Folklorist and Heritage Consultant
Amber is a folklorist with experience producing and facilitating museum exhibits, digital archives and documentary videos. Her heritage sector career began with a material culture focus in contract archaeology (1991-2000). Since 2002 Amber has expanded her research interests to include oral history, digital humanities, museum practice & theory, public memory and Indigenous modernities; and when appropriate she uses applied and collaborative methodologies that redress social injustice.
Amber has worked collaboratively with a number of First Nations in British Columbia on heritage projects ranging from virtual repatriation (Ridington/Dane-zaa Digital Archive) and multimedia exhibition (Dane Wajich, Dane-zaa Stories and Songs: Dreamers and the Land) to traditional land use studies (McLeod Lake Indian Band Traditional Land Use Study for BC Hydro's "Site C Clean Energy Project"). All of these heritage projects have provided opportunities for her Indigenous collaborators to articulate their culture’s view of cultural property as it relates to heritage materials (archival texts, oral history recordings, photographs, objects), lands, resources, and customary practices. As part of the collaborative production process, these Indigenous groups and individuals have grappled with how to represent their traditional values within the Western paradigm of property that surrounds them in the court system, government policy & regulatory system, museum practice and marketplace.
Amber's professional and academic work explores critical issues surrounding the mediation of cultural heritage and related intellectual property concerns. She has published about Athapaskan articulations of intellectual and cultural property in a number of articles and book chapters. Her doctoral work at Memorial University of Newfoundland focuses on Dane-zaa (northern Athabaskan) peoples use of new technologies for the conservation and innovation of their dreamers’ song tradition; And her documentary film, Rovers, Wrestlers and Stars, contributed new voices to the public memory of entertainment and race relations in the US during the mid-20th Century.