Just a short note on dental care and privilege. And responsibility.
Two weeks ago on a Sunday, I made a quick stop at the nearby Sprouts grocery store. Given the COVID resurgence, I was masked and so was the cashier at checkout.
The cashier apologized for not speaking clearly—not because he was wearing a mask, but because he had such a horrible toothache that it was affecting his speech.
I offered sincere condolences and wished him well, adding, “There is nothing worse than tooth pain.”
Less than two weeks later, I received a vivid reminder of the reality of that statement. One of my molars, crowned many years ago, began to throb.
A call to my dentist got me a quick X-ray the next morning. After just a glance at the image, the dentist said, “Abscess—get him a referral to the endodontist.”
At 3 p.m. that same day I signed in on the emergency service list at the endodontist, hoping they would have time to fit me in. And by 5 p.m., mouth very numb, I was driving home after my root canal. (One of those roots was 2.6 centimeters deep!)
Unlike the Sprouts cashier, I did not endure days of debilitating pain. I have dental insurance. I have an established relationship with my dentist. When they told me my copay was $227, it sounded like a bargain.
I would have paid the full price (more than $1,000 above the copay) if I didn’t have insurance. Many people don’t have dental insurance. And many can’t afford to pay the full price.
We all need access to relief from pain. We all need freedom from the threat of financial ruin due to health issues. At least Congress is starting to discuss dental coverage under Medicare. That’s a small step in the right direction.
And at this important moment in history, we all need the good sense to take advantage of one area where the US healthcare system is addressing our needs—and covering the costs. The COVID vaccine.
If you haven’t yet gotten vaccinated, please do. There are things worse than tooth pain.
President & CEO, Archaeology Southwest
Podcast and Continuing Coverage: Legal and Cultural Barriers to Protecting Sacred Indigenous Places
Certain hills, mountains, valleys, forests and rivers are among some of the most sacred spaces for Indigenous culture and spirituality. … They include places like Oak Flat, San Francisco Peak, the Grand Canyon, South Mountain and the Blythe Intaglios. But many of those places are not controlled by tribes. … A series of articles by The Arizona Republic finds Western laws about land ownership and what is considered sacred stacks the deck against tribal interests. We’ll hear about the series and from some of the people who continue to work toward protecting sacred land. Native America Calling | Listen Now >>
Commentary: Chacoan Outlier Shows Why We Need Oil-Gas Leasing Reform
Pierre’s [site] provides a perfect example of both the protection and fragmentation. The structures, placed among and in harmony with the surrounding buttes and bluffs, remain unmarred by development. From my Acropolyptic perch, however, I could see at least ten pumpjacks bobbing up and down, and the whir-pop-pop-whir of the machines and the diesel engines that run them was irritatingly audible. The site is surrounded by industrial equipment. Jonathan P. Thompson at The Land Desk | Read More >>
Continuing Coverage: Rematriating the Four Corners Potato
With drought a persistent problem in the Southwest, Hopi/Tewa seed keeper Valerie Nuvayestewa has eagerly joined the effort to bring back an Indigenous superfood that her ancestors cultivated for 11,000 years. The Four Corners Potato can grow under dry conditions and provides triple the protein and twice the calcium of red organic potatoes. Alastair Lee Bitsóí in Yale Climate Connections | Read More >>
Profile of Angelo Baca, Cultural Resources Coordinator for Utah Diné Bikeyah
This extends to the importance of the Bears Ears region in the healing of historical trauma associated with settler colonialism, Angelo says. “Even just having this as a place, that despite its historical trauma, can be a place to heal historical trauma,” he says, adding that this is missing from the conversation today. Angelo believes the next logical step is bringing together the disparate communities of public lands users and unifying them around Indigenous communities. These groups are largely ignorant of the centrality of Indigenous people in the successful millennia-long conservation of the natural environments and biodiversity. Rico Moore in Boulder Weekly | Read More >>
Jacki Thompson Rand Joins University of Illinois as First Associate Vice-Chancellor for Native Affairs
Jacki Thompson Rand, a history professor and enrolled citizen of the Choctaw nation of Oklahoma, will become the inaugural associate vice chancellor for Native affairs and senior adviser to the chancellor on Native affairs issues. Rand joins the senior leadership team in the UI’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion office, “as part of our university’s work to acknowledge our responsibility to the Native Nations for whom Illinois is their ancestral home and establish meaningful reciprocal relationships with these Nations,” Vice Chancellor Sean Garrick wrote in a mass email Tuesday. Ethan Simmins in the Champaign-Urbana News-Gazette | Read More >>
Legal Scholar Wilkinson Reflects on 50-Year Career
The impact of Charles Wilkinson’s work as an advocate for tribes has been far-reaching, said Rebecca Tsosie, Regents Professor of Law and co-chair of the Indigenous Peoples Law and Policy Program at the University of Arizona’s James E. Rogers College of Law. “Many citizens think of Indian tribes and Indian people as these distinctive ethnic and cultural groups who have some relationship to the land, but they don’t necessarily think of them as sovereigns,” Tsosie said. “The tribal sovereignty idea blossomed in the latter part of the 60s and 70s. Charles was at the front of that, on the legal side.” Even now, Wilkinson said, he considers the notion of tribal sovereignty to be central to his life’s work and among his proudest professional achievements. Hank Lacey in Law Week Colorado | Read More >>
Architecture and National Parks
The presence of a National Park “architectural style” is arguably most clear in the United States, which saw the development of a “National Park Service Rustic” style in the early 20th century, a style which valued non-intrusiveness over monumental architectural landmarks. Working hand-in-hand with the field of landscape architecture, the ‘rustic’ style was made official with the publication of an architectural guideline for parks in 1918, which emphasized the fact that “particular attention must be devoted” to the harmonizing of new structures with the landscape. Matthew Maganga in ArchDaily | Read More >>
Blog: Archaeology at the Gila Riparian Preserve
Planning for a future where people and nature thrive can be informed by understanding how people historically interacted with one another and their local environment. When students from Archaeology Southwest’s University of Arizona Preservation Archaeology field school returned to The Nature Conservancy’s Gila Riparian Preserve for the fifth year, they surprised themselves and TNC staff with their findings. The Nature Conservancy | Read More >>
Blog: Robinson Collection Project—We’re BAAAACK!
