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Navigating Entanglements and Mitigating Intergenerational Trauma in Two Collaborative Projects: Stewart Indian School and "Our Ancestors' Walk of Sorrow" Forced Removal Trail


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Traditional Indigenous landscapes are imbued with cultural meaning and value that are best understood by researchers from both etic and emic perspectives and through collaborative research. We, the authors, are engaged in long-term partnerships with numerous American Indian communities in the American Great Basin, including the Burns Paiute Tribe. Co-author Diane L. Teeman is enrolled in this Tribe and is the director of its Culture and Heritage Department. Together we endeavor to document and understand typically unconsidered aspects of how and why the US government forcibly removed American Indians from their ancestral homelands in the American West in the nineteenth century; how and why the government attempted to assimilate tribal children into mainstream society; and, how and why government oversight continues to regulate Indigenous heritage through federal archaeological policies that often perpetuate colonial practices. Colonialist world views define what has value as a cultural resource and what has life, presence, and agency in narrow terms compared to the definitions in many Indigenous epistemologies. The fact that who and what has personhood in cultural resource management are rarely topics of discussion cross-culturally leads to an incomplete scope for cultural resource management consideration. This lack of recognition also means that research funding opportunities for archaeology would rarely include work on these topics. Further more, the fact that Indigenous peoples rarely have opportunities to assert Indigenous worldviews in management discussions has led to laws, policies, implementations, and research funding distributions that do not meet the needs of tribally understood cultural landscapes and ecosystems. In addition to this lack of inclusion in cross-cultural discussions of ontology and epistemology, the paths established by law and by agency protocols for protecting culturally important places and things are inadequately revealed...



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