Arizona Humanities has announced that it is providing a $5,000 grant for archaeologist Dr. Deni J. Seymour’s “Who Are the Sobaípuri O’odham?” project that will be administered through Old Pueblo Archaeology Center. Through the creation of a video, interactive lectures and discussions, Dr. Seymour and Old Pueblo Archaeology Center are teaming together to promote understanding of the human experience through the eyes of the Wa:k O’odham (the people of the Tohono O’odham Nation’s San District) and their ancestors. Using discussions and interviews with Wa:k O’odham community members, the video and subsequent discussions will highlight issues of how public policy, politics, and economic interest have influenced our understanding of the Wa:k O’odham and how their heritage has been shaped and in some cases erased.
Old Pueblo agreed to be Dr. Seymour’s sponsoring nonprofit organization for her grant proposal to Arizona Humanities because of Old Pueblo’s support for her research and scholarship, and because the project helps fulfill Old Pueblo’s mission, which is to educate children and adults to understand and appreciate archaeology and other cultures, to foster the preservation of archaeological and historical sites, and to develop a lifelong concern for the importance of nonrenewable resources and traditional cultures.
This Arizona Humanities-supported project involves production of a 4- to 10-minute video on the unique history of the direct ancestors of the people of San Xavier, Arizona, who call themselves the Wa:k O’odham. The project will highlight how they are more directly related to the ancestral Sobaípuri O’odham than their Tohono O’odham neighbors to the west. The video will be uploaded to Vimeo and will also be on display at Tubac Presidio State Park and in the education center at the San Xavier Indian Reservation south of Tucson. During production it will be reviewed by Wa:k O’odham and will include taped interviews with some of them. To stimulate further discussion, the video will be shown free of charge at the Wa:k community, and it will be the focus of Old Pueblo Archaeology Center’s November 16, 2017, “Third Thursday Food for Thought” dinner program.