Extractive industries, corporate discourse and indigenous heritage

Document Type

Book Chapter

Publication Date



Department of Social Sciences


This chapter explores some ways in which mining companies mobilize corporate heritage discourse to position themselves as stakeholders and knowledge producers, and in some contexts are redefining heritage as a resource. It argues that the implications of these new literary corporate forms are many and heritage scholars should pay attention to them. Corporate bodies have for some time developed initiatives to legitimize activities or demonstrate a company's commitment to a social good. Termed corporate social responsibility (CSR), these activities comprise a suite of strategies that are commonly developed around a corporate conscience or citizenship. Corporate heritage discourse is clearly an offshoot of corporate social responsibility strategies. It also draws on and creates historical myths. The politics and economics of mining in the Upper Peninsula (UP) of Michigan provide a compelling example. Corporate heritage discourse significantly shapes and influences debates by positioning itself as a key knowledge producer.

Publication Title

Archaeologies of "Us" and "Them": Debating History, Heritage and Indigeneity