X'atsull Heritage Village: A case study in indigenous tourism.
This thesis is an anthropological case study of the work of the X’atsull Heritage Village in British Columbia, Canada. The village is run by members of the Shuswap Nation and is accredited by the Aboriginal Tourism of British Columbia (AtBC). The research is based on fieldwork conducted at the site for a short period in the summer of 2013; the author was essentially a participant observer. The questions that drove this research centred on: concerns about authenticity, the nature of spiritual experiences on offer, and the wider benefits of the cultural encounters that ensued between hosts and guests. The thesis argues that theorist from various disciplines over state concerns about authenticity, and that matters of spirituality are dealt with very sensitively and largely driven by the guests. The key finding is that the cultural encounters between hosts and guests seem to be of great benefit to all concerned; this is not a process by which visitors somehow control their hosts. Indeed, hosts find the experience of running the heritage site to be beneficial in a variety of ways beyond economics: the resuscitation and maintenance of traditions, building of self confidence and playing an active part in their local economy. This thesis is hopefully making an interesting contribution to debates surrounding the nature of cultural tourism, encompassing as it does special features pertaining to indigenous tourism.
PublisherUiT Norges arktiske universitet
UiT The Arctic University of Norway
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