UBC Theses and Dissertations

UBC Theses Logo

UBC Theses and Dissertations

Repatriation, digital technology, and culture in a northern Athapaskan community Hennessy, Kate 2010

Your browser doesn't seem to have a PDF viewer, please download the PDF to view this item.

Item Metadata

Download

Media
24-ubc_2010_fall_hennessy_kate.pdf [ 65.68MB ]
Metadata
JSON: 24-1.0071074.json
JSON-LD: 24-1.0071074-ld.json
RDF/XML (Pretty): 24-1.0071074-rdf.xml
RDF/JSON: 24-1.0071074-rdf.json
Turtle: 24-1.0071074-turtle.txt
N-Triples: 24-1.0071074-rdf-ntriples.txt
Original Record: 24-1.0071074-source.json
Full Text
24-1.0071074-fulltext.txt
Citation
24-1.0071074.ris

Full Text

REPATRIATION, DIGITAL TECHNOLOGY, AND CULTURE IN A NORTHERN ATHAPASKAN COMMUNITY by Kate Hennessy  B.A., University of British Columbia, 1996  M.A., University of London, School of Oriental and African Studies, 2002  A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY in The Faculty of Graduate Studies (Anthropology) THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA (Vancouver)  July 2010 © Kate Hennessy, 2010  ABSTRACT Many Canadian First Nations and Aboriginal organizations are using digital media to revitalize their languages and assert control over the representation of their cultures. At the same time, museums and academic institutions are digitizing their  ethnographic collections to make them accessible to originating communities. As the  use of digital media becomes standard practice both in the production of ethnographic objects and the “virtual repatriation” of cultural heritage, new questions are being raised regarding copyright, intellectual property, ownership, and control of documentation in digital form. In this dissertation, based on collaborative ethnographic multimedia  production work with the Doig River First Nation (Dane-zaa) in northeastern British Columbia, I follow the transformation of intangible cultural expression into digital cultural heritage, and its return in the form of a digital archive to Dane-zaa  communities. I explore how new access to digitized ethnographic documentation has facilitated local media production, and argue that these productions are acts of  remediation of digital cultural heritage that resignify the products of ethnographic  research in Dane-zaa communities. Through the lens of the collaborative production of the Virtual Museum of Canada exhibit Dane Wajich–Dane-zaa Stories and Songs:  Dreamers and the Land, I show how local control over efforts to safeguard intangible heritage resulted in the implementation of a documentary methodology that modeled the appropriate transmission of culture in Dane-zaa social practice. The participatory production process of the virtual exhibit also facilitated expressions of Dane-zaa intellectual property rights to cultural heritage. Using the example of the digitization of photographs of early twentieth-century Dane-zaa nááchę (dreamers’) drums, and the community’s subsequent decision to remove them from the virtual museum exhibit, I explore how new articulations of Dane-zaa rights to control the circulation and representation of their digital cultural heritage are guided by knowledge of Dane-zaa nááchę, traditional protocols for the handling and care of material culture, and by contemporary political concerns and subjectivities.  ii  TABLE OF CONTENTS Abstract ..........................................................................................................................ii Table of Contents...........................................................................................................iii List of Figures............................................................................................................... vii Acknowledgements ......................................................................................................viii Dedication....................................................................................................................... x Chapter 1: Repat riation and Digit al Cultural Heri tage ................................... 1 Introduction .................................................................................................................... 1 About the Dissertation .................................................................................................... 5 Structure ................................................................................................................ 6 Orthography ........................................................................................................... 6 Recordings ............................................................................................................. 7 Virtual Repatriation?....................................................................................................... 8 Safeguarding Heritage................................................................................................... 15 Negotiating the Public and the Private .......................................................................... 21 Cultural Production at the Doig River First Nation....................................................... 26 The Doig River Band Hall and Cultural Complex................................................ 26 The Doig River Museum...................................................................................... 29 Outline of Chapters....................................................................................................... 33 Chapter 2: Dane-zaa Nááchę and the Power of Public and Private  Knowledge ................................................................................................................. 38 Introduction .................................................................................................................. 38 Dane-zaa Nááchę and Dreaming in the Ethnographic Record ....................................... 40 Medicine Power and the Vision Quest ................................................................. 41  Makénúúnatane, the First Nááchę ................................................................................. 45 The Tea Dance.............................................................................................................. 52 The Tea Dance Today................................................................................................... 58 Between “Personal Medicine and Public Shamanism” ................................................. 61 Mayinéʔ and Ahatáʔyinéʔ (Nááchęyinéʔ) ............................................................. 62 Dreamers’ Drawings ............................................................................................ 64 Conclusion .................................................................................................................... 71 iii  Chapter 3: Repat riation, Digital Cultural Herit age, and the  Ridington/Dane-zaa Digital Archive .................................................................. 73 Introduction .................................................................................................................. 73 The Ridington/Dane-zaa Digital Archive ...................................................................... 76 Collecting Dane-zaa Intangible Cultural Heritage ......................................................... 76 “Even the Land Misses the Songs”: Accessing Dane-zaa Intangible Cultural Heritage .......................................................................................................... 84 The Creation of the Ridington/Dane-zaa Digital Archive.............................................. 92 From Intangible Expression to Cultural Property.......................................................... 95 Repatriation and Digital Technology........................................................................... 100 1. Fragmentation ................................................................................................ 105 2. Indigenous Ideologies of Repatriation ............................................................ 108 3. Remediation ................................................................................................... 110 Conclusion: A Middle Ground of Cultural Reclamation?............................................ 113 Chapter 4: Suuné c hʼii Ké c hʼiige (“The Place Where Happiness Dwells”): Digital Cultural Heri tage and Media Production at the Doig River First  Nation ....................................................................................................................... 117 Introduction ................................................................................................................ 117 Global Indigenous Media Production.......................................................................... 120 Land, Politics, and Media Production at the Doig River First Nation ......................... 126  Dane-zaa Dreamers’ Songs: 1966-2000 Volume 1– Su Na chii K’chi ge “The Place Where Happiness Dwells” ............................................................... 132 Contact the People: Dane-zaa Continuity and Change (2000; video, 24 min.).... 139 The Otter Man’s Prophecy (2002; video, 24 min) .............................................. 143 Hadaa ka Naadzet: The Dane-zaa Moose Hunt (2004; virtual exhibit, currently off-line) ............................................................................................... 147 They Dream About Everything (2005; video, 50 min) ....................................... 151 The Dreamers Drumming Collection (2005): Tea Dances; Trail Dreamers’ Songs; Symbols Lodge Prayer Songs; and, “They Dream” The Soundtrack Remixed (enhanced audio CD-ROMs, 2005)............................ 156 Conclusion .................................................................................................................. 160  iv  Chapter 5: Part icipatory Do cum entati on o f Intangible Cultural Herit age:  Dane Wajich–Dane-zaa Stories and Songs: Dreamers and the Land ........ 164 Introduction ................................................................................................................ 164 The UNESCO Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage and Community Collaboration .................................................................................... 166 Jean Rouch and “Shared Anthropology” .................................................................... 171 Dane Wajich–Dane-zaa Stories and Songs: Dreamers and the Land ........................... 178 Goals and Priorities..................................................................................................... 180 A Dreamer’s Drum ..................................................................................................... 183 Sam Acko’s Narrative on Renewing Drum Making Traditions at Doig River.... 187 Tommy Attachie: The Story of the Drum........................................................... 191 Conclusion .................................................................................................................. 199 Chapter 6: Dream ers and the Land ................................................................... 