Direct Actions and Archaeology
The Lil'wat Peoples Movement to Protect Archaeological Sites
Keywords:direct action, collaborative archaeologies, anarcho-indigenism, heritage protection
Direct action has been a key tactic of many social and political movements throughout history. Here, we consider the relevance of direct actions for archaeology, both for heritage protection and other forms of archaeological activism. We also discuss collaborative and community-based archaeologies as direct relationships and actions that can help prefigure the non-colonial relationships between archaeologists, indigenous peoples, and heritage. In the process, we provide a case history of Lil’wat peoples, who continue to exert control over their unceded territory and heritage from development. In recent decades, the Lil’wat Peoples Movement used direct actions in logging road blockades, to stop developments from damaging and destroying archaeological sites, of which Johnny Jones was a member. We also describe our collaborations over the last decade in investigating sites in various capacities. In so doing, we also consider the parallels between indigenous and anarchist approaches in anarcho-indigenist thought.
Angelbeck, B. 2008. “Archaeological Heritage and Traditional Forests within the Logging Economy of British Columbia: An Opportunity for Corporate Social Responsibility.” In Earth Matters: Indigenous Peoples, the Extractive Industries and Corporate Social Responsibility, edited by C. O’Faircheallaigh and S. H. Ali, pp. 123–142. Sheffield, UK: Greenleaf Publishing. https://doi.org/10.9774/GLEAF.978-1-909493-79-7_9
____. and C. Grier. 2014. “From Paradigms to Practices: Pursuing Horizontal and Long-Term Relationships with Indigenous Peoples for Archaeological Heritage Management.” Canadian Journal of Archaeology 38 (2): 519–540.
Archaeology Branch of BC. 2017. Site EbRp-2. Provincial Archaeological Site Records via Remote Access to Archaeological Data (RAAD). Victoria, BC: Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations, Archaeology Branch.
Atalay, S., L. R. Clauss, R. H. McGuire and J. R. Welch, eds. 2014. Transforming Archaeology: Activist Practices and Prospects. Walnut Creek, CA: Left Coast Press.
BC Parks and Lil'wat Nation. 2012. Mkwal’ts Conservancy Management Plan. Victoria, BC: BC Parks.
Blomley, N. 1996. “‘Shut the Province Down’: First Nations Blockades in British Columbia, 1984-1995.” BC Studies 111 (3): 5–35.
Bonspille Boileau, S., dir. 2016. The Oka Legacy. Montreal: Rezolution Pictures.
Bruchac, M. M., S. M. Hart and H. M. Wobst, eds. 2010 Indigenous Archaeologies: A Reader on Decolonization. Walnut Creek, CA: Left Coast Press.
Budhwa, R. 2005. “An Alternate Model for First Nations Involvement in Resource Management Archaeology.” Canadian Journal of Archaeology 29 (1): 20–45.
Churchill, W. 2002. Struggle for the Land: Native North American Resistance to Genocide, Ecocide, and Colonization. San Francisco: City Lights Books.
____. and M. Ryan. 2017 . Pacifism as Pathology: Reflections on the Role of Armed Struggle in North America (3rd edition). Oakland, CA: PM Press.
Clark, B. 1999. Justice in Paradise. Montreal: McGill-Queen’s University Press.
Cobb, D. M. 2008. Native Activism in Cold War America: The Struggle for Sovereignty. Lawrence: University Press of Kansas.
Colwell-Chanthaphonh, C. and T. J. Ferguson, eds. 2008. Collaboration in Archaeological Practice: Engaging Descendant Communities. Lanham, MD: Altamira Press.
Coulthard, G. S. 2014. Red Skin, White Masks: Rejecting the Colonial Politics of Recognition. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press. https://doi.org/10.5749/minnesota/9780816679645.001.0001
Day, R. J. F. 2005. Gramsci is Dead: Anarchist Currents in the Newest Social Movements. London: Pluto Press / Toronto: Between the Lines.
de Cleyre, V. 2005 . “Direct Action.” In Exquisite Rebel: The Essays of Voltairine de Cleyre – Feminist, Anarchist, Genius, edited by S. Presley and C. Sartwell, 273–286. Albany, NY: State University of New York Press.
