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What Are ‘Ancient Beringians’? Oldest Full Genetic Profile of a New World Human Ever Found
Specifically, the findings bolster a widely-held theory suggesting American migration began in the Pleistocene era. The theory posits that the Beringia land bridge was at that time exposed due to low sea levels, though by 11,000 years ago, the Last Glacial Maximum would have swallowed the land, preventing further populations from crossing over.

Variances found in “Ancient Beringian” DNA suggest that this unique population was cut off genetically from the larger group, perhaps once the sea swallowed up this bridge.

Archaeologists unearthed the ancient child in central Alaska at a site called Upward Sun River. They named the child, whom they estimate died at around six weeks old, Xach’itee’aanenh T’eede Gaay, which translates to “sunrise girl-child” in Middle Tanana, a local dialect.

Willerslev and his team believe descendants of the girl’s family survived in their new North American home for close to 13,000 years before eventually dying out. Evidence suggests that Upward Sun River once housed a series of temporary settlements that continued to spring up and vanish over thousands of years.
archaeology  anthropology  nativeamericans  DNA  genetics  history 
16 days ago by campylobacter
When Scientists "Discover" What Indigenous People Have Known For Centuries | Science | Smithsonian
"Our knowledge of what animals do when humans aren’t around has steadily increased over the last 50 years. For example, we know now that animals use tools in their daily lives. Chimps use twigs to fish for termites; sea otters break open shellfish on rocks they selected; octopi carry coconut shell halves to later use as shelters. But the latest discovery has taken this assessment to new heights—literally.

A team of researchers led by Mark Bonta and Robert Gosford in northern Australia has documented kites and falcons, colloquially termed “firehawks,” intentionally carrying burning sticks to spread fire. While it has long been known that birds will take advantage of natural fires that cause insects, rodents and reptiles to flee and thus increase feeding opportunities, that they would intercede to spread fire to unburned locales is astounding.

It’s thus no surprise that this study has attracted great attention as it adds intentionality and planning to the repertoire of non-human use of tools. Previous accounts of avian use of fire have been dismissed or at least viewed with some skepticism.

But while new to Western science, the behaviors of the nighthawks have long been known to the Alawa, MalakMalak, Jawoyn and other Indigenous peoples of northern Australia whose ancestors occupied their lands for tens of thousands of years. Unlike most scientific studies, Bonta and Gosford’s team foregrounded their research in traditional Indigenous ecological knowledge. They also note that local awareness of the behavior of the firehawks is ingrained within some of their ceremonial practices, beliefs and creation accounts.

The worldwide attention given to the firehawks article provides an opportunity to explore the double standard that exists concerning the acceptance of Traditional Knowledge by practitioners of Western science.

Traditional Knowledge ranges from medicinal properties of plants and insights into the value of biological diversity to caribou migration patterns and the effects of intentional burning of the landscape to manage particular resources. Today, it’s become a highly valued source of information for archaeologists, ecologists, biologists, ethnobotanists, climatologists and others. For example, some climatology studies have incorporated Qaujimajatuqangit (Inuit traditional knowledge) to explain changes in sea ice conditions observed over many generations.

Yet despite the wide acknowledgement of their demonstrated value, many scientists continue to have had an uneasy alliance with Traditional Knowledge and Indigenous oral histories.

On the one hand, these types of knowledge are valued when they support or supplements archaeological, or other scientific evidence. But when the situation is reversed—when Traditional Knowledge is seen to challenge scientific “truths —then its utility is questioned or dismissed as myth. Science is promoted as objective, quantifiable, and the foundation for “real” knowledge creation or evaluation while Traditional Knowledge may be seen as anecdotal, imprecise and unfamiliar in form.

Are Indigenous and Western systems of knowledge categorically antithetical? Or do they offer multiple points of entry into knowledge of the world, past and present?

Ways of Knowing

There are many cases where science and history are catching up with what Indigenous peoples have long known.

