Debra Haaland is now our new Interior Secretary. Here’s a short video in which she sends a first-day-on-the-job greeting to Interior staff. It made me feel good. Enjoy.
Haaland and her team have a mighty—and mighty challenging—agenda. Interior needs to rebuild and mobilize on many fronts. I like to stay up to date on the many topics and issues across the West that I care about, so this week I invested in The Land Desk.
Do I hear you asking, “And what is The Land Desk, Bill?” Friends, it’s a digital newsletter written and curated by Jonathan Thompson, whom you may already know well through his many contributions to High Country News. I proudly became a Founding Member in order to partake of Thompson’s incisive thrice-weekly dispatches—check it out.
I’m also looking forward to his upcoming book, Sagebrush Empire: Journey into the Heart of the Public Land Wars. It will be published by Torrey House Press, another of my favorite sources for thoughtful writing about the West.
What are you reading along these same lines? I especially appreciate recommendations with audio options.
President & CEO, Archaeology Southwest
BLM and BIA Push on Plans That Threaten Greater Chaco
In developing the four possible updates, the two agencies followed a list of guidelines. First on the list? “Provide for development of the oil and gas resources.” Avoiding impacts to cultural sites “to the extent possible” is 10th on the list. It is in the land beneath and around Chaco where these two goals come into greatest conflict. Jerry Redfern in the NM Political Report | Read More >>
Video: Chaco Landscapes: Sensory and Political Engagement with Place
Archaeologist Ruth Van Dyke shares insights into social, political, and sensorial relationships across the greater Chaco landscape, past and present. She explores how archaeologists can work together with Native peoples to influence the public understanding of contemporary economic/extractive projects, including those in northwest New Mexico. Hisatsinom Chapter of the Colorado Society and Crow Canyon Archaeological Center | Watch Now >>
Continuing Coverage and Commentary: Bears Ears Needs Swift Action
In order to protect the unique cultural resources and fragile landscape that comprise Bears Ears, prompt Presidential action is needed to correct the unlawful action taken by the last administration that purported to revoke the Monument. We also ask that President Biden reaffirm and reestablish the Bears Ears Commission as configured and authorized by President Obama’s 2016 proclamation establishing the Monument. This said, we remain open to dialogue with others about the most effective ways to protect and manage this special place. Bears Ears Inter-Tribal Coalition | Read More >>
Lawsuit Filed to Protect Mohave National Preserve
Native American Land Conservancy (NALC) and the National Parks Conservation Association (NPCA) today filed a lawsuit in federal court challenging the Bureau of Land Management (BLM)’s decision in the waning days of the Trump administration that benefitted the longstanding Cadiz desert water mining proposal. The BLM issued a right-of-way to Cadiz Real Estate LLC, allowing the transport of pumped groundwater through an existing gas pipeline without undertaking legally required tribal consultation and environmental review of the impacts of the decision on national parks, national monuments, and sacred sites. … “Tribal peoples in the California desert region depend greatly on their sacred ancestral lands and water sources for their spiritual and cultural practices and way of life,” said Michael J. Madrigal, President of the Native American Land Conservancy. “Existing mandates require meaningful consultation with tribes and findings of no significant impacts to cultural and natural resources. …Our peoples have been here since the beginning of time and today we continue to visit, gather, and utilize these special areas in the desert for our cultural survival.” National Parks Conservation Association | Read More >>
Historic Preservation Fund Releases Annual Report for FY 2020
The National Park Service (NPS) administers the Historic Preservation Fund (HPF) on behalf of the Secretary of the Interior, and uses annually appropriated funds to provide grants to State and Tribal Historic Preservation Offices (THPO) to assist in their efforts to protect and preserve their historic resources. Each State Historic Preservation Officer (SHPO), appointed by the Governor for each state, manages this annual appropriation to perform the Federal preservation responsibilities required by the National Historic Preservation Act. Preservation activities may be carried out directly by States, who are required to provide a 40% match to their HPF funds. HPF grants to THPOs, which do not require a match, help them undertake preservation activities and assume SHPO responsibilities on Tribal land if desired. National Park Service | Read More >>
Profile of Indigenous Archaeologist and Podcast Host Carlton Shield Chief Gover
[Shield Chief Gover] is among the first Pawnee citizens to ever pursue graduate training in archaeology. The road hasn’t always been easy. As Shield Chief Gover explained: “Archaeology is an inherently colonial practice.” But the young researcher joins a growing number of Indigenous archaeologists who are working to change that—embracing knowledge from both Indigenous communities and the halls of American academia. Archaeology has also given Shield Chief Gover a way to connect with the past, present and future of his people. Daniel Strain in Coloradan | Read More >>
A Life in Ruins Podcast >>
Continuing Coverage: Haaland’s Long To-Do List
Haaland, the former Democratic congresswoman, made history Monday by becoming the first indigenous Interior secretary. She’s promising to begin repairing a legacy of broken treaties and abuses committed by the federal government toward tribes. It’s one pillar of a long and ambitious to-do list of reforms the administration is planning at the sprawling agency that is the federal government’s most direct contact with the nation’s 574 federally recognized—and sovereign—tribes. Kirk Siegler at NPR | Listen Now >>
Podcast: What Does Haaland’s Confirmation Mean for Tribal Communities?
