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Cover zur kostenlosen eBook-Leseprobe von »Icon, Brand, Myth«

Icon, Brand, Myth

Foran, Max (Hrsg.) | Athabasca University Press | The West Unbound


An investigation of the meanings and iconography of the Stampede: an invented tradition that takes over the city of Calgary for ten days every July. Since 1923, archetypal “Cowboys and Indians” are seen again at the chuckwagon races, on the midway, and throughout Calgary. Each essay in this collection examines a facet of the experience—from the images on advertising posters to the ritual of the annual parade. This study of the Calgary Stampede as a social phenomenon reveals the history and sociology of the city of Calgary and the social construction of identity for western Canada as a whole.

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" ... a great beginning for a more thoughtful consideration of the Calgary Stampede and its place in Western Canadian culture."--Left History

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Max Foran is a Professor in the Faculty of Communication and History at the University of Calgary. He has written extensively on various western Canadian urban, rural, and cultural topics, most recently on ranching, urban growth, and sustainability.

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Cover zur kostenlosen eBook-Leseprobe von »Visiting With the Ancestors«

Visiting With the Ancestors

Athabasca University Press | Campus Alberta Collection


In 2010, five magnificent Blackfoot shirts, now owned by the University of Oxford’s Pitt Rivers Museum, were brought to Alberta to be exhibited at the Glenbow Museum, in Calgary, and the Galt Museum, in Lethbridge. The shirts had not returned to Blackfoot territory since 1841, when officers of the Hudson’s Bay Company acquired them. The shirts were later transported to England, where they had remained ever since.

Exhibiting the shirts at the museums was, however, only one part of the project undertaken by Laura Peers and Alison Brown. Prior to the installation of the exhibits, groups of Blackfoot people—hundreds altogether—participated in special “handling sessions,” in which they were able to touch the shirts and examine them up close. The shirts, some painted with mineral pigments and adorned with porcupine quillwork, others decorated with locks of human and horse hair, took the breath away of those who saw, smelled, and touched them. Long-dormant memories were awakened, and many of the participants described a powerful sense of connection and familiarity with the shirts, which still house the spirit of the ancestors who wore them.

In the pages of this beautifully illustrated volume is the story of an effort to build a bridge between museums and source communities, in hopes of establishing stronger, more sustaining relationships between the two and spurring change in prevailing museum policies. Negotiating the tension between a museum’s institutional protocol and Blackfoot cultural protocol was challenging, but the experience described both by the authors and by Blackfoot contributors to the volume was transformative. Museums seek to preserve objects for posterity. Visiting With the Ancestors

demonstrates that the emotional and spiritual power of objects does not vanish with the death of those who created them. For Blackfoot people today, these shirts are a living presence, one that evokes a sense of continuity and inspires pride in Blackfoot cultural heritage.

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“The book reveals the ways that collaboration is less about knowledge or culture in the abstract and more about bringing people, objects, and knowledge together into a meaningful social process of talking, thinking, sensing, and sharing while respecting cultural boundaries and flowing through the tensions, question, and contradictions that often arise in such encounters.”—Museum Anthropology Review

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Laura Peers is interested in the meanings that heritage objects hold for Indigenous peoples today and in relationships between museums and Indigenous peoples. Her publications include Museums and Source Communities (with Alison K. Brown), “Ceremonies of Renewal: Visits, Relationships and Healing in the Museum Space,” and This Is Our Life: Haida Material Heritage and Changing Museum Practice (with Cara Krmpotich).

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Alison K. Brown’s research addresses the ways in which artifacts and photographs can be used to think about colonialism and its legacies. Before joining the Department of Anthropology at the University of Aberdeen in 2005, where she is a senior lecturer and co-director (with Nancy Wachowich) of the Northern Colonialism: Historical Connections, Contemporary Lives program, she was Research Manager for Human History at Glasgow Museums.

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Cover zur kostenlosen eBook-Leseprobe von »Alberta's Lower Athabasca Basin«

Alberta's Lower Athabasca Basin

Ronaghan, Brian M. (Hrsg.) | Athabasca University Press | Recovering the Past


Over the past two decades, the oil sands region of northeastern Alberta has been the site of unprecedented levels of development. Alberta's Lower Athabasca Basin tells a fascinating story of how a catastrophic ice age flood left behind a unique landscape in the Lower Athabasca Basin, one that made deposits of bitumen available for surface mining. Less well known is the discovery that this flood also produced an environment that supported perhaps the most intensive use of boreal forest resources by prehistoric Native people yet recognized in Canada. Studies undertaken to meet the conservation requirements of the Alberta Historical Resources Act have yielded a rich and varied record of prehistoric habitation and activity in the oil sands area. Evidence from between 9,500 and 5,000 years ago—the result of several major excavations—has confirmed extensive human use of the region’s resources, while important contextual information provided by key geological and palaeoenvironmental studies has deepened our understanding of how the region’s early inhabitants interacted with the landscape.

Touching on various elements of this rich environmental and archaeological record, the contributors to this volume use the evidence gained through research and compliance studies to offer new insights into human and natural history. They also examine the challenges of managing this irreplaceable heritage resource in the face of ongoing development.

