Sara Gonzalez, Ph.D. (University of Washington, Seattle)

Research interestsgonzalez-photo

An archaeologist by training, I work at the inter­sec­tion of tribal his­toric preser­va­tion, Indigenous Studies, and pub­lic his­tory. My research specif­i­cally exam­ines how community-based par­tic­i­pa­tory approaches to research improves the empir­i­cal and inter­pre­tive qual­ity of archae­o­log­i­cal nar­ra­tives, while also sit­u­at­ing archae­ol­ogy within a more respect­ful and engaged prac­tice. As a core fea­ture of this work I am explor­ing the diverse appli­ca­tions of minimally invasive field methods and dig­i­tal media as tools for con­tribut­ing to the capac­ity of tribal com­mu­ni­ties to man­age their his­toric and envi­ron­men­tal resources. This work cen­ters on my ongo­ing col­lab­o­ra­tion with tribal communities in California, Oregon, and Washington. In con­junc­tion with these projects I have devel­oped mul­ti­ple class­room, lab, and field school pro­grams that pro­vide under­grad­u­ate and grad­u­ate stu­dents with the oppor­tu­nity to par­tic­i­pate directly in research with tribal com­mu­ni­ties that con­tributes to their capac­ity to study, man­age, and rep­re­sent their heritage.

This work centers on my ongoing collaboration with the Kashia Band of Pomo Indians at Fort Ross State Historic Park (FRSHP), a former Russian-American Company mercantile settlement (1812-1841) in northern California. The settlement was founded within the Kashaya’s homeland, Metini.  Community-based participatory research with both the tribal community and the California Department of Parks and Recreation has been used to create an archaeology that works for the tribal community, is conducted in accordance with their cultural values and that, ultimately, empowers them in the management of Kashaya heritage within Metini.

Since joining the faculty at the University of Washington, Seattle in 2013 I ini­ti­ated Field Methods in Indigenous Archaeology, a multi-year community-based part­ner­ship with the Con­fed­er­ated Tribes of Grand Ronde Com­mu­nity of Ore­gon (CTGR) and their Tribal His­toric Preser­va­tion Office (THPO). The goal of this col­lab­o­ra­tion is twofold: first, to document the development of the 19th century Grand Ronde reservation landscape and, sec­ond, to con­tribute to the capac­ity of the CTGR THPO to man­age tribal cul­tural resources on its reser­va­tion lands. As part of this partnership, I have co-directed the Field Methods in Indigenous Archaeology field schools for the past 8 years, which offers training in archaeological, Indigenous, and community-based research methods.

professional service

My interests in diversity and social justice research extends to my professional commitments, wherein I have used my position as both an elected member of the Society for American Archaeology’s Committee on Native American Relations (2010-2016) and Chair of the Indigenous Populations Interest Group (2012-2018) to develop strategies for making archaeology more inclusive of indigenous and other marginalized communities.  In both roles I have worked with the SAA to increase the attendance and participation of Native Americans and Indigenous peoples in the national society and its meetings.  More recently, I am a co-founder of the Indigenous Archaeology Collective (IAC), a network of Indigenous and non-Indigenous scholars within archaeology, heritage preservation, Cultural Resource Management, museum studies, and related disciplines working from Indigenous epistemologies in engaged ways with Native American Tribal Nations and Indigenous and descendent communities. IAC members are committed to collaborative partnerships with Native American Tribal Nations and Indigenous peoples that ethically integrate Indigenous epistemologies into archaeological practice and heritage management. I am also a board member of the Black Trowel Microgrants, which provides financial support to archaeology students from historically looted communities and working class backgrounds.


Associate Professor of Anthropology at the University of Washington, Seattle; Curator of archaeology at the Burke Museum; Quaternary Research Center, Director; Adjunct Associate Professor of American Indian Studies at the University of Washington, Seattle; Affiliate Faculty: Comparative History of Ideas and the Quaternary Research Center at UW; 2017-18 Nancy Weiss Malkiel Scholar.

Current CV

Download: Gonzalez CV (2022)

Selected publications (*peer reviewed) [Please request pdf’s by emailing]


Lightfoot, Kent and Sara Gonzalez (2018) The Archaeology of Metini Village: An Archaeological Study of Sustained Colonialism. Contributions of the Archaeological Research Facility, Vol. 69, Archaeology Research Facility, University of California, Berkeley228 pp. ISBN 978-0-9890022-7-1.

Panich, Lee and Sara Gonzalez (eds.) (N.D.) Routledge Handbook of the Archaeology of Indigenous-Colonial Interaction in the Americas. Routledge, NY. 38 chapters. Book under contract December 2018.

Journal Articles

*Gonzalez, Sara and Briece Edwards (2020) Indigenous Pedagogies in Archaeology: The Field Methods in Indigenous Archaeology Field School. Journal of Community Archaeology and Heritage

*Gonzalez, Sara, Ben Fitzhugh, Sven Haakanson, Samantha Lagos, Peter Lape, Hollis K. Miller, Yoli Ngandali, and Alison Wylie (2019) New Collaborations in Indigenous and Community-Based Archaeology: The Preserving the Past Together Workshop at the University of Washington. Archaeology in Washington 19:15-33.

*Gonzalez, Sara, Ian Kretzler and Briece Edwards (2018) Imagining Indigenous and Archaeological Futures: Building Capacity with the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde. Archaeologies: Journal of the World Archaeological Congress.

