cyberSW is an expanding online database that Archaeology Southwest has worked to develop with multiple university partners. For the past year, our National Science Foundation grant has supported monthly meetings with a Tribal Working Group of seven members from a cross-section of Southwestern Tribes.
With strong guidance from the Tribal Working Group, we developed a two-year, $50,000 annual salaried Fellowship that we announced last week. The Fellowship guidelines encourage applicants to be creative. Our relatively brief application allows interested candidates to express that creativity.
We recognize that traditional knowledge is often gained through life experience outside the classroom, so academic credentials are not part of the minimal requirements for this position.
Over the past year, our monthly meetings have been enjoyable and fruitful. As we were getting to know one another, Tribal Working Group member Raquel Romero, an enrolled member of Gila River Indian Community, made a very impactful statement. She said, quite candidly, “I don’t really like archaeology.” She confirmed that what she did care about was “my community and their interests.”
Her words reflect the open communication we value and try to maintain in our Tribal Working Group meetings. And when the new Fellow is selected, they will be joining the monthly meetings with the Tribal Working Group to share their ideas and their progress.
I am eager for this Fellow to begin. Please share this information widely so that it will reach as many potential applicants as possible.
President & CEO, Archaeology Southwest
Banner image: Palo Verde by dimitri_66 via Flickr and CC BY-NC 2.0
BREAKING: Grand Canyon Tribes Urge President to Designate New National Monument
Earlier today, the Grand Canyon Tribal Coalition announced a new proposal to protect over 1 million acres of the Grand Canyon region and watershed as Baaj Nwaavjo I’tah Kukveni Grand Canyon National Monument. Joined by Arizona’s Rep. Grijalva and Senator Sinema, the Coalition is urging President Biden to use his authority under the Antiquities Act to protect federal lands surrounding Grand Canyon National Park.
The Grand Canyon Tribal Coalition consists of leadership representatives of the Havasupai Tribe, Hopi Tribe, Hualapai Tribe, Kaibab Paiute Tribe, Las Vegas Band of Paiute Tribe, Moapa Band of Paiutes, Paiute Indian Tribe of Utah, Navajo Nation, San Juan Southern Paiute Tribe, Yavapai-Apache Nation, Pueblo of Zuni, and the Colorado River Indian Tribes.
Baaj Nwaavjo means “where tribes roam” in Havasupai and I’tah Kukveni means “our footprints” in Hopi. “Where tribes roam; our footprints.”
Following the announcement, Mike Quigley, Arizona State Director of The Wilderness Society, said, “We stand with the Grand Canyon Tribal Coalition in urging President Biden to protect the greater Grand Canyon region and watershed as Baaj Nwaavjo I’tah Kukveni Grand Canyon National Monument. This Tribally developed and Congressionally supported proposal for a national monument would protect life-giving waters and ensure wildlife have ample habitat in the red sand cliffs, pine forests, deep canyons and grasslands that make up this iconic landscape.” The Wilderness Society (press release) | Read more »
Continuing Coverage: Chi’chil Bildagoteel (Oak Flat)
A U.S. government attorney said during last month’s hearing of a full panel of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals that the final environmental impact study for construction of the mine at Oak Flat, Arizona, could be published this spring. San Carlos Apache Tribe Chairman Terry Rambler said during a visit last week that U.S. Forest Service officials confirmed plans to push forward on publication of the environmental analysis. That step would kick off a 60-day period culminating in a land swap allowing the project to go forward. “Obliterating Oak Flat for a copper mine will be a grave human rights violation against Indigenous people and an environmental catastrophe,” Rambler said in a written statement this week. “The Biden Administration’s commitment to Indian Country will be seriously eroded if it approves this mine.” Anita Snow in ICT (via AP) | Read more »
Continuing Coverage: Lawsuit Challenges Segment of SunZia Southwest Transmission Route
A 550-mile transmission line that promises to deliver central New Mexico wind resources to load centers in Arizona and California appears to be nearing the permitting finish line, but an Arizona lawsuit challenging a 45-mile segment of the route might present a final hurdle for the project. … Peter Else, chair of the Lower San Pedro Watershed Alliance, in a complaint filed Jan. 24 to Arizona Superior Court in Maricopa County seeks to reverse earlier decisions of the Arizona Corporation Commission that approved the line’s route through the San Pedro River Valley [CV2023-050310]. … According to Else, 45 miles of the SunZia line’s route threatens the ecosystem of the San Pedro River, which the Audubon Society says is “the last major undammed river in the American Southwest.” The San Pedro watershed provides habitat for numerous animal species, including several that are listed as endangered, such as the monarch butterfly and southwestern willow flycatcher. “If it happens, it will become the poster child for poor land-use planning,” Else said in a phone conversation with California Energy Markets. Abigail Sawyer for California Energy Markets | Read more »
ICYMI: Read about Archaeology Southwest’s opposition to this segment of the route »
Seven-Story Series: Flexing Food Sovereignty
This series of stories illuminate and lift up Native people who are flexing their food sovereignty — being intentional in choosing how to feed their families and their communities, working together and sharing sacred resources. Gathering, hunting, fishing, prep, and storage are beautifully complex processes. Native communities also have complex and layered political and legal dances in navigating their food sovereignty. For Native peoples, our foods are at the core of our existence. It is beautiful to see the efforts revolving around revitalization and regeneration in different communities. Nicole Charley for Underscore | Read more »
