First Advisor

Jeremy Spoon

Term of Graduation

Fall 2020

Date of Publication


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (M.A.) in Anthropology






Historic sites, Interpretation of cultural and natural resources, Intersectionality (Sociology), Fort Vancouver National Historic Site (Vancouver, Wash., and Oregon City, Or.), Archaeology and history



Physical Description

1 online resource (vi, 108 pages)


While working to maintain contemporary and future relationships with stakeholders, heritage sites and cultural centers across the United States attempt to tell the history and experiences of the land and people who were once there, are there in the present, and will be there in the future. Fort Vancouver National Historic Site is one of these heritage places. This study is a response to current management needs identified for the Fort Vancouver National Historic Site. Through an internship with the ongoing Fort Vancouver National Historic Site Traditional Use Study, my research examines how heritage sites and cultural centers fulfill the needs of tribes and other diverse stakeholders, such as community members and park visitors. Using an inductive approach, my research focused on the roles of history and memory in the intersectionality of meaning at heritage spaces and how this influences the diverse aspects of these places. I analyzed the interpretive content and programming of 10 case study sites and two supplementary sites in Washington, Idaho, and Hawai'i and completed 15 semi-structured interviews. I identified five themes in the results: (1) stories told at sites are controlled by a set of established interpretive themes; (2) stories have a lack of shared authority; (3) shared stories have little hybridity; (4) contemporary Indigenous relationships with sites are rooted in ancestral memories and connections; and (5) sites share contemporary relationships with the public through live cultural programming. Building on this knowledge, heritage sites and cultural centers can develop interpretation and programming that is more representational of the memories, history, and Indigenous experiences of sites.


© 2020 Leah Marie Rosenkranz

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