Marin County: Safe harbor for Native residents during the Mission era and beyond | 2/14/2019 | Staff
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Contrary to the dominant narrative of cultural extinction, indigenous residents of Marin County survived colonization, preserving and passing on their traditions and cultural practices, says a UC Santa Cruz anthropologist who will present his latest research during a conference in March.

"We hear the story of loss and termination, but the Coast Miwok and other Native people survived the Mission period," says archaeologist Tsim Schneider, an assistant professor of anthropology who has spent years recovering and analyzing artifacts from sites throughout Marin County. "This is a story of persistence, community, refuge, and protection away from the missions and the long, colonizing arm of the federal government."

Schneider - Researchers - Discussion - Findings - Meeting

Schneider will join other researchers in a discussion of their latest findings during the annual meeting of the Society for California Archaeology, which takes place March 7-10 in Sacramento.

Most fourth-graders in California are required to study the Mission era that began in 1769 and ended in the 1830s, building models of the Catholic churches that still dot the landscape from San Diego to Sonoma. However, few residents of the San Francisco Bay Area know the tumultuous history of the Coast Miwok and Southern Pomo people.

Marin - County - Point - Reyes - Tomales

Much of what is now Marin County, including Point Reyes and Tomales Bay, was home to multiple small-scale indigenous communities with distinct histories and identities. Schneider, a member of the Federated Indians of Graton Rancheria (the federally recognized and sovereign tribe of Coast Miwok and Southern Pomo people), collaborates with Lee Panich, associate professor of anthropology at Santa Clara University, to explore three sites in Marin County.

Schneider and Panich use ground-penetrating radar (GPR) and hand excavation to explore archaeological sites where household items and other artifacts of daily and ritual life are buried. They have recovered the remains of obsidian and chert cutting tools, animal remains (shell and fish bones, bones of...
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