to Establishing Strategy, A Balanced Approach Territories Areas in the Northwest Protected Territories: Northwest Northwest (Yellowknife, Protected Areas Strategy Advisory Territories 7. See http://www.nwt Committee, 2000),





Southern Athapaskans the Four Cor occupy ners region of the U.S. Southwest and are and represented by two languages, Navajo Apache. 29. Colin Scott, "Science for the West, Myth for the Rest? The Case of James Bay Cree inNaked Science, Construction," Knowledge Inquiry into Boundaries, Anthropological ed. Laura Nader Power, and Knowledge, (New York and London: Routledge, 1996), 84. 30. Melford E. Spiro, "Cultural Relativism and the Future of Anthropology," Cultural Anthro 1, no. 3 (1992): 260. pology 31. Thomas F. King, Places That Count. Tradi tional Cultural Properties in Cultural Resource Management Press, 2003), 32. King, (Walnut Creek, 111-114. Calif.: AltaMira

Heritage cultural

defines intangible (2003), Art.2.1 representa heritage as "the practices, skills ... that tions, expressions, knowledge, communities, groups and, in some cases, indi as part of their cultural heri viduals recognize (a-e) identifies the following tage." Art.2.2 of intangible cultural heritage: oral expressions traditions and expressions, including language; rituals and arts; social practices, performing con festive events; knowledge and practices cerning nature and the universe; and traditional craftsmanship. 37. Scott, 69-86.

[Online] 2, no. 1 (2006): 7. See http://www . ceci- br. org/no vo/re vista/r st/vie warticle. php ?id=44, accessed November 14, 2007. The Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangi art. 2(1), gives similar ble Cultural Heritage, to the pertinence of intergenera recognition tional transfer for intangible cultural heritage. 42. Lessons from through the Northwest, ber 1, 2007. 43. Thomas Mackenzie, the Land. A Cultural Journey Territories. See http:// accessed Novem

D. Andrews and Elizabeth Thcho Ewo Konihmbaa: The

38. The tradition of documenting traditional land use has been linked with land claims for more than three decades, negotiations in the Northwest Territories with the beginning Inuit Land Use and Occupancy project, which was published in 1976. Recent efforts have used the Internet to good effect, presenting educational and informative Web sites focussed on place names, trails, land use, and other aspects of culture. A good example has been Social and Cultural posted by the Gwich'in Institute at 39. Elisa Hart, Getting Started in Oral Tradi tions Research Terri (Yellowknife, Northwest tories: Prince of Wales Northern Heritage Centre, 1995), Occasional Papers No. 4, http://, accessed March Territo 31, 2008. Northwest ries, Cultural Places Program, Living with the Land. A Manual Cultural for Documenting in the Northwest Territories Landscapes of Education, (Yellowknife, NT: Department Culture and Employment, GNWT, 2007), accessed March _with_the_land.pdf, 40. Bender, S107. English Dictionary. "Considera Jokilehto, and Integrity inWorld Journal Systems For 31, 2008.

Dogrib Caribou Skin Lodge: An Exhibit

(Yellowknife, NT: Prince of Wales Northern 1998). Thomas D. Andrews Centre, Heritage and John B. Zoe, "The Dogrib Birchbark Canoe Project," Arctic 51, no. 1 (1998): 75-81.1. Kritsch and K. Wright-Fraser, "The Gwich'in traditional caribou skin clothing traditional and project: repatriating knowledge skills," Arctic 55, no. 2 (2002): 205-210. Judy and Ingrid Kritsch, Yeenoo Dai Thompson I Long Ago K'etr'ijilkai' Ganagwaandaii The Story of the Sewing We Will Remember: Gwich'in Traditional Caribou Skin Clothing of Project (Gatineau, QC: Canadian Museum Civilization, 2005), Mercury Series, Ethnology Paper 143. 44. B. A. Conklin, and "Body Paint, Feathers, VCRs: Aesthetics and Authenticity in Amazo nian Activism," American 24, no. Ethnologist

113-116. Protected Areas


33. Northwest Territories 12-16.

34. Lisa Prosper, "Wherein Lies the Heritage Value? Rethinking the Heritage Value of Cul tural Landscapes from an Aboriginal Perspec tive," The George Wright Forum 24, no. 2 (2007): 119. See http://www.georgewright accessed November .org/forum.html, 1, 2007. 35. Jukka Jokilehto and Joseph King, "Authen on the Reflections ticity and Conservation: Current State of Understanding" in Expert on Authenticity in an and Integrity Meeting Great Zimbabwe, African Context, Zimbabwe, 26-29 May 2000, ed. Galia Saouma-Forero 33-39. (Paris: UNESCO, 2001), 36. The Operational Guidelines for the World Convention list the Heritage (2005), U.E.82, attributes: form and design; materials following and substance; use and function; traditions, and management techniques systems; location and setting; language, and other forms of intangible heritage; spirit and feeling; and other internal and external factors. The Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural

4 (1997): 711-737.

45. Richard

B. Lee, "Twenty-first Century Indigenism," Anthropological Theory 6, no. 4 455-479. (2006): 715.

46. Conklin, 47. June Helm,

41. Compact Oxford see Jukka discussion, tions on Authenticity Heritage Context,"

The People of Denendeh: of the Indians of Canada's North Ethnohistory west Territories of Iowa (Iowa City: University 70-71. Press, 2000), 48. Lowenthal, 7.