Doherty, B. 2002. Ideas and Actions in the Green Movement. London and New York: Routledge.
Dupuis, B. 2016. “Archaeological Dig Reveals 5,500-year-old Evidence in Lil'wat: Ancient Settlements Give Weight to Lil'wat Land Claims, First Nation Says.” Pique, 12 May, 20. Online: https://www.piquenewsmagazine.com/whistler/archeological-dig-reveals-5500-year-old-evidence-in-lilwat/Content?oid=2756126
Graeber, D. 2009. Direct Action: An Ethnography. Edinburgh: AK Press.
Hill, G. 2010. 500 Years of Indigenous Resistance. Oakland, CA: PM Press.
Josephy, A. M., J. Nagel and T. R. Johnson, eds. 1999. Red Power: The American Indians’ Fight for Freedom. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press.
Juris, J. S. 2005. “Violence Performed and Imagined: Militant Action, the Black Bloc and the Mass Media in Genoa.” Critique of Anthropology 25 (4): 413–432. https://doi.org/10.1177/0308275X05058657
Kennedy, D. and R. Bouchard. 1975. Utilization of Fish by the Mount Currie Lillooet Indian People of British Columbia. British Columbian Indian Language Project report on file with the Cultural Resource Centre of the Ministry of Small Business, Tourism and Culture, Victoria, BC.
Lil'wat Nation and the Province of British Columbia. 2008. Land Use Planning Agreement between the Lil'wat Nation and the Province of British Columbia as Represented by the Minister of Agriculture and Lands. Victoria, BC: Ministry of Agriculture and Lands. Online: https://www.for.gov.bc.ca/tasb/slrp/lrmp/surrey/s2s/docs/S2SLRMP_G2G_Agreements/S2SG2G_Lilwat_BC_Agreement.pdf
McGuire, R. H. 2008. Archaeology as Political Action. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press.
Ness, I. 2016. New Forms of Worker Organization: The Syndicalist and Autonomist Restoration of Class-Struggle Unionism. Oakland, CA: PM Press.
Nicholas, G. P., ed. 2010. Being and Becoming Indigenous Archaeologists. Walnut Creek, CA: Left Coast Press.
Plumtree, M. 1991. “Lil'wats Ready to Die to Protect Their Sacred Sites.” The Whistler Question, 15 February, 10.
Razsa, M. and A. Kurnik. 2012. “The Occupy Movement in Žižek’s Hometown: Direct Democracy and a Politics of Becoming.” American Ethnologist 39 (2): 238–258. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1548-1425.2012.01361.x
Reed, T. V. 2005. The Art of Protest: Culture and Activism from the Civil Rights Movement to the Streets of Seattle. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.
Shanks, M. and R. H. McGuire. 1996. “The Craft of Archaeology.” American Antiquity 61 (1): 75–88. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0002731600050046
Silliman, S. W., ed. 2008. Collaborating at the Trowel’s Edge: Teaching and Learning in Indigenous Archaeology. Tucson: University of Arizona Press.
Simonsen, B. 1994. Report on a Study Relating to Lower Lillooet Aboriginal Land Use and Settlement. Permit Report No. 1992-94. Victoria, BC: Bastion Group Heritage Consultants and Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations, Archaeology Branch.
Smith, P. C. and Warrior, R. A. 1996. Like a Hurricane: The Indian Movement from Alcatraz to Wounded Knee. New York: The New Press.
Stottman, M. J., ed. 2010. Archaeologists as Activists: Can Archaeologists Change the World? Tuscaloosa: University of Alabama Press.
Watkins, J. 2000. Indigenous Archaeology: American Indian Values and Scientific Practice. Lanham, MD: Altamira Press.
How to Cite
© Equinox Publishing Ltd.
For information regarding our Open Access policy, click here.