Julian Brave NoiseCat, the vice president of policy and strategy at Data for Progress, joins The Takeaway to discuss. And Regina Lopez-Whiteskunk, a Ute Mountain Ute Tribal Member, and former co-chair of Bears Ears Inner Tribal Coalition, also joins The Takeaway. The Takeaway, WNYC | Listen Now >>
A transcript is also available at that link.
Podcast: Ancestral Geographies
JSW Radio producer and host Patricia Schwartz has just released an excellent first installment in our new podcast short series, Ancestral Geographies. Schwartz explores the troubled history of the Indian School in the Southwest and how activists and scholars are grappling with its legacy. The episode features interviews with Dr. Matthew Sakiestewa Gilbert, historian and director of American Indian Studies at the University of Arizona, Hopi journalist Patty Talahongva, and Rosalie Talahongva, a Hopi curator at the Phoenix Indian School Visitor Center (PISVC) gallery. Journal of the Southwest Radio | Listen Now >>
Video: Should We Stay or Should We Go?
Karen Schollmeyer and Scott Ingram consider “Should We Stay or Should We Go? Farming and Climate Change, 1000–1450 CE.” Karen and Scott discuss ways farmers respond to climate changes, especially droughts, highlighting findings from their case studies in southwest New Mexico and central Arizona. Archaeology Café (Archaeology Southwest) | Watch Now >>
Video: Acoma Polychrome Water Jar
Join Gaylord Torrence and Brian Vallo (Acoma Pueblo) for a closer look at, and in-depth commentary on, a selection of highlights in the exhibition “Art of Native America: The Charles and Valerie Diker Collection.” The Met and the Center for Public Art History | Watch Now >>
Publication Announcement: SAA Archaeological Record for March 2021
The SAA Archaeological Record Vol. 21, No. 2. Society for American Archaeology | Read Now >>
Publication Announcement: Overhaul
Overhaul: A Social History of the Albuquerque Locomotive Repair Shops, by Richard Flint and Shirley Cushing Flint, University of New Mexico Press, 2021. Learn More >>
Publication Announcement: Geologic Resources of Tonto National Monument
KellerLynn, K. 2020. Tonto National Monument: geologic resources inventory report. Natural Resource Report NPS/NRSS/GRD/NRR—2020/2212. National Park Service, Fort Collins, Colorado. Read Now >>
REMINDER: March 25 Webinar: Decorated Walls and Tree-Ring Dates South of the Bears Ears
Benjamin Bellorado will present the results of the Cedar Mesa Building Murals Project, a five-year study (2013–2017) of decorated buildings at Ancestral Pueblo cliff-dwellings in southeastern Utah that were occupied in the Pueblo III period (A.D. 1150–1300). Crow Canyon Archaeological Center | More Information and Zoom Registration >>
March 25 Webinar: The World of Ancient Greek Potters
Dr. Eleni Hasaki (University of Arizona) will present “The World of Ancient Greek Potters: Skills, Spaces, Social Networks.” Archaeological Institute of America and Bryn Mawr College | More Information and Zoom Registration >>
March 26 Webinar: Decolonizing History: The Hopi History Project
Join Southwest Center scholar Dr. Tom Sheridan, Stewart Koyiyumptewa from the Hopi Preservation Office, and Dr. Jeremy Garcia (Hopi/Tewa) from the UArizona College of Education for a discussion on the Hopi History Project and efforts to decolonize the curriculum for K–12 Hopi students. University of Arizona Southwest Center | More Information and Zoom Registration >>
Notice: Apply Now for the Archaeological Field School at Etzanoa
The Department of Anthropology is happy to announce that the archaeological field school at Etzanoa will be open this summer! The field school will be held in Arkansas City, at the protohistoric city of Etzanoa, June 1–25, 2021. Students will learn the basics of archaeological excavation and artifact identification. All students will be housed in single-occupancy rooms at Cowley Community College. Wichita State University | Learn More >>
Notice: Apply Now for the Fort Lewis College Archaeological Field School
Announcing the 2021 Fort Lewis College Archaeological Field School. This year’s project will take place in La Plata, County, in southwestern Colorado. Fort Lewis College | Learn More >>
We’re happy to help get the word out. Please submit news, events, publication announcements, and other resources to this link for consideration.