201 Introduction ................................................................................................................ 201 Narratives of Place as Resistance................................................................................ 205  Alááʔ S̱atǫ (Petersen’s Crossing) ............................................................................... 214 Billy Attachie at Alááʔ S̱ato (Petersen’s Crossing)............................................. 217 Madáts’atl’ǫje (Snare Hill).......................................................................................... 222 Sam Acko at Madáts’atl’ǫje: “The Man Who Turned into a Moose”................. 226 Tommy Attachie at Madátsʼatlʼǫje....................................................................... 241 Sweeney Creek ........................................................................................................... 244 Tommy Attachie at Sweeney Creek: Gaayęą’s “Prairie Chicken Song”............. 247 Tommy Attachie at Sweeney Creek: The Dreamer Makétsʼawéswąą.................. 257 Alédzé Tsáá (Alédzé Creek) and Ṯs̱aẕuulh Saahgáe (‘Big Camp’).............................. 267 Tommy Attachie at Alédzé Tsáá ........................................................................ 269 Tommy Attachie at Ṯs̱aẕuulh Saahgáe .............................................................. 274 Nę́tl’uk (Osborne River) ............................................................................................. 281 Billy Attachie at Nę́tl’uk .................................................................................... 283 Sam Acko at Nę́tlʼuk........................................................................................... 292 Gat Tah Kwą̂ (Montney) ............................................................................................. 298 Tommy Attachie at Gat Tah Kwą̂ (Montney) ..................................................... 300 Gerry Attachie Talks about Gat Tah Kwą̂ (Montney) (I.R. 172) ........................ 307 Conclusion: Safeguarding Intangible Cultural Heritage Through Practice .................. 313  v  Chapter 7: Digit al Matters .................................................................................. 316 Conclusions ................................................................................................................ 316 “Indigenous Curation” and the Post-Production of Dane Wajich–Dane-zaa Stories  and Songs: Dreamers and the Land ............................................................................. 318 Digital Matters ............................................................................................................ 322 Community Post-Production Consultations, July 2005 to January 2007 ............. 323 Digital Matter #1: Cultural Protocols and Intellectual Property Rights............... 331 Digital Matter #2: Control.................................................................................. 343 Traveling the Alaska Highway.................................................................................... 348 References ............................................................................................................... 354 Appendi x I: Virtual Exhibit Catalogue: Dane Wajich––Dane-zaa Stories and  Songs: Dreamers and the Land ................................................................................... 376 Appendi x II: Research Ethics Board Certificate of Approval .................................. 604  vi  LIST OF FIGURES  1. Map of Northeastern British Columbia (Brody 1988:33) ............................................ 2 2. Map of Areas and Dates of Canada’s Numbered Treaties (Brody 1988:67)............ 128  vii  ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS My doctoral research was made possible through the generous funding of the  Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation, the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC), The Canadian Polar Commission, Association of Canadian  Universities for Northern Studies, and the University of British Columbia. I am grateful for the trust that these institutions placed in me to take on my doctoral project and to communicate what I learned in the process.  I am grateful to the Faculty and Staff of the University of British Columbia’s  Department of Anthropology. In particular I offer my gratitude to my supervisor Patrick Moore, who mentored me through coursework, fieldwork, and publishing, and always kept me on the right track. Thank you to my committee members Bruce Miller and Jennifer Kramer for their constant support and insight. Thank you also to Julie  Cruikshank, John Barker, Sue Rowley, Ulrike Radermacher, Larry Grant, David Schaepe, Leona Sparrow, Andrea Sanborn, Lawrence Isaac, David Houghton, and the  Reciprocal Research Network Implementation Team for allowing me to learn so much from their inspiring work. I am also thankful for the work, scholarship, and collegiality of Kimberly Christen, Christina Kreps, Alexandra Denes, and Aaron Glass.  Thank you to my Trudeau Foundation mentor and friend, Sylvia Hamilton, and  to Peter Biella for many years of support and friendship. Thank you to Bettina  Cenerelli, Josée St-Martin, and Pierre-Gerlier Forest of the Trudeau Foundation for their guidance and encouragement. My sincere thanks also to other colleagues who have  supported me in my dissertation writing efforts: David Geary, Kisha Supernant, Karen  Rideout, Robin O’Day, Julia Colleen Miller, Erin Baines, and Julie Wagemakers at the Liu Institute for Global Issues. I am particularly grateful to Patrick Moore, Billy  Attachie, Marlene Benson, Eddie Apsassin, and Julia Colleen Miller, who transcribed and translated the Dane-zaa Záágéʔ (Beaver language) narratives and texts that are included in this dissertation.  I am indebted to the many research collaborators with whom I have worked and  who have made my project possible. My sincere thanks to Amber Ridington for  introducing me to the Doig River First Nation community, for initially involving me in  Dane-zaa media projects, for her collaboration, hard work, and consultation throughout our often complicated fieldwork and exhibit production. I owe a host of gratitude to  Robin Ridington and Jillian Ridington, who first taught me about Dane-zaa people as an  viii  undergraduate in anthropology, and have continued to teach me ever since. Without them, and their dedication to Dane-zaa communities, none of the work represented by this dissertation would have ever been possible. I offer thanks also to Craig Campbell and to Mike Annany, who inspired me to think in new ways about media and communication.  At the Doig River First Nation, I have many people to thank. First, thank you to  Margaret Attachie, my “Grandma,” and to Mikayla Attachie, Adrian Attachie, Shirley  Reiter, and Melissa Knight, who always made a home for me at Doig River and in Fort St. John. My sincere gratitude to the members of the Doig River community, all those who participated in the multiple aspects of the production of Dane Wajich–Dane-zaa  Stories and Songs: Dreamers and the Land, and who took the time to be interviewed in the summer of 2007. Although many of these interviews did not appear in the dissertation, they helped me significantly to better understand my work at Doig River. My gratitude to: Amy Acko, Annie Acko, Brian Acko, Leo Acko, Sam Acko, Alveena Acko, Robin Acko, Starr Acko, Eddie Apsassin, Glen Apsassin, Mark Apsassin, May Apsassin, Jack Askoty, Fred Askoty, Billy Attachie, Gerry Attachie, Bernice Attachie, Margaret Attachie, Tommy Attachie, Wally Attachie, Gary Ben, Charmayne Brinkworth, Brittany Brinkworth, Jane Calvert, Kelvin Davis, Margaret Davis, Maxine Davis, Marcel Davis, Tyler Davis, Lucy Davis, Madeleine Davis, Norman Davis, Renee Davis, Shawna Davis-Green, Vern Davis, Rene (RC) Dominic, Robert Dominic, Rosie Field, Gabe Harvey, Margie Miller, Marlene Benson, Garry Oker, Shirley Reiter, and Holly Reiter. My enormous thanks to Marshall and Jean Holdstock, and to Warren Reade, Teree Rathje, Ronda Peck-Svisdahl, Verena Hofmann, Keary Walde, Pat Jansen, Dave Rattray, and Brenda Paul. I would also like to thank the Dane Wajich exhibit interactive media producers Wayne Clark, Katherine Lee, Kyle McIntosh, and Malcolm Levy. Many family members and friends offered their encouragement and support in the course of my studies. In particular I would like to thank my brother James Hennessy, my grandmother Helen Ann Lingenfelter, and Natasha Lyons, Tamara Persyko, Christopher Donnelly, Arabella Campbell, Anna Jubilo, and of course, Luke. My love and gratitude to my husband Oliver Neumann, who showed endless patience throughout this process and always made time to listen to or read my work. Last but certainly not least, thank you to my parents, Ann Hennessy and Tom Hennessy, who have supported my education and explorations from the very beginning.  ix  DEDICATION  For my Parents, Ann and Tom Hennessy, & my “Grandma” Margaret Attachie  x  Chapter 1: Repat riation and Digit al Cultural Heri tage Introduct ion This dissertation follows the transformation of Dane-zaa intangible cultural heritage into digital cultural heritage, and its return as the Ridington/Dane-zaa Digital  Archive (R. Ridington, et al. 2004-2010) to the Doig River First Nation, an Athapaskan speaking Aboriginal community in northeastern British Columbia. In the ethnographic record, the people of the Doig River First Nation have been referred to as Beaver (R. Ridington 1981), and today identify themselves as Dane-zaa, meaning ‘regular/ordinary people’ in Dane-zaa Záágéʔ (the Beaver language). In 2003, anthropologists Robin and Jillian Ridington digitized their archive of approximately 600 hours of audio recordings, 5000 photographs, and 60 hours of digital video tape that they had recorded in Danezaa communities in the last forty years. They returned it in the form of a hard drive and password-protected online catalogue to the Doig River First Nation to curate for all Dane-zaa people. Since then, members of the Doig River First Nation have worked with the Ridingtons and other outside collaborators to actively integrate digital photographs, video, and audio, from the Ridington/Dane-zaa Digital Archive into their cultural centre’s exhibits, and to produce a range of media for public circulation, such as audio CDs, video documentaries, and virtual exhibits. I argue that these community productions are acts of remediation of digital cultural heritage that have resignified the products of ethnographic research in Dane-zaa communities. Further, digital access to Dane-zaa cultural heritage documentation, and engagement with this media through community media production, have facilitated culturally specific articulations of restrictions on the circulation of private forms of knowledge that aim to keep media 1  Figure 1. Northea ster n Br it i sh C olu mbia. ( B r o dy 1 9 88 :3 3)  2  circulating in culturally appropriate ways. While these productions constitute subtle forms of resistance––intervening in colonial, national, and industrial narratives––they also raise a series of “digital matters” that question the