For instance, in the past two decades, archaeologists and environmental scientists working in coastal British Columbia have come to recognize evidence of mariculture—the intentional management of marine resources—that pre-dates European settlement. Over the course of thousands of years, the ancestors of the Kwakwaka’wakw and other Indigenous groups there created and maintained what have become known as “clam gardens”—rock-walled, terrace-like constructions that provide ideal habit for butter clams and other edible shellfish.

To the Kwakwaka’wakw, these were known as loxiwey, according to Clan Chief Adam Dick (Kwaxsistalla) who has shared this term and his knowledge of the practice with researchers. As marine ecologist Amy Groesbeck and colleagues have demonstrated, these structures increase shellfish productivity and resource security significantly. This resource management strategy reflects a sophisticated body of ecological understanding and practice that predates modern management systems by millennia.

These published research studies now prove that Indigenous communities knew about mariculture for generations—but Western scientists never asked them about it before. Once tangible remains were detected, it was clear mariculture management was in use for thousands of years. There is a move underway by various Indigenous communities in the region to restore and recreate clam gardens and put them back into use.

A second example demonstrates how Indigenous oral histories correct inaccurate or incomplete historical accounts. There are significant differences between Lakota and Cheyenne accounts of what transpired at the Battle of Greasy Grass (Little Big Horn) in 1876, and the historical accounts that appeared soon after the battle by white commentators.

The Lakota and Cheyenne can be considered more objective than white accounts of the battle that are tainted by Eurocentric bias. The ledger drawings of Red Horse, a Minneconjou Sioux participant in the battle, record precise details such as trooper’s uniforms, the location of wounds on horses, and the distribution of Indian and white casualties.

In 1984, a fire at the battleground revealed military artifacts and human remains that prompted archaeological excavations. What this work revealed was a new, more accurate history of the battle that validated many elements of the Native American oral histories and accompanying pictographs and drawings of the events. However, without the archaeological evidence, many historians gave limited credence to the accounts obtained from the participating Native American warriors.

Hypotheses incorporating traditional knowledge-based information can lead the way toward unanticipated insights. The travels of Glooscap, a major figure in Abenaki oral history and worldview, are found throughout the Mi’kmaw homeland of the Maritime provinces of eastern Canada. As a Transformer, Glooscap created many landscape features. Anthropologist Trudy Sable (Saint Mary’s University) has noted a significant degree of correlation between places named in Mi’kmaw legends and oral histories and recorded archaeological sites.

Opportunities at the Intersection

As ways of knowing, Western and Indigenous Knowledge share several important and fundamental attributes. Both are constantly verified through repetition and verification, inference and prediction, empirical observations and recognition of pattern events.

While some actions leave no physical evidence (e.g. clam cultivation), and some experiments can’t be replicated (e.g. cold fusion), in the case of Indigenous knowledge, the absence of “empirical evidence” can be damning in terms of wider acceptance.

Some types of Indigenous knowledge, however, simply fall outside the realm of prior Western understanding. In contrast to Western knowledge, which tends to be text-based, reductionist, hierarchical and dependent on categorization (putting things into categories), Indigenous science does not strive for a universal set of explanations but is particularistic in orientation and often contextual. This can be a boon to Western science: hypotheses incorporating traditional knowledge-based information can lead the way toward unanticipated insights.

There are partnerships developing worldwide with Indigenous knowledge holders and Western scientists working together. This includes Traditional Ecological Knowledge informing government policies on resource management in some instances. But it is nonetheless problematic when their knowledge, which has been dismissed for so long by so many, becomes a valuable data set or used selectively by academics and others.

To return to the firehawks example, one way to look at this is that the scientists confirmed what the Indigenous peoples have long known about the birds’ use of fire. Or we can say that the Western scientists finally caught up with Traditional Knowledge after several thousand years."

