The History of Archaeology in Indigenous Archaeology as Decolonizing Practice

Indigenous people through the western view. The primary argument was built around how in history most archaeologists were not Indigenous people; because of this the culture of Indigenous people has been misrepresented and also disrespected. It talks about an Expedition completed by Thomas Jefferson who dug up the burial grounds of Indigenous people; “It is clear from Jefferson’s account that he knew the importance of these mounds to some Native groups but that the desires and motivations of local Native nations were not his motivation or concern”.

In the text it comments that while Indigenous people were going through Cultural genocide, the Archaeologist were busy studying the findings of there culture.

Many Scholars and activists created a number of conferences, discussions, debates and publications that addressed issues of reburying the Indigenous peoples ancestors when legislations such as the Indian Act began to pass (Atalay 2006, p.289). To conclude because of Indigenous activism the discipline of archaeology has changed and is still continuing to change, there are now both Indigenous and Non-indigenous scholars working together to contribute in the discipline.

The author refers to George Nicholas as saying “Indigenous archaeology is an archaeology with, for, and by” Indigenous people” (Atalay 2006 p.292).

The author states that they agree with Nicholas and that they feel that Archaeology should be conducting research that is important and will benefit the descendent communities. The Author ends off with saying: Indigenous archaeology is thus part of a wider project of decolonizing and democratizing knowledge production in archaeology and the social sciences more broadly. It has the potential to bring to archaeology a model for sustainable research practice that has global applicability in the twenty-first century and for many generations to come.  At the end of the article the author concludes with returning to the issue that Archaeology needs to continue to be rebuilt and move away from the western view; and how adding new viewpoints such as an Indigenous point of view can help many disciplines such as archaeology grow.

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The History of Archaeology in Indigenous Archaeology as Decolonizing Practice. (2023, Feb 18). Retrieved from

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