role of digital technologies in safeguarding digital cultural heritage. I frame my discussion of the remediation of Dane-zaa digital cultural heritage in relation to the 2003 UNESCO Convention on the  Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage, which emphasizes that communities should be full partners in efforts to safeguard their heritage. I argue that community participation in documentation and safeguarding is essential in developing digital strategies that are focused on keeping intangible heritage alive in social practice. I began my work with the Doig River First Nation in 2004 as a web design and digital video production educator. As a doctoral student conducting fieldwork there between 2005 and 2009, using models of collaborative production and research most strongly associated with ethnographic filmmaker Jean Rouch (1974), I co-curated and produced a virtual exhibit of Dane-zaa oral traditions and histories of nááchę (known in English as prophets, or dreamers) called Dane Wajich–Dane-zaa Stories and Songs:  Dreamers and the Land (2007).1 This participatory web-based project was in large part inspired by the 2004 return of the Ridington/Dane-zaa Digital Archive. Dane Wajich is available to the world, hosted by the Virtual Museum of Canada. Between 2004 and the project’s launch in May 2007, co-curator and producer Amber Ridington and I worked 1  Throughout this dissertation, I provide links to the exhibit Dane Wajich–Dane-zaa  Stories and Songs: Dreamers and the Land. These links are intended to function as virtual footnotes providing contextual information produced in collaboration with the Doig River First Nation. http://www.virtualmuseum.ca/Exhibitions/Danewajich/. The project can also be viewed in print form as an exhibit catalogue in Appendix I, p. 376.  3  with the community and a team of linguists, ethnographers, and educators to facilitate the production of the exhibit and negotiate its representation of Dane-zaa stories and songs.2 Dane Wajich integrates interactive maps of traditional hunting territories with  Dane-zaa Záágéʔ video narratives, archival and contemporary photographs and song recordings, and documentation of the project’s participatory process, to teach viewers about the history of Dane-zaa nááchę (dreamers) and their significance for the present generation. In July and August of 2007, I conducted twenty interviews with Dane  Wajich project participants and other Doig River community members, which greatly enriched my understanding of aspects of Dane-zaa cultural production that I take up in this dissertation.  Nááchę, who can be genealogically located in the Dane-zaa kinship universe, are said to have traveled to heaven in their dreams and brought back songs and prophesies that provide moral and spiritual guidance. Dane-zaa oral tradition also asserts that  nááchę dreamed ahead to find the trails of game animals, and predicted the coming of white settlers to the Peace River region as well as the industrialization of the oil-rich landscape (Brody 1988; R. Ridington 1988). The last known Dane-zaa dreamer was Charlie Yahey, who passed away in 1976. The songs of many dreamers are remembered today by “song keepers” who have revived drumming and singing at Doig River, teach  To see the full list and biographies of Dane Wajich project participants, please go to: http://www.virtualmuseum.ca/Exhibitions/Danewajich/english/project/projectteam.php, or Appendix I, p. 401-412. To see the virtual exhibit project credits, please go to Appendix I, p. 379, or: 2  http://www.virtualmuseum.ca/Exhibitions/Danewajich/english/credits.html  4  younger generations to drum and sing, and lead the group known in the Fort St. John area and beyond as the Doig River Drummers. The transformation of Dane-zaa cultural heritage from analog into digital form has provided opportunities for community participation in cultural production and creative engagement with new media. Digital media projects at the Doig River First Nation have also facilitated a reconnection to intangible heritage documentation that had not always been accessible, despite the circulation of many analog copies, and promoted greater awareness of what had been recorded by anthropologists over the years. Through collaboration with a range of ethnographers, linguists, and folklorists, the mobilization of digital cultural heritage has forged new possibilities for participatory research, elicited community research priorities, and strengthened relationships between researchers and the community. At the same time, these cultural productions have highlighted tensions within and between Dane-zaa communities over the appropriate use of archival media, and over rights to determine how digital cultural heritage will be used. The “digital matters” that I explore in this dissertation’s concluding chapter reinforce that if the desire for repatriation is related to the desire for control over representation (Kramer 2004)–– including local control over the circulation of public and private forms of knowledge–– then the use of digital technologies for what has been called “virtual repatriation” may in fact have the opposite effect. About the Dissert ation The findings presented here represent my experience with the collaborative production and review of the virtual exhibit Dane Wajich––Dane-zaa Stories and Songs:  5  Dreamers and the Land, and ethnographic fieldwork with Dane-zaa communities over several years. My understandings of the work represented in this dissertation were greatly enriched by my research collaboration with exhibit co-producer Amber Ridington, and my many conversations with former Chief of the Doig River First Nation, Garry Oker. The dissertation reflects these experiences and understandings generated in the process to the best of my knowledge, and is a selective account of the forms of knowledge, places, people, and histories that I describe. Structure While the dissertation frequently references the Dane Wajich exhibit, there are no images from the project in the text of the dissertation itself. I have made this decision in order to encourage readers to visit the online exhibit and experience the images, videos, audio recordings, and texts in their full context. The Dane Wajich project represents a two-year process of collaborative production and consultation with members of the Doig River First Nation, and is the most appropriate illustration of the project I describe in the following chapters. The dissertation is therefore best understood in relation to the multimedia work; throughout the dissertation, there are hyperlinks to media in the virtual exhibit that can be activated (in the electronic PDF version) by clicking on the link. For readers with a paper version, the print-based Catalogue of the  Dane Wajich exhibit is attached as Appendix I (page 376) of the dissertation, and is cross-referenced with the hyperlinks in footnotes. Orthog raph y The orthography of Dane-zaa Záágéʔ used in this dissertation is based on the system developed by linguists Marshall and Jean Holdstock in their work in Dane-zaa 6  communities since 1962. The orthographic transcriptions and translations used in this dissertation were made by Dr. Pat Moore in collaboration with Julia Miller, Billy Attachie, Marlene Benson, and Eddie Apsassin.3 The ethnopoetic transcription of narratives and interviews in this dissertation follows a style in which speech lines are broken to reflect pauses and intonation (Dauenhauer and Dauenhauer 1987; Hymes 1981; Tedlock 1972). In cases where I am quoting narratives from other sources, I have replicated the ethnopoetic style of the original author. The narratives from the Dane  Wajich project that are presented in Chapters Five and Six have been edited for orthographic accuracy by Pat Moore, and so differ from the original presentation of the narratives in the exhibit, as seen in Appendix I. Recordin gs All media recorded in the course of the course of the production of Dane  Wajich–Dane-zaa Stories and Songs: Dreamers and the Land is the property of the Doig River First Nation. Media from the Dane Wajich project is used in this dissertation with the permission of the band. DVD hard copies of unedited video recordings were archived at the Doig River Band Hall, and all media related to the project have been catalogued and digitally archived for return to the Doig River First Nation. The audiorecorded interviews that I conducted with individual members of the Doig River First  3  More information about Dane-zaa Záágéʔ and the Beaver Literacy Program can be  found in Appendix I, page 462, or in the context of the virtual exhibit Dane Wajich–  Dane-zaa Stories and Songs: Dreamers and the Land or at:  http://www.virtualmuseum.ca/Exhibitions/Danewajich/english/resources/language.php  A Dane-zaa Záágéʔ pronunciation guide developed for Dane Wajich can be found in Appendix I, page 464, or online at:  http://www.virtualmuseum.ca/Exhibitions/Danewajich/english/resources/pronuciation_guide.php  7  Nation in the summer of 2007 were duplicated and returned to interviewees in the format of their choice, but were not archived with the band. Virtual Rep atriation? The return of the Ridington/Dane-zaa Digital Archive to the Doig River First Nation is part of a broader movement to digitize heritage collections and facilitate greater accessibility. In recent years, museums have embraced digital technologies for their ability to make collections visible over the Internet. Anthropologists are digitizing their ethnographic archives to share them with research communities, and using digital recording technologies in their fieldwork. Material culture in museum collections is being digitally photographed for online collection databases and virtual exhibits, while documentation of intangible cultural expressions is being transformed from analog photographs, film, video, and tape recordings into digital files. Significantly, these technologies are allowing members of originating communities to access images of objects, audio and video recordings, and texts documenting their relatives and their material, cultural, and linguistic history, often for the first time. In what is amounting to a paradigm shift in the ways that institutions and individual anthropologists can display and create access to their collections, digital technologies—paired with innovative programming and design that is responsive to the needs of community stakeholders— are providing significant possibilities for sharing curatorial and ethnographic authority with originating communities. Access by originating communities to their cultural heritage in on-line museum and ethnographic collections has become known as virtual or digital repatriation (Peers and Brown 2003a). Justification for the use of the term repatriation, when no actual  8  transfer of property ownership occurs, has been centered on the possibilities for visual access to collections to parallel some of the positive effects of the repatriation of tangible cultural heritage and human remains to originating communities. From the printing of copies of digitized photographs and recordings for personal use, to the creation of museum exhibits, language curricula, video documentaries, and