Changing Perceptions of Archaeology within the Seminole Tribe of Florida
What is it like to complete archaeological research in an on-reservation setting? The answer is that it could be the same as anywhere else in the country as field crews work to excavate the perquisite number of shovel-tests or test units within a geographically specified area of potential effect. At the Seminole Tribe of Florida THPO we have one significant difference between us and “typical” cultural resource management–based research. We remain in situ long after the project is complete. The philosophy of the THPO is that the long-term success of the on-reservation archaeology program revolves around successful communication and engagement with the community in order to preserve and protect important elements of their collective heritage. The THPO is still fairly young as an organization, and the sight of people walking through pastures with shovels and trowels is novel to most, if not all, of the residents of any given reservation. The moments that archaeologists and community interact are therefore critical. This is definitely the case in the following chapter which begins with a particular incident that universally brings people of all cultures together—lunch.
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