AP-01 Carnegie Foundation Associate Partner

AP-01 UK
Going Home: Repatriation, Artefacts, and the Scottish Diaspora among Canadian First Nations People

Robert Wishart
Department of Anthropology
University of Aberdeen

This project will undertake a critical study of how the idea of a ‘home’ becomes inscribed within objects. The project has three trajectories that are designed to enrich the understanding of ‘vernacular architecture’ and ‘circumpolar households’ in field settings of Northwestern Canada and Siberia. The three trajectories are:

  1. The ethnohistory of homes and vernacular architecture in Northwestern Canada,
  2. Repatriation, and the creation of ‘homes’ for objects in museums, and
  3. Dwellings as artefactual symbols of identity.

This project is structured around the work Robert Wishart. Wishart’s work re-examines the historic relationship between Scots and north-western Aboriginal people in Canada. His ethnohistoric research brings substance to an investigation into how the Scots, many of whom were (or were the descendants of) crofters from northern Scotland expelled from Scottish lands, influenced and participated in a documented history of Aboriginal resistance to industrialisation. Part of the attempted industrialisation of Gwich’in lands included coercive efforts to relocate people into town centres and government housing and in some key ways resembles the housing developments of Scottish cities. This project will investigate how similar post-colonial relationships are literally built into homes.