websites (J. Bell 2003; Christen 2006b; Fienup-Riordan 2003; Moore and Hennessy 2006; Pigliasco and Colatanavanua 2005; A. Ridington and Hennessy 2008; R. Ridington and J. Ridington 2006d), digital cultural heritage is being recontextualized and reconnected to social practice. However, these engagements with digital cultural heritage are also sites of intersecting histories of research and cultural expression, the aural and “visual legacy and historical deposits of sets of encounters and relationships” (Edwards 2003:83). While the use of digital technologies to create access to collections for originating communities has been described by museum scholars and ethnographers with great hope for cultural, social, and political empowerment through reconnection to tangible and intangible cultural heritage, my dissertation explores how engagement with digital cultural heritage through participatory community media production has also revealed tensions, contradictions, and conflicts as material and intangible cultural heritage are reconnected to dynamic social practices. In the chapters that follow, I explore three related processes at play in the return of digital cultural heritage to Doig River. The first is grounded in the history of collecting intangible cultural expression in Dane-zaa communities, and the impact that changing documentary technologies have had on this process of documentation. The  9  second has to do with the ways that members of the Doig River First Nation are using new media to resignify and recontextualize their digital cultural heritage, and to communicate their history and identity in new forms. The third relates to a shift away from local control over the public and private forms of cultural knowledge toward circulation and remix that has been facilitated by digital technologies. First, collecting in Dane-zaa communities has been primarily focused on spoken words and intangible cultural heritage, rather than material cultural heritage. In contrast to the expressive visual artistic traditions of the northwest coast First Nations, sub-arctic hunter-gatherers traditionally kept material possessions to a minimum, carrying technologies and expressive traditions in their heads, rather than on their backs (Cruikshank 1992). As such, spoken words have been treated as objects to be collected as much as their material counterparts (Cruikshank 1992:5). They have been archived and duplicated, transformed from intangible expressions to tangible ethnographic object (Kirshenblatt-Gimblett 1991). As a central focus of academic writing and publishing on Dane-zaa culture and history, these oral histories, songs, personal narratives, and related photographs and film recordings have been recontextualized and remediated through interpretation and circulation. Second, the digitization of ethnographic documentation from Dane-zaa communities, complemented by Dane-zaa access to copies of digital cultural heritage, has facilitated media production by the Doig River First Nation. Digital access has aided in the re-use of media from the Ridington/Dane-zaa Digital Archive. Members of the Doig River First Nation have made a series of efforts to resignify the products of ethnographic research– media that were once considered visible or audible evidence of  10  an indigenous world expected to disappear, but which instead persists (Ginsburg 2002). These productions, which are performances thematically grounded in the history and contemporary significance of Dane-zaa nááchę, document local and everyday resistances that reflect “the existence of a range of strategies and structures of power” (Abu-Lughod 1990). Third, more broadly considered, is the notion that digital technologies are facilitating an unprecedented shift away from locally controlled and mediated forms of knowledge, to unfettered public access, remediation, and remix. This process is at odds with the notion of Doig River First Nation’s indigenous media productions as forms of resistance, as unrestricted circulation of media can undermine the efforts of indigenous producers to define how cultural knowledge is transmitted, circulated, or restricted. As I will describe, while media projects at Doig River facilitated the articulation of intellectual property rights to, and restrictions on digital cultural heritage, digital technologies also complicated efforts to enforce these rights and restrictions. Digital code, that at its most primary function is programmed to make copies, has displaced the ‘natural’ duplication constraints of analog media (Lessig 2008). Unlike the tools associated with the dissemination of analog media– discrete networks of master copies, duplication technologies, and distribution media– computers are simultaneously tools for the production and distribution of digital cultural heritage (Cameron 2007). The creation of digital cultural heritage and related cultural productions are therefore significant “arenas in which social actors struggle over social meanings and… visible evidence of social processes and social relations” (Mahon 2000:467).  11  As I explore in subsequent chapters, these dynamics were made visible during the production and review of Dane Wajich–Dane-zaa Stories and Songs: Dreamers and  the Land. On the one hand, I show how elders selectively performed and contextualized traditional narratives and life histories that they recorded with Dane-zaa youth for inclusion in the exhibit. I describe how archival media were selected to be remediated and contextualized by newly recorded narratives. I analyze a range of these video narratives that can be viewed throughout the “Places” section of the Dane Wajich site.4 On the other, I describe how Dane-zaa at Doig River and in related communities drew on their personal knowledge of protocols for handling and care of sacred material culture to make decisions about the control of their representation in digital form. I describe how the Doig River community initially chose a painted drum made by the dreamer Gaayęą in the early twentieth century to be the aesthetic and thematic anchor of the exhibit. However, almost two years later, as the final version of the project was being reviewed by the community, concerns about photographs of the drum being placed on the Internet began to be voiced. People used cultural protocols associated with the traditional care and handing of dreamers' drums to think through the ways in which photographs of the drum should be restricted or circulated in new media contexts. With greater awareness of the ability of the Internet to widely distribute information, community members also began to articulate particular intellectual property rights to the material, raising important questions about control of cultural heritage in digital form. Members of an adjacent Dane-zaa community, the Blueberry  4  The ‘Places’ page of the Dane Wajich exhibit can be found at Appendix 1, p. 415, or:  http://www.virtualmuseum.ca/Exhibitions/Danewajich/english/places/index.php  12  River First Nation, began to object to Doig River’s use of images that depicted members of their families. The Doig River Chief and Council eventually decided that in addition to gaining copyright permissions from the copyright holder, anthropologist Robin Ridington, use of the archival images would also require intellectual property rights clearance from the families of those depicted in the photographs. When stakeholder families at Blueberry River declined to give permission for Doig River to use particular images in the Dane Wajich project, all media documenting the nááchę Charlie Yahey were subsequently removed from the exhibit. In response to the concerns at Doig River about showing dreamers drums publicly, all images of dreamers’ drums and drawings were also removed (Hennessy 2009; A. Ridington and Hennessy 2008). The articulation of these restrictions occurred only after community members were actively involved in a participatory new media production process over a period of more than two years. As elders’ exposure to the technology increased, so did their understanding of the consequences of using it. As cultural authorities in the community, their advice to the exhibit production team about what media could be made public, and what should be kept private, was crucially important to the production of a representation of Doig River’s history and culture that did not circulate sensitive cultural knowledge, and which could be approved for world-wide distribution. The ethical paradox made clear in this research, however, is that visual data used in new media contexts, like the Dane Wajich project, can generate articulations of rights, but at the same time they amplify the difficulty of enforcing those rights. Even though the Doig River Chief and Council, the Elders Council, and members of the community came to a consensus over the way that sacred material culture and its digital  13  representations should be restricted, an Internet search still reveals multiple manifestations of the contested images on several publicly accessible websites that breach both community intellectual property rights and the anthropologist’s copyright. The example I have described here emphasizes that if digitization of ethnographic documentation precedes a community’s opportunity to assess the collections and possibly apply restrictions, then cultural information that is usually privately restricted might be distributed without their consent. It also complicates the ability of anthropologists to control how their ethnographic documentation will be used. While many museum curators have taken the requests of originating communities to treat material culture with traditional modes of care and handing very seriously, even restricting visual access to sacred objects in exhibits and visible storage (Rosoff 2003), the digital medium makes it difficult to control the circulation of ethnographic representation in virtual contexts. In her ethnography of Nuxalk art production and repatriation of cultural property in Bella Coola, British Columbia, Jennifer Kramer suggests that Nuxalk desire for repatriation of cultural property is entangled with the desire for restitution for other forms of social, cultural, and political theft under colonialism. For Kramer, the desire for repatriation is “the desire for self-representation, both as an individual and as a First Nation” (2004:163). Similarly, members of the Doig River First Nation view the return of cultural and linguistic documentary heritage as an important milestone in a wider struggle for self-governance, economic independence, and self-representation. Digital cultural heritage plays a significant role in the articulation and re-mediation of Dane-zaa cultural and political identities, but also challenges the ability of local communities to restrict the circulation of private forms of  14  knowledge. I argue that while engagement with digital technologies may impede aspects of Dane-zaa control over their own representation, Dane-zaa cultural productions are also significant locations “for the revisioning of social relations with the encompassing society, and exploration that more traditional indigenous forms cannot so easily accommodate” (Ginsburg 