Ethnography with African Descendent Communities - Episode 16

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Today’s podcast features Dr. Antoinette Jackson, Associate Professor at the University of South Florida. We talk about her work with the Gullah Geechee and the importance of representation in telling people’s stories. We contrast their experience with her work with the local communities in the U.S. Virgin Islands and the National Park Service. She talks about how to work with descendent communities with less formalized power structures, as well as how to work more ethically with descendant communities in general. Finally, we talk about the town of Archery, which provides an interesting juxtaposition of how stories are told, being both a predominately African-American community and the boyhood home of former President Jimmy Carter. Finally, she shares what it’s like interviewing a former President!  

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Live Panel on Bears Ears National Monument - Episode 15

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On March 3rd, 2018 Lyle hosted a live panel on Bears Ears National Monument with indigenous activists at Friends of Cedar Mesa’s annual Celebrate Cedar Mesa event. In addition to Lyle himself, the panel also featured Regina Lopez-Whiteskunk (former co-chair of the Bears Ears Inter-Tribal Coalition and Ute Mountain Ute Tribal Councilwoman and current Education Coordinator for the Ute Indian Museum), Ed Kabotie (Hopi/Tewa artist, musician, and activist) and Angelo Baca (Diné/Hopi, Filmmaker and Cultural Resources Coordinator for Utah Diné Bikeyah). The four talk about their experiences with Bears Ears National Monument, but also use the topic to discuss larger issues, including tribal sovereignty, indigenous and Western science collaborations, boarding schools, and how we can all be better activists. Their heartfelt words led to a standing ovation and an encore. Thank you again to Friends of Cedar Mesa and to all the panelists.

The time of the Indian expert is over. It’s time for expert Indians.
— Angelo Baca - Utah Dine Bikeyah

Nation-Building After Federal Recognition - Episode 14

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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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