Escaping the "progress trap": UNESCO World Heritage Site nomination and land stewardship through intangible cultural heritage in Asatiwisipe First Nation, Manitoba
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The First Nation community of Poplar River in Northern Manitoba is using a UNESCO World Heritage Site nomination to assist with meeting local needs. Going beyond the expected, non-renewable resource development, Asatiwisipe First Nation is taking control over its own developmental plans, and forging an ecologically sustainable vision of community-controlled economic and political development. This initiative is an escape from the ‘progress trap’ where Indigenous resource stewardship practices will guide sustainable community economic development. This thesis explores the application of intangible cultural heritage as a lens for looking at the culture/nature discussion, food sovereignty, Indigenous resource management as well as Aboriginal and treaty rights. Based on longitudinal research over the past eight years, this dissertation is a collection of interviews and narratives from community members, personal experiences and policy research. Despite systemic Eurocentrism and many challenges, permanent protection of the Poplar River Community Conserved Area through the World Heritage Site nomination is perhaps the best solution for the community as it is an initiative that has been instigated by the First Nation itself.