I’m picking up on a theme in today’s news stories—continuing coverage. I’m still thinking about Earth’s 8 billion human residents.
Last week, I shared my relief that current data showed that the rate of growth of global population had declined to less than 1 percent from the 2 percent rate when I was a graduate student in the early 1970s.
Returning to the link to Our World in Data—I explored the role of declining fertility rates in slowing population growth. Most importantly, they highlight how fertility rates can decline quite rapidly, and that coercive measures are not required. The three key factors cited by Our World in Data are: the empowerment of women (increasing access to education and increasing labor market participation), declining child mortality, and a rising cost of raising children (to which the decline of child labor contributed).
This leads me to my other recent theme, the book Regeneration. They, too, highlight the theme of empowering women (page 136):
“The universal education of girls is the essential precursor of full gender equity and the empowerment of women. Unto itself, realizing the potential of women is the single most important pathway to planetary regeneration. A universal principle of any system, whether social systems, ecosystems, or immune systems, is that the way to create a healthy and regenerative system is to connect more of it to itself.”
I hope you all have an enjoyable—and regenerative—Thanksgiving holiday with family and friends.
President & CEO, Archaeology Southwest
Report: Administration Should Create or Expand 16 National Monuments and Marine Sanctuaries
This issue brief highlights some of the many community-led proposals for national monuments and national marine sanctuaries that warrant serious consideration by President Biden. This is, by no means, an exhaustive list and is only intended to spotlight examples of the opportunities surfaced by communities across the nation to protect special places, honor important histories, and bridge the inequitable gap in nature access. Drew McConville, Angelo Villagomez, and Sam Zeno for the Center for American Progress | Read more »
Related: New video on the proposed Avi Kwa Ame National Monument, National Wildlife Federation »
Responding to Climate Change in the Valley of the Wild Roses
Raymond Naranjo sings for rain, his voice rising and falling as he softly strikes his rawhide-covered drum. The 99-year-old invites the cloud spirits, rain children, mist, thunder and lightning to join him at Santa Clara Pueblo, where Tewa people have lived for thousands of years on land they call Kha’p’o Owingeh, the Valley of the Wild Roses. “Without water, you don’t live,” says Naranjo’s son Gilbert, explaining the rain dance song his father, a World War II veteran, has sung for decades – and with increasing urgency as the tribe fights for the survival of its ancestral home. With unsettling speed, climate change has taken a toll on the pueblo’s 89 square miles that climb from the gently rolling Rio Grande Valley to Santa Clara Canyon in the rugged Jemez Mountains of northern New Mexico. Tammy Webber and Martha Irvine (Associated Press) in the Albuquerque Journal | Read more »
Hopi Agricultural Systems, Spiritual Food Knowledge, and Climate Justice
I am a Hopi female raised culturally as a traditional food and farming practitioner. I come from generations of traditional farmers, seed savers, and food foragers. Through this experience, I learned to recognize and understand the strength of our Hopi agricultural systems—first, from the practical application of collecting, preserving, growing, processing, and eating from the land; then, as I matured in life, the deeper meaning and application of our social, religious, and spiritual food knowledge were taught to me. These teachings have never been separate from our relationship to the land, its changes, and its recovery; my worldview and spiritual upbringing shaped the lens through which I view my ecosystem, climate, and the changes that impact the space I occupy on tuwanasavi—the center of our world. Monica Nuvamsa in the Nonprofit Quarterly | Read more »
Continuing Coverage: 9th Circuit Will Rehear Appeal to Save Oak Flat
A federal appeals court will rehear Apache Stronghold’s case against the United States to save the sacred site of Oak Flat, a 6.7-square-mile stretch of land east of Phoenix that a private venture is seeking to turn into an underground copper mine. The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals announced Thursday (Nov. 17) that it will rehear the case in front of a full 11-judge court instead of the original three-judge panel. … “The government protects historical churches and other important religious landmarks, and our site deserves no less protection. We are glad the Ninth Circuit is going to take a closer look at this decision, and we hope it will do the right thing and protect Oak Flat,” [Wendsler Nosie Sr., Apache Stronghold founder] said Thursday in a statement. Alejandra Molina for Religion News Service | Read more »
Related: “Arizona students come to lobby as courts, Congress, fight over Oak Flat,” Tori Gantz for Cronkite News (via Tucson Sentinel) »
Continuing Coverage: 10-Mile Protection Zone Legislation Reintroduced
Democratic members of the New Mexico congressional delegation once again introduced legislation today that would permanently remove areas surrounding Chaco Culture National Historical Park from the federal mineral leasing program. This would prevent new oil and gas leases as well as coal and uranium mining on federal lands in the 10-mile buffer zone around the park. … “Chaco Canyon and the significant structures and sacred landscape spreading throughout the Greater Chaco Region have existed for thousands of years,” Mark Mitchell, the chairman of the All Pueblo Council of Governors, said in a statement. “The Great Houses and Kivas serve as an example to the world of the vast traditional knowledge Indigenous peoples held in the past and currently maintain in the present. Those structures are the footprints of our ancestors, and they continue to keep us grounded in who we are today.” Hannah Grover in the NM Political Report | Read more »
Read Paul F. Reed’s (Archaeology Southwest Preservation Archaeologist and Chaco Scholar) statement on the reintroduction »
Continuing Coverage: Tribes File Intervention to Uphold Restored Boundaries for Bears Ears
Advocacy for sacred lands continues this morning, as the Hopi Tribe, Navajo Nation, Ute Mountain Ute Tribe, and the Pueblo of Zuni moved to intervene in two lawsuits in Utah. The lawsuits threaten to remove protections from the Bears Ears National Monument for which Native peoples advocated for many decades. “Bears Ears sustains life. Bears Ears provides food, medicine, cultural items, and ceremony sites,” said Zuni Pueblo Lieutenant Governor Carleton R. Bowekaty. “As sovereign nations and Bears Ears National Monument co-managers, we have the right to intervene in these lawsuits. As stewards and people of this land, we hold a responsibility to protect Bears Ears.” Native American Rights Fund blog | Read more »
Don’t Be That Person
National parks evoke memories of summer road trips, hiking adventures and peaceful communions with nature. But every so often, tales of visitor misbehavior shake that idyllic image: vandals leaving graffiti along a trail, parkgoers getting dangerously close to bison, a TikTok personality launching a golf ball into the Grand Canyon. … Bad behavior at the country’s 63 national parks—not to mention hundreds of other historic sites, memorials, monuments, rivers, seashores and other areas—often make headlines. These are some of the actions park officials are asking visitors to avoid. Hannah Sampson in the Washington Post | Read more »
Editors’ note: We know YOU wouldn’t…but feel free to share this around.