1994:372). The production and review of this exhibit, and the negotiations of control over representation of culture, language, identity, and ownership of digital cultural heritage that it initiated constitutes the case study of Dane-zaa cultural production at the centre of this dissertation. Safeguarding Heritage In this section I contextualize my use of several terms that appear frequently throughout the dissertation: cultural heritage, natural heritage, intangible cultural heritage, and safeguarding. Their definitions are drawn from UNESCO heritage policy, and have constituted a productive framework for thinking through the politics and practices associated with the documentation, digitization, and remediation of Dane-zaa heritage. UNESCO, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, was founded in 1945 with the mandate “…to create the conditions for dialogue among civilizations, cultures and peoples, based upon respect for commonly shared values” (UNESCO 2009:2). To date, UNESCO has 193 Member States, including Canada. The instruments of UNESCO are: International Conventions, which are subject to ratification, acceptance, or accession by Member States, and which define the rules with which States agree to comply; second, Recommendations, or “norms” which are not subject to ratification, but which Member States are encouraged to apply in their  15  national contexts; and third, Declarations, another means of defining ‘norms’ of significant and lasting importance, and which set forth universal principles for support from the community of Member States (UNESCO 1995-2007). Since its inception, UNESCO has supported a range of world heritage initiatives, beginning with tangible heritage (movable and immovable), expanding to natural heritage, and more recently to intangible heritage, and in the process supporting a growing awareness of “the arbitrariness of the categories and their interrelatedness” (Kirshenblatt-Gimblett 2004:52) The global dialogue around the determination of what constitutes heritage has been supported and facilitated by the UNESCO’s Culture Sector (Kearney 2009). For example, the 1972 Convention Concerning the Protection of the World Cultural, Natural  Heritage (World Heritage Convention) defined “cultural heritage” in the following way: -  monuments: architectural works, works of monumental sculpture and painting, elements or structures of an archaeological nature, inscriptions, cave dwellings and combinations of features, which are of outstanding  -  universal value from the point of view of history, art or science;  groups of buildings: groups of separate or connected buildings which, because of their architecture, their homogeneity or their place in the  landscape, are of outstanding universal value from the point of view of -  history, art or science;  sites: works of man or the combined works of nature and man, and areas including archaeological sites which are of outstanding universal value form the historical, aesthetic, ethnological or anthropological point of view. (UNESCO 2005:10)  For the purposes of the Convention, “natural heritage” was also defined as the  following:  16  -  natural features consisting of physical and biological formations or groups of such formations, which are of outstanding universal value from the aesthetic or scientific point of view;  -  geological and physiographical formations and precisely delineated areas  which constitute the habitat of threatened species of animals and plants of outstanding universal value from the point of view of science or conservation;  -  natural sites or precisely delineated natural areas of outstanding universal value from the point of view of science, conservation or natural beauty. (UNESCO 2005:10)  The World Heritage Convention’s definitions of “cultural” and “natural heritage” represent a particular heritage discourse that emphasizes the ‘universal value’ of heritage. The Convention has had a continued and defining impact on the development of national and international cultural heritage policies and practices, and has generated wide ranging criticism for its Eurocentric focus on monumental and aesthetic sites and places (L. Smith and Akagawa 2009). In contrast, more contemporary discourse on heritage protection calls for fuller recognition that: … heritage protection does not depend alone on top-down interventions by governments or the expert actions of heritage industry professionals, but must  involve local communities and communities of interest. It is imperative that the values and practices of communities, together with traditional management  systems, are fully understood, respected, encouraged and accommodated in management plans and policy documents if heritage resources are to be  sustained in the future. Communities need to have a sense of ‘ownership’ of their heritage; this reaffirms their worth as a community, their ways of going about things, their ‘culture’ (Logan and L. Smith 2009:xiii).  The 2003 UNESCO Convention on the Safeguarding of the Intangible Heritage has been described as a counterpoint to the World Heritage Convention in its  17  acknowledgement of non-Western heritage manifestiations and practices, and as a “significant intervention into international debate about the nature and value of cultural heritage” (L. Smith and Akagawa 2009). The 2003 Convention defines intangible cultural heritage as: the practices, representations, expressions, knowledge, skills – as well as the instruments, objects, artifacts and cultural spaces associated therewith– that  communities, groups and, in some cases, individuals recognize as part of their cultural heritage. This intangible cultural heritage, transmitted from generation to generation, is constantly recreated by communities and groups in response to  their environment, their interaction with nature and their history, and provides  them with a sense of identity and continuity, thus promoting respect for cultural diversity and human creativity. For the purposes of this Convention,  consideration will be given solely to such intangible cultural heritage as is compatible with existing international human rights instruments, as well as with  the requirements of mutual respect among communities, groups and individuals, and of sustainable development. (UNESCO 2003:2) Intangible cultural heritage, as defined above, is agreed to be manifested in oral traditions and expressions, including language as a vehicle of intangible heritage, as well as the performing arts, social practices, rituals and festive events, knowledge and practices concerning nature and the universe, and traditional craftsmanship (UNESCO 2003:2-3). Yet these expressions and practices are considered to be threatened by the forces of globalization; the Convention is written in recognition that “the processes of globalization and social transformation, alongside the conditions they create for renewed dialogue among communities, also give rise, as does the phenomemon of intolerance, to grave threats of deterioration, disappearance and destruction of the intangible cultural heritage” (UNESCO 2003). From this perspective, the world’s intangible cultural  18  heritage is in need of safeguarding, and resources need to be allocated to do this essential work.  Safeguarding intangible cultural heritage is premised on identification, inventorying, documentation, protection, and transmission. The term is is defined in the 2003 Convention as, … measures aimed at ensuring the viability of the intangible cultural heritage, including the identification, documentation, research, preservation, protection, promotion, enhancement, transmission, particularly through formal and nonformal education, as well as the revitalization of the various aspects of such heritage. (UNESCO 2003:3) As I will describe in more detail in Chapter Five, in a departure from earlier world heritage policies that granted agency to state parties, Article 15 of the Convention emphasizes that efforts to safeguard heritage should involve the full and meaningful participation of communities whose heritage is being safeguarded (Kurin 2007; Logan and L. Smith 2009). However, the 2003 Convention, like other UNESCO heritage policies, is still formulated and administered by state powers, and state parties that have ratified it are responsible for taking measures to safeguard intangible cultural heritage (Kearney 2009). Using examples from Australia, Amanda Kearney has described the ways in which Aboriginal communities have used new technologies and initiated projects aimed at safeguarding Indigenous knowledge systems and cultural heritage. She points out, though, that because Australia has not ratified the 2003 Convention on the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage, communities cannot draw on the Convention for support of their particular approaches to safeguarding. Kearney proposes that “non-ratification of the Convention reflects an ongoing homogenizing of  19  Indigenous identity in Australia, and this contributes to an undermining of Indigenous self-governance, autonomy, and cultural distinctiveness in individual Indigenous communities” (2009:218). Canada, similarly, has not ratified the 2003 Convention; however, as in Australia, the references provided by UNESCO policies are productive frameworks for considering Indigenous approaches to safeguarding heritage. In this dissertation, I show how members of the Doig River First Nation worked with outside collaborators––anthropologist, linguists, folklorists, and media producers–– to document and safeguard their heritage. In demonstrating the interconnection and inalienability of what UNESCO has identified as tangible, natural, and intangible heritage, Dane-zaa participants demonstrated the arbitrariness of drawing distinctions between forms of heritage. Through our participatory production of the virtual exhibit  Dane Wajich–Dane-zaa Stories and Songs: Dreamers and the Land, I describe the ways in which Dane-zaa project participants enacted a strategy of safeguarding their cultural heritage that modeled their preferred modes of transmitting cultural knowledge through practice. Specific cultural protocols were eventually evoked to support decision-making about the circulation of sensitive cultural heritage, and its representations in digital form, to facilitate cultural transmission in appropriate social practice. I argue that while documentation is central in efforts to safeguard intangible cultural heritage, such documentation must be carried out in culturally appropriate forms. Local control over the negotiation of public and private forms of knowledge is central to safeguarding heritage in all of its forms.  