Ashleigh Thompson (she/hers) joined Archaeology Southwest as Director of the Tribal Collaboration Initiative in January 2022. A member of the Red Lake Ojibwe Nation, Ashleigh has roots in Minnesota, as well as Utah, where she was raised.
Before enrolling as an undergrad at the University of Minnesota–Morris, Ashleigh didn’t know what anthropology was. Yet, her first class was taught by an Indigenous anthropologist, and soon after, she was hooked on learning about peoples and their cultures. After graduating with BAs in American Indian Studies, Anthropology, and English, Ashleigh began graduate school at the University of Arizona to study Indigenous archaeology. There, she worked on a number of archaeological and ethnographic projects that centered Indigenous peoples, including the Blackfeet, Chiricahua Apache, and Red Lake Ojibwe. In addition to research, some of her favorite work was as a Teaching Assistant in the American Indian Studies department. She graduated with her master’s in anthropology in 2019.
Ashleigh is passionate about all things Indigenous, especially protecting sacred landscapes, Native American food sovereignty and wellness, and recreating respectfully on Indigenous lands. Her favorite place is outside, where she runs, climbs, and hikes with her dog, Benson. Ashleigh is excited about her position at Archaeology Southwest where she can pursue her career goals of protecting Indigenous lands in collaboration with Tribal Nations of Turtle Island.