My calendar called out two holidays on Monday: Indigenous Peoples’ Day and Columbus Day. It was another reminder of the broad divisions within this country. Our lead story today points you to a thought-provoking discussion in which experts consider ways to bridge those divisions.
This two-hour webinar offered by Sapiens and several other organizations explores “An Archaeology of Redress and Restorative Justice.” The panel consisted of three Indigenous archaeologists and the Curator of Slavery at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History. The panelists engaged in a compelling discussion that highlighted the breadth of values represented in archaeology, as well as the importance of listening to communities.
Right up front, the group tackled a fundamental question: Is archaeology valid as a practice? Their answers to that and many other questions probed the impacts of colonialism and racism. The dialogue included examples of people and communities who are addressing these painful histories and clashes of values through archaeology.
These are complicated issues. They lack simple answers. Confronting uncomfortable topics, listening to Black, Indigenous, and descendant community voices—these are part of a process. And the optimistic message of this webinar is that thoughtful, creative people are deeply engaged in this process. I’m ready to listen and learn.
President & CEO, Archaeology Southwest
Video: An Archaeology of Redress and Restorative Justice
In this webinar, we explore how archaeology can not only identify the legacies of inequity, injustice, and violence that have shaped historical and contemporary communities, but also open the possibility of redress for the continuing systemic inequities these legacies reveal (i.e., environmental racism, racialized disenfranchisement, heritage erasure). Panelists discuss how they blend archaeology and heritage work with principles of redress and restorative justice. https://bit.ly/372RlH6 – Sapiens
Museums, Nonprofits, and Restorative Justice
On July 16, 2020, the Native Arts and Cultures Foundation (NACF) and the Yale Union (YU) announced that YU would transfer its land and building in Portland, Oregon, to NACF. The historic building will become the headquarters of the NACF and in late 2021, after a period of co-programming, YU will dissolve as a nonprofit. …As a non-collecting center for (non-Indigenous) contemporary art, one might think it unlikely that YU would place decolonization high on its list of strategic priorities. In fact, it has chosen to go beyond sharing power, or returning objects obtained through colonial appropriation, and turned over all its assets to an organization representing the Indigenous cultures dispossessed by American colonists. https://bit.ly/2FupcO2 – American Alliance of Museums
Continuing Coverage: Indigenous Land Protectors Tear Gassed on Indigenous Peoples’ Day
David Manuel was singing a traditional Tohono O’odham song when he was shot by rubber bullets and arrested Monday morning, supporters say. Manuel was one of 12 people arrested on Indigenous People’s Day after protesters blocked traffic on Arizona 85 near an immigration checkpoint, voicing concerns about border wall construction and activity on O’odham ancestral land in Southern Arizona. The Arizona Department of Public Safety gave protesters warning to clear the roadway before using tear gas to disperse the crowd. https://bit.ly/3iYTO7R – Arizona Daily Star (tucson.com)
Tohono O’odham Nation Chairman Ned Norris, Jr. said “The use of tear gas on O’odham and fellow American citizens exercising their sacred constitutional right to protest is utterly appalling, and not something that should be tolerated in our democracy. For years, I and other O’odham leaders have been raising the alarm about the very issues that are at the root of this travesty – the wanton destruction of burial and other sites that are sacred to the Tohono O’odham, and that should be protected by law.” https://bit.ly/3k00HqO – Tohono O’odham Nation (opens as a PDF)
Commentary: Dam, Uranium Mining Threaten Indigenous Lands
For the Hopi, the land now known as the Grand Canyon is one of the most culturally significant places in our culture and history. The Grand Canyon is the place we believe from which we emerged and will return when we pass to the next life. This land is home to sacred sites central to the culture and beliefs of thousands of Indigenous people. However, due to the Big Canyon dam proposal and the growing threat of uranium mining, our sacred land is more at risk than ever. https://bit.ly/3iZtlqK – Maree Mahkewa in the Arizona Daily Sun
Commentary: Climate Solutions Require Indigenous Knowledge and Leadership
A land acknowledgement highlights the ongoing stewardship by Indigenous peoples, uplifts Indigenous voices, and helps audiences and institutions reconsider their roles within a broader community. It’s a sign of respect that’s common in Canada, Australia, New Zealand, tribal nations, and increasingly in the U.S. It’s also a step toward recognizing that multiple perspectives are needed to address climate change. https://bit.ly/313Ks4u – Nikoosh Carlo at Grist
Video: Paul Reed Interview on Greater Chaco
