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Federal Heritage Policy, Cultural Violence and Indigenous Ac8vism: Contemporary Ba>les for the Sacred

Date and Time: 
Thursday, October 6, 2016. 05:00 PM - 06:30 PM
Meeting Location: 
Stanford Archaeology Center; Building 500, Room 106
Workshop: 
Archaeological Histories and Futures
Meeting Description: 

Recent events at a protest of the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) adjacent to the Standing Rock Sioux Nation highlights a problem with the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA) Section 106 process and on a wider level the preservation of archaeological sites that play active spiritual roles in the lives of Indigenous people. An unprecedented reaction of unity has occurred with many thousand tribal representatives journeying to Standing Rock North Dakota, to support the protection of water and sacred sites. This reaction is contextualized in a repeated history of systemic disregard for Indigenous rights and heritage. At a recent House Committee on Natural Resources hearing, Tribal leaders identified specific problems with the process that included a clash of ontologies, personalities, and politics that show a lack of respect for Indigenous views, along with corruption and bias within the section 106 process. The issues are complicated by tribal entanglements with federal funds and fossil fuels. This process, although meant to protect heritage, can be carried out with settler colonialist attitudes that end in the exploitation of Indigenous people. This talk will examine issues highlighted in Standing Rock case along with other contemporary examples.

Timothy Wilcox is a PhD candidate in Anthropology and a DARE-Diversifying Academia Recruiting Excellence Doctoral Fellow. He received his BA in Archaeology from Stanford University in 2010. He works on practice and technological style of Gobernador Polychrome Pottery, a Navajo produced painted ware that appeared during the Pueblo Revolt Era (1680-1692) in the Dinetah region of Northwestern New Mexico. As a Navajo and Tewa scholar with experience as a traditional and replicative potter he has unique insights regarding Southwestern ceramic analysis. Timothy also has 12 years of experience working for the Navajo Nation Archaeology Department and 6 years of experience working with Stanford Heritage Services on contract archaeology (CRM) projects.

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