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Fostering Cultures of Sustainability through Community-Engaged Museums: The History and Re-Emergence of Ecomuseums in Canada and the USA

Author

Listed:
  • Glenn C. Sutter

    () (Royal Saskatchewan Museum, 2340 Albert St, Regina, SK S4P 2V7, Canada)

  • Tobias Sperlich

    () (Department of Anthropology, University of Regina, 3737 Wascana Pkwy, Regina, SK S4S 0A2, Canada)

  • Douglas Worts

    () (WorldViews Consulting, 4 Earl St., Toronto, ON M4Y 1M3, Canada)

  • René Rivard

    () (Cultura Consulting, 1070 avenue Lajoie, porte 12, Outremont, PQ H2V 1N6, Canada)

  • Lynne Teather

    () (Department of Museum Studies, University of Toronto, 140 St. George St., Toronto, ON M5S 3G6, Canada)

Abstract

In recent decades, communities around the world have been reacting to the forces of globalization by re-focusing on the local, leading to the democratization of culture, heritage, and related concepts. By attempting to reconnect locals with their own sense of belonging, to reinvigorate a pride of place, and to foster wellbeing, communities have increasingly and successfully turned to features that make their local history, heritage, and environment unique or distinctive. In turn, democratization processes have led to sustainable forms of economic and community development through ecomuseums and other examples of community-engaged museums. This paper aims to deepen our understanding of relevant community-based culture and heritage initiatives by reflecting on the development of ecomuseums in Canada and the USA. As part of the larger museum community, ecomuseums tend to be accessible entities that are not affiliated with political or other convictions or viewpoints. This makes them uniquely positioned to foster creative change and adaptation aimed at sustainability, yet their evolution in North America has not been examined from this perspective. To address this gap, this paper will highlight the Haute-Beauce Ecomuseum in Québec and the Ak-Chin Him Dak Ecomuseum in Arizona, which have long histories as North American ecomuseums and represent two very different cultural and geographic contexts. We also reflect on the history of ecomuseums in Canada, and their recent emergence in the Canadian province of Saskatchewan.

Suggested Citation

  • Glenn C. Sutter & Tobias Sperlich & Douglas Worts & René Rivard & Lynne Teather, 2016. "Fostering Cultures of Sustainability through Community-Engaged Museums: The History and Re-Emergence of Ecomuseums in Canada and the USA," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 8(12), pages 1-9, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:gam:jsusta:v:8:y:2016:i:12:p:1310-:d:85031
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Annie Tubadji & Brian Osoba & Peter Nijkamp, 2015. "Culture-based development in the USA: culture as a factor for economic welfare and social well-being at a county level," Journal of Cultural Economics, Springer;The Association for Cultural Economics International, vol. 39(3), pages 277-303, August.
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    Cited by:

    1. María Belén San Pedro Veledo & Inés López Manrique & Inés Fombella Coto & Yolanda Del Cura González & Beatriz Sánchez Martínez & Ana Isabel Álvarez González, 2018. "Social Sciences, Art and Physical Activity in Leisure Environments. An Inter-Disciplinary Project for Teacher Training," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 10(6), pages 1-16, May.
    2. Francesca Simeoni & Veronica De Crescenzo, 2018. "Ecomuseums (on Clean Energy), Cycle Tourism and Civic Crowdfunding: A New Match for Sustainability?," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 10(3), pages 1-16, March.
    3. Jirawan Sirivanichkul & Koompong Noobanjong & Supornchai Saengratwatchara & Weeranan Damrongsakul & Chaturong Louhapensang, 2018. "Interpretation of a Local Museum in Thailand," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 10(7), pages 1-33, July.
    4. Mara Cerquetti & Concetta Ferrara, 2018. "Marketing Research for Cultural Heritage Conservation and Sustainability: Lessons from the Field," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 10(3), pages 1-16, March.
    5. Izabela Luiza Pop & Anca Borza & Anuța Buiga & Diana Ighian & Rita Toader, 2019. "Achieving Cultural Sustainability in Museums: A Step Toward Sustainable Development," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 11(4), pages 1-22, February.
    6. Roberto Pierdicca & Marina Paolanti & Roberto Bacchiani & Roberto de Leo & Bruno Bisceglia & Emanuele Frontoni, 2019. "Accurate Modeling of the Microwave Treatment of Works of Art," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 11(6), pages 1-19, March.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    ecomuseum; community engagement; sustainability; Haute-Beauce; Ak-Chin; democratization; heritage; museum; Canada; Saskatchewan;

    JEL classification:

    • Q - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics
    • Q0 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - General
    • Q2 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation
    • Q3 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Nonrenewable Resources and Conservation
    • Q5 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics
    • Q56 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Environment and Development; Environment and Trade; Sustainability; Environmental Accounts and Accounting; Environmental Equity; Population Growth
    • O13 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Agriculture; Natural Resources; Environment; Other Primary Products

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