[See also:
"How Western science is finally catching up to Indigenous knowledge: Traditional knowledge has become a highly valued source of information for archaeologists, ecologists, biologists, climatologists and others"

"It’s taken thousands of years, but Western science is finally catching up to Traditional Knowledge" ]
science  indigenous  knowledge  archaeology  ecology  biology  climatology  climate  animals  nature  amygroesbeck  research  clams  butterclams  birds  morethanhuman  multispecies  knowing  scientism  anthropology  categorization  hierarchy  hawks  firehawks  fire  landscape  place  nativeamericans  eurocentricity  battleofgreasygrass  littlebighorn  adamdick  kwaxsistalla  clamgardens  shellfish  stewardship  inuit  australia  us  canada  markbonta  robertgosford  kites  falcons  trudysable  placenames  oralhistory  oralhistories  history  mariculture 
27 days ago by robertogreco
Hunting for the ancient lost farms of North America
special today on erect knotweed porridge —
2,000 years ago, people domesticated these plants. Now they’re wild weeds. What happened?

Over 2,000 years ago in North America, indigenous people domesticated plants that are now part of our everyday diets, such as squashes and sunflowers. But they also bred crops that have since returned to the wild. These include erect knotweed (not to be confused with its invasive cousin, Asian knotweed), goosefoot, little barley, marsh elder, and maygrass. We haven’t simply lost a few plant strains: an entire cuisine with its own kinds of flavors and baked goods has simply disappeared.

botany  archaeology  anthropology  history  nativeamericans  food 
5 weeks ago by campylobacter
How Chief Joseph of the Nez Perce became a hero of civil rights advocates.
But how could he persuade the government to change course? He was more than 2,500 miles from the capital, in a valley ringed by mountains so high that settlers had to take apart their wagons, haul them uphill, and reassemble them at the top. He did not speak English. As a Native American living a traditional life, he was not regarded as a citizen and could neither vote nor sue the government—rather, he represented a separate sovereignty. And in any event, Native American land claims had never found sympathetic ears in Washington. But Joseph was not easily deterred.
9 weeks ago by craniac
'We're fighting for our way of life': Republican tax bill presents grave threat to Alaska's tribal groups
The 170,000-strong porcupine caribou herd, named after a river in the heart of a range the size of Wyoming, are hunted along their lengthy migratory route but the Gwich’in steer clear of them once they reach their coastal calving grounds each spring, so they can give birth and feast on lichen, moss and other foliage. More than 40,000 caribou are born each year before they trudge onward along the coast, to avoid the summer mosquitoes.

It’s in this nursery area on the coastal plan of the Arctic refuge, also known as the 1002 zone, that drilling is set to be permitted, with two lease sales for oil and gas to be sold off in the next decade. Scientists, aware of the refuge’s geography, where mountains and foothills press up against the coast, have warned that this narrow corridor could be broken up by new fossil fuel development.

“It’s probably one of the most significant wilderness areas left in the United States, if not North America,” said John Schoen, a wildlife biologist retired from the Alaska department of fish and game.
by:OliverMilman  from:TheGuardian  geo:Alaska  geo:UnitedStates  IndigenousCulture  NativeAmericans  oil  environment  Republicans  DonaldTrump  ClimateChange 
december 2017 by owenblacker | Our home on native land
"Learn more about where you live. is a resource to help North Americans learn more about their local history.

Search your address, or add territories to map below and click on polygons to learn more."
indigenous  history  maps  mapping  classideas  nativeamericans  firstnations 
november 2017 by robertogreco
THREAD X37 Thanksgiving
In 1637 near present day Groton, Connecticut, over 700 men, women and children of the Pequot Tribe had gathered.
nativeamericans  history  massacre  colonialism  usa 
november 2017 by campylobacter
The Future Is Indigenous: Decolonizing Thanksgiving
"If you want to acknowledge a different Thanksgiving story, start with the land beneath your feet. Wherever you are in North America, you are on Indigenous land, even if the Indigenous peoples have long since been removed. If you don't know whose land you're living on, find out, and be prepared to unlearn the stories you may take for granted. My students and I learn and teach on Cahuilla land in Riverside, California. My class begins with the brutal history of conquest and settler colonialism in California. The Spanish mission system of the late 18th and early 19th centuries effectively enslaved California Indians and forced them to build the missions that are now romanticized.

