Crow Canyon’s collaborative and inclusive approach means a lot to Indigenous people who come to Crow Canyon to develop their education and careers, like Ritchie Sahneyah, Hopi Tribe, Village of Tewa, Tobacco Clan. He served as an American Indian Initiatives intern with Crow Canyon in 2022 and is pursuing his bachelor’s degree in Anthropology.
Coming to Crow Canyon was an eye-opening experience for Ritchie: “Growing up, I didn’t have much exposure to ancestral sites outside of the reservation. I knew about places in the Grand Canyon and National Parks, but never knew there was a larger landscape beyond that, especially in the Mesa Verde region,” he shared.
Ritchie had the opportunity to be part of a range of Crow Canyon activities and projects, including a Cultural Explorations scouting trip with Hopi scholars at an area known as The Lands Between, named for its position between Bears Ears and Canyons of the Ancients National Monuments.
“We went to a few sites with rock art panels and being there, hearing their knowledge of different depictions was very inspiring and gave me a deep understanding of my own culture and the history of the area,” said Ritchie. “The experience with Crow Canyon allowed me to feel connected to my culture all while learning how traditional knowledge can teach us so much more about the past, present, and future.”
Ritchie’s experience has inspired him to do more to teach about his Tribe’s culture and pursue studies in ethnoarchaeology in the Southwest region: “My experience with Crow Canyon helped me see how rich our culture is and how far it spreads. I want to help preserve that and encourage young people in my community to become interested and engaged in careers in archaeology and anthropology.”
Click here to learn more about Crow Canyon’s American Indian Initiatives Intern program.
This story is from the 2022 Annual Report: Read the full report.