Topic ID #37594 - posted 11/3/2016 6:39 PM

Where do we go from here?


 Where do we go from here?

I am soliciting for responses that will lead to better cooperative efforts between tribes and archaeologists . We need to expand our participation together and move forward on how to resolve problems that occur in our field.  These problems can be addressed through serious cooperation.   This roundtable considers resolving basic problems between tribal people and archaeologists and asks “Where do we go from here?”

 What I am interested in is  

1) problems that have come up in the field and
2) suggestions that may resolve those problems. Feel free to PM if you wish to remain anonymous Thanks

Here is a general overview of a couple points
Insensitivity of field techs (and native monitors) or just a lack of respect by each. Treating the tribe as a third party, or disrespecting the profession until the archaeology is degraded to little more than grave digging.

The level of education everyone brings to the job; most green techs are woefully lacking in social graces and a lot of monitors won’t have a formal education. This is where cooperation between tribes and students will pay off in spades. If tribal intellectual property is incorporated into archaeological field schools, the benefits will occur on both sides. University credits can give tribal students an opportunity to experience higher education. A certification will expand the role of native participation beyond monitoring. I have had countless requests from tribal people who want to participate in survey, which I have to decline because of the lack of skills and in some cases the number that wish to be paid, private property concerns, liability etc. etc. This is my personal peeve.

Participation in a field school that offer a cultural resource certification could be an opportunity to participate on survey which opens up more jobs to tribe members. Tribal participation in field schools also gets younger people a chance to make those social faux pas early in their career. Using tribal people for monitoring only is limited. Cultural knowledge from a native perspective can have a great influence on budding archaeologists.
 Field schools should include both sides of the story and should include ethics, along with countering other forms of unprofessional behavior like, sexual harassment, harassment in general, or a lack of engagement, “being there” just doesn’t cut it. It also gets younger tribe members involved directly with their culture.  This will require agreements between tribes and an active role by our universities to recognize the intellectual property of the tribes. 

Trust between tribal people and the archaeologist vis a´ vis requires changing the paradigm of how we do business.  Through cooperation between ethical firms and the tribes, Checks and counter checks to overcome the shortfalls of the RPA and to balance out unreasonable requests; but,  what are the ground rules?  Let’s talk about that... So “Where do we go from here?” 


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