Indigenous Method and Theory in Archaeology

Author(s): Paulette Steeves

Year: 2017


Indigenous Archaeology has been described as archaeology with, for, and by Indigenous people. The differences between with and for, and by Indigenous people are critical to Indigenous people and society in general. Research framed in Indigenous method and theory is built within frames of respect, relationality, and reciprocity, it is praxis that weaves through institutional and public spaces to create social change. Such social change addresses the past real world consequences of colonial archaeology and address colonialism in the present. The impacts of colonization, including Eurocentric archaeological discussion of Indigenous communities are best understood through the lived experience of colonized populations. Research framed in Indigenous Method and Theory and carried out by Indigenous scholars and communities is most often, if not always a political act of resistance and rhetorical sovereignty, a reclaiming and reviving of Indigenous ways of knowing, being and doing. It is a weaving of knowledge, oral traditions, and science, reflecting a praxis that Indigenizes the academy and education. Indigenous methods work to foreground Indigenous voices, counter dominant discourses, open paths to healing, and strengthen the community. In mitigating their predecessors' past, archaeologists are responsible for creating open and safe spaces for Indigenous scholars within the academy.

Cite this Record

Indigenous Method and Theory in Archaeology. Paulette Steeves. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 430253)

Spatial Coverage

min long: -122.761; min lat: 29.917 ; max long: -109.27; max lat: 42.553 ;

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 15299