An archaeologist by training, I work at the intersection of tribal historic preservation, colonial 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 a new, 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.
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. Both the committee and interest group provide critical support and professional development to both Indigenous and non-indigenous scholars involved in collaborative and community-based participatory research.
Assistant Professor of Anthropology at the University of Washington, Seattle; Anthropology Department Graduate Program Coordinator; Adjunct Curator of the Burke Museum; Affiliate Faculty in American Indian Studies, Comparative History of Ideas, and the Quaternary Research Center at UW; 2017-18 Nancy Weiss Malkiel Scholar.
Selected publications (*peer reviewed)
Lightfoot, Kent and Sara Gonzalez (2018) The Archaeology of Metini Village: An Archaeological Study of Sustained Colonialism. Contributions of the Archaeological Research Facility, Vol. 65, Archaeology Research Facility, University of California, Berkeley.
Gonzalez, Sara and Briece Edwards (Under Review) Indigenous Pedagogies in Archaeology: The Field Methods in Indigenous Archaeology Field School. Journal of Community Archaeology and Heritage.
*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. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11759-018-9335-0
*Lightfoot, Kent and Sara Gonzalez (2018) The Archaeology of Sustained Colonialism. American Antiquity 83(3). In Press.
*Gonzalez, Sara (2016) Indigenous Values and Methods in Archaeological Practice: Low-Impact Archaeology through the Kashaya Pomo Interpretive Trail Project. American Antiquity, in press.https://doi.org/10.1017/S000273160000398X.
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. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ancene.2013.09.002
*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. https://doi.org/10.7183/0002-73184.108.40.206.
*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. https://doi.org/10.1353/aiq.2006.0023.
*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. http://savageminds.org/2015/12/23/writing-with-community/.
Gonzalez, Sara (2013) Response to Zeitgeist: Ceri Houlbrook. Archaeological Research Facility, Berkeley. http://arf.berkeley.edu/then-dig/2013/11/zeitgeist-ceri-houlbrook/.
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. https://www.firescience.gov/projects/10-1-09-3/project/10-1-09-3_JFSP_Final_Lightfoot.pdf
“Grand Ronde Digs.” Underground History, a production of the Jefferson Exchange, Oregon Public Radio.December 21, 2016. http://ijpr.org/post/underground-history-grand-ronde-reservation-digs#stream/0.