Fellowship Opportunity: Indigenous Uses of Plants and Animals
Archaeology Southwest welcomes applicants to our cyberSW Native American Fellowship. This paid position will work closely with cyberSW’s Tribal Working Group and Development Team. The Fellow will design and implement a project related to Indigenous uses of plants or animals (or both) that will greatly enhance the cyberSW information platform. This position may be filled by someone with relevant life experience and knowledge; university-based academic qualifications and training are not required. The fellowship project may help fulfill academic degree requirements. There is a webinar and Q&A opportunity on April 25 from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m. (AZ MST) to share more about cyberSW and this position. Archaeology Southwest and cyberSW | Learn more »
Commentary: Stop Calling America the “New World”
The term has been used in science to describe certain foods (New World crops or New World wine), animal species (New World monkeys) and ecosystems (New World mangroves). … The term has been criticized by literary historians for being historically and geographically inaccurate, but it is still widely used in academia. Scientifically, it makes no sense to apply this term to describe a vast area with such variable climate, geomorphology and geological history. It is time to reconsider using it. Not only to improve accuracy in science but to respect and acknowledge the history of the colonized or exterminated cultures. Fernanda Adame in Nature | Read more »
NAGPRA in the News: The Tennessee Valley Authority Commits to Major Repatriation
The remains of nearly 5,000 Native Americans that were excavated long ago from earthen burial mounds by the Tennessee Valley Authority could soon be returned to their tribes, now that the agency has announced it is prepared to repatriate them after a decades-long wait. The T.V.A., the largest federally owned utility, said in a notice filed on Wednesday in the Federal Register that it had meticulously tallied the remains of at least 4,871 people of Native American ancestry, a process it had begun 14 years ago. The agency obtained the remains as it built dams near Native American burial grounds and later gave many of them to universities and museums across the South. Eduardo Medina and April Rubin in the New York Times | Read more »
Publication Announcement: Cultural Resource Damage Assessment
Welch, J., Cowell, S., Ryan, S., Whiting, D., & Cantley, G. (2023). Cultural Resource Damage Assessment. Advances in Archaeological Practice, 1–15. Read now (open access) »
Videos: Symposium on the Ways of Understanding and Protecting Land and Water Resources in the Grand Staircase-Escalante Region
Three weeks ago, the second-annual Symposium on the Ways of Understanding and Protecting Land and Water Resources in the Grand Staircase-Escalante Region was held at the Interagency Visitor Center in Escalante and virtually on Zoom. The Symposium, conducted on behalf of the Escalante River Watershed Partnership (ERWP), was an opportunity for Tribal representatives, researchers, state and federal agency staff, and nonprofit organizations across southern Utah to share their perspectives and recent work as it relates to the management of natural and cultural resources. It also fostered insightful cross-boundary discussions about how to meet the many challenges we face in the Southwest, from climate change to water management to repatriation and protection of cultural heritage. Escalante River Watershed Partnership | Watch now »
Video: Archaeologies that Matter
Dr. Kisha Supernant (Métis/Papaschase/British) is an award-winning teacher, researcher, and writer whose research interests explore the relationship between cultural identities, landscapes, the use of space, and Métis archaeology. As the Director of the Institute of Prairie and Indigenous Archaeology and a Professor in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Alberta, she has dedicated her career to promoting heart-centered archaeological practice. In this presentation, “Archaeologies that Matter: Heart-centered Practice, Indigenous Knowledge, and Restorative Justice in Canada,” Dr. Supernant shares her research and insights. Archaeology Café (Archaeology Southwest) | Watch now »
April Subscription Lectures (Santa Fe NM)
4/17 Rusty Greaves, Ethnoarchaeology of a Maya Community in an Everchanging Word: Persistence of Ancient Knowledge & Adaptability to Our Modern Age; 4/24, Ashley Lemke, Archaeology’s Research Frontier: Submerged Sites in North American Great Lakes. Southwest Seminars | Learn more »
REMINDER: April 13 Online Event: Relic Hunters: Archaeology and the Public in 19th-Century America
With James Snead. The history of archaeology in the United States is often presented as a gradual improvement in method/theory, resulting in a better “academic” understanding of indigenous history. In fact, the process by which Euro-Americans “engaged” the material remains of the Native American past was complex, driven not by new ideas but by an increasing public interest in antiquities. Relic Hunters: Archaeology and the Public in Nineteenth-Century America uses rich archival sources to explore this process across the 19th century, documenting how local antiquarian activity—including associations, museums, and collectors—was the principal force behind American archaeology in the era. Pacific Coast Archaeological Society | Learn more »
REMINDER: April 17 Online Event: Drinking Rituals and Politics in Chaco Canyon
This lecture will be offered through Zoom on the date above. It will NOT be recorded nor posted on YouTube.
