Janet P. Eidsness
Tribal Historic Preservation Officer (THPO), Blue Lake Rancheria Tribe of CA
Education; professional background, and research interests
Janet Eidsness has more than 43 years of professional experience in cultural resources management (CRM) and archaeology, having been employed by the USFS, Recon, Flower, Ike & Roth, BioSystems Analysis and other firms, and as a co-founder Pacific Legacy and her own woman-owned small consulting business. Since 2009 she serves as the Tribal Historic Preservation Officer (THPO) for Blue Lake Rancheria, a small tribe near Arcata in Humboldt County. Her archaeological work experience has focused on California prehistory (especially northwest), where she has contributed to refining the regional chronology through source-controlled obsidian hydration studies for sites along the mainstem Trinity River and Humboldt Bay. She crafted historic preservation and cultural resources management plans for military installations in California and Hawaii. Janet authored the National Register nomination for listing the entire Lava Beds National Monument for its significance to Modoc peoples from time immemorial, through the Modoc War, to the present, which was accepted by the Keeper upon initial submittal. Janet graduated in 1977 with a BA with honors in Anthropology, Archaeology focus from the University of Colorado at Boulder, living there at end of hippie era when you could still rent a Victorian house for cheap. After working five years and realizing she needed an advanced degree to be qualified to do the work as a consultant, she entered the CRM program at Sonoma State University under the mentorship of Dave Fredrickson. She was encouraged by Yurok elders Joy Sundberg and Walt Lara, Jr. who were keeping NICPA alive (Northwest Indian Cemetery Protection Association) and wanted Janet to help tribes as a “socially responsible archaeologist.” Janet was awarded a MA with honors in 1986, penning a thesis on Chimariko area archaeology. For nearly 20 years beginning in 1993, she was the driving force behind the SCA Native American Programs Committee, working tirelessly with help from Greg Castro and his wife Elonda, Cassandra Hensher and many others to provide forums for education and cross-cultural communications. As the Program Chair, she developed curricula and organized tailor-made workshops for tribal monitors in CRM in partnerships between the SCA and the Salinan Nation, Wiyot Tribe, Tejon Tribe, Monache Intertribal Association, Amah Mutsun Band, Pit River Tribe, Nor Rel Muk Nation, Mechoopda Tribe, Big Pine Tribe, Greenville and Susanville Rancherias, Yurok Tribe, Trinidad Rancheria, and Tolowa Dene and Elk Valley tribes, among others, with participation of local professionals and agency representatives (1993-2006). She was the principal author of the widely used Sourcebook on Cultural Resources Management, Archaeology, and Cultural Heritage Values for the Native American Communities of California (5 editions, 1998-2005) (see SCA website to access). With input from Native peoples and SCA members, Janet helped organized symposia, forums and workshops hosted by the NAPC at ten annual SCA meetings. These collaborative sessions highlighted shared-end goals for heritage resource preservation, and the importance of talking and listening by both archaeologists and Indian people.
Janet is proud and passionate about her work with California Indian communities and for numerous Tribes, as her focus has long been to get culturally affiliated tribal representatives to the table to help identify and protect their cultural legacy while also considering what archaeology can offer.
As the SCA President, Janet will work hard to engage and encourage tribal members join the SCA ranks and collaborate with archaeologists to address their interests in a socially responsible manner, including organizing CRM training for tribal monitors to fill this critical need in their community.
As the pandemic drags on and live SCA meetings are postponed to protect our health, Janet urges you to VOTE in the November 2020 election in favor of representatives who will push back on the recent regime’s undermining of historic and environmental preservation laws that us old hipsters have dedicated a lifetime to getting in place. What John Lennon said comes to mind, “Nobody told me there’d be days like this… strange days indeed!”
The current unrest in America about civil rights issues is likened to the 1960s when Martin Luther King, Jr. was leading the way and promoting peaceful resistance, but there was violence in the streets shown on the evening news by our beloved Walter Cronkite at dinnertime. I believe the SCA’s newly established Coalition for Diversity in California Archaeology and its leaders, with their plan to “embrace our commitment to equity and justice to diverse people in California archaeology,” is a strong and important mission for SCA members to embrace (see SCA Newsletter 54(3) Sept. 2020).
