Weeks are longer than they used to be. I can barely remember the geologic era of the last time I sat down on a Tuesday evening to write to you.
That’s the problem with archaeologists: We expect time to be linear.
Sometimes, it can be helpful to consider the antitheses of our expectations, of our lived experiences.
That’s what Robin Wall Kimmerer does in the introduction to a new edition of her wonderful book, Braiding Sweetgrass. I strongly recommend Kimmerer’s book to you, friends. And please read the generous offering from the folks at Emergence Magazine—that excerpt is a recommendation in and of itself. We’ve linked to it in this edition of this newsletter.
I haven’t gone back to count the number of times I have mentioned the goal of—and need for—healing, in my recent writings. Still, it hasn’t been enough.
At a meeting in Phoenix, probably six years ago, Willie Greyeyes spoke about the healing role of Bears Ears. I had expected a more contentious statement. His healing statement was the antithesis of my expectation. I am grateful to him for helping me think more creatively about place, past, present, future, and healing.
And, as I consider this past week, I return to my words from last week: Vigorous advocacy and creative pursuit of healing continue to be our core priorities.
Yours in pursuit of vigorous healing,
President & CEO, Archaeology Southwest
FY2021 Interior Appropriations Bill Excludes Chaco Protections
Pueblo Action Alliance is demanding that protections be put in place to stop oil and gas leasing within the 10 mile buffer of Chaco Canyon. The FY2021 Appropriations Bill prepared by the Senate Republicans does not contain the preexisting language, supported by the sovereign tribal nations and many others, that prohibit the BLM from leasing federal lands within roughly 10 miles of Chaco Canyon. This is the only policy provision which was removed from the CR in the Interior Bill, while the Majority retained riders on sage grouse, BIA and Monuments. https://bit.ly/36DHLsL – Pueblo Action Alliance
Editors’ note: Read Paul Reed’s statement on behalf of Archaeology Southwest here: https://bit.ly/2UgqBvq
Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante: What Might Happen Next?
“It’s quite possible that the cases are just sort of done because you have a new president reinstating Bears Ears and Grand Staircase,” said University of Arizona law professor Justin Pidot, who worked at Interior during the Obama administration. The underlying legal question—whether the Antiquities Act gives presidents the power to shrink national monuments—would then remain unanswered until a future…president again attempts to downsize a site. https://bit.ly/3kkZtpz – Bloomberg Law
“There’s a fundamental issue about the power of the executive under the Antiquities Act,” [Scott Berry, board vice president for Grand Staircase Escalante Partners] said, “and if we’re not just going to have a situation in the future of flip-flopping monuments … we’re going to need to get that question answered.” Should the monuments be restored, Berry insisted the Bureau of Land Management should scrap its recently adopted management plans for the Grand Staircase and the 900,000 acres pulled out of the monument. And the new Bears Ears management plan should be replaced as soon as practical, according to Josh Ewing, executive director of Friends of Cedar Mesa. https://bit.ly/3kqtWmk – Salt Lake Tribune
“…A new world is already rising”
In this excerpt from the new introduction to her acclaimed book Braiding Sweetgrass, Robin Wall Kimmerer draws upon the creation story Skywoman Falling and the wisdom of plants to guide us through our present moment of deep uncertainty. Her words of hope, transformation, and courage feel especially poignant at this moment as we look to find ways to heal and address the monumental challenges that lie before us. https://bit.ly/3pfs9nF – Emergence Magazine
Commentary: “A River of Stories and Prayers”
It is here, in this pristine, remote stretch of the Little Colorado River Gorge on the Navajo Nation, near Grand Canyon National Park, that developers aim to back up ancient waters behind concrete dams. The Little Colorado River is known by many names to the 11 tribes affiliated with the Grand Canyon. As a Diné (Navajo) woman from Western Navajo Agency, I call the Little Colorado River Toh Bi Kaah, meaning “water above.” Since time immemorial, the Little Colorado River’s precious waters have meant life to Indigenous peoples in the Southwest. https://bit.ly/3pgUlGJ – Sarana Riggs in Colorado Plateau Advocate Magazine (Grand Canyon Trust)
At 30th Anniversary of NAGPRA, Society for American Archaeology Undertakes Policy Update
Thirty years ago, the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA) transformed our field by laying crucial groundwork for a more ethical approach to archaeology. As part of our obligation to continue to improve the ethical practice of archaeology, the SAA is preparing to update our Statement on the Treatment of Human Remains and is soliciting member input in this process. https://bit.ly/38yLLgu – Society for American Archaeology
