Monday, April 27, 2015

Meet Native America: Derek Nepinak, Grand Chief, Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs

Meet Native American. The National Museum of the American Indian.

"In the interview series Meet Native America, the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian invites tribal leaders, cultural figures, and other interesting and accomplished Native individuals to introduce themselves and say a little about their lives and work. Together, their responses illustrate the diversity of the indigenous communities of the Western Hemisphere, as well as their shared concerns, and offer insights beyond what’s in the news to the ideas and experiences of Native peoples today." 
-Dennis Zotigh, NMAI 

Grand Chief Derek Nepinak, Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs (AMC), visiting the Rolling River First Nation south and east of Erickson, Manitoba. Image Courtesy of the AMC and the National Museum of the American Indian's Blog.
Grand Chief Derek Nepinak, Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs (AMC), visiting the Rolling River First Nation south and east of Erickson, Manitoba. Image Courtesy of the AMC and the National Museum of the American Indian's Blog.
"What responsibilities do you have as grand chief of the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs? 
At the AMC, I represent more than 60 chiefs, who in turn represent more than 100,000 First Nations citizens in their respective communities.

I am responsible to uphold the constitution of the organization, which requires me to protect the birthright of our children and our families in treaty and inherent rights. I also implementmandates given to me by the chiefs in assembly, as well by the executive, which is responsible for bringing collective action and exercising bargaining power for the benefit of Manitoba’s First Nations communities.

Where is your own community located?
I'm a member of the Minegoziibe Anishinabe (Pine Creek First Nation), on the west shores of Lake Winnipegosis in current-day west-central Manitoba.

Where were your people originally from?
The Minegoziibe Anishinabe are an amalgamation of many Anishinabe (Ojibway) people from the Manitoba interlakes and the tributaries flowing from the Duck Mountain and Riding Mountain water drainage systems. Our families originally come from the Treaty 2 and Treaty 4 territories. "

Friday, April 24, 2015

Changing Perceptions and Making Connections—One Map at a Time

Aaron Carapella's maps show original locations of indigenous people
throughout North America, along with tribes' traditional names.
 Image Courtesy of Aaron Carapella and Indian Country Today.
April, 10, 2015.
Alysa Landry, of Indian Country Today, has written an exciting article about a recently completed comprehensive map of the original locations of indigenous people throughout North America along with their traditional names by Aaron Carapella.

"Carapella got serious about his project when he realized so many Native people had never seen themselves represented on a map. He traveled to 250 Native communities and contacted every cultural department in North America, he said.
“I’ve used books, military records, settler documentation and autobiographies,” he said. “On road trips, I get off the highway and visit tribal communities. Everywhere I go, I’m talking to people.” "
-Alysa Landry, Indian Country Today.

To read the full articleclick here.

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Thursday, April 23, 2015

Meet Native America: Michell Hicks, Principal Chief of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians

Meet Native American. The National Museum of the American Indian.

"In the interview series Meet Native America, the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian invites tribal leaders, cultural figures, and other interesting and accomplished Native individuals to introduce themselves and say a little about their lives and work. Together, their responses illustrate the diversity of the indigenous communities of the Western Hemisphere, as well as their shared concerns, and offer insights beyond what’s in the news to the ideas and experiences of Native peoples today." 
-Dennis Zotigh, NMAI 


Michell Hicks, principal chief of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians. Image Courtesy of the National Museum of the American Indian's Blog.
Michell Hicks, principal chief of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians.
Image Courtesy of the National Museum of the American Indian's Blog.
"Where is the Eastern Band located? Where was your nation originally from?
The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians lives in western North Carolina in the Great Smoky Mountains. Our lands today were the heart of the Cherokee Nation at the time of European contact. At that time our tribe controlled parts of what are now eight states: North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Tennessee, Kentucky, Virginia, and West Virginia. "

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Study Finds Ancient Clam Beaches Not So Natural

Large clam garden terrace in the Canadian Gulf Islands
shows the extent of foreshore management by Indigenous people of the region.
Image Courtesy of Phys.org.
April, 22, 2015.
Phys.org has written an informative article about an example of landscape modification by indigenous Northwest Coast peoples in creating clam gardens to boost production;
 not just gathering already established food sources.