On October 1, Paul Reed spoke with host Scott Michlin about why Greater Chaco should be protected and what needs to be done. https://youtu.be/FJLGDaq1OYs – KSJE
On September 28, Archaeology Southwest hosted a virtual media event with United States Representative Debra Haaland (D-NM), Governor Brian D. Vallo (Pueblo of Acoma), Octavius Seowtewa (Pueblo of Zuni), and Paul Reed. We shared it here, but in case you missed it: https://youtu.be/GhCZhrUVgpQ
Video: Archaeology Café with Jeffery Clark
On October 6, Jeff presented “Safford, Ancient Arizona’s Forgotten Cosmopolitan Center.” He shared new insights into archaeology along the Gila River in this region of east-central Arizona. https://bit.ly/2SRpdOZ – Archaeology Southwest
Study Examines Mimbres Pottery and Social Organization
It’s beloved today for the designs: antelope, fish, jackrabbits, lizards, bats, scorpions, bighorn sheep, parrots and sacred figures. And that’s where most of the attention on Mimbres pottery has been focused: what’s depicted and how cool or charming it is. But pottery and Mimbres social organization hadn’t been brought together. Academically, the pottery lived in a vacuum of its own. Now, a new study by researchers at Arizona State University’s School of Human Evolution and Social Change highlights the meaning behind the painted designs. https://bit.ly/3dn4f3Y – ASU Now
Michelle Hegmon and Will Russell recently wrote a blog post about the study. We shared it here, but in case you missed it: https://bit.ly/3kGy8i4
Dogs Bred for Fleece
The blanket, dated to about 1850, contained dog wool, lending credence to stories from the oral tradition of the Coast Salish Indigenous peoples of a special dog that was long kept and bred for its fleece. A study published last month in the Journal of Anthropological Archaeology adds to the evidence for the industry that produced this dog wool, as well as its ancient roots. https://nyti.ms/3nMEG18 – New York Times
Online Resources, Events, and Opportunities to Help
Please keep sharing these with us, and we will keep helping to get the word out. Our inbox is firstname.lastname@example.org.
From the Archaeological Institute of America: On October 15 at 1:00 p.m. EDT, Steve Lekson will present “Millennium on the Meridian: Tracking the History of the Ancient Southwest” as part of the Skype a Scientist series. Direct link: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/87281081892
REMINDER from the Arizona Archaeological and Historical Society: On October 19, at 7:00 p.m. AZ/MST, Kelsey Hanson (Ph.D. candidate, School of Anthropology, and Field Supervisor, Preservation Archaeology Field School) will present “Technologies of Capturing Color: Paint Practice and its Analysis in the U.S. Southwest.” More information and Zoom registration: http://bit.ly/2VD5OUJ
From Crow Canyon Archaeological Center: On October 15 at 4:00 p.m. MDT, Samantha Bomkamp will present “Studying Casas Grandes Ceramics from the Midwest to Chihuahua, Mexico.” More information and Zoom registration: https://bit.ly/2SO7xnz
From Grand Staircase Escalante Partners and the Grand Canyon Trust: We have two remaining panels in our teach-in series, “Native Perspectives—on Public Land and Tribal Preservation,” at 6:00–7:00 p.m. MDT (5:00–6:00 AZ/MST) on October 15 and October 22. On the 15th, Kathy Sanchez, Roberto Nutlouis, and Adesbah Foguth discuss how to visit with respect on ancestral lands. Register for these events here: https://bit.ly/3mXcGaJ. Recap page: https://gsenm.org/native-perspectives/
From the New Mexico Historic Preservation Division: Please join us for the Virtual Mexico Archaeology Fair beginning Saturday, October 17. This year’s Archaeology Fair will showcase information on archaeology and archaeological sites from across New Mexico and beyond. Visit our Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/nmhistoricpreservation/ for daily posts or our website at www.nm.historicpreservation.org.
From Old Pueblo Archaeology Center: On October 15 at 7:00 p.m. AZ/MST, Dr. Deni J. Seymour will present “Revisiting Santa Cruz de Terrenate Presidio.” More information and Zoom registration: https://bit.ly/30YM8fR
On October 24, from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. AZ/MST, flintknapper Sam Greenleaf will teach an arrowhead-making and flintknapping workshop at Old Pueblo Archaeology Center, 2201 W. 44th Street, Tucson. Participants will learn how to make arrowheads, spear points, and other flaked stone artifacts from obsidian and other stone like ancient peoples did. The class is designed to foster understanding of how prehistoric peoples made essential tools, not to make artwork for sale. Reservations and payment ($35, includes all materials and equipment) required by 5:00 p.m. October 22. More information: https://bit.ly/3mTHw42
From the Santa Fe Archaeological Society: On October 20 at 7:00 p.m. MDT, Susanne Ebbinghaus will present “Godly or Gaudy? Reconstructing Color on a Relief from Persepolis.” The talk is sponsored by the Archaeological Institute of America. Direct link: https://harvard.zoom.us/j/99428878865
We’re happy to help get the word out. Please submit news, publication announcements, and other resources to this link for consideration: https://www.archaeologysouthwest.org/submit-to-sat/