20  Negoti ating the Public and the Privat e Indigenous media and archiving projects in Australia, New Zealand, the Pacific, and North America (Christen 2006a; GRASAC 2008; Iverson, et al. 2008; Pigliasco 2007; R. Ridington and J. Ridington 2003; Rowley, et al. 2010; Tapsell 2001) provide insight into the ways that local communities negotiate the circulation of public and private forms of knowledge. Control over the circulation of knowledge, the ways that knowledge is mediated, and the forms that are used to represent knowledge locally and globally, are integrally related to the ability of local communities to safeguard knowledge within appropriate social practice. These media are “dynamic sites of struggle over representation, and complex spaces in which subjectivities are constructed and identities are contested” (Spitulnik 1993:296). Kim Christen, for example, has asked anthropologists to question the ‘openness’ of their visual archives and the ethical parameters used to justify sharing materials in the digital age (2009). Based on digital archive design work with the Warumungu community in Australia’s Northern Territory, she suggests that “Indigenous knowledge systems make clear other ways to conceptualize how information can and should be shared, how access is constructed, and how expanding our understanding of openness has been limited by our own default notions about the boundaries of information freedom” (Christen 2009:5). Christen’s work on the development of culturally appropriate forms of access to Indigenous digital cultural heritage responds to prior modes of colonial collection practices, which assumed authority over the appropriation, interpretation, and public display of Indigenous material culture. In the Canadian context, according to Ruth Phillips and Elizabeth Johnson,  21  Under the paradigm of scientific knowledge, museum curators assumed the virtually unfettered right to collect, look at, investigate, and interpret First Nations materials and human remains. They displayed objects in museum  collections to serve institutional mandates to inform the wider public about the cultures from which they came. The visible display of museum collections, especially when they involve objects that are normally private or seen only during ceremonies, has reinforced many First Nations people’s feelings of  powerlessness, inadequacy, and humiliation. (Phillips and Johnson 2003:133) Yet even physical repatriation of cultural property can do damage to traditional modes of negotiating public and private knowledge. Phillips and Johnson indicate that in the case of potlatch regalia repatriated to Kwakwaka’wak’w communities on the northwest coast, “the conditional return of their illegally confiscated regalia further damaged traditional observances by replacing their hereditary forms of clan and lineage ownership and ceremonial display with the conventions of Western public museums” (Phillips and Johnson 2003:155). Michael Brown has discussed how these concerns have been extended to the circulation of digital information. He notes that Indigenous groups, particularly those of North America, Oceania, and Australia, …frequently complain that public display of objects held to be sacred––a term  notable for its elasticity––violates their cultural rules and vitiates the object’s  power. Information, which is far more reproducible than individual works of art, generates even greater anxiety because it can be circulated instantly through technologies such as the Internet. (Brown 2009:152)  Brown further asserts that while the term ‘cultural property’ was once narrowly applied to architectural monuments and objects of national patrimony, the term is  22  “increasingly held to encompass intangible as well as material expressions of a distinct community, including its language, art styles, music, folklore, technical knowledge, and religious practices” (Brown 2009:151). He links concerns about the eroding relationships between tangible and intangible forms of heritage to Walter Benjamin’s famous observation that an art object’s ‘aura’ is undermined by the technologies of mass production. Indeed, in Benjamin’s essay “The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction” the “aura” of an original work of art is diminished as the “technique of reproduction detaches the reproduced object from the domain of tradition” (Benjamin 1968:221). Even the most perfect reproduction, what Baudrillard later called the simulacra (1994), is lacking the element of “its presence in time and space, its unique existence at the place where it happens to be” (Benjamin 1968:220). The aura derives its enchantment from its social meaning, its ability to carry messages, to transmit the story of its origin, its traces of ownership, and inherent cultural value (Cameron 2007). For Benjamin, the authenticity of an object is dependant on this aura, as … the authenticity of a thing is all that is transmissible from its beginning,  ranging from its substantive duration to its testimony to the history which it has experienced. Since the historical testimony rests on the authenticity, the former, too, is jeopardized by reproduction when substantive duration ceases to matter. And what is really jeopardized when the historical testimony is affected is the authority of the object. (Benjamin 1968:221)  By this reasoning, therefore, if an object is separated from its systems of meaning, “then its aura is diminished” (Cameron 2007:57). Yet the opposite has also been argued, that in fact it is the act of documentation and circulation that creates the  23  aura in the first place. According to Peter Walsh, Benjamin framed his critique of mechanical reproduction incorrectly; rather, “It is the mechanical reproduction– the photograph– that created the aura of the original, much as it was the machine that created the “handmade,” the negative that created the “positive,” and the digital that gave retroactive birth to its latent opposite, the “analog” (Walsh 2007:29). My intention in evoking the work of Walter Benjamin is to suggest that concerns over reproduction of media persist, and that they are exacerbated by digital technologies. Concerns among many Indigenous peoples have to do with their threatened ability to control the circulation of pubic and private forms of knowledge at a time when digitization is being heralded as a methodological strategy for addressing the asymmetrical power relations of the colonial era of museum and ethnographic collection. I therefore argue that participation of communities in efforts to safeguard their heritage is essential. My argument is supported by the language of the 2003 UNESCO  Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Heritage. I assert that the need for community participation is amplified in relation to the widespread mobilization of digital technologies in safeguarding initiatives. As Kim Christen emphasizes, “Part of the inclusion of new technologies in these ventures is about maintaining control, both technological and social, over how knowledge is catalogued, circulated, and cultivated” (Christen 2005:327). She has shown these processes at play in her work with Aboriginal communities and digital archives in Australia, where, for example, Warumungu women determined limits on the documentation, reproduction, and reception of dreamers’ songs, negotiating what forms of knowledge should be open, and how access to the rest  24  of the material should be restricted, as a starting point for digital safeguarding (Christen 2005). Precedents can be found in relation to ‘old’ archiving technologies as well, with one of the best examples coming from the Makah Cultural and Research Center in Neah Bay, Washington State. Here, the recovery of the Ozette archaeological collection, and its accession into the centre’s museum, reminded staff and community members that the traditional system of property ownership, both tangible and intangible, was still practiced in Neah Bay communities (Bowechop and Erikson 2005). Artifacts were accordingly stored by type, by household from which they were recovered, and in relation to Makah linguistic categories. The management system for this collection “… is not only an organizing device for accessing information and artifacts, but a tool for reflecting, understanding, and preserving the cognitive system within which the artifacts were produced and used” (Bowechop and Mauger 1995:5). The Makah and Warumungu examples, drawing on old and new media strategies for safeguarding public and private forms of intangible heritage, reinforce the notion that “the ways in which collections are stored, managed, and accessed can have profound significance to their host community in whether they support or erode traditional values” (Bowechop and Mauger 1995:6). Christina Kreps has identified these strategies as principles of Indigenous curation, which emphasize that museological behaviour is frequently embedded in broader cultural forms and systems. Of significance to this disseration, she argues that: Indigenous models of museums and curatorial practices are tangible expressions of the intangible, or rather, ideas about what constitutes heritage, how it should be perceived, treated, passed on, and by whom. They exemplify holistic approaches to heritage preservation that are integrated into larger social structures and ongoing social practices. (Kreps 2009:197)  25  In subsequent chapters, I will show how community-based documentation of heritage at Doig River led to the articulation of principles of Indigenous curation–– culturally specific models of care and transmission of cultural knowledge––but I will also question the role of digital technologies in safeguarding these elements of heritage.  Cultural Production at the Doig River First Nation My interest in Dane-zaa cultural productions builds on the work of other scholars of Indigenous media and political anthropology exploring “the ways in which media enable or challenge the workings of power and the potential of activism; the enforcement of inequality and the sources of imagination; and the impact of technologies on the production of individual and collective identities” (Ginsburg, et al. 2002:3). Before outlining the structure of the dissertation, I will describe some forms of Dane-zaa cultural production that have been created as visible expressions of Doig River identity by members of the Doig River community both independently and in collaboration with outsiders. These productions include the architecture of the Doig River First Nation’s new Band Hall, the collections in their museum, and a range of multimedia works. These cultural productions evoke the history of Dane-zaa nááchę, the politics of land and resources, and the histories of research.  