Nation-Building After Federal Recognition - Episode 14

Trival Views of History, Anthropology and Archaeology

On today’s episode, Jessica speaks with Sandra Hernandez, Tribal Treasurer, and Colin Rambo, Cultural Resources Manager, of the Tejon Indian Tribe. We talk about their history, from having the first reservation in California to unknowingly losing all their land due to an unratified treaty to becoming the 566th federally recognized tribe through the reaffirmation process. They talk about what it’s like literally building a nation from scratch, in addition to revitalizing their language and culture. Finally they end out talking about their cultural preservation program and the curation facility that they built. This facility is now being used to fund their larger cultural goals. 
 

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Ethnography, Videography, and Public Anthropology - Episode 13

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On today’s episode, Jessica interviews Dr. Sean Gantt, Acting Director of Education for Crow Canyon Archaeological Center. He talks about his vision for education at Crow Canyon, the value of public anthropology, and what drew him to this type of work. Sean also talks about his work as a graduate student working for the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians. There he helped with the development of an interpretation plan for the Nanih Waiya cultural landscape, the Choctaw Mother Mound, which was transferred to the tribe from a state park. From there we discuss videography and ethnography, including the importance of community based and reciprocal methods. Finally we close out by talking about specific ways that anthropology can improve as a discipline, including the role of conferences, and specific actions individual anthropologists can take to make anthropology a safer space for indigenous people.

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Mashantucket Pequot - Episode 12

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On today’s episode, we host Marissa Turnbull and Michael Johnson, THPO and Deputy THPO of the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation in Connecticut. Michael Johnson is also co-host of the Native Opinion Podcast. On this episode they talk about how their tribe went from very early colonization to only few families living on their state reservation in the 1970s to federal recognition and then to economic success that led to them being seen as a casino rather than a people. The Nation has found themselves in the middle of the debate on who is “a real Indian”. In 1993 Donald Trump argued before Congress that the Mashantucket Pequots should not have been given federal recognition and been able to become a gaming tribe because “they don’t look Indian”. We talk about what that’s been like for them as a tribe, but also how they would define their own narrative and the importance of education in doing that. Along those lines we talk about their history, their gardening and cultural education programs, and what they would like to achieve as a THPO, including seeking international repatriation of a wampum belt. 

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Hawaiian Heritage - Episode 11

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On today’s episode, Regina Keʻalapuaonālaniwikimekeānuenue Hilo takes us from digging up treasure in her backyard to her current work as a Burial Sites Specialist for the State Historic Preservation Division. We discuss the resurgence of Hawaiian language and culture and how she integrates her roles as an archaeologist, a student, and a state employee with her role as a Native Hawaiian. She discusses cultural protocols related to archaeology and burials, including larger cultural sensitivity and community collaboration. Finally Regina explains some of the differences between NAGPRA and the Hawaiian equivalent, as well as consultation with tribes vs. Native Hawaiian Organizations. Regina and I end out by briefly diving into the controversy with the proposed telescope on Mauna Kea.

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Hopivewat- Hopi Museum and Learning Center Development - Episode 10

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In today’s episode, Lyle Balenquah interviews Susan Sekaquaptewa and Marissa Nuvayestewa about their efforts to build a Hopi museum and learning center by Hopi, for Hopi. They and their team are in the thick of working on turning this idea into a reality and they break down that process in this episode. They talk about the original idea behind the Hopivewat museum and learning center and how they have been working with the community to continue to develop the idea. They particularly touch on the importance of building relationships and partnerships, selecting an organizational structure, finding resources and funding, and how to use cultural roles as a strength rather than seeing them as a challenge. This episode provides fantastic guidance for anyone looking to do community-based projects with tribes!