When your goal is to preserve special places, good ideas are rarely enough. They are the starting point for beginning the unceasing hard work required to implement them.
Persistence pays off…but sometimes it takes a very long time.
Last week, we congratulated the Santa Cruz Valley Heritage Alliance for receiving approval for its Management Plan for the Santa Cruz Valley National Heritage Area. Archaeology Southwest was part of an ambitious and creative alliance that began advocating for this new heritage area back in 2003. The NHA was established by legislation in 2019, and with an approved management plan, it now truly begins to implement its mission to share the cultural and historical richness of this southern Arizona valley. Two decades of persistence.
Last week, the Naco Heritage Alliance and the City of Bisbee announced a $3.5-million, four-year grant from the Mellon Foundation. Several weeks earlier, a $4.6-million grant was awarded for the rehabilitation of the adobe buildings at Camp Naco. When I first met Becky Orozco in 2004, she was already advocating for the preservation of this historic military installation. Archaeology Southwest joined that campaign soon thereafter, and we are thrilled that a preservation vision formed in 2003 will finally come to fruition. Two decades of persistence.
I’ll keep you updated on these projects, of course. Today, I just want to celebrate the payoffs.
Persistence is also at the heart of what we do at Archaeology Southwest. (OK, some might also say stubbornness!) At any rate, after a difficult day, I always say to myself, “Just keep on keepin’ on.”
Keep on keepin’ on,
President & CEO, Archaeology Southwest
The Case for an African American Repatriation Act
The framework of NAGPRA, though not faultless, provides a critical basis for a new piece of legislation: an act to protect the grave goods and cultural heritage of African descendants. … Without legislation similar to NAGPRA (though with a stronger enforcement mechanism), the bodies and funerary goods of enslaved Africans and their descendants remain at the mercy of the institutions that unethically house them. So what legislative actions should Congress take to protect and return African-descendant remains and material culture, and what provisions should make up this act? Using NAGPRA as a base, I propose an African-Descendant Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (ADGPRA): I purposefully use the terminology “African-descendant” to emphasize that the repatriation of goods should not be limited to descendants of enslaved Africans, but rather be expanded to include all goods stolen from African or African American communities, at home and abroad. Christina Miles in the Brown Political Review (Brown University) | Read more »
New Video: Public Archaeology in African American Communities
With Dr. William White (University of California Berkeley). White discusses himself and his career, how he got started doing African American archaeology, some insights he’s gained from his work and studies, and how this work fits within the archaeological discipline. Archaeology Café (Archaeology Southwest) | Watch now »
Commentary: Has the Field Museum Gone Far Enough?
The result of this effort, Native Truths: Our Voices, Our Stories, is the Field Museum’s attempt to provide a platform for Native Americans to communicate their own identities and relationships with the objects in the museum’s collection. … As the gallery’s new name suggests, the Field Museum’s redesigned exhibit aims to give “Voice” to Native communities to share their own “Stories” and thus their “Truths.” It does this by featuring the faces and words of several Native artists, elders, leaders, and scholars. The exhibit itself is broken down into six primary rooms connected by hall spaces also filled with objects and content. Each of the rooms revolves around a specific practice or concept: the music of contemporary Sicangu Lakota hip-hop artist Frank Waln, the preservation of California basket weaving practices, the lives of Natives in Chicago, Pueblo architecture preservation, the traditional foodways of Meskwaki who live in Michigan, and a Pawnee Earth Lodge. C.D. Green in SAPIENS | Read more »
Grand Canyon Honors Tribe’s Request to Change Place Name
An oasis halfway down the Grand Canyon on a popular hiking trail is now officially called “Havasupai Gardens.” The name was changed from “Indian Garden” last month at the request of the Havasupai Tribe. Havasupai lived and farmed in the area up until 1928, when the National Park Service forced them out. KNAU’s Melissa Sevigny spoke with tribal member Carletta Tilousi about that history. KNAU (NPR) | Listen or read now »
Conservation Org Hopes to Acquire Sensitive Private Parcel
The Wildlands Conservancy has launched an effort to acquire a 320-acre private parcel at the lower end of Cottonwood Wash near Bluff, Utah, and at the far southeastern edge of Bears Ears National Monument. Why bother with 320 acres when you’ve got a 1.3-acre national monument right next to it? Because if it remains in private hands, the parcel—through which Lower Cottonwood Wash is accessed—could be developed, disturbing cultural sites in that stretch of canyon, and/or closed off to passers-through, potentially putting an important chunk of public land off-limits to the public. The effort needs a lot of cash to buy this valuable parcel. Jonathan Thompson at The Land Desk | Learn more from the Wildlands Conservancy »
Commentary: The Battle for Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante Continues
