Creative Yukon: Finding data to tell the cultural economy story

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de la Barre, Suzanne
In chapter 4, Suzanne de la Barre illustrates how cultural mapping is essential to the process of placemaking. Using the Yukon as an example, she argues for the necessity of uncovering and using data at the local level to understand the cultural sector, and its relation to creative tourism, in northern peripheral regions. Spatial and cultural representation, including Indigenization, are vital placemaking elements; shared with stakeholders, these elements in turn should inform any policy aimed at development, including tourism. Any creative tourism experiences must be embedded in the information provided by such data. As she explains in her chapter, de la Barre is concerned with “the impact the cultural sector is having on the territory, including contributions to resident quality of life and community well-being, as well as the engagement between the cultural and tourism sectors.” Especially in such large but sparsely populated northern areas, the author points to the crucial role of networks in collaborative placemaking processes that consider nature, tourism, funding support, cultural capital, multiculturalism, and Indigeneity. Weaving tangible and intangible community assets through a community-based development plan, including creative networks among the stakeholders, is key to sustainable development. The provision of creative tourism experiences can be a strategic contribution to the building of resilient communities in economically challenged, peripheral regions with small populations. De la Barre argues that in order to build such sustainable development plans, local data must be mined and considered. Remote northern communities are not only fragile in terms of their physical environments, but also in their social and cultural contexts, given their peripherality, small populations, distance between communities, and, most importantly, threats to Indigenous world views and practices.
This book chapter is part of an open access ebook, and was originally published as: de la Barre, S. (2021). Creative Yukon: Finding data to tell the cultural economy story. In K. Scherf (Ed.), Creative tourism in smaller communities: Place, culture, and local representation (pp. 109-135). Calgary: University of Calgary.
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