The Doig River Band Hall and Cultural Complex The Doig River First Nation’s newly constructed Band Hall stands out dramatically against the reserve landscape. The angular wings of the building, its round  26  central space, and yellow cedar paneling contrast with the uniform lines and colors of government-issued housing visible on the ridges beyond.5 On the flat plain below the hall are the Doig River rodeo grounds, where covered stands and a dirt arena become a bustle of barrel racing, bull riding, and celebration each July. Closer to the Doig River, which winds its way through the reserve, a circle of teepees and bleachers are marked by a sign informing visitors that these are “cultural grounds.” Here a group of Doig River men perform the songs of Dane-zaa dreamers for seasonal tea dances, funerals, and public events throughout the year. Long before settling on the reserve at Doig River, Dane-zaa families used to come together in the summer at Suunéchʼii Kéchʼiige, or “The Place Where Happiness Dwells,” now known as Montney near Fort St. John. As I explore in more detail in Chapter Four, each year family groups would gather to dance to the songs of nááchę, court, settle political disputes, hunt moose, prepare dry meat, and process moose hides. In 1914, in keeping with the land allotments provided for by Treaty 8, which Dane-zaa leaders signed in 1900, this area was surveyed to be the Fort St. John Band’s reserve (I.R. 172). While the band continued to live a seasonal, nomadic lifestyle, this fertile game-rich hunting ground remained an important summer gathering place. However, in 1944 under pressure from government agents to turn this area into agricultural land, members of the Fort St. John Band (later to split into the Doig River and Blueberry River Bands) surrendered Indian Reserve 172 to the Veteran’s Land Department for  5  Images from the Doig Reserve and Band Hall can be found in Appendix I, from page  416, or seen online in the Dane Wajich exhibit at:  http://www.virtualmuseum.ca/Exhibitions/Danewajich/english/places/gallery_doig.php  27  distribution to returning war veterans (Roe 2003). Sub-surface mineral rights that should have been held in trust for the Doig and Blueberry Bands were inadvertently also transferred to the veterans, who in addition to becoming farmers, became wealthy oilmen. It was only after 1977, when a Department of Indian Affairs officer discovered that the Doig and Blueberry bands had unceded sub-surface mineral rights and alerted the band, that Doig and Blueberry commenced legal action claiming damages for improper surrender of the lands and transfer of mineral rights. After a court battle of more than two decades, the Bands were eventually awarded 147 million dollars for the federal government’s breach of trust. The Doig River First Nation used their share to create trust funds for band members, to support cultural and linguistic revitalization programs, and to start Band-managed businesses. They also used some of these funds to finance the construction of their new Band Hall. The significance of Dane-zaa nááchę in contemporary life is visible in the Band Hall’s central entrance space, which is circular, designed to reference the moose hide drums that are used by singers to perform the songs that Dane-zaa once dreamed from heaven, and the circular paths of dancers around the Tea Dance fire at which these songs are played. A framed poster provided by the architect, Ib Hansen, includes hand drawings by former Chief Garry Oker that suggest the hallways that branch off from the circular foyer are meant to represent trails– those traveled by Dane-zaa people in life as they move though their territory hunting and making a living, and in death as they trace the paths taken while alive and find their way along the trail to heaven. In the building, hallways lead from the central foyer to a gymnasium, an elders' lounge and a community kitchen; a business meeting room; a wing of administrative offices,  28  including those used by the Chief and Council, the Band Manager, and the lands management and GIS office; and a medical wing with a nurse’s station and counselor’s office. This new building stands in sharp contrast to the former band office, a two-room structure that was cold in winter, provided little space for the Chief and councilors to work in, and made on-reserve meetings with government and industry representatives difficult. The new Band Hall was officially opened in July of 2003, and at the ribboncutting celebration, the Doig River drummers sang dreamers' songs for the community, visiting dignitaries, industry executives, and local media. Shortly after, the band produced and began to distribute a compact disc of dreamers' songs called Suu Na chii  K’chi ge [Suunéchʼii Kéchʼiige], named in honor of the place “where happiness dwells” (G. Oker et. al, 2004b) making the Band Hall both a space for performance of Dane-zaa tradition and distribution of living heritage in digital form.  The Doig River Museum Just inside the entrance of the Band Hall is a space designated for a small museum. Glass exhibit windows face the hallway and reception desk, allowing visitors to see objects from the main foyer. Most of the objects in the museum have been donated or created by band members, and they are displayed generally according to type. The collection of objects in the museum represents what I would describe as community curation––when an object is identified by a member of the community or outside collaborator (anthropologists, archaeologists, and linguists, for example) as being worthy of display and brought to the museum, Band Hall administrators find a place for it. However, the result of this casual approach is far from haphazard; rather,  29  the collections represent diverse aspects of Dane-zaa material culture: artifacts of a seasonal hunting, trapping, and gathering livelihood, reserve and rodeo life, negotiation with colonial authority, and the material evidence of Dane-zaa people and outside researchers as cultural producers and media makers (Mahon 2000). For example, tanned lynx and marten furs hang in glass cases, and beaver pelts lean against the walls in their stretching frames. A well-used moose hide scraper, made from the leg bone of a moose to remove hair and tissue from the fresh hide, points to the ongoing importance of the production of moose hides, moccasins, and other garments in generating cash for supplies and trading for other resources. A fringed moose hide jacket, and moose hide moccasins, both delicately beaded with colorful flowers and leaves demonstrate the skill of Doig River women who continue to scrape, treat, stretch, smoke, and sew moose hides given to them by hunters. An old steel trap and rusty artifacts of hunting, trapping, and camping––a small wood-handled frying pan, empty rusty cans that once contained peanut butter or lard, a hunting knife––evoke the band’s lands-based history and economy. In another case, a blue felt military jacket is exhibited along with a crumbling leather belt with a brass snake-shaped buckle, once worn by Chief Montney, the great grandfather of Chief Kelvin Davis and of Chief Norman Davis, and the man after whom the Montney reserve lands were named. Many of the museum’s objects directly reference the long relationships Doig River community members have had with anthropologists, linguists, and archaeologists. A large, box-like archaeological exhibit occupies the centre of the museum space. The exhibit was created by Fort St. John archaeologist Keary Walde, who has trained many Dane-zaa to work with him over several decades, and who uses the exhibit to teach in  30  Doig River’s educational programs. In a glass case that is visible from inside the museum and the reception area, one can see evidence of the community’s long working relationship with linguists and missionaries Marshall and Jean Holdstock. Colourful self-published Beaver literacy primers and workbooks embellished with hand-drawings, a Beaver dictionary, and other language teaching tools are sometimes used within homes and in school programs. They are a primary resource for local Beaver language revitalization workers who continue to develop the dictionary and initiate other projects. One of these is an interactive CD-ROM based on the Holdstocks’ work, displayed alongside language learning texts first produced in the 1960s. Next to the Holdstocks' Beaver literacy materials is the most recent book about Dane-zaa culture, history, and ethnography by anthropologists Robin Ridington and Jillian Ridington. When You Sing it Now, Just Like New (R. Ridington and J. Ridington 2006d) is a collection of essays that reflect on over forty years of documentation of Dane-zaa communities. The glossy cover of this volume features Doig River Drummers Garry Oker, Tommy Attachie, and Jack Askoty sitting in a grassy field drumming and singing into the anthropologist’s microphone. Photographic evidence of this long relationship lines the walls of the inside of the museum space; black and white images, professionally mounted for the official opening of the Band Hall, were selected by the Ridingtons from their ethnographic archive to represent Doig River’s main families: Attachie, Davis, Askoty, Acko, and Oker (R. Ridington, personal communication). The images came from the recently created Ridington/Dane-zaa  Digital Archive, which was also physically returned to the Doig River First Nation on a  31  500-gigabyte hard drive and made available in an online archive catalogue (R. Ridington and J. Ridington 2003). An adjacent shelf of the museum display case contains some of the tangible outcomes of Doig River’s media productions that are directly related to the recent digitization initiatives and new access to archival materials. The audio CD Suu Na chii  K’chi ge [Suunéchʼii Kéchʼiige] features the songs of Dane-zaa dreamers recorded by former Chief Garry Oker and Dr. Robin Ridington in the course of his ethnographic career with Dane-zaa communities. On another audio CD the current group of Doig River Drummers sing dreamers' songs that have been passed down from song keeper to song keeper over the last two centuries. Two CDs present live recordings of Tea Dances at Doig River, and another includes “remixes” of a soundtrack produced for a documentary video called They Dream About Everything that used newly returned digital cultural heritage (G. Oker et. al, 2005). On yet another shelf is a display related to the Virtual Museum of Canada webbased exhibit called Dane Wajich–Dane-zaa Stories and Songs: Dreamers and the Land (2007). A poster publicizing the exhibit depicts elders, youth, linguists, and ethnographers––including myself––recording oral histories on video against backdrops of industrially impacted landscapes and old Dane-zaa seasonal camps. Next to the poster is a colourful exhibit catalogue with the web address in the cover, which includes all of the photographs, exhibit texts, and transcripts that are displayed on-line. This virtual exhibit includes archival photographs and dreamers' songs that were recorded in the 1960s from the Ridington-Dane-zaa Digital Archive, as well as newly recorded audio,  32  video, and photographs. Edited by Amber Ridington and me, the catalogue is included in this dissertation as Appendix I. In its architectural details, in the contents of its museum, and in the practices of everyday life that it facilitates, the Doig River First Nation’s Band Hall and its ceremonial grounds evoke histories of colonialism, resilience, and the ongoing significance of Dane-zaa dreamers to contemporary life and outward expression of Dane-zaa identity. Dane-zaa cultural productions––museum exhibits, artwork, audio CDs, video documentaries, virtual exhibits, and architecture––are Indigenous remediations of histories of survival, struggle, revival, and ethnographic and linguistic research in their communities. These productions are also visible negotiations of research relationships and rapidly changing documentary and communication technologies that now have the potential to record, reproduce, and remix cultural and linguistic practices in an unprecedented way.  