Now to the present—and we are so happy to be in the lab again! This current lab session is lovingly called “Robinson 2.0,” as we have retooled the program to include more in-depth research on the artifact assemblage (with the help of Archaeology Southwest’s staff) and to slow down and take more time with the objects to better understand their importance to the overall Safford Basin discussion. Jaye Smith at the Preservation Archaeology blog (Archaeology Southwest) | Read More >>
Call to Applicants: AAHS 2021 Subvention Awards
The Arizona Archaeological and Historical Society (AAHS) is pleased to announce the 2021 competitive subvention award program for AAHS members. The purpose of this program is to provide money in support of the first publication of digital or print books or Kiva journal articles that further AAHS’s mission. Many sources of grant funding do not support publication costs. Through this program, AAHS can provide occasional funding to prevent this barrier to the sharing of research results. This year, awards up to $5,000 will be considered. Arizona Archaeological and Historical Society | Learn More >>
Sept. 9 Webinar: Ancient Ornithology and Continuity of the Four Corners
Chuck LaRue will be talking about birds and bird imagery in the Puebloan culture of the Colorado Plateau. Chuck is a wildlife biologist and naturalist who has worked extensively with birds on the Colorado Plateau and other areas of the Southwest for 35 years. He may be known to many of you for his work with Dr. Laurie Webster on the Cedar Mesa Perishable Project. Modern Puebloan peoples of the Colorado Plateau have deep and ancient relationships with the birds of the region, and traces of these still living relationships are often preserved in the archaeological record. In this talk, Chuck will explore expressions of this ancient Southwestern ornithological tradition. Four Corners Lecture Series, Bureau of Land Management, Monticello Field Office and Bears Ears National Monument, and Edge of the Cedars State Park Museum | More Information and Zoom Registration >>
Publication Announcement: Pottery Southwest
Pottery Southwest Vol. 37, No. 2 (Summer 2021). Albuquerque Archaeological Society | Download Now >>
Publication Announcement: Joining the Circle
Sanger, M.C. Joining the Circle: Native American Philosophy Applied to the Study of Late Archaic Shell Rings of the Southeast United States. J Archaeol Method Theory (2021). >>
Position Announcement: Research Specialist (Tucson AZ)
The Research Specialist position is a 1.0 full-time equivalency (FTE) university staff position within the Collections Division of the Arizona State Museum (ASM), University of Arizona (UA), reporting to the Archaeological Records Office (ARO) manager. The position assists in the administration and implementation of the Arizona Antiquities Act (AAA; A.R.S. i 41-841 et seq.). The incumbent will perform duties required by the ARO in fulfillment of ASM’s state-mandated policies and responsibilities and management of both paper and digital collections submitted to ASM. Arizona State Museum, University of Arizona | Learn More >>
Position Announcement: Senior Education Program Coordinator (Phoenix AZ)
The team at the Deer Valley Petroglyph Preserve in the School of Human Evolution and Social Change is in search of a Senior Education Program Coordinator. We are looking for a team member who is passionate about our organization’s mission and vision of informing the community on the importance of protecting and preserving cultural archaeological sites such as the Hedgpeth Hills petroglyph site in Deer Valley; the impact of connecting past and present; and ongoing research projects and their environmental and social significance. Deer Valley Petroglyph Preserve, Arizona State University | Learn More >>
Position Announcement: Acquisitions Editor (Salt Lake City UT)
The University of Utah Press is seeking candidates interested in a career in scholarly publishing, who understand the intricacies of manuscript acquisitions, have exceptional language and communication skills, and would enjoy a collegial work environment at the University of Utah Press. The new editor will create seasonal lists by assigned disciplines, including but not limited to archaeology, anthropology, ethnography, ethnobiology, cultural and biological anthropology, paleoecology, linguistics, Mesoamerica, and folklore studies, and make long-range plans for presentation and acceptance. Learn More >>
See you next week! Remember to send us notice of upcoming webinars and Zoom lectures, and anything else you want to share.