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Cross-Cultural Collaboration

Native Peoples and Archaeology in the Northeastern United States

Jordan E. Kerber

Publication Year: 2006

Cross-Cultural Collaboration is an anthology of essays on Native American involvement in archaeology in the northeastern United States and on the changing relationship between archaeologists and tribes in the region. The contributors examine the process and the details of collaborative case studies, ranging from consultation in compliance with federal, state, and local legislation and regulations (including the National Historic Preservation Act and the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act) to voluntary cooperation involving education, research, and museum-related projects. They also discuss the ethical, theoretical, and practical importance of collaboration; the benefits and the pitfalls of such efforts; ways the process might be improved; and steps to achieve effective collaboration.

Cross-Cultural Collaboration is distinctive in its extensive regional coverage of the topic and its strong representation of Native American voices from the Northeast. It also provides a comparative framework for addressing and evaluating an increasing number of collaborative case studies elsewhere.

Published by: University of Nebraska Press

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pp. xi-xvi

American Indian issues have always been interwoven with politics, and even American holidays are not exempt. Think about your earliest memories of Thanksgiving. Remember the stories of how the Pilgrims, starving that very first winter, were saved by the Indians? Remember the story of Squanto, the Indian who taught the Pilgrims to plant...

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pp. xvii

I wish to acknowledge the indispensable contribution of several individuals for assisting me in the preparation and completion of this project. I extend my heartfelt gratitude to all the contributors to the volume for their commitment to this publication and for their rigor in completing and revising their manuscripts. Thanks are also due to...

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pp. xix-xxx

The involvement of indigenous peoples in archaeology is on the rise, despite a stormy political past and, sometimes, present. Case studies are increasingly reported in the Americas, Australia, and elsewhere (see Davidson et al. 1995; Harrison and Williamson 2004; Smith and Wobst 2005). In North America, as argued by Watkins...

Part One: Collaboration and Regulatory Compliance: Burials and Repatriation

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1. Making a Final Resting Place Final: A History of the Repatriation Experience of the Haudenosaunee

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pp. 3-17

It was a cloudy day on June 30, 1988, as horse-drawn caissons made a slow march across the Peace Bridge from Fort Erie, Ontario, to Buffalo, New York. In each of the 28 flag-draped caskets were the remains of an American soldier who had been killed in action in the War of 1812. Their bodies were uncovered earlier that year during construction at the...

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2. Tradition, Sovereignty, Recognition: NAGPRA Consultations with the Iroquois Confederacy of Sovereign Nations of New York

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pp. 18-31

The Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA) has been described as a statute that halts the unethical acquisition of Native American human remains and sacred objects, and as a course of action to "reverse the historic pattern of one-way property transfers" (Echo-Hawk 1996:1; Hill 1996:93). The law has been...

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3. Consulting with the Bone Keepers: NAGPRA Consultations and Archaeological Monitoring in the Wampanoag Territory

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pp. 32-43

I have been actively involved with both the Wampanoag Confederation Repatriation Project and tribal historic preservation officer (THPO) activities for the past six years. During this time, I believe that I have consulted with every leading archaeologist, museum staff member complying with the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act...

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4. Collaboration between Archaeologists and Native Americans in Massachusetts: Preservation, Archaeology, and Native American Concerns in Balance

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pp. 44-58

John Peters Sr. (Slow Turtle) was one of the architects of the Massachusetts Unmarked Burial Law. As the executive director of the Massachusetts Commission on Indian Affairs, he oversaw its implementation from 1983 until his death in 1997. I had the pleasure of collaborating with him during those years. He taught me so many things. At every burial...

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5. “The 368 Years’ War”: The Conditions of Discourse in Narragansett Country

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pp. 59-75

When a large earth-moving machine struck an unmarked seventeenth-century Narragansett Indian cemetery in 1982, the Rhode Island Historical Preservation and Heritage Commission (RIHPHC) and the Narragansett Indian Tribe decided to work together to excavate, study, and plan for the reburial of the 56 individuals interred...

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6. Ancient Burial Grounds on Monument Road: Abenaki and Archaeologist Efforts to Find a Solution in Vermont

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pp. 76-93

Although the state of Vermont currently has no federally recognized Native American tribes, local Native Americans actively participate in archaeological site protection and repatriation in the state. This chapter presents one history regarding Native human remains found along Monument Road in Swanton-Highgate, Vermont, and the changing...

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7. Working with the Abenaki in New Hampshire: The Education of an Archaeologist

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pp. 94-111

This was the third week of our search. Room by room, drawer by drawer, box by box, we had looked for the fragmentary remains of two Abenaki children and an adult that had been excavated by archaeologists 20 years before. A battered, lidless cardboard box with the word "Seabrook" scrawled on the side sat on the table. Examining in turn...

