As this lands in your inbox today, I’ll be in Washington, DC—virtually.
John Welch and I are participating in the Conservation Lands Foundation’s (CLF) Local Voices for Public Lands—Virtual Fly-In to Washington, DC. A “fly-in” is an opportunity to advocate for our goals to protect our public lands by meeting with elected officials or their staffs.
I’ve done actual fly-ins that were hard work—and were extremely rewarding. The hard work involved flights to DC, trekking back and forth among various Senate and House office buildings, and occasionally miscalculating as to whether a left or right turn out of an elevator would be the most efficient route to my destination.
Like the vast majority of meetings over the past year, this virtual fly-in will happen over Zoom. It saves a lot of the hard work I noted above, but has its own challenges. David Feinman, CLF’s Government Affairs Director, did the yeoman’s work of setting up more than a dozen meetings that will take place today through Friday. Tuesday was a practice run, and we got to meet our other team members—people working to protect public lands in seven western states.
John and I are there to advocate for the Sonoran Desert National Monument and the proposed Great Bend of the Gila National Conservation Area—Arizona public lands that are profoundly valued by Tribes and the public.
The entire team is also there to make the case that our National Conservation Lands require greater funding. Although these lands have doubled in size since their establishment in 2000, their funding levels are stuck at 2006 levels. These lands are too important for such limited care. So, our team will share the meaning and value of these places, and explain why they deserve a budget increase to ensure their future.
I’ll let you know how it goes when we meet here again next week.
Take care and see you then,
President & CEO, Archaeology Southwest
O’odham History beneath Mesa and Tempe
Shane Anton stood at the mouth of a hand-hewn irrigation canal that dates back centuries before the arrival of the first European explorers. The ancient waterway, 10 feet wide and about 5 feet deep, sits in a small desert park surrounded by tract homes in Lehi, a neighborhood in north Mesa. “Our belief is we’ve been here since time immemorial,” said Anton, an Onk Akimel O’odham and a member of the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community, “and the need to farm was always there.” Debra Utacia Krol in the Arizona Republic (azcentral dot com) | Read More >>
Continuing Coverage: The Struggle for Oak Flat
In southern Arizona, the proposed site of a new mine is pitting the mining company, Resolution Cooper, against the San Carlos Apache people. The site sits above one of the largest untapped copper reserves in North America and is worth billions of dollars, but is also a sacred site for the San Carlos Apache Tribe. Special Correspondent Benedict Moran reports from Oak Flat, Arizona. Benedict Moran for the PBS News Hour | Watch Now >>
A transcript is also available at that link.
Continuing Coverage: National Monument Litigation Pivots
As part of a review of protections that the Trump administration lifted, the White House is taking care to consult with tribes that help to manage Bears Ears. Tribal requests for an expanded monument are expected be given new weight in part because Bears Ears advocate Rep. Deb Haaland (D-N.M.) appears to be heading toward confirmation as the first Native American Interior secretary. Potential uranium mining, historic site looting, and other threats within an area once protected as Bears Ears make it important for Biden to restore and enlarge the monument quickly, said Matthew Campbell, an attorney for the Native American Rights Fund, which is representing three area tribes, including the Hopi, Ute Mountain and Zuni tribes. “There’s a sense of somewhat urgency to make sure those places are protected,” Campbell said. Bobby Magill at Bloomberg Law | Read More >>
Interview: Indigenous Leadership Will Improve Conservation Outcomes
Patrick Gonzales-Rogers, the Executive Director of the Bears Ears Inter-Tribal Coalition, says increasing the representation of Indigenous peoples in the leadership of conservation institutions would be a good place to start addressing structural issues around rights, race, and consent in the conservation sector. …Gonzales-Rogers says that increasing Indigenous representation at the highest level of conservation groups is not only a just thing to do; it would improve conservation outcomes. Rhett A. Butler in Mongabay | Read More >>
Bill Would Create Visitor Center for Bears Ears
A bipartisan bill to help build a visitor center at Bears Ears National Monument is sailing through the Utah Legislature and gaining support with pro-monument groups. It passed a Senate committee unanimously on Tuesday and moved on to the full chamber. The bill would create a committee to design a visitor center for the monument. It would include a representative from each of the five tribes with ancestral ties to Bears Ears, as well as three members of the Utah Legislature. Only the tribal representatives would be voting members. Kate Groetzinger for KUER 90.1 (NPR) | Read More >>
Ancient Artifacts Returned to Mexico
Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) returned 277 pre-Columbian artifacts to Mexican officials Tuesday during a repatriation ceremony in the Mexican Consulate in Nogales. The pieces were recovered after two separate investigations by HSI special agents assigned to Phoenix and Nogales, Arizona. Scott Brown, special agent in charge of HSI Phoenix, presented the relics to Mexican Consul General Ambassador Ricardo Santana and Jose Luis Perea, director of the Mexican Institute for Anthropology and History (INAH) in Sonora, Mexico. The Mexican officials accepted the relics on behalf of the people of Mexico. KOLD News 13 | Read More >>
Thanks to Cherie Freeman for bringing this story to our attention.
