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In(di)visible Fulcra: Perception and Balance in Canadian Archaeological Governance

Author(s): Joshua Dent

Year: 2015

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The history of provincial heritage legislation and policy in the Canadian context has been infrequently studied and rarely theorized. Contemporary critical heritage and applied archaeological research are beginning to reverse this trend and the past that is coming to light has significant implications to future archaeological governance. Drawing from research conducted into British Columbia and Ontario, this paper highlights two important facets of archaeological governance, perception and balance. Perception revolves around the fluctuating identities and performances within the provincial regulatory apparatus during the transition from academically to commercially driven archaeology. Perceived shifts in the roles of state-affiliated archaeologists and the negotiated perceptions of stakeholders segue into a discussion of balance within the archaeological bureaucracy. The history of archaeological governance is one of an orchestrated balance between seemingly competing interests and identities. Both internal and external equilibria are consciously and unconsciously maintained as provincial archaeologists realize their roles within a wider bureaucracy and the role of cultural resource management within wider economic and cultural sectors.

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In(di)visible Fulcra: Perception and Balance in Canadian Archaeological Governance. Joshua Dent. Presented at The 80th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, San Francisco, California. 2015 ( tDAR id: 396053)


Arizona State University The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation National Science Foundation National Endowment for the Humanities Society for American Archaeology Archaeological Institute of America