"In its new paper published by American Antiquity, Lepofsky's team isolated novel ways to date the stone terraces that created clam beaches. They are certainly more than 1,000 years old and likely many thousands of years older. The researchers identified many places where people built gardens on bedrock—creating ideal clam habitats where there was none before. This, the researchers concluded, clearly challenges the notation that First Nations were living in wild, untended environments."

To read the full articleclick here.

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Tuesday, April 21, 2015

UNESCO World Heritage Center's Portal to the Heritage of Astronomy

UNESCO World Heritage Portal to the Heritage of Astronomy

"The portal exists to raise awareness of the importance of astronomical heritage worldwide and to facilitate efforts to identify, protect and preserve such heritage for the benefit of humankind, both now and in the future.

Serving UNESCO’s Astronomy and World Heritage Initiative, the portal aims to open pathways for co-operation between, and the sharing of knowledge among, State Parties to the World Heritage Convention, the academic community, and other individuals and organizations with a strong interest in promoting and safeguarding the planet’s most precious astronomical heritage."

"Astronomical heritage is evidence relating to the practice of astronomy and to social uses and representations of astronomy. It exists in the form of the tangible remains of monuments, sites and landscapes with a link to the skies that constitute a well-defined physical property. It can also involve movable objects such as instruments and archives, intangible knowledge—including indigenous knowledge still preserved in the world today—and natural environments that support human interest in astronomy, for example through the cultural use of their horizons or dark night skies."

Why preserve it?
"The sky, our common and universal heritage, forms an integral part of the total environment that is perceived by humankind. Heritage that bears witness to people’s interpretation and understanding of the sky from earliest times through to the present day stands as a record of the extraordinary diversity of ways in which our species has viewed, interpreted and understood the relationship between itself and the world—the universe—that we inhabit. If we are to keep this record intact, it is vital to recognize and safeguard cultural sites and natural landscapes that encapsulate and epitomize the connection between humankind and the sky."

Astronomical Heritage Categories

"In heritage terms, we can identify three main aspects of the ‘astronomical system’ associated with a given place and thus contributing to the value of a site:
  • material evidence of the astronomical place in the form of fixed property and/or movable objects;
  • the results of scientific activities (in the broadest sense), including but not restricted to astronomical observations; and
  • socio-cultural applications and uses of astronomy at a given moment or over a given period for the site.
Each of these three main categories gives rise to both tangible evidence and intangible heritage. Following the World Heritage Convention, the tangible evidence must be divided into two subcategories: movable heritage and immovable heritage. Immovable heritage is central to the application of the Convention but movable heritage is not, strictly speaking, covered by the Convention."

  • Tangible Fixed
  • Tangible Movable
  • Intangible
  • Moveable

Astronomy and World Heritage
World Heritage List, established sites connected to astronomy 
(This is just a brief selection of sites listed.)


Astronomy and World Heritage Initiative

ICOMOS-IAU Thematic Study

Heritage Sites of Astronomy and Archaeoastronomy in the context of the World Heritage Convention: A Thematic Study Published 2010. 
Print Copies available through Ocarina Books.
Themes
"Following the Thematic Study, this portal contains a single thematic essay for each theme, presenting a general overview in accordance with the particular disciplinary competence and experience of the author(s) concerned....The thematic essays aim to provide a short and clear overview of the recognised evidence relating to astronomical heritage. Thus they provide an initial framework for promoting and supporting the global recognition of astronomical and archaeoastronomical sites of possible significance, including those with potential OUV [Outstanding Universal Value]"


The Heritage
Astronomical Heritage Finder
Google Map listing sites with astronomical heritage.

Filtering Options
  • Timespan Controls
    • 5000 B.C. - 2000+ A.D.
  • Heritage Themes
    • See 16 themes above.
  • Sources of Information
    • Short Description ICOMOS-IAU Case Study
    • Full Description IAU Extended Case Study
    • UNESCO World Heritage List
    • UNESCO World Heritage Nomination
    • UNESCO World Heritage Tentative Lists
    • Other Astronomical Heritage
  • Heritage Categories
    • Cultural
      • tangible immovable
      • tangible movable
      • intangible
    • Natural/dark skies
    • Cultural/Natural mixed
  • Heritage Types
    • Property connected with astronomy
    • Astronomical artefact
    • Astronomical observatory
    • Astronomical instrument
    • Astronomical archive
    • Starlight Reserve
    • Starlight Oasis
    • Indigenous beliefs
    • Calendars
    • Astronomical theories
    • Astronomical calculations

