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Remembering Tomorrow: Wagon Roads, Identity and the Decolonisation of a First Nations Landscape

Author(s): Erin Gibson

Year: 2014

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Summary

Roads embody the experiences of those who constructed, used and maintained them through time. Using a biographical approach I explore how memory and identity are entangled in the material form of a wagon road in southwestern British Columbia, Canada. First constructed by the Royal Engineers in 1859 to enable miners to reach the Fraser River goldfields, the importance of this road transcends its initial colonial origins. Local First Nations communities continued to use and maintain this road through the 1950s. Today the preservation of this road ‘ the ‘Heritage Trail’ ‘ is part of the decolonisation process for the Stl’atl’imx First Nations people (pronounced Stat-lee-um). This presentation outlines the complex nature of memory and identity as embedded and played out along this road through drawing on examples from the roads colonial use in 1859-1863 and its more recent past.


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Remembering Tomorrow: Wagon Roads, Identity and the Decolonisation of a First Nations Landscape. Erin Gibson. Presented at Society for Historical Archaeology, Quebec City, Quebec, Canada. 2014 ( tDAR id: 437015)


Record Identifiers

PaperId(s): SYM-47,06

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