With Patricia L. Crown. Drinking rituals are common throughout the world, and they impact exchange, crafts, the economy, and politics in the past. For the last two decades, Crown has studied the cylinder jars found primarily in Chaco Canyon. In this talk, she discusses how the cylinder jar fits into the history of drinking forms in Chaco, the possible inspiration for the vessel shape, the contents and their source, and the etiquette associated with drinking from cylinder jars. She describes the results of 2013 excavations in Pueblo Bonito that show when the form ceased to be used and how Chacoans terminated the jars and the room where they were stored. Arizona Archaeological and Historical Society | Learn more and register (free) »
April 20 Online Event: Exploring Fremont Territoriality and Resource Defense in Nine Mile Canyon, Utah
With Dr. Weston McCool. In this presentation, Dr. McCool investigates the link between archaeological data and territoriality using Fremont sites from Nine Mile Canyon (NMC), Utah, and geospatial statistical tests. For over a century, researchers have suggested the presence of NMC archaeological sites with explicit defensive functions. The existence of large tower structures and remote storage units have led many to hypothesize that these features were part of a Fremont strategy to maintain territorial boundaries and defend resources from theft or raids. Here, the presenter focuses on the tower sites and their relationship to Fremont territoriality. His results support the hypothesis that the tower sites of NMC functioned as defensive refuges. Crow Canyon Archaeological Center and Four Corners Lecture Series | Learn more and register (free) »
May 2 Online Event: Collaborating with Diné Communities
With Wade Campbell. Dr. Campbell is a Diné (Navajo) historical archaeologist whose research examines the relationships between Diné communities and other local groups in the U.S. Southwest from the 17th century to the present day, including the Pueblos, Spanish, and Americans. Wade is engaged with a range of questions related to longer-term patterns of Navajo settlement and economic activity across the greater Four Corners region, with a particular focus on incipient Indigenous pastorals and related shifts in land-use, social organization, & diet/subsistence practices. Archaeology Café (Archaeology Southwest) | Learn more and register (free) »
May 3 Online Event: Cultivating a Culture of Reuse
With Stephanie Phillips. What happens when a building has exhausted all options for preservation? After this historic winter, property owners are wondering about their options after uninhabited structures have collapsed! Phillips is spearheading a program that is creating a more just and sustainable world. Her presentation will highlight how aligning stakeholders in climate action, affordable housing, historic preservation, real estate and development, innovation, workforce training, and public health can affect transformative, place-based policy change. Utah State Historic Preservation Office | Learn more and register (free) »
May 10–July 26 Online Class: Archaeology of the Southwest
Old Pueblo Archaeology Center offers a 12-session online “Archaeology of the Southwest” class with archaeologist Allen Dart from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. each Wednesday May 10–July 26. The class covers the region’s history of archaeological research, dating systems, changes in cultures and population shifts through time, subsistence strategies, development of urbanization, and the general characteristics of major cultural groups who have lived in the American Southwest for the past 13,000-plus years. Reservations and $99 donation prepayment required by 5:00 p.m. May 5. Old Pueblo Archaeology Center | Learn more »
Remember to send us notice of upcoming webinars and Zoom lectures, tours and workshops, and anything else you’d like to share with the Friends. Thanks!