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Consultation, collaboration and community participation : the archaeological excavation of two prehistoric Inupiaq burials at Kotzebue, Alaska

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Title: Consultation, collaboration and community participation : the archaeological excavation of two prehistoric Inupiaq burials at Kotzebue, Alaska
Author: Devinney, Eileen
Degree: Master of Arts - MA
Program: Anthropology
Copyright Date: 1997
Issue Date: 2009-03-24
Series/Report no. UBC Retrospective Theses Digitization Project [http://www.library.ubc.ca/archives/retro_theses/]
Abstract: In recent years anthropologists have begun to reflect more upon their obligations to the communities which they study and serve. Native communities have also become more aware of their potential role in decisions affecting aspects of their cultural heritage. Increasingly these two groups have striven to develop collaborative approaches to conducting research. Collaboration among Native Americans, archaeologists, and anthropologists may provide benefits not only to the scientific community, but also to the Native American community. Dialogs and exchanges of information throughout the collaborative process greatly enhance mutual understanding and respect between the many individuals involved. Focusing on a particular incident, this paper explores a particularly sensitive area of archaeological collaboration - the identification and excavation of prehistoric human burials. When a private land owner discovered indigenous human remains on his property in Kotzebue, Alaska, during the summer of 1995, he immediately consulted the local native community and an archaeologist for advice and recommendations in handling the disinterment and relocation of the remains. Archaeological excavation of the remains was recommended and supported, as many felt that it could provide both the community and researchers with valuable data about prehistoric Inupiaq culture. Easily accessible to local residents, the excavation site drew steady crowds of curious onlookers. The immediate sharing of findings at the site created a dynamic atmosphere, fostering greater trust and interest between community members and researchers while also stimulating local interest in Inupiaq history and culture.
Affiliation: Arts, Faculty of
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/2429/6395
Scholarly Level: Graduate

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