Grand Canyon Ethnographic Studies
The focus of the Southern Paiute ethnographic studies have been on the impacts of water that is released by Glen Canyon Dam on important cultural places. The Colorado River is one of the major factors influencing the riverine ecosystem that passes through Glen Canyon and the Grand Canyon. The Glen Canyon Environmental Studies Program projects have documented what this riverine ecosystem was before the dam was constructed, what has happened to the ecosystem since the dam was constructed, what kinds of impacts derive from various types of water release regimes, and what management strategies best protect the riverine ecosystem while permitting the Bureau of Reclamation (BOR) to operate the dam in an appropriate manner. The projects have included both natural and cultural resources.
American Indian Study areas have been broadened to include places not directly touched by the Colorado River. The BOR accepted tribal explanations of how places along the Colorado River are critically connected with other places elsewhere in what might be called the greater Glen Canyon and Grand Canyon region. Each American Indian tribe has a culture that specially defines these relations, and each tribe has independently argued for exceptions to the BOR established study area boundary. For the Southern Paiutes these special connections have been explained in terms of cultural landscapes. Based on these arguments, the Southern Paiute study area was extended up two side canyons, Kanab Creek and Deer Creek, so that relevant information about the Grand Canyon and Colorado River as a single ecosystem could be added to the interpretation of the cultural significance of Southern Paiute resources found near the Colorado River.
These studies were made possible through government to government consultant through the Southern Paiute Consortium (SPC) The SPC was established to provide a single point of contact between the tribes and the BOR. The SPC serves as a Cooperating Agency in the Glen Canyon Environmental Studies Program and when needed the SPC subcontracts with ethnographers from BARA. Southern Paiute ethnographic studies and monitoring trips have been occurring since 1992.
In addition to the ethnographic reports produced for this collection, the following articles and book chapters were produced:
Stoffle, R. W., and M. Evans
1976 Resource Competition and Population Change: A Kaibab Paiute Ethnohistorical Case. Ethnohistory 23(2):173-197.
Stoffle, R., D. Halmo, and D. Austin
1997 Cultural Landscapes and Traditional Cultural Properties: A Southern Paiute View of the Grand Canyon and Colorado River. American Indian Quarterly 21(2): 229-249.
Stoffle, R., L. Loendorf, D. Austin, D. Halmo, and A. Bulletts
2000 Ghost Dancing the Grand Canyon: Southern Paiute Rock Art, Ceremony, and Cultural Landscapes. Current Anthropology 41(1):11-38.
Itus, Auv, Te'ek (Past, Present, Future)This report concludes the first four years (1992 -1995) of Southern Paiute involvement in the Glen Canyon Environmental Studies (GCES), a program initiated by the Bureau of Reclamation (BOR) in 1982. Southern Paiutes have conducted ethnographic research and participated in the Congressionally mandated Environmental Impact Study (EIS) of Glen Canyon Dam water release policies on natural and human-made resources found in the Colorado River Corridor. These ethnographic studies have taken place in what is called the Colorado River Corridor which extends 255 miles down stream from Glen Canyon Dam to the end of the free flowing river at Separation Canyon within the Grand Canyon National Park. They have concentrated on investigating the impacts of the Dam's water releases to Southern Paiute cultural resources. Since the Final EIS was published in March 1995, emphasis has been placed on what is called the Adaptive Management Program of the GCES and attention has shifted to monitoring the water release impacts.