Contributors: Alwynne Beaudoin, Angela Younie, Brian O.K. Reeves, Duane Froese, Elizabeth Roberston, Eugene Gryba, Gloria Fedirchuk, Grant Clarke, John W. Ives, Janet Blakey, Jennifer Tischer, Jim Burns, Laura Roskowski, Luc Bouchet, Murray Lobb, Nancy Saxberg, Raymond LeBlanc, Robert R. Young, Robin Woywitka, Thomas V. Lowell, and Timothy Fisher

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"Numerous scholars authored more than a dozen intensely focused papers, but the volume's introduction and organization—as well as limited but effective repetition of parts of the overall narrative in individual papers ensure that a cogent story emerges out of a wide-ranging discussion of events spanning 10,000 years. [...] An example of the excellent topical publishing tradition apparent in Canadian universities. This volume may appeal to an overwhelmingly academic audience that is mostly resident in North America, but it will certainly do so for decades to come."

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For more than twenty years Brian Ronaghan served in a research and regulatory compliance role with the Government of Alberta and oversaw archaeological studies in Alberta.

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Cover zur kostenlosen eBook-Leseprobe von »We Are Coming Home«

We Are Coming Home

Conaty, Gerald T. (Hrsg.) | Athabasca University Press


In 1990, Gerald Conaty was hired as senior curator of ethnology at the Glenbow Museum, with the particular mandate of improving the museum’s relationship with Aboriginal communities. That same year, the Glenbow had taken its first tentative steps toward repatriation by returning sacred objects to First Nations’ peoples. These efforts drew harsh criticism from members of the provincial government. Was it not the museum’s primary legal, ethical, and fiduciary responsibility to ensure the physical preservation of its collections? Would the return of a sacred bundle to ceremonial use not alter and diminish its historical worth and its value to the larger society? Undaunted by such criticism, Conaty oversaw the return of more than fifty medicine bundles to Blackfoot and Cree communities between the years of 1990 and 2000, at which time the First Nations Sacred Ceremonial Objects Repatriation Act (FNSCORA)—still the only repatriation legislation in Canada—was passed. “Repatriation,” he wrote, “is a vital component in the creation of an equitable, diverse, and respectful society.”

We Are Coming Home is the story of the highly complex process of repatriation as described by those intimately involved in the work, notably the Piikuni, Siksika, and Kainai elders who provided essential oversight and guidance. We also hear from the Glenbow Museum’s president and CEO at the time and from an archaeologist then employed at the Provincial Museum of Alberta who provides an insider’s view of the drafting of FNSCORA. These accounts are framed by Conaty’s reflections on the impact of museums on First Nations, on the history and culture of the Niitsitapi, or Blackfoot, and on the path forward. With Conaty’s passing in August of 2013, this book is also a tribute to his enduring relationships with the Blackfoot, to his rich and exemplary career, and to his commitment to innovation and mindful museum practice.

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Gerald T. Conaty was the director of Indigenous studies at the Glenbow Museum. He leaves as his legacy more than thirty articles and books, including Power Images: Portrayals of Native America, co-authored with Sarah E. Boehme. In 2003, he was inducted into the Kainai Chieftainship and given the name Sikapiistamix (Grey Bull).

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Cover zur kostenlosen eBook-Leseprobe von »Alberta Oil and the Decline of Democracy in Canada«

Alberta Oil and the Decline of Democracy in Canada

Shrivastava, MeenalStefanick, Lorna (Hrsg.) | Athabasca University Press


Prior to May 2015, the oil-rich jurisdiction of Alberta had, for over four decades, been a one-party state. During that time, the rule of the Progressive Conservatives essentially went unchallenged, with critiques of government policy falling on deaf ears and Alberta ranking behind other provinces in voter turnout. Given the province’s economic reliance on oil revenues, a symbiotic relationship also developed between government and the oil industry. Cross-national studies have detected a correlation between oil-dependent economies and authoritarian rule, a pattern particularly evident in Africa and the Middle East. Alberta Oil and the Decline of Democracy in Canada sets out to test the “oil inhibits democracy” hypothesis in the context of an industrialized nation in the Global North.

In probing the impact of Alberta’s powerful oil lobby on the health of democracy in the province, contributors to the volume engage with an ongoing discussion of the erosion of political liberalism in the West. In addition to examining energy policy and issues of government accountability in Alberta, they explore the ramifications of oil dependence in areas such as Aboriginal rights, environmental policy, labour law, women’s equity, urban social policy, and the arts. If, as they argue, reliance on oil has weakened democratic structures in Alberta, then what of Canada as whole, where the short-term priorities of the oil industry continue to shape federal policy? In Alberta, the New Democratic Party is in a position to reverse the democratic deficit that is presently fuelling political and economic inequality. The findings in this book suggest that, to revitalize democracy, provincial and federal leaders alike must find the courage to curb the influence of the oil industry on governance.

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“Alberta Oil and the Decline of Democracy in Canada offers a comprehensive and insightful analysis of the consequences of oil and gas extraction for politics and governance in Alberta, while also providing readers who are not specialists in Alberta politics with a unique case study for testing the “oil inhibits democracy” thesis.” —Steve Patten, University of Alberta

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“An impressive collection of detailed research on various facets of the Albertan oil economy from different vantage points—from state corruption to gender equality, from migrant workforces to visual culture.” —Matthew Huber, Syracuse University

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Meenal Shrivastava is associate professor of political economy and global studies at Athabasca University.

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Lorna Stefanick is a professor at Athabasca University, where she serves as coordinator for the Governance, Law, and Management program.

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