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8. Forging New Partnerships: Archaeologists and the Native People of Maryland

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pp. 112-128

As T. J. Ferguson (1996) asserted, archaeologists and American Indians are in the midst of restructuring their relationship with one another in ways that are exciting to some archaeologists and frustrating to others. Both the passage of the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA) in 1990 and criticism by Native...

Part Two: Collaboration and Regulatory Compliance: Sites and Places

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9. Highway Archaeology in Western New York: Archaeologists' Views of Cooperation between State and Tribal Review Agencies

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pp. 131-149

The practice of contract archaeology in western New York State has changed dramatically over the last 10 years. Changes are due to numerous factors, mainly the adoption of more rigorous statewide standards for conducting and reporting archaeological investigations, and the inclusion of Native American groups in this process. The...

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10. Green Mountain Stewardship: One Landscape, Multiple Histories

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pp. 150-164

The traditional Western Abenaki homeland encompasses a large geographical area consisting of what is now the entire state of New Hampshire, all of Vermont (excepting a portion of Bennington County), north-central Massachusetts, west-central Maine, and parts of Quebec Province in Canada. Within this area, both historically and...

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11. The Past Is Present: CRM Archaeology on Martha's Vineyard

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pp. 165-182

For many New England archaeologists, the island of Martha's Vineyard has a historical connection to the excavation and interpretation of Native American sites. Beginning at the turn of the twentieth century, some of the region's most prominent scholars came to investigate complex habitation and ceremonial sites on the pristine shores of the...

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12. Tribal Consultation in Pennsylvania: A Personal View from within the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation

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pp. 183-196

Since 2001 federal regulations require agencies to consult with federally recognized Indian tribes when projects have an impact on historic properties that hold religious or cultural significance to the tribes. Both the Pennsylvania Division of the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and the Pennsylvania Department of...

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13. Working Together: Developing Partnerships with American Indians in New Jersey and Delaware

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pp. 197-212

Over the last several years, there has been sporadic discussion throughout the Middle Atlantic archaeological community about the interaction between archaeologists and American Indians. Much of this discussion, at least in Delaware, has focused on the role of Indians as informants—as potential providers of new and...

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14. Native American Collaboration in the Delmarva: New Meanings and Expanded Approach to Delaware Archaeology

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pp. 213-229

The past two decades have been filled with contentious debates between archaeologists and Native Americans, mainly over disagreements about the repatriation of human remains and the management of cultural properties. Yet, a corps of archaeologists, working in collaboration with Native American peoples, have shown the...

Part Three: Voluntary Collaboration: Research and Education

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15. Case Studies in Collaborative Archaeology: The Oneida Indian Nation of New York and Colgate University

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pp. 233-249

With the passage of the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA) in 1990 and the 1992 amendments to the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, an increasing number of situations and projects across the United States have arisen in which archaeologists and American Indians have collaborated in the...

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16. Research and Dialogue: New Vision Archaeology in the Cayuga Heartland of Central New York

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pp. 250-264

I took a long road to investigating Cayuga settlements in the Finger Lakes region of central New York State, along with a "new vision" approach to doing archaeology. I worked for 20 years in Peru, Chile, and Argentina. However, it was my experience in two U.S. projects that was central to my political repositioning within archaeology. The first was the...

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17. Indigenous Archaeology in Southern New England: Case Studies from the Mashantucket Pequot Reservation

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pp. 265-280

In the fall of 1982, shortly before the Mashantucket Pequot Tribe received federal recognition, Tribal Chairman Richard "Skip" Hayward approached Kevin McBride, then a University of Connecticut graduate student, to assist in identifying collections and gathering research materials for the creation of a Mashantucket Pequot Museum. Hayward noted...

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18. From the Ground Up: The Effects of Consultation on Archaeological Methods

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pp. 281-294

Since the passage of the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA) in 1990, there have been many changes to the way archaeology is practiced in the United States. NAGPRA mandates consultations among anthropologists, museum curators, and Native groups and has thus led to fruitful collaboration that, in many...

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19. Constructing Alliances along the Northern Border: Consultations with Mi'kmaq and Maliseet Nations

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pp. 295-313

Many current collaboration and consultation activities between archaeologists and Native American groups occur as government- to-government relationships that are initiated and guided by formal policy. This chapter, however, describes an informal collaborative relationship between the two authors—one, Bernard Jerome, a...

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20. Passamaquoddy Homeland and Language: The Importance of Place

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pp. 314-328

Although the study of place-names has a long history in the Maine-Maritimes area, only recently have scholars systematically recorded, translated, and then analyzed them in their cultural context. This chapter recounts a collaborative effort by an archaeologist (David Sanger), an ethnohistorian (Micah Pawling), and...


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pp. 329-359

About the Contributors

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pp. 361-363


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pp. 365-379

E-ISBN-13: 9780803256439
E-ISBN-10: 0803256434

Page Count: 384
Illustrations: Illus., maps
Publication Year: 2006