Movement, power and place: the biography of a wagon road in a contested First Nations landscape

Gibson, E. (2015) Movement, power and place: the biography of a wagon road in a contested First Nations landscape. Cambridge Archaeological Journal, 25(02), pp. 417-434. (doi: 10.1017/S0959774314000791)

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Abstract

This paper explores the biography of a wagon road located in the First Nations (indigenous) territory of the Stl'atl'imx of the lower Lillooet River Valley in southern British Columbia, Canada. While the road is best known as a route to the Fraser Canyon during the Fraser River Gold Rush of 1858, here I investigate its multiple lives. Adopting themes from symmetrical archaeology, I show that the wagon road was not a passive outcome of colonial action but instead shifted in form and meaning as it interacted with the human and non-human world. I draw on archival documents from the Royal Engineers and oral accounts from the Stl'atl'imx of the lower Lillooet River Valley to illustrate how people, places and things were woven into the landscape through bodily engagement with the road. This paper thus highlights the complexity of the colonial encounter and the importance of movement and the materiality of movement (roads) in understanding the diversity of interaction in tensioned landscapes.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Gibson, Dr Erin
Authors: Gibson, E.
College/School:College of Arts > School of Humanities > Archaeology
Journal Name:Cambridge Archaeological Journal
Publisher:Cambridge University Press
ISSN:0959-7743
ISSN (Online):1474-0540
Published Online:23 April 2015

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