A Moment of Gratitude – A Message from Crow Canyon’s President

Posted September 30, 2020

We would like to invite you to our future. But first, a moment of gratitude…

Dear Crow Canyon supporters,

These days we begin every meeting at Crow Canyon with a moment of gratitude. I’m particularly grateful when our Trustee Dr. Joseph Suina sets the tone with a prayer in his Native language of Keres. He reminds us to bring good hearts to our work, and to be mindful of the ancestors who lived on the landscape where we study and teach.

Cancelling our 2020 programs due to COVID-19 gave us the opportunity to bring our mission to the world in new ways. We shifted from in-person programs to distance platforms in order to continue engaging the public in Crow Canyon’s research.

The extent to which our reach exceeds our grasp is overwhelming. We involved thousands of people all over the country this year and continue to see interest grow. Curiosity about the people who lived centuries and millennia before we did draws people to our interactive webinars, and they return week after week because what they learn satisfies more than curiosity. Archaeology exposes the time depth and unity of the human experience, particularly when it comes to extraordinary change events. Pandemics, droughts, wildfires, social conflict, and scores of other challenges have shaken communities and families in all cultures across time and space.

At Crow Canyon we believe that possessing detailed knowledge about our shared humanity generates cultural understanding, empathy, and respect for others. We believe that possessing this knowledge bolsters resilience and helps people make better decisions in their lives and work. Crow Canyon’s scholars are in a unique position to contribute value to the world in this moment: a perspective on how science, Indigenous knowledge, and appreciation for other cultures can create solutions in the present and future.

This is not just an abstract concept. The research results we share and discuss in our distance programs are actionable at a time when people are aching to act. For example, the study of how people in the past experienced and overcame the impact of climate change and drought on food production provide immediate options for sustaining water resources and agriculture in the present.

While distance platforms have extended our reach, we have a line of sight to safely drawing people in closer. The vast landscape of the Four Corners is a spectacular outdoor classroom. Our 170-acre campus is a social-distancing paradise of open space filled with teachable moments in human-environment interaction. We are working now on plans to safely layer in-person programs for students and participants back into our work.

Dr. Suina shared with us at a recent meeting how deeply disconcerting the act of social distancing is for the modern Pueblo of Cochiti, where he lives. They trace their ancestors to the large villages that were founded a thousand years ago, where people lived very close together and needed to make patience, understanding, caring, love, and concern a way of life that is still pursued in Pueblo communities today.

At Crow Canyon we start every meeting with gratitude because it is truly a gift to be able to study and learn from Indigenous cultures, whose resilience and ingenuity has continued relevance for understanding our world today and our shared path to the future.

Thank you for being a part of our family from afar. We know in our hearts we will see you again soon.


Liz Perry

President & CEO