President’s Message: Envisioning a Healthier Society

Posted August 15, 2022

Dear friends of Crow Canyon,

I have always particularly liked our vision statement. Given the nature of the challenges and opportunities ahead of us, it seems like the crafters of our vision statement had access to a crystal ball. The vision statement of any organization is generally lofty and idealistic. It imagines a future world where conditions have improved from the present state, reveals the deeper purpose of our work, and inspires us to persevere in the face of hardship and disappointment. Our vision for Crow Canyon is “to expand the sphere in which we operate, both geographically and intellectually, and show how the knowledge gained through archaeology can help build a healthier society.”

Adversity forces us to summon strengths we didn’t know we had. Sometimes I ask myself, “what have we done here at Crow Canyon since the start of COVID that makes me proud?” Revisiting our vision statement, which reflects the hopes and dreams of our founding Trustees and employees, makes me incredibly proud of us all. During a time of tremendous and unpredictable disruption, we expanded the sphere in which we operated, both geographically and intellectually. It would have been natural to contract during a time of drastically reduced human contact. Yet our geographic reach exploded, both in terms of distance around the world and sheer number of people who are now engaged with our mission. Our geographic expansion happened because of our intellectual expansion. Our staff were able to imagine a world where our mission reaches people in a constellation of ways, and they made it happen. When we reach people today, it is with a truly expansive and inclusive intellectual sphere. The discipline of archaeology is transforming, and the sphere in which we operate captures our responsibility to reciprocate what we have gained from Indigenous people and communities, the practice of cutting-edge science and technology, and research that seeks to address urgent and intractable social and environmental challenges facing all of humanity. The founders of Crow Canyon and those of us here today are inextricably connected by our shared belief that archaeology can help build a healthier society.

We know this to be true. This is why we are here. Each of us have slightly different ways of using and combining the fundamental tools of our mission – archaeological research, experiential education, and American Indian knowledge – to move the needle toward a healthier society where everyone’s history is understood and valued. Our diversity of experience and talents and passion for our work in the world makes us resilient, and no pandemic will take this away from us.

We know that this time of physical separation will only strengthen our resolve to continue to have an impact in a world that needs connection, understanding, and appreciation of our shared humanity.

With love,