Climate change and its effects on archaeological preservation and human populations (especially those on the fringe) continues to be a freight train heading our way, and we must collaborate with descendent communities to address these issues and how to manage them. I am a disciple and strong supporter of Past President Michael Newland’s leadership in SCA’s Archaeology and Climate Change area of concern. I believe we need to inform the general public about climate change reflected in the archaeological record and how the ancestors were resilient and adapted to new conditions – to underscore the relevancy of archaeology today.
Continuing to consider and adopt key recommendations about ethical concerns made by the California Indian community and SCA members in the “White Papers” is another important goal. I believe the SCA must have the strong backbone to adopt recommended professional standards for conducting archaeology that considers the concerns and interests of descendent communities, while calling out best practices in our profession.
Janet brings to the SCA leadership a deep and broad institutional and working knowledge of the evolution of CRM and the SCA organization dating from her arrival in California in 1977 to the present. A lot happened during this period, changes in laws, in attitudes, and in working relationships. Yet we have a lot of important work to do, including giving back to the general public the knowledge learned from archaeology and how it can help shape our future.
Pacific Legacy, Inc.
Education; professional background, and research interests
A product of the robust cultural resources program at Sonoma State University (SSU), I received my BA in Anthropology in 1990 and my MA in Cultural Resources Management in 1994. While at SSU, I was fortunate to learn about my profession by working at the Anthropological Studies Center under Dave Fredrickson and Adrian Praetzellis. They taught me many valuable lessons about being an ethical, anthropologically oriented archaeologist. I also had the good fortune to work at the Northwest Information Center, albeit records searches have changed substantially since that paper-oriented world. After working as a consultant, I joined Caltrans in 2000, eventually becoming the Cultural Studies Office Chief for the state. During my time at Caltrans, I’m proud to have led the teams that converted District GIS cultural databases to the Caltrans Cultural Resources Database (CCRD), authored the statewide historical archaeological research design thematic studies (HARDs), updated substantial guidance and training for statewide staff and consultants, renewed the Caltrans/FHWA Section 106 Programmatic Agreement, and created the PRC 5024 MOU for state-owned historic properties. I served on the SCA’s professional standards and ethics committee, working to develop the SCA’s professional qualification standards and update the society’s ethics statement. During my time on the State Historical Resources Commission (SHRC), I led the archaeological resources committee and worked to implement the goals of the archaeological white papers. In 2015 I moved to the Office of Historic Preservation (OHP) to supervise the archaeological review unit and serve as OHP’s Tribal Liaison. In that role, I very much enjoyed getting to work with tribes on a variety of initiatives, not just project-specific work like at Caltrans. During my final year of tenure at OHP, I also served as the CHRIS Coordinator. After a fulfilling career with the state, I decided to retire and take advantage of an opportunity to explore other areas of interest, among them, taking a more active role in the SCA.
My research orientation might be described as non-traditional. I don’t identify with one school of thought nor am I focused on examining a specific artifact category. Rather, I find value in helping people solve real-world issues to protect cultural resources while meeting the needs of our complex modern society. To me that may mean something as simple as providing technical guidance to help agencies or the public understand what they should look for when hiring an archaeologist to help them with regulatory compliance. I was pleased to see the SCA recently issued such guidance for CEQA compliance. One of my goals as President would be to expand such guidance so the Society can be relevant to the many constituencies in California. Given the recent assault on environmental regulation, I think it is incumbent upon us to demonstrate to both professionals and the public the value cultural resources bring to their communities. If we who love these resources can’t explain to the public why they should be protected, then who can? Tribes cannot carry this burden alone.
Since attending my first SCA Annual Meeting in 1991, I have known that this is an organization I want to be part of and help sustain. With my retirement, I can devote the time and energy necessary to be President. I haven’t previously run for office because I felt it was important to keep my role as a state employee separate from any potential Board actions. I am considered highly ethical by my peers; I have high ethical standards and I hold myself to them. I understand how even the appearance of conflict of interest is problematic. With that work constraint removed, I’m eager to get more involved in the SCA. The next few years hold the potential for administrative changes that will require many hours by many dedicated people to maintain the quality of service our members have come to expect, all while dealing with the added pressures and stress related to the COVID pandemic. Having managed a wide variety of teams over my career, I know I have the necessary abilities to lead the SCA through this transition.
