Communities and Collections

Indigenous interventions at Klahowya Village, χʷayχʷəy Vancouver / unceded Coast Salish Territory

  • Author(s) / Creator(s)
  • This chapter results from my trying to understand the source of a discomfort with cultural tourism and the commodification of indigeneity. In it, I argue that the presence of performing artists at this culturally significant site in Vancouver – metres from the former Coast Salish village of χwayχw əy2 – asserts a limited form of ‘visual sovereignty’. Michelle Raheja has described this practice in indigenous filmmaking as one that addresses settler populations by using stereotypical self-representations while it connects to aesthetic practices that strengthen treaty claims and more traditional cultural understanding by revisiting, borrowing, critiquing and stretching ethnographic conventions (2011, pp. 19, 193). Encountering the stereotypes employed in this process could have been one source of the discomfort I felt, as could my venturing into an unsettling space inflected by colonial conventions. Expanding on Raheja’s analysis of visual sovereignty in indigenous filmmaking to consider the performative aspects of a live event, I demonstrate here the significance of the embodied experience of both performers and audience at Klahowya Village layered over the archival architecture of this tourist space.

  • Date created
  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Type of Item
  • DOI
  • License
    Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International
  • Language
  • Source
    Couture, S. (2014). Indigenous interventions at Klahowya Village, χʷayχʷəy Vancouver / unceded Coast Salish territory. In H. Gilbert & C. Gleghorn (Eds.), Recasting commodity and spectacle in the Indigenous Americas (pp. 232-253). London, UK: Institute for the Study of the Americas, School of Advanced Study, University of London.
  • Link to related item