Where the Wind Blows Us

Practicing Critical Community Archaeology in the Canadian North

Natasha Lyons (Author)
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Where the Wind Blows Us unites critical practice with a community-based approach to archaeology. Author Natasha Lyons describes an inclusive archaeology that rests on a flexible but rigorous approach to research design and demonstrates a responsible, ethical practice. She traces the rise and application of community archaeologies, develops a wide-ranging set of methods for community practice, and maps out a “localized critical theory” that is suited to the needs of local and descendant communities as they pursue self-defined heritage goals. Localized critical theory aims to decenter the focus on global processes of capitalism in favor of the local processes of community dynamics. Where the Wind Blows Us emphasizes the role of individuals and the relationships they share with communities of the past and present.
Lyons offers an extended case study of her work with the Inuvialuit community of the Canadian Western Arctic. She documents the development of this longstanding research relationship and presents both the theoretical and practical products of the work to date. Integrating knowledge drawn from archaeology, ethnography, oral history, and community interviews, Lyons utilizes a multivocal approach that actively listens to Inuvialuit speak about their rich and textured history.
The overall significance of this volume lies in outlining a method of practicing archaeology that embraces local ways of knowing with a critically constructed and evolving methodology that is responsive to community needs. It will serve as a handbook to mine for elements of critical practice, a model of community-based archaeology, and a useful set of concepts and examples for classroom study.
“An informative and engaging examination of research practices that are becoming more prevalent in settings where indigenous societies have been marginalized by settler states . . . will be a welcome addition to archaeological research libraries concerned with these issues.”—American Antiquity

“An important contribution to discussions on the purpose and relevance of archaeological research, especially in instances where there are clear links between physical objects surviving from the past and local communities.”—Études/Inuit/Studies

“In this engaging study, Natasha Lyons draws on her work with Inuvialuit in the Canadian Western Arctic to explore the ways in which archaeology and indigenous perspectives on the past can be negotiated.”—British Journal of Canadian Studies

“This book will be of interest not only to archaeologists and ethnologists in the Arctic, but also to those involved in community development and the process of decolonization, where there is need to build consensus out of distrust, in other parts of the world.”—Arctic

“Where the Wind Blows Us is fabulous, a bold and exciting venture into a kind of archaeology that represents the future of the discipline.”—Andrew Martindale, associate professor, University of British Columbia

“Built on many years of Lyons’s community research in both university and cultural resource management contexts in the western Arctic, Where the Wind Blows Us is a superb example of successful collaborative and critical archaeology with Indigenous communities. It can and should serve as a model.”—Stephen W. Silliman, editor of Collaborating at the Trowel’s Edge: Teaching and Learning in Indigenous Archaeology
Where the Wind Blows Us
256 Pages 6 x 9 Published: 2013 Hardcover (9780816529933)
Ebook (9780816599196)

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