In elementary school, most of my students had to complete a fourth-grade "mission project," which involves building a model mission, often out of sugar cubes. They tell me that if their teachers mentioned California Indians at all, it was to say that California Indians and mission padres were friends. It is usually news to them that California Indians were the ones who built the missions and that that labor was forced. Missions, as Deborah Miranda's beautiful memoir Bad Indians demonstrates, were prisons for California Indians. It is even more of a shock for most students to learn about the realities of the Gold Rush. One of the first laws passed by the state of California ("Act for the Government and Protection of Indians," 1850) set in place a terrifying system whereby white settlers could effectively indenture any Indian not already indentured by another white settler, in part through outlawing Indian vagrancy and allowing white settlers to take in orphaned Indian children as labor.

We sit with all of this history and its ongoing erasure. While it is difficult to confront the fact that multiple forms of Indian slavery and genocide built California, we also marvel and take inspiration from the fact that California Indians, like Indigenous peoples everywhere, survived. That is the major component missing from Ramsey's video. It is important to acknowledge the history of settler colonialism, but it's also crucial to recognize Indigenous survival, or you risk perpetuating the very myths that settler colonialism disseminates. Despite the naturalization of what is now the United States, on a different and more significant scale, this is still Indigenous land, and Indigenous people are still here. Around Thanksgiving, I highlight for my students the ongoing life of the Wampanoag, whose ancestors were the actual Native Americans who saved the pilgrims. I ask my students to tell their families about the truly amazing Wampanaog language revitalization underway because of the work of Jessie Little Doe Baird, who has brought their language back to life despite it previously being thought "extinct."

This year, my class has also repeatedly discussed and gathered inspiration from what's happening at Standing Rock, where thousands have gathered to ally with the Lakota who are protecting the Missouri River from the construction of the Dakota Access pipeline. We are attentive to the ways that the struggle at Standing Rock is not simply an environmental issue, but a matter of Indigenous people insisting on their right to be responsible for their traditional homelands, of which the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation is a small fraction. We work to recognize the similar work that is happening in California, too. For example, in the San Francisco Bay Area, various sacred sites have been destroyed through development, including an Ohlone shellmound burial site at the site of what is now the Emeryville Bay Street shopping mall. Every Black Friday after Thanksgiving, Ohlone leaders organize a protest to remind shoppers that the mall desecrates Ohlone ancestors.

As many have said before me, Standing Rock is everywhere. Contribute what you have to offer to the cause at Standing Rock, and also find out what contemporary struggles Indigenous peoples in your region are leading.

Indigenous movements to protect life are connected, across North America and beyond. It fills me with pride and aloha to see Kanaka Maoli (Native Hawaiians) who have fought to protect Mauna Kea (a sacred mountain on Hawaii Island) from the construction of a Thirty Meter Telescope travel to Standing Rock to offer their solidarity. Indigenous people survive because, despite settler colonial myths that place us in the past, we have always known that we live in the future. Bryan Kamaoli Kuwada has written powerfully on this point: "The future is a realm we have inhabited for thousands of years. You cannot do otherwise when you rely on the land and sea to survive."

If you want to shake up your family's belief in the Thanksgiving myth this year, do so in a way that acknowledges Indigenous life today and into the future."
thanksgiving  decolonization  2016  mailearvin  indigenous  indigeneity  california  history  deborahmiranda  nativeamericans  us  jessielittledowbaird  standingrock  bryankamaolikuwada 
november 2017 by robertogreco

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