Short Case Studies
"Short Case Studies aim to demonstrate methods and relevant issues concerning the presentation and analysis of the value of the chosen sites and objects in relation to astronomy. Each of the case studies produced in the context of the ICOMOS–IAU Thematic Study illustrates one of the thematic essays. The intention is to help State Parties identify potential sites and undertake comparative studies.
There is no linkage with the World Heritage List or the national Tentative Lists: some of the heritage described is on the World Heritage List already, either in its own right or as part of a larger property, but in other cases it is not. The inclusion or otherwise of a particular site carries no implications whatsoever should it ever be proposed for inscription onto the World Heritage List."

Full Case Studies
"Full Case Studies are structured as sections of draft dossiers. They are based upon nine “Extended Case Studies” produced by the International Astronomical Union’s Astronomy and World Heritage Working Group, working with other interested parties as appropriate, in 2012 with the aim of highlighting issues that might arise if State Parties were to prepare nomination dossiers concerned with the astronomical values of the properties concerned. In this sense, they represent a follow-up to the ICOMOS–IAU Thematic Study on astronomical heritage in exploring in more detail some of the unresolved issues raised by the Thematic Study."
  • Chankillo, Peru
    • "values in relation to astronomy v. wider values of related archaeological sites (in Casma valley)"
    • Published
  • Stonehenge World Heritage Site, United Kingdom
    • "Issues relating to the re-inscription of existing WH sites with more explicit recognition of their astronomical values, altered boundaries and/or buffer zone, inclusion of environmental aspects such as (relatively) dark sky preservation, and preservation of significant lines of sight to horizons"
    • Pending Publication

Community
News and Events

Contacts
Regional and National Resources

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Monday, April 20, 2015

Meet Native America: Bill John Baker, Principal Chief of the Cherokee Nation

Meet Native American. The National Museum of the American Indian.

"In the interview series Meet Native America, the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian invites tribal leaders, cultural figures, and other interesting and accomplished Native individuals to introduce themselves and say a little about their lives and work. Together, their responses illustrate the diversity of the indigenous communities of the Western Hemisphere, as well as their shared concerns, and offer insights beyond what’s in the news to the ideas and experiences of Native peoples today." 
-Dennis Zotigh, NMAI 

Cherokee Nation First Lady Sherry Baker and Principal Chief Bill John Baker, Cherokee Nation, Oklahoma. Photo © Jeremy Charles. Image Courtesy of the National Museum of the American Indian's Blog.
Cherokee Nation First Lady Sherry Baker and Principal Chief Bill John Baker, Cherokee Nation, Oklahoma. Photo © Jeremy Charles. Image Courtesy of the National Museum of the American Indian's Blog.
"Where is your nation located?
The Cherokee Nation’s headquarters is in Tahlequah, Oklahoma, and our nation’s jurisdiction spans all or part of 14 counties in the northeastern corner of Oklahoma.

Where were your people originally from?
Where we came from is an important part of who we are as Cherokee people. Our home now is in Oklahoma, but our original and ancestral homelands are in Tennessee, Georgia, Kentucky, Alabama, Virginia, South Carolina, and North Carolina. These are the lands we hunted and harvested, the places where our tribal systems of government and education were born, where our ancestors are buried, and where our dances and songs were developed and shared. "

Friday, April 17, 2015

Prehistoric Earthwork, Yorktown Enclosure, to be Permanently Preserved

The prehistoric Yorktown Enclosure is hidden in this woods between Muncie and Yorktown. Image Courtesy of The Archaeological Conservancy.
The prehistoric Yorktown Enclosure is hidden in this woods between Muncie and Yorktown.
Image Courtesy of The Archaeological Conservancy.
March 25, 2015.
The Archaeological Conservancy has written an exciting article about the recent preservation of an Hopewellian (100 B.C.- 400 A.D.) enclosure called the Yorktown Enclosure to create a permanent archaeological preserve.

