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Native American Voices Help Shape Crow Canyon's Future

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The Crow Canyon Archaeological Center is constantly planning for our future—not just in terms of archaeological projects, but our entire array of research, educational, and cultural programs as well. And for the first time, our partners in the Native American community are helping to shape Crow Canyon's future goals and activities.

Crow Canyon’s Native American Advisory Group is the first Native American organization invited to discuss Crow Canyon's strategic plan and how Native people can and should be engaged at Crow Canyon. The Native American Advisory Group is an intertribal group of advisors established to consult and collaborate with Crow Canyon on our organization's mission-aligned activities as they relate to Native American cultures and communities.

In May, Crow Canyon Archaeological Center management and staff met with members of the Native American Advisory Group in Santa Fe, New Mexico, to begin exploring the issues, roles, and goals that are most important to Native Americans in relationship to Crow Canyon’s mission areas of archaeology, education, and Native American initiatives. This input is absolutely vital, as almost all of Crow Canyon's activities are based on ancestral and present day Native American culture.

“It is essential that Native Americans are engaged at this most fundamental level of planning because their worldviews, core values, and expectations, can be very different from those of our non-Native stakeholders,” says Crow Canyon's Native American Initiatives Director Sharon Milholland, Ph.D.

Crow Canyon's Native American Initiatives department works with the Native American Advisory Group and other Native American communities to broaden and enrich the perspectives gained through archaeological research by incorporating indigenous voices into our education curriculum, and initiate projects that are culturally relevant and directly benefit Native American communities in the Southwest.

A great example of this groundbreaking work is the ongoing Zuni Kiva Project, a collaboration between Crow Canyon's Native American Initiatives department and the Pueblo of Zuni which aims to restore and revitalize six Zuni kivas. These kivas are vital for the continuation of important Zuni ceremonies which are at serious risk of disappearing forever unless action is taken quickly. This collaboration has already resulted in the restoration of one of the kivas, and planning is currently underway for the next kiva restoration.

The work being done by Crow Canyon's Native American Initiatives department and the Native American Advisory Group is helping to ensure that Crow Canyon will remain a leader in indigenous archaeology going into the future. But this is only made possible through the generous support of donors and program participants like you.

For more information on how you can support all of Crow Canyon's research, educational programs, and Native American initiatives, click here or call 1-800-422-8975, ext. 124.

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