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SoA Lecture Series: Dr. Sonya Atalay (UMass Amherst), AGUA Distinguished Lecture


Nov 4 2021 - 2:00pm

Thursday, November 4, 2021
2:00 p.m.

Via Zoom

Title: An Archaeology Led by Strawberries: Reclaiming, Storywork, and Indigenous Wellbeing

Abstract: In this talk I present my current work on a series of land-based projects utilizing a community-based participatory research approach with Indigenous youth and elders. Centering Anishinaabe epistemologies and concepts of well-being, I explore how reclaiming traditional knowledge, ancestral remains, Indigenous language, and sacred sites are viewed as contributing to healing and well-being. I discuss my use of arts-based research and knowledge mobilization methods -- including collaborative comics, storybaskets and counter mapping, and virtual reality applications -- as part of Indigenous storywork, demonstrating how lessons drawn from reclaiming tangible and intangible heritage provide a model for imagining decolonial research futures.

Bio: Dr. Sonya Atalay, Professor of Anthropology at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, utilizes community-based participatory methods to conduct research in partnership with Indigenous communities. She is the author of Community-Based Archaeology: Research with, by and for Indigenous and Local Communities (2012). Dr. Atalay has co-produced a series of research-based comics about repatriation and the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA). In her recent work, she explores repatriation and reclaiming in relation to healing and contributions of Indigenous knowledge systems to regenerative research futures.


For more information, contact: Dr. Linda Green (
or Catherine Lehman (

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