Reinforcing the authenticity and spirit of place of indigenous peoples to promote cultural tourism at world heritage sites as a development approach: Learning from the Canadian experience

Arsenault, Daniel and Maclaren, Fergus (2012) Reinforcing the authenticity and spirit of place of indigenous peoples to promote cultural tourism at world heritage sites as a development approach: Learning from the Canadian experience. In: ICOMOS 17th General Assembly, 2011-11-27 / 2011-12-02, Paris, France. [Conference or Workshop Item]


Download (1MB) | Preview

Abstract (in English)

Historically, most state institutions that deal with World Heritage (WH) rarely involve Indigenous people who have lived, worked and interpreted the sites for generations. In the development and management of these WH sites, particularly for touristic purposes, raising the question: Does the manner in which this heritage is presented correspond to the notions that indigenous societies have of themselves and of their history? The global exchange and information economy results in greater visibility of minority peoples and cultures, including indigenous cultures. The creation of cultural heritage tourism from indigenous sites, monuments and artefacts alike, however, incite concerns on how culture is transmitted as a form of “globalisation of indigenousness”. This increased visibility translates into three connected phenomena: 1) mass “cultural” tourism, 2) the “globalisation” of indigenous groups’ interventions, on the global scale and on the local scale for defence and promotion of their interests, and 3) the public movements sympathetic to the indigenous cause, which are initiated or taken over by political support networks. Government authorities around the world that manage or oversee WH sites, recognizing these cultural imbalances, are looking at ways to better convey spirit of place and the cultural/natural evolution of a site, as interpreted by the indigenous people who live in and around them. The desire is to identify tangible ways to work with indigenous communities that retain this important cultural/natural heritage fabric that has sustained local people, while ensuring that the representation of a WH site’s character and integrity retains its authentic representation. The objectives of this paper are to: -Define “spirit of place” (tangible and intangible) as identified and represented by individual indigenous peoples living in and around WH sites in Canada; -Discern the drivers and barriers to the development of cultural tourism within indigenous communities; and -Present approaches as to how the application of indigenous spirit of place and authenticity can be better incorporated into the tourism planning process and management of international WH sites as a development instrument.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Speech)
Arsenault, Daniel
Maclaren, Fergus
Languages: English
Keywords: World Heritage; World Heritage sites; Interpretation; Authenticity; Presentation; Community participation; Indigenous peoples; Aboriginal cultures; Aboriginal sites; Public awareness; Tourism; Management plans; Development
Subjects: B. ARCHAEOLOGY > 02. Archaeological site and remains
B. ARCHAEOLOGY > 11. Rock art
B. ARCHAEOLOGY > 13. Rock engraving
I. CULTURAL TOURISM > 02. Tourism management
I. CULTURAL TOURISM > 04. Sustainable tourism
I. CULTURAL TOURISM > 06. Types of tourism (urban, rural, religious...)
I. CULTURAL TOURISM > 07. Carrying capacity and visitors flow
O. INTANGIBLE HERITAGE > 04. Social practices, rituals and festive events
P. GEOGRAPHIC AREAS > 01. Americas
Name of monument, town, site, museum: SGaang Gwaii Village, Canada; Áísínai’pi Park, Canada
UNESCO WHC Number: 157; 1935
ICOMOS Special Collection: Scientific Symposium (ICOMOS General Assemblies)
ICOMOS Special Collection Volume: 2011, 17th
Depositing User: ICOMOS FRANCE
Date Deposited: 09 Aug 2012 10:37
Last Modified: 08 Nov 2012 15:43
References: Aboriginal Tourism Canada brochure, 2005

Alberta Tourism, Parks and Recreation. FACT SHEET - Nomination of Áísínai’pi – Writing-on-Stone Provincial Park as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. 2010.

Alberta Tourism, Parks and Recreation. Alberta’s Plan for Parks 2009-19. 2009.

BearingPoint LP, Goss Gilroy Inc. and Associates. Aboriginal Tourism in Canada, “Part II: Trends, Issues, Constraints and Opportunities.” 2003.

Butler, Richard and Thomas Hinch. Tourism and Indigenous Peoples. Burlington, Massachusetts: Butterworth-Heinemann Press, 2007.

Canadian Heritage, Department of. Destinations: National Gathering on Aboriginal Cultures and Tourism Final Report. Gatineau: Department of Canadian Heritage, 2003.

Duncan, Zoey. “Writing-On-Stone grows by 60 per cent,” The Calgary Herald, 18 September 2011.

Morrow, Jeff. Writing-on-Stone Provincial Park to be nominated for World Heritage Site,” Alberta Sweetgrass, 17(7), 2010.

Notzke, Claudia. The Stranger, the Native and the Land: Perspectives on Indigenous Tourism. Concord, Ontario, Canada: Captus University Publications, 2006.

Parks Canada. 2011-2012 Parks Canada Agency Corporate Plan. Gatineau: Parks Canada, 2011.

Canada's Tentative List for World Heritage Sites - Áísínai’pi. 2009.

Periodic Report on the Application of the World Heritage Convention, “Section II – Report on the State of Conservation of SGaang Gwaii (Anthony Island).” Gatineau: Parks Canada, 2004.

Gwaii Haanas Backcountry Management Plan. Gatineau: Parks Canada, 2003.

UNESCO. UNESCO World Heritage List. 2011.

United Nation Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues. Who are Indigenous Peoples? New York: UUNPFII. 2005.

Zeppel, Heather. Indigenous Ecotourism: Sustainable Development and Management. Cambridge, Massachusetts: CABI, 2006.


Actions (login required)

View Item View Item



Downloads per month over past year

View more statistics