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Dr. Nelson Graburn 

Professor Emeritus,Anthropology, UC   Berkeley


Indigenous Empowerment in Tourism and Heritage Research: a Personal Consideration


Ever since my earliest research experiences with the Canadian Inuit (1959, 1960, 1963-64, 1967-68) I have been inspired both by the mainstream concerns of anthropology and the novel situations and local concerns that I found in the field for which I had to create new models (e.g., Ethnic and Tourist Arts, 1976). Following work that contributed to the empowerment of the Inuit, and to research on the transformation of Japanese tourism as well as the repositioning of both indigenous Ainu and immigrant minorities (Multiculturalism in the New Japan, 2008), since 1991 I have studied ethnic tourism, heritage development and the gentrification of the countryside in China. Realizing that many of my professional colleagues were themselves indigenous minorities, I explored this phenomenon, not by studying “them” but with a network of minority collaborators. This spurred me to look back again at my experiences in Canada and the US, and to look further at other multicultural nations such as Mexico and Brazil, and at unequal bicultural nations, such as New Zealand with Maori and Scandinavia with “their” Sami. One observation concerns the advantages of being bicultural in the struggles for empowerment.

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