||Robert C. Thomsen and Lill Rastad Bjørst
In recent years, rapid changes to Arctic environments and conditions have spurred much analysis into the melting of sea and inland ice, the opening up of new sea routes, impacts on flora and fauna, and increased access to globally desired resources. In this book the focus is directed at a more rarely considered aspect of climate-induced change in the region: the Arctic cultures and societies that both affect and are themselves affected by the changes.
For the people of the Arctic, change provokes and reemphasises positions as rights- and land-holders, as well as ambivalent positions as stakeholders, developers and wardens of resources. In times characterized by such change and ambivalence, heritage offers itself as a means by which a community can meaningfully relate to both past and future; but its use (and the inclusion and exclusion of particular identity-building elements) must also be continuously negotiated.
In Heritage and Change in the Arctic scholars from the social and human sciences explore change and transformation from two resource-inspired angles: it keeps a constant focus on the impact of change on tangible and intangible heritage, as well as on some of the cultural and social heritage features that must themselves be considered as resources in an environment characterised by change.