Landscapes of Survivance: Archaeology of Reservation Lifeways at Grand Ronde


Mellon/ACLS Dissertation Completion Fellowships




In the 1850s, the US government forcibly removed two thousand Native people to the Grand Ronde Reservation in northwestern Oregon. Over the next century, the reservation emerged as an arena of cultural contestation in which government efforts to exterminate Native lifeways were continually frustrated by the persistence and creativity of the Grand Ronde community. This dissertation combines archival, cartographic, and archaeological investigation to recover Grand Ronde stories of survivance: how Native families created spaces of cultural familiarity and belonging, preserved connections to pre-reservation landscapes and practices, and laid the foundation of the contemporary tribal nation. Conducted as part of two community-based research initiatives, this dissertation enhances the capacity of Grand Ronde historic preservation staff to care for tribal heritage and demonstrates the utility of survivance-based interpretive frameworks in archaeologies of Native-lived colonialism.