*Lightfoot, Kent and Sara Gonzalez (2018) The Archaeology of Sustained Colonialism: An Example from the Kashaya Pomo Homeland in Northern California. American Antiquity 83(3):427-443.

*Gonzalez, Sara (2016) Indigenous Values and Methods in Archaeological Practice: Low-Impact Archaeology through the Kashaya Pomo Interpretive Trail Project. American Antiquity 81(3):543-549.

Gonzalez, Sara, Ora Marek-Martinez, and Patricia Garcia-Plotkin (2016) NAGPRA and Archaeological Values: A Response to the SAA Repatriation Survey. SAA Archaeological Record 16(4):24-25.

Gonzalez, Sara (2015) Of Homelands and Archaeology: Two Indigenous, Collaborative Approaches to Archaeology with California Tribal Communities. SAA Archaeological Record 15(1):29-32.

Gonzalez, Sara and Ora Marek-Martinez (2015) NAGPRA and the Next Generation of Collaboration: Editors’ Introduction. SAA Archaeological Record 15(1):11-13.

*Lightfoot, Kent, Lee M. Panich, Tsim D. Schneider, and Sara Gonzalez (2013)     European Colonialism and the Anthropocene: A View from the Pacific Coast of North America. Anthropocene 2(1):e1-e15.

*Lightfoot, Kent, Lee Panich, Tsim Schneider, Sara Gonzalez, Matt Russell, and Elliot Blair (2013) The Study of Indigenous Political Economies and Colonialism: Implications for Contemporary Tribal Groups and Federal Recognition. American Antiquity 78(1):89-104.

*Lightfoot, Kent, Sara Gonzalez and Tsim Schneider (2009) Refugees and Interethnic Residences: Examples of Colonial Entanglements in the North San Francisco Bay Area. Pacific Coast Archaeological Society Quarterly 42(1):1-21.

*Gonzalez, Sara, Darren Modzelewski, Lee Panich and Tsim Schneider (2006)        Archaeology for the Seventh Generation. American Indian Quarterly 30(3):388-415.

Book Chapters

*Gonzalez, Sara (2020) Writing with Community. In Writing Anthropology: Essays on Craft and Commitment, edited by Carole McGranahan. Duke University Press, Durham.

*Schneider, Tsim, Sara Gonzalez, Kent Lightfoot, Lee Panich, and Matt Russell (2011)     A Land of Cultural Pluralism: Case Studies from California’s Colonial Frontiers. In California: Contemporary Issues in the Archaeology of a Goodly Llande, edited by Terry Jones and Jennifer Perry. Left Coast Press, Walnut Creek.


Gonzalez, Sara (2015) Writing with Community. Savage Minds ed. by Carole McGranahan.

Gonzalez, Sara (2013)  Response to Zeitgeist: Ceri Houlbrook. Archaeological Research Facility, Berkeley.


Lightfoot, Kent G., Peter Nelson, Roberta A. Jewett, Rob Q. Cuthrell, Paul Mondragon, Nicholas Tripcevich and Sara Gonzalez (2013) The Archaeological Investigation of McCabe Canyon, Pinnacles National Park. Report submitted to the National Parks Service.

Media Coverage & Public Interviews

2019     “Archaeology Society Voted to let Board Ban Sexual Harassers from Meetings.” Science Magazine.

2019 “Archaeological Society tries to stem Continuing Controversy over #MeToo Scandal.” Science Magazine

2017     “Grand Ronde Digs.” Underground History, a production of the Jefferson Exchange, Oregon Public Radio.

2016     Bach, Deborah. Artifacts from Schoolhouse Privy Hint at Tribal life. Futurity.

2015     Merrill, Brent. Archaeology Students Surveying Two Grand Ronde Sites. Smoke Signals. surveying-two-grand-ronde-sites/

4 thoughts on “Sara Gonzalez, Ph.D. (University of Washington, Seattle)

  1. Greetings, Dr. Gonzales.
    I am a UW graduate (‘92) and took a fabulous class in PNW art while there. A few years ago, I was in a thrift store in Austin and came across what appears to be a PNW sinew and bentwood fishing basket/net. Of course, I bought it. I’m unsure of how to go about identifying era or origin, assuming that’s what it even is. Might you be willing to point me in the right direction? Many thanks.

  2. Hello Sara,
    On a whim I picked up this little gem from my bookcase. It is a Snider’s Catsup booklet. I looked up Snider’s and saw your post. I have photos, of this advertising/notebook to share, if you were interested in seeing/having. I found it at an antique store in Tacoma, WA.
    Inside writings, say Service of 1918 accompanied by some numbers. no. 05132435.70500.793 several of these numbers. They seem associated with a cataloging number (museum?) or library #. Or it may have nothing to do with the book at all. Just someone using it as a notebook. Hope to hear from you. If I do not hear, I will assume, you are not interested. No need to send an email, in response as I know how busy and limited your time is. I work with two museums, so I understand.
    All good. Hope you and your are well during this time.
    thank you for your posts
    Suzanne Vargo

    • Photos would be great for the Historical Archaeology Lab class! I’m always on the lookout for great references that students can use to ID glasswares.

  3. Hi, I had a quick question for you about your article on the Hunyadi Janos water.
    I also laughed at the “constipation” marketing. 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *