Stored in the Bones: Safeguarding Indigenous Living Heritages by Agnieszka Pawlowska-Mainville

Stored in the Bones: Safeguarding Indigenous Living Heritages

  • Paperback
  • University of Manitoba Press (2023)
  • SKU: 9781772840452
Regular price $27.95
Regular price Sale price $27.95

A new tool for preserving Indigenous cultural heritages.

Intangible cultural heritage (ICH) refers to community-based practices, knowledges, and customs that are inherited and passed down through generations. While ICH has always existed, a legal framework for its protection only emerged in 2003 with the UNESCO Convention for the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage. In Stored in the Bones, Agnieszka Pawlowska-Mainville details her work with Anishinaabeg and Inninuwag harvesters, showcasing their cultural heritage and providing a new discourse for the promotion and transmission of Indigenous knowledge.

The book focuses on lived experiences of the akiwenziyag and kitayatisuk, "men of the land" in Anishinaabemowin/Ojibwe and Inninumowin/Cree, respectively. These men shared their dibaajimowinan and achimowinak (life stories)--from putting down tobacco to tending traplines--with Pawlowska-Mainville during her fifteen years of research in Manitoba and northwestern Ontario. By performing their living heritage, the akiwenziyag and kitayatisuk are, in the words of Richard Morrison, doing what they need to do to "energize and strengthen their bones as they walk this Earth." Illustrating the importance of ICH recognition, Pawlowska- Mainville also explores her experiences with the Manitoba Clean Environment Commission regarding the impacts of hydro development and the Pimachiowin Aki UNESCO World Heritage Site nomination.

Stored in the Bones enriches discussions of treaty rights, land claims, and environmental and cultural policy. Presenting practical ways to safeguard ICH and an international framework meant to advance community interests in dealings with provincial or federal governments, the study offers a pathway for Indigenous peoples to document knowledge that is "stored in the bones."

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