What “Animism” Means: Cultivating Relationships with the World Around Us
A movement known as “new Animism,” which seeks to secure personhood rights for nonhuman beings through legal means, is gaining a following around the globe. … The renewed interest in Animism stems from the hope that people will behave in more ecologically sustainable ways if they believe that the natural world around them is alive. However, as an anthropologist of religion who works with people whose religious practices were traditionally described as Animist, I believe the reality is both more interesting and more complicated. Animism is not a religion or even a set of beliefs about nature having a soul. It’s a term used by scholars to classify religious practices through which human beings cultivate relationships with more powerful beings that reside in the world around us. Justine Quijada in SAPIENS (via The Conversation) | Read more »
Mesa Verde’s Luminaria Event Cancelled
For the third year in a row, the luminaria holiday tradition at Mesa Verde National Park has been canceled. “Regretfully, we will not be offering this holiday celebration this year,” a park news release said. “With the closure of the Mesa Top Loop for road construction this fall, we were not able to plan adequately and, with current staff shortages, we have concerns regarding our ability to host the event safely.” The park hopes to resume the popular tradition next year. It was canceled in 2020 because of the coronavirus pandemic and in 2021 because of a winter storm. Jim Mimiaga for The Journal | Read more »
Call for Applicants: Dienje Kenyon Memorial Fellowship
Deadline Dec. 11, 2022. In honor of the late Dienje M. E. Kenyon, a fellowship is offered to support a woman archaeologist in the early stages of graduate zooarchaeology training, Kenyon’s specialty. Two awards of $2,000 will be made. To qualify for the award, applicants must be enrolled an M.A. or Ph.D. degree program focusing on archaeology. Strong preference will be given to applicants in the early stage of research project development and/or data collection, under the mentorship of a zooarchaeologist. Society for American Archaeology (via Rebecca M. Dean, Committee Chair) | Learn more »
Podcast: Indigenous Fire and Climate Justice
On today’s episode, [host Jessica Yaquinto] welcomes Deniss Martinez (Tutunaku descendant), PhD candidate in Ecology at UC Davis. Deniss’ dissertation research focuses on Indigenous cultural burning, so we explore what cultural burning is, the diversity within cultural burning, how federal and state agencies can better collaborate with cultural burning practitioners, as well as how practitioners are facing the threat of climate change. Throughout the episode we talk about centering Indigenous voices and utilizing Community Based Participatory Research practices in the field of Ecology, as well as all the ways that culture and the land are inextricably linked. Heritage Voices | Listen now »
November Subscription Lectures (Santa Fe NM)
Nov. 28, Eric Blinman, Innovations in Radiocarbon Dating, Archaeomagnetism of Burned Rocks, a Collaborative Approach in Human Burial Studies, & Multicultural Education for All New Mexicans! Southwest Seminars | Learn more »
Nov. 30–Dec. 2 In-Person Event (Tucson AZ): Sacred Sites Summit
Hosted by Apache Stronghold. Join us November 30th–December 2nd for the 2022 Sacred Sites Summit and join leaders from various land/water defense efforts across the country as we gather in solidarity to fight the forces that mean to take away our sacred sites and ancestral practices. It is time to take action and make public your stance on the destruction of our homelands. Together we can take a stand to protect all Tribal and public lands from the influx of those who have a pursuit for profit and jobs to the detriment of Mother Earth. Learn more »
Dec. 6 Webinar: Public Archaeology in African American Communities
With William White (University of California Berkeley). Archaeology Café (Archaeology Southwest) | More information and Zoom registration »
Dec. 14 Webinar: “It Shows My Way”: Roads, Religion, and Power in the Chaco World
With Rob Weiner. Weiner’s project bridges archaeology, cultural anthropology, cognitive science, and religious studies to investigate the role of monumental roads associated with Chaco Canyon in the U.S. Southwest. His research explores issues of monumentality, power, and religion, asking how roads—and specifically, the practices carried out along them—contributed to Chaco’s unequal, regionally-influential society. Scholar Colloquium (School for Advanced Research) | More information and registration »
Dec. 15 Webinar: Tracking the First Americans across the White Sands
With Vance Holliday. The White Sands footprints discovery provides convincing evidence that humans were in the US Southwest during the last Ice Age between 23,000 and 21,000 years ago, which means they likely were here before the last Ice Age covered essentially all of Canada 25,000+ years ago. Third Thursday Food for Thought series (Old Pueblo Archaeology Center) | More information and Zoom registration »
Please send us notice of upcoming webinars and Zoom lectures, tours and workshops, and anything else you’d like to share with the Friends.