Document Type

Honors Project - Open Access


This thesis addresses the absence of frameworks for collaborative interpreting Indigenous archaeological sites. I discuss my experience of descendant-centered collaboration with representatives from Dakota communities to create two interpretive signs for Macalester’s Katharine Ordway Natural History Study Area (KONHSA). I worked with Tribal Historic Preservation Officers from Upper Sioux Community, Lower Sioux Indian Community, and Prairie Island Indian Community to determine sign content and design. In this work, I examine the history of the land currently called KONHSA from an archaeological perspective. Then, I discuss the history of archaeology and Cultural Resource Management (CRM) as an oppressive practice, and I argue for collaborative methods based in frameworks of Indigenous archaeology. To contextualize the signs I made collaboratively, I analyze relevant concurrent discussions around Indigenous representation in the Twin Cities, as well as on Dakota sites with interpretive signage. I also reflect upon my experience of the collaborative process. Finally, I provide recommendations for the future at KONHSA and at Macalester College. Overall, I argue that interpreters must center descendant voices in their interpretive process using collaborative methods, and that Macalester College must invite Indigenous collaborators to continue interpreting the land at KONHSA in order to make the college more inclusive as a whole. These words reflect my own experiences and opinions.

Included in

Anthropology Commons



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