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Authorized Heritage

Place, Memory, and Historic Sites in Prairie Canada

Robert Coutts (author)

ISBN: 9780887559266

Publication Date: Apr 2021

Format: Paperback

Also available as: Hardback  

Analyses the history of commemoration at heritage sites across western Canada. Using extensive research in Parks Canada records, the book argues that heritage narratives are almost always based on national and conventional messages that commonly reflect colonialist visions of the past.
£25.95

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Authorized Heritage analyses the history of commemoration at heritage sites across western Canada. Using extensive research in Parks Canada records, it argues that heritage narratives are almost always based on national and conventional messages that commonly reflect colonialist visions of the past. Throughout western Canada there are vivid examples of original and official views of what constitutes a national narrative. Yet many of the places that commemorate Indigenous, fur trade, and settler colonial histories are contested spaces, places such as Batoche, Seven Oaks, and Upper Fort Garry being the most obvious. At these heritage sites, Indigenous perceptions of the past confront the conventions of settler colonial history and denote the fluid cultural perspectives that must define the shifting ground of heritage space. Robert Coutts brings his many years of experience as a Parks Canada historian to this detailed examination of heritage sites across the prairies. He shows how the process of commemoration reflects social and cultural perspectives that privilege a confident and progressive 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.
Illustrations 41 illustrations
Pages 264
Dimensions 229 x 152
Date Published 30 Apr 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 Riverand is the editor of the journal Prairie History.

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