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7 Effective Tools for Anthropologists Working with Tribes

If you live in the western United States and are working in any of the sub-fields of anthropology, you will or have already worked with a Native American Tribe in one fashion or another.   Have you ever ended a long day of meetings wishing you had insider tips to working with tribes? Working with tribes can bring uncertainty with methodology, presentation of results and findings. After utilizing the anthropological standards, some anthropologists find themselves needing additional guidance with working with Native cultural specialists and tribal elders.   University archaeologists and students working with tribal staff on an archaeological excavation.   Sure, we are not utilizing the outdated anthropological field methods of yesteryear. The lack of insider guidance may cause delays...

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My Top Three Online Resources for Family Tree Research

     I receive a lot of questions regarding the family tree research I do.  People don't know where to start, they get stuck, they don't know who their grandparents were or who one of their parents were.  Let me put the painful truth up front so that you don’t have a rude awakening, or perhaps you already have had that rude awakening and you need some reassurance from someone with years of experience.  This is a very difficult and very tedious process, especially for people who are adopted or don’t know who a parent or parents are.  For research on Native Americans, it is very difficult at times.  I have spent years researching single individuals to determine their ancestral...

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The Last Wild Indian: My True Story of Surviving Cultural Genocide

   I have been fortunate enough to work with various family histories as a way of identifying the significance of specific resources.  I have made it a point to aim that curiosity inward to my own history.  My own family research is completely done at random, sometimes I focus it based questions from my family and other times I focus on it because I am stuck on other research with the hopes it will knock something loose.  Chasing research questions can take days of research with a lot of dead ends.  One day I recieved a very big piece of information about my great great grandfather Alexander Blodgett, Wintu, who was from the Redding, CA area.  His story drew me...

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How is Archaeology Culturally Appropriating Native American Culture?

***Trigger warning***      For some of you, this will be difficult to read, it will not be comfortable and will contradict what you might have been taught in school.  If you don't already know by now, I have a Master's, am an enrolled Tribal member and an archaeologist.  Based on that, you will question my credentials, the things I am writing about, and make attempts at attacking the logic, facts, and thesis of this blog.  You may even try to attack my identity, but go ahead, I am a Native archaeologist.  If you don't think I have had those internal battles a long time ago, you are lying to yourself. Good luck with that.  However, you should know, I am not the...

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Three Need-to-Knows about Native American Petroglyphs and Pictographs

Images of Native American petroglyphs and pictographs are everywhere.  They are on t-shirts, mugs, blankets, company logos, hats, hoodies....there's literally no end to where they are exploited.  As a concerned Tribal member and a Tribal archaeologist, I work with these sacred images and see the physical natural and cultural impacts first-hand.  Based on what I have witnessed over there years, there's a need for some educating around here.  Here are three things that need to get straightened out when we talk about petroglyphs/pictographs.   "Art" Petroglyphs/pictographs are not art.  They are sacred images that represent significant cultural themes, messages, beliefs to a Tribe.  They were not created for aesthetic purposes.  They were created to teach, warn, or record those not yet born. ...

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