As a caretaker of artifacts, I know the importance of archaeology. I understand that I would not have some of the things that are in the collection I take care of if it were not for the archaeologist that did the work. Being able to participate in this project has helped me to understand the process that some artifacts go through before they are placed on my desk. After learning what I have so far, I have a new level of respect for people in this field.
As a tribal member, this project honestly made me a little nervous at first. My community invited people from outside to come in and start digging on our reservation. We have visited many of our important places, discussed sensitive topics with them and allowed them to live in our community. Once I was able to learn about community based archaeology and actually see the practices being used, I wasn’t as nervous anymore. It has also helped that my peers are respectful and kind. I know the importance of archaeology and I am very thankful that we ended up with the project leaders that we have. To see others get so excited and be genuinely interested in my community makes me happy.
Although the chance is very slim, I am still afraid of disturbing an ancestor. My professional mind understands this field of work while my personal feelings tell me to leave things as they are. It is challenging to work on something so important when you have to battle with personal feelings. I also get a little nervous about the community’s reaction. Once the other students are gone, they are gone. I will continue in my community and I don’t want this project to cause any negative feelings. Over all, I am glad that I can be a part of this historical event and that I am able to help educate my fellow classmates.