UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Ethnographic perspectives on Laxyuup Gitxaała Irons, Jonathan William


In this thesis I use ethnographic research methods to examine the nature of archaeological practice when it occurs in collaboration with indigenous groups (collaborative archaeology). In 2011, I served as a member of the Laxyuup Gitxaała research project team, a project conducted by the University of British Columbia and under the auspices of Gitxaała Nation. In most writing on collaborative archaeology, authors use parables and simple explanations of special site procedures as a background for defending the practice. In-depth archaeological ethnographies of collaborative archaeological practice are few and far between. In this research I employed a reflective methodology and asked participants to journal about their experience of the daily archaeological work in order to address the experience of archaeological field practice. In my analysis I use these journals and my own reflections to describe archaeology as a stratigraphic profile. I present this profile as consisting of three layers, Fishing Narratives, Archaeological Work, and Land and Place. I provide a thick description of the consistency of these three layers, the shape of their features and their overall relationship to one another. I conclude by suggesting that the way in which anecdotal fishing narratives permeate the research experience affords collaborative archaeology a character which is supplemented and enhanced rather than compromised or restricted.

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