Great Plains Studies, Center for


Date of this Version

Fall 2009


Published in Great Plains Research 19.2 (Fall 2009): 240-41.


Copyright 2009 Center for Great Plains Studies, University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Used by permission.


This book is an outgrowth of a symposium presented at the 2005 Society for American Archaeology annual meeting and judged by the Amerind Foundation as the conference’s outstanding symposium. The original symposium papers, further refined during an Amerind Foundation-sponsored seminar held in October of the same year, form the book’s chapters. The volume’s rather lofty goal, as set out in Silliman’s introductory chapter, is to “redirect contemporary archaeology in many ways that are more methodologically rich, theoretically interesting, culturally sensitive, community responsive, ethically aware, and socially just.”

The chapters in part 1 focus on field schools and workshops conducted in collaboration with tribal communities in various parts of the United States. While not all of these are actual field schools, the collaboration contributed to strengthened tribal involvement with archaeology. The focus of part 2 is on ways that the various authors believe archaeological training can benefit from revamping—ranging from “connecting decolonizing theories and critiques with realistic models of practice that will have an impact on the way mainstream archaeology is practiced,” to intertribal collaboration and cooperation, the need for a “pedagogical reformatting of archaeological method and theory” in academic settings, and the need to provide students “the opportunity to apply what they learn in the classroom context directly to their work.”