Johnson's Sacred Cultural Resources

John Staeck (staeckjp@MARTIN.LUTHER.EDU)
Thu, 13 Jul 1995 08:49:45 -0500

Howdy Robert and all. You know, most of the Native Americans I've worked
with and spoken with don't consider all archaeological materials sacred.
Some things certainly are but many things certainly aren't. Robert, may I
suggest we go on to something more productive in this discussion. If you're
calling for the wholesale revision of cultural resource management, esp.
archaeology, than I am waiting to hear HOW YOU propose to restructure
things. I suspect, for example, some Ho'Chunk would be skeptical of people,
regardless of cultural identity, working on sites potentially related to
their history if these workers came from far outside the Midwest and/or did
not have a good feeling for the archaeology of the region.

Not insignificantly, how do you propose generating experienced and
well-prepared archaeological crews from indigenous nations? Surely enhanced
education facilities would help in some cases, BUT IS THE INTEREST THERE? I
think you would be surprised to find that much of the interest present in
studying the past among some Native American groups reflects an alliance of
extant archaeological/anthropological ideology and indigenous ideas.
(Please note, alliance does not equate to condoning past historical events,
on either side of the battle lines.) The point is that wholesale revisions
are probably not coming in the vein that you seem to espouse (but maybe
you've got some specific ideas we could look at) but may be coming in more
alliance-based forms.

Just some food for thought. I, and perhaps others, await your ideas.

cheers - john

PS good idea with the Nazi material, I hope it turns out to be the real thing!

John Staeck Oft did I wonder why the setting sun
Anthropology Program should look upon us with a blushing face:
Luther College Is't not for shame of what he hath seen done,
Decorah, IA 52101 whilst in our hemisphere he ran his race?
319-387-1284 Lyman Heath On the Setting Sun