Commentary: New Mexico’s Pueblos and Their History of Autonomy
Surely there was some understanding, some minimal agreement that the Spanish were here to stay, but the Pueblos would maintain their power and authority. How else could it have unfolded? If the Pueblo leaders had understood all Oñate was offering them was complete domination by the Spanish, surely their warriors would have wiped out the colony in that instant. And they could have. …Instead, they entered into a compromise of shared power and authority; autonomy and sovereignty. Rob Martinez in the Santa Fe New Mexican | Read More >>
Commentary: Pass the National Heritage Areas Act
The first National Heritage Area (NHA) was designated almost thirty-five years ago and today that number has grown to 55 congressionally designated areas. Built on the nationally important cultural and natural resources of a region, knit together by storytelling and multiple partnerships, incentivized by the National Park Service (NPS) brand and limited grant assistance, and locally managed, it is no wonder that the idea is still extremely popular. But while evaluations undertaken by the NPS have demonstrated the idea’s success and new areas are clamoring to be recognized, official acknowledgement of NHAs as part of the NPS family has not been achieved, despite years of advocacy. I suggest that the time is right to make this quest a reality and recognize NHAs as a legislatively authorized component part of the NPS. Brenda Barrett at the Living Landscape Observer | Read More >>
Video: How to Visit with Respect with(out) Four-Legged Friends
Dogs are best outside of sites. As the weather warms, you might be looking to get outside. For many, there is nothing better than hiking with a furry friend on a beautiful spring day. Help protect the cultural resources of the Bears Ears area by knowing where dogs are allowed and how to properly visit with pets. Keep pets leashed away from archaeology where they won’t dig, poop or cause erosion inside a site. Bears Ears Education Center | Watch Now >>
REMINDER: March 11 Webinar: Beyond Maize, Beans, and Squash
Dr. Michael Mathiowetz will present “Beyond Maize, Beans and Squash: Identifying the Source and Nature of Mesoamerican Influence on US Southwest/Northwest Mexican Dynamics after the Origin of Agriculture.” Scholars agree that key domesticated agricultural crops, such as maize from Mesoamerica, served to transform the economic and social lifeways of people in the Southwest, with some considering crops alone to be the most significant southern contribution. However, there remains an ongoing debate on characterizing how the political, religious, economic, and social dynamics of Mesoamerican complex societies impacted and intersected with Southwestern social changes, particularly after AD 900. Crow Canyon Archaeological Center | More Information and Zoom Registration >>
March 15 Webinar: Early Agriculture and Collective Action in the Southern Southwest
In this presentation, John Roney and Robert Hard will review evidence from the Tucson Basin, from the site of La Playa in northern Sonora, from a series of cerros de trincheras along the Rio Casas Grandes in northwestern Chihuahua, and from sites along the Upper Gila River in the Safford and Duncan Valleys. Arizona Archaeological and Historical Society | More Information and Zoom Registration >>
March 17 Webinar: Southern Arizona Archaeological and Historic Sites
The Arizona Senior Academy will offer a free presentation by archaeologist Allen Dart titled “Tangible History: Some Southern Arizona Archaeological and Historic Sites.” Mr. Dart will provide an overview of southern Arizona archaeology and cultures, and will share information about many of these sites, including some that are open for public visitation. Arizona Senior Academy | More Information >>
