President’s Update – May 2021

Posted May 6, 2021

Dear Crow Canyon supporters,

We have so much to be grateful for this spring, and YOU are at the very top of our gratitude list. I am constantly moved by your contributions to our mission in the world, your participation in our webinars each week, the encouraging messages you send to our staff, and the donations you make that sustain us. Your love and support inspire us to put our heart and soul into our work, and to innovate new ways to engage you with cutting-edge archaeological research, education, and American Indian knowledge.

We are also grateful that the return of sunny weather and improved pandemic conditions have allowed us to get out of our home offices and venture outside on our beloved desert landscape! As soon as it was safe to do so we jumped in our trucks and hit the canyons to scout out new projects and programs that allow us to bring students and citizen scientists back into our work.

When we had to halt our public and student programs due to the pandemic, we vowed to use our time well. Our staff worked on publications, grants, and research, as well as internal projects that had been on the back burner such as revamping our old website (stay tuned for the new one!), professional development for staff, and campus improvements such as trail maintenance and building upgrades. At the same time, our educators and travel coordinators jumped headfirst into digital and distance programs, creating the weekly webinar series and virtual student programs.

We held our first Board of Trustees meeting of the new year via Zoom on March 19, 2021. Our longtime Trustee Dr. Joseph Suina of Cochiti Pueblo opened our meeting with a prayer in his native language of Keres, setting the tone for a meaningful and collaborative session. Our Board Chair, Ricky Lightfoot, reminded the Board and staff that our mission would not be possible without the contributions of Indigenous people in the past, present, and future. Reciprocating the generosity of our American Indian partners and including Indigenous knowledge in all of our projects and programs at Crow Canyon are ongoing goals for the organization.

Crow Canyon ended 2020 in a strong financial position, thanks to our generous donors and to federal PPP loans that have been forgiven. We are delighted to begin a careful process of reinitiating some on-campus and travel programs in addition to our new online programs. Our public archaeology and dendrochronology interns are arriving this month, as well as the college students participating in our National Science Foundation-funded field school. We will keep you posted as new program opportunities become available!

Thank you once more for everything you do for Crow Canyon – we hope to see you in the coming year!