“It was life-changing,” said Karin Sheldon about her first in-person trip with Crow Canyon six years ago. She remembers every detail about it as if it were yesterday, recalling special moments from throughout the Cultural Explorations travel seminar that took her from Chaco to Mesa Verde to Canyons of the Ancients. Learning firsthand from Zuni and Ute scholars as well as Crow Canyon archaeologists played a big role in creating an “astonishing and amazing” experience for Karin, a retired environmental lawyer from Lafayette, Colorado.
Since then, Crow Canyon has been an important aspect of Karin’s life. In 2022, she decided to give monthly to Crow Canyon. “I asked myself what could I do to support the success of an effort that I value, that I see is making a true contribution to our understanding of our past and the people who came before us? How can I make sure that it is sustainable into the future?” shared Karin.
Karin understands the fundraising challenges of nonprofit organizations like Crow Canyon. She donates monthly because: “It’s critical to receive support, not just once a year, but to have consistent income so an organization can build a budget, manage it successfully, and avoid the ups and downs,” she shared.
From her very first experience, Karin was drawn in by Crow Canyon’s philosophy and approach. “What impressed me most was the recognition of the need for engagement with Native people in all aspects of their work,” she shared. “Archaeology has changed over time. It is moving away from gathering artifacts and sending them back to a museum, to an emphasis on the importance of place and of relationships and reciprocity. There isn’t a person I’ve met at Crow Canyon who isn’t thinking about that.”
Karin appreciates that Crow Canyon reaches learners such as herself who are enriched by the programs and find relevance to other aspects of life as well. “The opportunity to understand more about the culture, art, and lifeways of the people who have lived in the Southwest for more than a thousand years is a true gift,” she said.
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This story is from the 2022 Annual Report.