March 20 Tour: Tales of the Dead: The Court Street Cemetery
Archaeologist Homer Thiel will lead this walk through the Court Street Cemetery, where about 8,000 people were buried between 1875 and 1909. When it was closed, about half were reinterred but about half were left in place. The tour will lead you through the cemetery, show you where bodies have been found and reveal the history of this forgotten place. Masks and social distancing required; 14 participants maximum. $15 Presidio Trust members, $20 non-members. If the 10:00 a.m. tour sells out, a 1:00 p.m. tour will be added. Presidio San Agustín del Tucson Museum | Learn More >>
April 3 Tour: Historic Canoa Ranch
From 8:00 a.m. to noon, Old Pueblo Archaeology Center and Pima County will offer a presentation about southern Arizona’s San Ignacio de la Canoa land grant-area archaeology and history, followed by tours focusing on the 1775 Juan Bautista de Anza expedition, the post-1821 ranch in the land grant, and the Gardens of Canoa. Protective masks and physical distancing required. Meets at 5375 S. I-19 Frontage Rd, Green Valley, AZ. Reservations and $30 donation prepayment due by 5:00 p.m. March 31. 520-798-1201 or info at oldpueblo dot org. Old Pueblo Archaeology Center | Learn More >>
April 15 Webinar: Arizona State Museum’s Homol’ovi Research Project
Archaeologist Richard Lange will present “A History of Arizona State Museum Research around Homol’ovi and at the Ancestral Hopi Village of Homol’ovi II” for Old Pueblo Archaeology Center’s “Third Thursday Food for Thought” dinnertime program via Zoom. He will discuss seven ancestral Hopi villages near Winslow that were inhabited between 1260 and 1400, focusing on the largest and latest one—Homol’ovi II Pueblo—and how, when, and by whom it was founded. Old Pueblo Archaeology Center | More Information and Zoom Registration >>
Blog: George McJunkin: Standing at the Intersection of Black History and American Archaeology
Meanwhile, American archaeology—still a young discipline at the time—was battling its own understanding of the past, and McJunkin’s discovery would further call into question all that researchers thought they knew about the North American past. By establishing the deep Indigenous antiquity of North America, McJunkin’s discovery helped break down racist and prejudicial thinking in American archaeology. R. E. Burrillo and K. C. Carlson at the Preservation Archaeology blog (Archaeology Southwest) | Read More >>
Job Opportunity: Program Manager, tDAR
The Program Manager at Digital Antiquity assists with budgeting, marketing/sales, and strategic planning. They work to plan & implement activities and operations, which includes helping to establish a long-term vision for the Center. Digital Antiquity is housed in the School for Human Evolution and Social Change at ASU and is devoted to enhancing preservation of and access to irreplaceable archaeological records and data. Arizona State University | Learn More >>
Notice from the Arizona Archaeological and Historical Society: Seeking Volunteer Book Reviews Editor
The Arizona Archaeological and Historical Society is seeking a volunteer with some background in anthropology, archaeology, history, or related fields to serve as Book Reviews Editor for KIVA: The Journal of Southwestern Anthropology and History. The job entails soliciting books for review from presses, finding reviewers and ensuring that they actually write the reviews, light editing for content and grammar, and coordinating with the Acquisitions Editor(s). Estimated time commitment is four hours per month. Please send a letter of interest to Sarah Herr at sherr at desert dot com by April 16, 2021.
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