Where the Wind Blows Us unites critical practice with a community-based approach to archaeology. Author Natasha Lyons describes an inclusive archaeology that rests on a flexible but rigorous approach to research design and demonstrates a responsible, ethical practice. She traces the rise and application of community archaeologies, develops a wide-ranging set of methods for community practice, and maps out a "localised critical theory" that is suited to the needs of local and descendant communities as they pursue self-defined heritage goals. Localised critical theory aims to decentre the focus on global processes of capitalism in favour of the local processes of community dynamics. Where the Wind Blows Us emphasises the role of individuals and the relationships they share with communities of the past and present.
Lyons offers an extended case study of her work with the Inuvialuit community of the Canadian Western Arctic. She documents the development of this longstanding research relationship and presents both the theoretical and practical products of the work to date. Integrating knowledge drawn from archaeology, ethnography, oral history, and community interviews, Lyons utilises a multivocal approach that actively listens to Inuvialuit speak about their rich and textured history.
The overall significance of this volume lies in outlining a method of practicing archaeology that embraces local ways of knowing with a critically constructed and evolving methodology that is responsive to community needs. It will serve as a handbook to mine for elements of critical practice, a model of community-based archaeology, and a useful set of concepts and examples for classroom study.
Natasha Lyons is a paleoethnobotanist and independent heritage practitioner who lives in British Columbia, Canada. She is a founding partner of Ursus Heritage Consulting, which provides heritage and archaeological consulting services throughout Western Canada and the Arctic.