Indigenous Knowledge, Archaeological Thought, and the Emerging Identity Crisis

Jeffry Oliver* (Corresponding Author)

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review


A recent BBC documentary, Masters of the Pacific Coast, provides British TV viewers with a fascinating window on the Indigenous cultures of North America's rugged Western periphery. The host of the program, the affable British Museum archaeologist Jago Cooper, takes the audience on the exhilarating journey through the striking coastal landscapes of the Alaskan panhandle, British Columbia, and Washington State while recounting the story of "how a cultural tradition that began over 10,000 years ago survived against the odds (Masters).  The program demonstrates its postcolonial credentials by positioning Indigenous spokespersons to comment on aspects of this story; and it is through their voices that we learn how ancient artifacts- such as chipped stone tools and cedar zoomophic carvings- have become touchstones linking the present with the deep past. 
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationDecolonizing "Prehistory"
Subtitle of host publicationDeep Time and Indigenous Knowledges in North America
EditorsGesa Mackenthun, Christen Mucher
Place of PublicationTucson
PublisherUniversity of Arizona Press
Number of pages27
ISBN (Electronic)9780816542871
ISBN (Print)9780816542291
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2021

Publication series

NameArchaeology of Indigenous-Colonial Interactions in the Americas


  • Prehistory
  • Northwest Coast
  • Identity
  • postcolonial
  • Indigenous peoples
  • colonialism
  • identity politics
  • Historiography


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