"The Yorktown Enclosure is assigned by archaeologists to the New Castle Phase, a period of time between 250 BC and AD 350 when in east central Indiana, American Indians constructed relatively small circular earthworks and sometimes sizeable burial mounds. It is related to the more elaborate Ohio Hopewell Culture, whose earthworks of the same time period sometimes enclose over one hundred acres with earthen walls miles long. The Yorktown Enclosure seems have been recognized as a significant place as early as 1881 when a history of Delaware County mentioned that near Yorktown there was “one of those enclosures … of the class know as fortifications”. Since enclosures were typically built by digging a circular ditch and pitching the earth to the outside to create an encircling wall, they do superficially resemble a defensive structure. Today most archaeologists consider them to be ceremonial sites where the ditch and wall separate the interior, sacred space where important activities would take place from the outside mundane world of everyday life."

To read the full articleclick here.

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Thursday, April 16, 2015

Meet Native America: Orvena "Twiggy" Gregory, Second Chief of the Sac and Fox Nation

http://blog.nmai.si.edu/main/2014/03/meet-native-america-orvena-gregory.html

Meet Native American. The National Museum of the American Indian.

"In the interview series Meet Native America, the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian invites tribal leaders, cultural figures, and other interesting and accomplished Native individuals to introduce themselves and say a little about their lives and work. Together, their responses illustrate the diversity of the indigenous communities of the Western Hemisphere, as well as their shared concerns, and offer insights beyond what’s in the news to the ideas and experiences of Native peoples today." 
-Dennis Zotigh, NMAI 

Orvena “Twiggy” Gregory, second chief of the Sac and Fox Nation. Image Courtesy of the National Museum of the American Indian's Blog.
Orvena “Twiggy” Gregory, second chief of the Sac and Fox Nation.
Image Courtesy of the National Museum of the American Indian's Blog.
"Where is your nation located?
The jurisdiction of the Sac and Fox Nation is located within three counties in Oklahoma—Payne, Lincoln, and Pottawatomie. The headquarters are located approximately five miles south of Stroud, Oklahoma.

Where was your nation originally from?
The Sac and Fox are Algonquin and are a Woodland tribe who originally came from the western Great Lakes region."

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

History Fund Grant Recipients Announced on Statehood Day, Grant Program Funded through Voluntary Donations by Ohio Taxpayers

March, 5, 2015.
Emmy Beach, of the Ohio History Connection, has written an exciting post about recent recipients of the History Fund. "The History Fund is a competitive matching grants program that is one of four "tax check-off" funds found on Ohio's income tax forms and funded entirely through Ohio taxpayers’ voluntary contributions. “The History Fund helps us share and preserve Ohio’s story by supporting local projects and programs in communities throughout the state,” said Burt Logan, executive director and CEO for the Ohio History Connection. “The work of local history organizations is helping to strengthen our heritage and ensure Ohio’s story is told for years to come.” "

"Wyandot County Historical Society (Upper Sandusky) received $2,945 to create a traveling exhibit about the history of the Wyandot tribe in Ohio, from the formation of the Wendat Confederacy in the 1650s, through the tribe’s time on reservations in Ohio in the early 19th century, to the four Wyandot nations today."

To read the full postclick here.

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Tuesday, April 14, 2015

World Heritage in the United States National Park Service

World Heritage Sites in the United States: Discover Our Shared Heritage Travel Itinerary

"The United States is proud to preserve and protect its World Heritage Sites. World Heritage Sites are a relatively small number of places on earth that have been formally determined by the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) World Heritage Committee to possess "outstanding universal value" to humanity for their exceptional cultural and natural significance. They have accordingly been inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List and are truly part of our shared heritage. This itinerary offers a glimpse of why they have been identified as having such universal significance and helps travelers discover these very special destinations. "

"View the itinerary online or print it as a guide if you plan to visit in person. The World Heritage Sites Discover Our Shared Heritage Travel Itinerary, the 60th in this ongoing series, is part of the Department of the Interior and National Park Service's strategy to promote public awareness of history and to encourage visits to historic places throughout the nation. The itineraries are created by a partnership of the National Park Service, the National Conference of State Historic Preservation Officers, and Federal, State, and local governments and private organizations in communities, regions, and heritage areas throughout the United States. "
Essays
  • World Heritage Sites & Our National Park Service
  • How the World Heritage Convention Works
By State
Placemarks list the name of the site, links for more information & directions and enable you to create a personalized itinerary.
Link lists by state, other relevant websites, and a selected bibliography.

By state, region, about itineraries, and teaching with historic places.

News and Quicklinks.


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