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Authorized Heritage

Place, Memory, and Historic Sites in Prairie Canada

Robert Coutts (author)

ISBN: 9780887559327

Publication Date: May 2021

Format: Hardback

Also available as: Paperback  

Analyses the history of commemoration at heritage sites across western Canada. Using extensive research from predominantly government records, the book argues that heritage narratives are almost always based on national messages that commonly reflect colonial perceptions of the past.
£64.50

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Authorized Heritage analyses the history of commemoration at heritage sites across western Canada. Using extensive research from predominantly government records, it argues that heritage narratives are almost always based on national messages that commonly reflect colonial perceptions of the past. Yet many of the places that commemorate Indigenous, fur trade, and settler histories are contested spaces, places such as Batoche, Seven Oaks, and Upper Fort Garry being the most obvious. At these heritage sites, Indigenous views of history confront the conventions of settler colonial pasts and represent the fluid cultural perspectives that should define the shifting ground of heritage space.

Robert Coutts brings his many years of experience as a public historian to this detailed examination of heritage sites across the prairies. He shows how the process of commemoration often reflects social and cultural perspectives that privilege a conventional and conservative national narrative. He also examines how class, gender, and sexuality often remain apart from the heritage discourse. Most notably, Authorized Heritage examines how governments became the mediators of what is heritage and, just as significantly, what is not.
Pages 277
Dimensions 229 x 152
Date Published 30 May 2021
Publisher University of Manitoba Press
Subject/s Regional & national history   Public buildings: civic, commercial, industrial, etc   Social & cultural history   Historiography  
  • Chapter 1 Landscapes of Memory in Prairie Canada
  • Chapter 2 Memory Hooks: Commemorating Indigenous Cultural Landscapes
  • Chapter 3 National Dreams: Commemorating the Fur Trade in Manitoba
  • Chapter 4 "We came. We toiled. God blessed": Settler Colonialism and Constructing Authenticity
  • Chapter 5 Contested Space: Heritage and Indigenous Places of Resistance
  • Chapter 6 Heritage Place: The Function of Modernity, Gender, and Sexuality
  • Chapter 7 Conclusion: History, Memory and the Heritage Discourse
Robert Coutts worked as a historian with Parks Canada for over thirty years, researching historic sites throughout western and northern Canada. He is the author of The Road to the Rapids: Nineteenth Century Church and Society at St. Andrew's Parish, Red River and is the editor of the journal Prairie History.

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