Presenting and representing culture: a history of Stó:lō interpretive centres, museums and cross-cultural relationships, 1949-2006




Clapperton, Jonathan Alex

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How can museums, which have been critiqued as colonial spaces to house the curiosities of disappearing races and to show the superiority of the colonizers, be redeployed as assertions of alternative (aboriginal) worldviews? I argue that while Stó:lō Nation and Stó:lō individuals have redeployed museum techniques to serve their own purposes they are still constrained by external and internal factors. Throughout this study I note where the Stó:lō have worked with existing museums, constructed their own interpretive centres, and changed their interpretive centres to differ from and be similar to non-aboriginal-run museums. I also explain how these different museums/interpretive centres are actually coming closer together ideologically. I examine three museums/interpretive centres: the University of British Columbia Museum of Anthropology, located in Vancouver, and the Stó:lō-owned Shxwt'a:selhawtxw (The House of Long Ago and Today), located in Sardis, and Xa:ytem Longhouse Interpretive Centre, just outside of Mission.



First Nations, museums, British Columbia, Stalo Indians