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Oct 25, 2022

Colonialism and white supremacy have shaped the field of archaeology from its inception — and to this day continue to dominate the cultural and scientific paradigms of this field of study. One of the most significant ways that this has shown up in the discipline is through the hegemony of a single theory — the Clovis First Hypothesis — which claims that the Americas were populated roughly ten to twelve thousand years ago — and not earlier. 

In her book, The Indigenous Paleolithic of the Western Hemisphere, Dr. Paulette Steeves meticulously deconstructs and dispels the myth that human beings have only been in the Americas for ten thousand years. She builds on decades of research which has been suppressed and erroneously refuted by those in the field who have never wanted to accept the fact that the Indigenous people of the Americas have been here for much, much longer than was ever admitted by the most influential and powerful archaeologists.

Dr. Paulette Steeves is an Indigenous archaeologist, professor at Algoma University, and the Canada Research Chair in Healing and Reconciliation. In this Conversation, we discuss exciting new findings in the fields of archaeology and paleontology and what they tell us about the real history of Indigenous people in the Americas, the ways that white supremacy and racism still permeate the fields of anthropology and archaeology, what a decolonized archaeology could look like, and how to get there.

Thank you to Willie Mitchell and the Desert River Band for the intermission music and to Bethan Mure for the cover art. Upstream theme music was composed by Robert Raymond.

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