Last week’s list of fresh words I hope we’ll be using more going forward was a bit too short. Here are the contributions of your word-savvy fellow readers.
Compliance (as say, for mandatory masks)
Humor (as in, good humor) (2)
Thankfulness, Gratefulness, Gratitude
Industry (meaning diligence)
Thanks to the following “word people” for their contributions: Tom Taylor, Reed Peters, Jesse Ballenger, John Karon, Don Fowler, Lucy Lippard, John Welch, Dale Lange, Bill Ross, Ali Iliff, Sal Biondello, Beth Grindell, Chris Gralapp, Trica Oshant Hawkins, Ian Milliken, and Dusty Whiting.
This week’s stories underscore that change is about much more than words. Many important opportunities are in the spotlight.
Let’s get on with the hard work!
President & CEO, Archaeology Southwest
Video and Commentary: It’s Time to Permanently Protect the Greater Chaco Landscape
I’m grateful that President Biden and his administration have put in place a 60-day pause on new leasing and permitting, and that they have frozen the nearly finished BLM-BIA resource management plan amendment (RMPA) and environmental impact statement (EIS) work for the Greater Chaco-Farmington area. But more needs to be done. As we explain in this short video, the Greater Chaco Landscape needs the permanent protection of a bill that passes both houses of Congress and is signed by President Biden. The All-Pueblo Council of Governors, the Pueblo of Acoma, and other Pueblos and Tribes have called for the protection of Greater Chaco for years. Paul F. Reed at Preservation Archaeology (Archaeology Southwest) | Read More >>
Read a related advocacy letter from the Society for American Archaeology here.
Commentary: Prioritize Indigenous-Led Conservation
The U.S. government has both moral and legal obligations to support the conservation and natural resource priorities of tribal nations. But doing so would also provide universal scientific benefits: There is growing evidence from around the world that Indigenous-led conservation work leads to better outcomes across landscapes. Sahir Doshi at the Center for American Progress | Read More >>
Commentary: What Monuments Mean
Besides, a monument does far more than just keep looters or drillers at bay. It gives federal land managers more leverage to limit visitation, to steer people away from the most sensitive sites, to ban or strictly regulate motorized and non-motorized recreation, to forbid mountain bike races and other competitive events, to keep BASE jumpers from launching themselves into Arch Canyon, and to stop “adventure guides” from leading dozens of paying clients through your favorite, no-longer-so-secret slot canyon. None of that is a given, however. And that may be the most important lesson here: A monument designation in and of itself is only the beginning of the process. Jonathan P. Thompson at The Land Desk | Read More >>
Analysis: What’s Next for Embattled Utah National Monuments
Most observers suspect Biden plans ultimately to restore the monuments as part of a larger campaign to reverse environmental policies implemented by President Donald Trump. “There is little doubt left from the comments that [Biden] has made that the intent is to reinstate both monuments that were incorrectly undone by action that is being challenged in court,” former Interior Secretary Sally Jewell told The Salt Lake Tribune in an interview Friday. “There’s little doubt that he will reinstate those [monuments] and for absolutely the right reasons.” Brian Maffly and Zak Podmore in the Salt Lake Tribune | Read More >>
Restoration Is a Beginning
For many, like Clark Tenakhongva, even if Biden restores both national monuments in Utah, that’s just the beginning of the conversation. “Then what happens after that?” Tenakhongva said. Like other tribal leaders, he wants some reassurance that land protections can no longer be so easily diminished. “I would like to have a permanent, formal legislation that—no matter what other president comes in 20 years from now, 40 years from now—would not undo what work we have sacrificed our lives basically for.” Jessica Douglas and Grant Lee Brewer in High Country News | Read More >>
Commentary: What Restoring Bears Ears Means
Bears Ears is many things, including an attempt at correcting history. The first national monument was Devil’s Tower in Wyoming, proclaimed in 1906 by President Theodore Roosevelt. Its almost 900-foot-tall granite monolith, made famous in Close Encounters of the Third Kind, had long been called Bears Lodge by the Plains Indians, and was considered sacred by many tribes. Which means that in “saving” it, the United States government also claimed it. This usurpation of sacred ground would be repeated again and again in the creation of parks and monuments; places of ceremony and cultural import were claimed in the name of recreation, conservation, and science. David Gessner in Sierra | Read More >>
Indigenous Perspectives on Rep. Haaland’s Nomination to Interior
For Regina Lopez Whiteskunk, a member of the Ute Mountain Ute Tribe in southwest Colorado, it means dealing with someone who understands that when she talks to tribes, she is talking to members of sovereign nations, as recognized by the U.S Constitution. Lopez Whiteskunk, a former tribal council member, said federal officials don’t always take the nation-to-nation relationship seriously. “It would just be historic to have a conversation with someone who has that capacity and understanding of what tribal organizations are trying to express, trying to achieve within the Department of Interior,” said Lopez Whiteskunk, who lives in Towaoc. Judith Kohler in the Denver Post | Read More >>
