Ecologies of the Heart

People, Land, and Heritage Management in the Pacific Northwest
  • Chelsey Geralda Armstrong
  • Eugene N. Anderson


Moral sanctions, religion, oral stories/histories, and other codes of ethics that evolved to ensure the sustainable management of natural resources are a cornerstone of human social organization. The management of archaeological and heritage resources today are generally top-down and government-sanctioned efforts that are woefully inadequate for considering culturally attributed meaning and value. We argue that a more heart-centered approach to archaeology considers culturally attributed value to heritage, which, in Northwestern North America, includes an array of ecocultural, land-based, and ephemeral heritage sites resulting from the careful management of people over millennia. Consulting archaeology practiced in Gitxsan and Wet’suwet’en territory, a contested landscape where oil and gas development displaces people from their lands, is fundamentally at odds with these communities’ treatment and ethos of their ecocultural inheritance. The consideration of ecocultural and land-based heritage is not merely good practice for archaeologists; it follows from a suite of resource management strategies that have been tried and tested by Indigenous peoples over millennia—it is a more effective, just, and productive practice.


Environmental ethic Environmental knowledge Environmental resource management Ethnobiology Heritage management 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Chelsey Geralda Armstrong
    • 1
  • Eugene N. Anderson
    • 2
  1. 1.National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian InstitutionWashingtonUSA
  2. 2.Emeritus, University of CaliforniaRiversideUSA

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