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Planning in the contact zone: Indigenous cultural heritage management in the Salish Sea

Resource type
Thesis type
(Project) M.R.M. (Planning)
Date created
Indigenous cultural heritage (ICH) around the world is being lost at a rapid rate, due to factors such as increasing development, private property rights, and colonial planning schemes. This research focuses on the island of Xwe'etay/ Lasqueti in the Salish Sea of British Columbia as a case study for better understanding the intersection of planning, property, and ICH management. Through 20 semi-structured interviews with local planners and knowledge holders, a 34-question survey to gain insight into local residents' perceptions of ICH, community-based participatory research, and in-depth literature review, I identify the barriers and potential pathways for planners to improve ICH management. This research finds that current top-down regulations and policies that guide heritage management practices are failing to effectively protect remaining ICH and instill a sense of uncertainty and fear among settler residents. The primary barriers to improved ICH conservation that local planners are facing include limited decision-making power, community resistance to regulation, path dependency, resource and capacity limitations, and a gap in knowledge. The findings reveal that engaging First Nation and settler community members in ICH conservation, active relationship-building, and knowledge mobilization may relieve some of these barriers.
94 pages.
Copyright statement
Copyright is held by the author(s).
This thesis may be printed or downloaded for non-commercial research and scholarly purposes.
Supervisor or Senior Supervisor
Thesis advisor: Markey, Sean
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etd22180.pdf 1.11 MB

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