Continuing Coverage: Oak Flat
U.S. District Court Judge Steven Logan has ordered the Preliminary Injunction hearing date in Apache Stronghold vs. United States of America moved to February 3, 2021 at 9 a.m. In-person access to the hearing will be restricted only to those participating in the hearing; however, Apache Stronghold members, press, and the public can email, AZD-PIO@azd.uscourts.gov, to obtain dial-in instructions to attend the Hearing via ZOOM. Apache Stronghold (press release) | Read More >>
O’Neil to Manage Canyons of the Ancients
An experienced national park ranger from Arizona has been hired as the new permanent manager for Canyons of the Ancients National Monument in Southwest Colorado. Ray O’Neil, of Tucson, has assumed management of the 76,000-acre monument, known for its archaeological sites, desert canyon beauty and year-round recreation. … “I’m so excited to be back on the Colorado Plateau, and look forward to working with monument staff and the community,” O’Neil said in an interview. “I have an open-door management style, anybody can talk with me about issues or concerns.” As a public lands devotee, he said the job is an opportunity of a lifetime, especially because of the monuments’ diverse landscapes and archaeology. Jim Mimiaga in the Journal | Read More >>
Multimedia: Zuni Counter Mapping
The Zuni maps are, first and foremost, for the Zuni people. But they hold a powerful message for a non-Zuni audience as well: we are all part of a greater process. We would not be here if the sun did not rise every morning, if the rivers stopped flowing. The maps are in many ways an invitation: How would you map the places that live in your memory? What are the voices of the land that are forgotten, unheard? Adam Loften and Emmanuel Vaughn-Lee in Emergence Magazine | Experience More >>
Blog: 1820s Tucson
This year, 2021, marks the 200th anniversary of Mexican Independence from Spain, which took place in September 1821. Tucson was on the northern Mexican frontier at the time, with three small communities in the Tucson Basin probably totaling fewer than 1,000 inhabitants. Homer Thiel at the Field Journal (Desert Archaeology, Inc.) | Read More >>
Jan. 28 Book Talk: The House of the Cylinder Jars
Then, in 2009, Patricia L. Crown, Leslie Spier Distinguished Professor of Archaeology at the University of New Mexico, had sherds examined. The result of the tests confirmed the presence of chocolate at Chaco and captured national headlines. Crown and her team excavated further in 2013. Their discoveries are the crux of a new book from the University of New Mexico Press entitled The House of the Cylinder Jars: Room 28 in Pueblo Bonito, Chaco Canyon. Four of the book’s authors, including Crown, conduct a virtual session at the School for Advanced Research at 10 a.m. on Thursday, Jan. 28. Jason Strykowski in the Santa Fe New Mexican | Read More >>
Zoom registration via the School for Advanced Research here.
Feb. 2 Archaeology Café: Responding to Archaeological Resource Crimes
Preservation Archaeologist Stacy Ryan and Ranger/LE Liaison D.J. “Dusty” Whiting will discuss “Preservation Archaeology’s Role in Responding to Archaeological Resource Crimes.” Stacy and Dusty will explore the impact of looting and other resource crimes, as well as some of the ways they are currently combating this problem. More information and Zoom registration via Archaeology Southwest here.
Feb. 3 Webinar: Fugitive Archaeological Spaces
Over the past year, we have seen renewed organizing amongst Black and Indigenous heritage professionals as well as the emergence of new collectives globally. These efforts have led to new initiatives around capacity building, community engagement, and decolonizing research methodologies. In this panel members of these new and emerging organizations will discuss their genesis, initiatives, as well as challenges and opportunities associated with empowering their communities in archaeology and heritage preservation. Sponsored by the Society of Black Archaeologists, Indigenous Archaeology Collective, Archaeological Research Center at UC Santa Cruz, Cornell Institute of Archaeology and Material Studies, Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research, and SAPIENS. More information and Zoom registration here.
Job Opportunity: College Fellow, Social Sciences, Harvard
The Department of Anthropology seeks applications for a College Fellow in Archaeological Science. The appointment is expected to begin on 07/01/2021. The College Fellow will have teaching responsibilities, with 25 percent of the appointment reserved for the Fellow’s own research. Duties will include teaching introductory and advanced undergraduate courses, as well as advising and evaluating senior theses. The appointment is for one year, with the possibility of renewal for a second year, contingent on performance, position availability, curricular need, and divisional dean authorization. Learn More >>
Grant Opportunity: National Park Service, Underrepresented Communities Program
The National Park Service’s (NPS) Underrepresented Community Grant Program (URC) is intended to diversify the nominations submitted to the National Register of Historic Places to include communities that are currently underrepresented. URC grants are funded by the Historic Preservation Fund (HPF), and are administered by the NPS. Projects include surveys and inventories of historic properties associated with communities underrepresented in the National Register, as well as the development or amendment of nominations to the National Register. Learn More >>