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Tsleil-Watututh and Musqueam Nations on First Nations Sovereignty of Cultural Heritage Resources in an Urbanized Landscape
Sep 18 2019 - 5:00pm
A Green College Interdisciplinary Series: Indigenous/Science Partnerships - Exploring Histories and Environments.
Aviva Rathbone, Senior Archaeologist, xʷməθkʷəy̓əm̓ (Musqueam); Ginevra Toniello, Cultural Heritage Program Manager, Tsleil-Waututh.
First Nations sovereignty over the definition, protection and management of cultural heritage is by and large not recognized by those who hold legislative control over the management of heritage in British Columbia. This is despite the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples’ recognition of the right for Indigenous Peoples to “maintain, protect and develop the past, present and future manifestations of their cultures, such as archaeological and historical sites.” Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh (MST) First Nations have instead found that this sovereignty can be attained through relationships with municipal governments, archaeology consultancies, academic institutions and other First Nations. These relationships promote the co-management of heritage resources according to MST’s stated values and goals and exemplify a new model of heritage management in which settler colonialists recognize, support and uphold First Nations sovereignty over the management of cultural heritage without requiring support from legislative bodies.