Outline of Chapters In this introductory chapter, I have introduced a theoretical framework for my argument that community participation in the documentation and safeguarding of intangible cultural heritage is essential for developing safeguarding strategies that are focused on keeping intangible heritage alive in social practice. I have begun to describe the contexts of cultural production on which my research has been based, including emerging tensions over the right to circulate Dane-zaa digital cultural heritage, and broader discussions of the role of technologies in supporting the circulation of public and private forms heritage in appropriate and diverse social practice.  33  In Chapter Two, I review the ethnographic literature on Dane-zaa nááchę (also referred to as dreamers, or prophets) and their practices. My emphasis in the chapter is on the way that Dane-zaa people historically managed public and private forms of knowledge, particularly in relation to the private vision quest, medicine power, dreaming, and the public Tea Dance and performance of dreamers’ songs. I explore descriptions of the ways that Dane-zaa people negotiated the visibility and use of related material culture, such as medicine bundles and the nááchę’s drawings of heaven on moose hide and drums. As religious and moral authorities, nááchę played central roles in controlling the public circulation of sacred forms of knowledge and material culture. I show how more recently, Dane-zaa leaders have drawn on this religious and moral authority by using nááchę drawings and songs to protest the oil and gas industrialization of their territory. In Chapter Three, I discuss how ethnographers and linguists have used documentary technologies to collect culture and language in Dane-zaa communities in northeastern British Columbia. I describe the digitization and the return of the  Ridington/Dane-zaa Digital Archive to the Doig River First Nation, and situate this case study in relation to international digitization movements aimed at connecting originating communities to their cultural heritage in dispersed collections. While I argue that the term “repatriation”, virtual or otherwise, does not accurately describe digital access to heritage, I also explore several First Nations’ perspectives on repatriation of cultural property that suggest potential for these broader digital initiatives to: 1) address the fragmentation of heritage by bringing dispersed collections of tangible and intangible cultural heritage back together; 2) facilitate expressions of the meaning of reclamation  34  that are grounded in Indigenous ideologies; and, 3) facilitate remediation of digital cultural heritage through Indigenous media production. In Chapter Four, I contextualize Indigenous media production at Doig River with a history of the Doig and Blueberry Bands’ loss of Indian Reserve 172 at Montney, and their thirty-year legal struggle for just compensation. I review a range of the Doig River First Nation’s recent media productions that have utilized digital cultural resources from the Ridington/Dane-zaa Digital Archive. I discuss how these media evoke the history, spirit, and ongoing significance of Dane-zaa dreamers––particularly their legacy of songs, moral codes, and paintings on moose hide––to articulate resistance to outside domination and ongoing colonial relationships. In Chapter Five, I describe Dane Wajich––Dane-zaa Stories and Songs:  Dreamers and the Land (2007), which remediated digital heritage from the Ridington/Dane-zaa Digital Archive, and facilitated the documentation of oral histories in significant locations throughout Dane-zaa territory. My focus in the chapter is on the participatory methodology developed in the course of the production of the virtual exhibit, and the extent to which the documentation and safeguarding of intangible cultural heritage can be enhanced through community collaboration. I connect the mandate of the 2003 UNESCO Charter on the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural  Heritage for community-involvement in safeguarding initiatives to the methodological legacy of visual anthropologist Jean Rouch. I show how community leaders used a painted drum made by the dreamer Gaayęą to demonstrate the inalienable connections between tangible, intangible, and natural forms of heritage. I emphasize that these  35  participatory strategies facilitated community-definition of the Dane Wajich virtual exhibit production process. In Chapter Six, I describe how the community-defined production process for the Dane Wajich exhibit was put into practice. I detail our group excursions to significant places in Dane-zaa territory, and the documentation of elders’ narratives at each location by a team of Dane-zaa youth. I argue that these video-recorded narrative performances communicate an alternative Dane-zaa knowledge system that counters the materialistic engagement of the oil and gas industry with the same area. They are sophisticated oral remediations and recontextualizations of narratives and discourses performed in the past at these places. I discuss how, in the context of the Dane Wajich exhibit, these narratives are presented alongside contemporary and archival photographs of Dane-zaa life, photographs of the exhibit production process, videos, and contemporary and archival performances of prophet songs. These media evoke regional history and contemporary engagement with the legacies of Dane-zaa nááchę to navigate ongoing defense of aboriginal and treaty rights, and relationships with government and industry. In Chapter Seven, I look closely at key questions about digital cultural heritage, intellectual property rights, and copyright that were raised in the course of the production and community review of Dane Wajich–Dane-zaa Stories and Songs:  Dreamers and the Land. I explore the role of cultural protocols for the handling and care of material culture in local decision-making about public access to photographs of material culture, drawing on Christina Kreps' definition of Indigenous curation (Kreps 2003; Kreps 2009). I use the example of Gaayęą’s drum, images of which were  36  removed from the virtual exhibit, to explore the extent to which the transformation of ethnographic objects into digital cultural heritage facilitates a loss of control over representation even when the original object remains in the possession of source  communities. I conclude by arguing that even when source communities6 come to a consensus that certain elements of their digital cultural heritage should not be made publicly available over the Internet, they are faced with the fact that these very images may have been circulated in the course of the digitization and remediation.  6  Source communities, which are also referred to in this dissertation as originating communities, are said by Laura Peers and Alison Brown to refer “both to these groups in the past when artefacts were collected, as well as to their descendants today. These terms have most often been used to refer to indigenous peoples in the Americas and the Pacific, but apply to every cultural group from whom museums have collected: local people, diaspora and immigrant communities, religious groups, settlers, indigenous peoples, whether those are First Nations, Aboriginal, Maori, or Scottish. Most importantly, the concept recognizes that artifacts play an important role in the identities of source community members, that source communities have legitimate moral and cultural stakes or forms of ownership in museum collections, and that they may have special claims, needs, or rights of access to material heritage held by museums” (Peers and Brown 2003:2). 37  Chapter 2: Dane-zaa Náách ę and the Power of Public and Private Knowledge In the introductory chapter I argued that the digitization of Aboriginal tangible and intangible cultural heritage is creating new opportunitiues for originating communities to access and engage with their heritage. At the same time, these digitization initiatives mark a shift away from locally controlled and mediated forms of knowledge to extensive public access, remediation, and remix. I introduced some of the ways that, in the course of my fieldwork, members of the Doig River and Blueberry River First Nations began to contend with the positive and negative consequences of digitization and the attendant circulation of ethnographic documentation from their communities. I also situated their experience in relation to innovative digital archiving projects by Indigenous communities that have taken local protocols for managing access to and circulation of dynamic forms of cultural knowledge as the organizing principles for access to the archive, information architecture, and search parameters. These projects demonstrate Indigenous engagements with new media and communications technologies that emphasize the “deeply social and ethical relations people have to and with “information” (Christen 2009:4). They place a high priority on the ability to control the way their digital heritage is accessed and viewed. Dane-zaa people with whom I worked on final drafts of the Dane Wajich virtual exhibit drew on ongoing knowledge of their prophet tradition, dreamers’ songs, and care and handling of related material culture to make decisions about the management of their ethnographic media. The Dane-zaa media projects, and those from many other Aboriginal communities that I will describe in the course of this dissertation, call into question the “openness” of  38  ethnographic archives and justifications for unrestricted “sharing” of cultural heritage in the digital age (Christen 2009). In this chapter, based on ethnographic descriptions and my own observations, I discuss the way Dane-zaa have historically managed public and private forms of knowledge and cultural expression. While in subsequent chapters I will relate these traditional cultural protocols to contemporary decision making around the use of digital cultural heritage in community-based media projects, I begin here by bringing together descriptions of nááchę, their individual and public dreaming and song traditions, and the public performance of nááchę songs in the Dane-zaa Tea Dance (also known as prophet or dreamer’s dance). I situate these Dane-zaa examples in relation to wider literature on “prophet cults” in native North America (Spier 1935). I then look to these descriptions for more specific information about the way that individuals and groups carefully restricted access to private forms of knowledge associated with the vision quest, medicine power, and dreaming. Inextricably tied to these restrictions were the ways in which Dane-zaa negotiated visibility and use of related material culture, such as personal medicine bundles, and the nááchę’s drawings of heaven on moose hide and drums. While medicine bundles were kept privately––I have never personally seen one, nor has anyone even spoken of one to me––dreamers’ drawings were used, and continue to be used, under particular conditions to demonstrate Indigenous religious and political authority. These ethnographic examples emphasize that private medicine bundles and medicine songs (shin), and semi-public dreamers’ drawings and nááchę Tea Dance songs––tangible and intang