Public Lecture: Archaeology?! Yadilah! Collaborative Archaeology and Lessons from the Navajo Nation
Dr. Ora Marek-Martinez (Navajo Nation, Northern Arizona University)
March 15, 2017 4:30-6:30
wǝɫǝbʔaltxʷ , Intellectual House
For many Native American tribes, archaeology has been a tool used to dismantle and displace tribal narratives of the past. However, with the development of such approaches as Indigenous archaeology and community-based participatory approaches, innovative collaborative projects have emerged, which have changed the way tribes view archaeology and how they engage with archaeological practice. This intersectionality with archaeology has created a space that empowers tribal communities to reclaim and recreate tribal narratives of the past and to manage and protect cultural heritage in culturally appropriate ways. My experiences working with Navajo communities have changed my approach and assumptions when engaging with tribal communities in archaeological projects. The successful partnerships and projects that I have undertaken while working for the Navajo Nation have outweighed perceived failures. In the years that I have worked on the Navajo Nation, I have learned several tips that I would like to address that may assist other archaeologists engaging with tribal communities.