Public Communications in the Ontario CRM Industry

Society for American Archaeology (SAA) Conference 2019
Caitlin Coleman

In Ontario’s Cultural Resource Management industry, we are experiencing a profound change in how we communicate with the public. Where once we relied on newspapers, academic journals, and museums to disseminate our knowledge, we can now communicate directly with the public through social media. This change has led to new questions about what information we should be sharing with the public, while also balancing the needs of descendant communities, our clients and government frameworks. Social media is democratizing heritage, and creating a more complex landscape for the CRM industry to navigate. Descendant communities and the wider public have been given a greater voice about their own cultural history, while critical heritage theory has questioned the importance of  the expert in the process of heritage evaluation and management. I will trace how these changes to our public communications have evolved in Ontario’s CRM industry, and look ahead to where these changes may lead us in the future.