Support Renovations at the Mimbres Cultural Heritage Site
Our partners in preservation, the Imogen F. Wilson Education Foundation (IFWEF), own and maintain the historic buildings located at the Mattocks Site/Mimbres Culture Heritage Site. IFWEF has invited the Grant County Archaeological Society (GCAS) to relocate our library, archives, and collections of potsherds and artifacts from our current quarters in the site’s main ranch house (the Gooch House) to a larger space in the adjacent historic Wood House. The GCAS will develop two ground floor rooms of the Wood House into a research station and lab, to better accommodate the archaeologists and field schools we and IFWEF typically host at the Mimbres Culture Heritage Site. https://bit.ly/35gB3sT – Grant County Archaeological Society
Publication Announcement: Dutton’s Dirty Diggers
Dutton’s Dirty Diggers: Bertha P. Dutton and the Senior Girl Scout Archaeological Camps in the American Southwest, 1947–1957, by Catherine S. Fowler. University of Utah Press, 2020. https://bit.ly/3kj6Cqy
Publication Announcement: The House of the Cylinder Jars
The House of the Cylinder Jars: Room 28 in Pueblo Bonito, Chaco Canyon, edited by Patricia L. Crown. University of New Mexico Press, 2020. https://bit.ly/2IobCx3
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.
TODAY, November 11, 4:00 p.m. EST: Black and Indigenous Storytelling as Counter-History: For untold centuries, storytelling has been foundational to the ways Black and Indigenous people understand and connect to the world around them. However, knowledge systems upheld in academic settings continually disavow these narratives and those who hold them as valid sites of intellectual production. In this webinar, we explore storytelling through artifacts, cultural landscapes, comics, graphic novels, and video games as a means of counter-history, illuminating new ways of imagining pasts, presents, and futures for Black and Indigenous people. Panelists will discuss how they engage storytelling as an intellectual entryway to interpretations of the material evidence of Black and Indigenous histories. Sponsored by the Society of Black Archaeologists, Indigenous Archaeology Collective, Cotsen Institute of Archaeology at UCLA, Cornell Institute of Archaeology and Material Studies, Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research, and SAPIENS. More information and Zoom registration: https://bit.ly/3knyeul
From Crow Canyon Archaeological Center: On November 19 at 4:00 p.m. MST, Jonathan Dombrosky will present “How Prevalent Was Ancestral Pueblo Garden Hunting?” More information and Zoom registration: https://bit.ly/2JXdTQj
From Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument: Our winter hours of operation start Sunday, November 15, 2020, and will remain in place through Monday, February 15, 2021. Cliff Dweller Trail with access to the cliff dwellings will be open between 10:00 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. daily except for Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day when the park will be closed. The trail is a moderately strenuous one-mile round trip, and generally takes between 1 and 1½ hours to complete. Visitors will have until 4:30 pm to exit the monument. https://bit.ly/3kfuafX
From the Maxwell Museum of Anthropology: On November 18 at 4:30 p.m. MST, Dr. Hannah Matson will present “The Jewelry of Pueblo Bonito.” Zoom registration: https://bit.ly/38txzoX
From Old Pueblo Archaeology Center: On November 19 at 7:00 p.m. MST, Bill Gillespie will present “People and Politics behind the Construction of the Catalina Highway to Mount Lemmon” for Old Pueblo Archaeology Center’s “Third Thursday Food for Thought” series. Internees at Federal Prison Camp No. 10 northeast of Tucson took 15 years to build this 25-mile-long highway during the Great Depression and World War II. More information and Zoom registration: https://bit.ly/3liEuVC
On Saturday, November 21, from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., archaeologist Bill Gillespie will lead our “Catalina Highway Prison Camp at the Gordon Hirabayashi Recreation Area Tour” starting at the Safeway at E. Tanque Verde Rd. & Catalina Highway, Tucson. This historic prison camp was founded for the sole purpose of providing labor to construct the Hitchcock Highway that connected Tucson to the top of Mount Lemmon. Donations requested. https://bit.ly/3eKNS1Q
From the Pueblo Archaeological and Historical Society and Crow Canyon Archaeological Center: On November 12 at 4:00 p.m. MST, Patrick Cruz (Ohkay Owingeh member and Ph.D. student, University of Colorado at Boulder) will present “Phiogeh: A Classic Period Tewa Community in New Mexico.” More information and Zoom registration: https://bit.ly/2IqJ0CQ
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/