An Archaeology of Survivance on the Grand Ronde Reservation: Telling Stories of Enduring Native Presence

Kretzler, Ian. An Archaeology of Survivance on the Grand Ronde Reservation: Telling Stories of Enduring Native Presence. Diss. U of Washington. 2019.

This dissertation forwards an archaeological research framework grounded in Gerald Vizenor’s concept of survivance. Archaeologies of survivance center Native presence in all aspects of archaeological knowledge production. In doing so, they address gaps in existing studies of European and US colonialism and position archaeological research as a counter to settler colonialism’s pursuit of Native absence. They also challenge archaeologists to shed their self-appointed role as narrators of Native histories and work collaboratively with tribal nations to bring the stories of their ancestors into the present. This dissertation puts an archaeology of survivance into practice via two community-based projects developed with and by the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde. Combining cartographic, archival, archaeological, and community knowledge, these projects represent a Grand Ronde-specific form of historical inquiry, one that follows from community interests and strengthens the tribe’s efforts to implement self-determined heritage protection. This dissertation traces the development of these projects and explores what they reveal about nineteenth and twentieth century settlement patterns and foodways on the Grand Ronde Reservation in northwestern Oregon. Ultimately, an archaeology of survivance at Grand Ronde offers a blueprint for transforming a discipline rooted in US settler colonialism into a mode of tribal capacity building and continuation.

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