Now, thanks in large part to aggressive marketing by the state of Utah, these national parks and monuments, along with the public lands surrounding them, draw millions of visitors each year and fuel the economies of many a southeastern Utah community. So it just seems bizarre that the state and some of those same communities would try not only to remove national monument protections from those landscapes, but also to eviscerate the Antiquities Act altogether, simply because they feel like the monuments are too large. They even rely on that worn-out, coastal trope of comparing the monuments’ sizes to East Coast states. As though that means anything. Really, Utah? Jonathan Thompson in the Durango Telegraph | Read more »
Internship Opportunity: Bandelier National Monument
Bandelier National Monument is seeking applicants for a Cultural Resources Diversity in Parks (CRDIP) internship. This opportunity will be funded for 12 weeks between May and August of the upcoming year. Learn more »
Job Opportunity: Bandelier National Monument
Bandelier National Monument is hiring GS-07 Archeological Technician positions for the upcoming season. Work will include site condition assessments, documentation of Bandelier’s unique cavates and Ancestral trails, hazardous fuels management of cultural resources, and more. These jobs will provide work between May and October. Applications will be accepted through December 14, 2022, or until 950 applications have been received, whichever comes first. Learn more »
Publication Announcement: Indigenous Fire Management
Roos, Christopher I., Christopher H. Guiterman, et al., Indigenous fire management and cross-scale fire-climate relationships in the Southwest United States from 1500 to 1900 CE. Science Advances 8(40), 12/07/2022. Read now (open access) »
December Subscription Lectures (Santa Fe NM)
Dec. 19, Dan Louie Flores, Wild New World: The Epic Story of Animals & People in America. Southwest Seminars | Learn more »
REMINDER: 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 »
Just Added! Dec. 17 Flintknapping Workshop (Tucson AZ)
Experience the ancient art of flintknapping and pressure flaking. Join Allen Denoyer for his Hands-On Archaeology class, “How Did People Make and Use Arrowheads?” In this beginner class, you will use ancient techniques and replica tools to create a stone arrowhead. You will also learn more about how people made and used such points, and that points were just one component of a complete hunting technology. Please note that this class is for individuals 18 years of age and older. Class lasts approximately 3 hours. $40 ($30 for members). Archaeology Southwest | Register now »
REMINDER: Dec. 19 Webinar: High Places in the Painted Desert
With Maxwell Forton. Petrified Forest National Park, located a few hours east of Flagstaff, is world renowned for its deposits of Triassic-era petrified wood. This landscape also contains a rich cultural history, with over 10,000 years of human habitation and use preserved in over 1,200 documented archaeological sites. The majority of these sites are attributed to Ancestral Pueblo communities who dwelt in the Petrified Forest region for centuries, farming the landscape and creating one of the highest concentrations of petroglyphs found in the American Southwest. Forton’s research examines two sites that suggest differing forms of social power performed in the Petrified Forest landscape. Arizona Archaeological and Historical Society | More information and Zoom registration »
Dec. 21 In-Person Event (Casa Grande Ruins National Monument, Coolidge AZ): Plants of the Mojave Desert and Traditional Tribal Uses
With Carrie Cannon (Kiowa and Oglala Lakota). Cannon began working for the Hualapai Tribe of Peach Springs, Arizona in 2005 where she began the creation of an intergenerational ethnobotany program for the Hualapai community. She is currently employed as an Ethnobotanist for the Hualapai Department of Cultural Resources. She administers a number of projects promoting the intergenerational teaching of Hualapai ethnobotanical knowledge working towards preservation and revitalization to ensure tribal ethnobotanical knowledge persists as a living practice and tradition. Casa Grande Ruins National Monument | Learn more »
Our friends at Casa Grande have also asked us to let you know that the monument will be closed on Christmas Day.
Jan. 10 Webinar: The Chinese Railroad Worker Experience in Terrace, Utah
With Christopher Merritt (Utah Department of Cultural & Community Engagement) and Karen Kwan (Utah House of Representatives; Salt Lake City Community College). Merritt and Kwan will discuss how the Bureau of Land Management, Utah State Historic Preservation Office, and other partners—together with the Chinese descendant community—have partnered over the last few years to investigate the historical and archaeological legacy of the Transcontinental Railroad in northwestern Utah. Two years of archaeological investigations at an abandoned railroad ghost town’s Chinatown have uncovered significant archaeological information and helped to connect living descendant communities to this important story. Archaeology Café (Archaeology Southwest) | More information and Zoom registration »
Jan.–April 2023: Rock Imagery Inventory and Documentation Course
With Dr. Aaron Wright. The course will occur over seven Saturday sessions January 21–April 22. Through seminars and fieldwork enrollees will learn about laws, methods, and ethics involved with rock imagery and how to inventory, document, and make basic interpretation of petroglyphs and pictographs. The class meets the Arizona Archaeological Society’s certification program requirements. Reservations and $99 donation prepayment due by 5:00 p.m. January 1. Old Pueblo Archaeology Center | Learn more »
Please send us notice of upcoming webinars and Zoom lectures, tours and workshops, and anything else you’d like to share with the Friends.