Cultural Heritage Management and Native Americans
The involvement of Native American groups in the field of cultural/heritage resource management is in some ways antithetical to the history of the discipline in the United States. A brief review of the historic preservation movement in the United States makes it clear that early historic preservation efforts were based primarily on upper-class values applied to concepts of history practiced by nationalist-focused groups. This nationalist focus has had implications for tribal groups who often get caught up in the conflict between “anthropology” as the study of allegedly simpler people and “history” as the study of groups which have evolved into civilizations. Such a conflict is also implicit in the term “historic preservation,” since it seems to focus on saving those things whose purpose was fulfilled primarily in the past. For example, when tourists visit places like New Mexico’s Taos Pueblo, they see a cramped, dusty, five-story structure that Americans have come to know...
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