SCA members have long had a “love-hate” relationship with the CHRIS Information Centers. To their credit, OHP is moving forward on a fully automated single system for inventory management and workflow management. The SCA, as the only statewide entity whose members are consistent CHRIS clients, is in a unique position to help OHP achieve this admirable goal. The input of end-users will be crucial in creating a workable enterprise system. The existing SCA board is well aware of the challenges with the CHRIS and is currently reaching out to OHP. With my background and experience, as the President of the SCA, I would be in a unique position to continue this effort and take steps towards the mutual goal of a fully digitized inventory for California.
SOUTHERN VICE PRESIDENT
Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians
Education; Professional Background, and Research Interests
I completed a B.A. in Anthropology from California State University, Fullerton in 2003. As an adult returning to school, I interned with Caltrans District 10 in Irvine and I was first exposed to Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act and National Environmental Quality Act, as well as the role archaeology plays in the evaluation of impacts to the environment as a whole. I was also working in cultural resource management (CRM) while getting my B.A. and continued working in CRM for 6 years. During that period of time I received training in a variety of aspects in CRM while assisting on projects ranging from large developments to transportation corridors. My early career work mostly focused in GIS and Native American consultation. In 2006 I started working in the Agua Caliente Tribal Historic Preservation Office (THPO) as the Tribe’s archaeologist and I now served as the THPO. I am a member SCA and recent recipient of the excellence in cultural resource management award, a former board member of the Society for American Archaeology, a member of the National Association of Tribal Historic Preservation Officers, a member of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, as well as many other historic preservation organizations, and a founding member of the Indigenous Archaeology Collective.
The Society for California Archaeology is one of the first associations I joined when I was a student and has been an important part of my career and that of my colleagues. Over the years one of the highlights is the SCA annual meeting. It is THE gathering of archaeologists in the state of California. It provides a venue where we can all connect and a place for information to be shared. The annual meeting and data sharing meetings are gatherings of great minds, good conversations, and many networking opportunities but we have also tackled some very serious issues.
Over the years the society has gone through some growing pains and the society has some growth yet to do. I would like to be of service to the SCA as Southern California Vice-President to 1) facilitate a healthier relationship between SCA and indigenous communities and 2) increase collaboration between archaeologists and descendant communities. As archaeologists we have an obligation to engage in conversations with descendant communities that will facilitate better understanding and bring equity and balance to the interpretation of the archaeological record.
If elected as Southern California Vice-President I will be pleased to coordinate the data sharing meetings, assist with the annual meeting, and serve as member of the board to further the discipline, comrade, and sense of community in SCA.
Vice President, John Minch and Associates
Education; Professional Background, and Research Interests
I have over 20 years of professional experience in southern California archaeology. My background is primarily coastal prehistoric archaeology, historical archaeology, ethnohistory, and GIS analysis. I earned my undergraduate degree in anthropology at California State University Long Beach where I cultivated my interest in Channel Islands archaeology. I spent the next 10 years working in CRM on a wide variety of archaeological investigations across southern California. In 2009 I entered the graduate program at Cal State Los Angeles where I had the opportunity to work extensively on San Nicolas Island. I worked full-time managing my firm during my graduate studies and earned my MA in 2014. My current research interests involve prehistoric chronologies of northern Baja and documenting evidence of coastal erosion and impact to archaeological sites in the Upper Gulf of California. I currently serve as Cultural Resources chair on the San Gabriel Mountains Community Collaborative, a public group formed with the National Forest Foundation to support the designation of the San Gabriel Mountains National Monument. I also serve on the ACRA Continuing Education Committee where we establish online learning opportunities for cultural resource practitioners with all levels of experience.
I have spent my entire career working for a small, independent firm. This experience provides me with valuable insight on the inner workings of a small consultancy, as well as the merits and disadvantages of small businesses in our industry. I worked my way up from field tech to the position of Vice President of the company.
I’ve been an active member of SCA for nearly 15 years. I decided to run for an SCA Board position because I feel that my current and past research and business experience allows me to make some distinctive contributions to the society. My current work in a long-term research collaboration with INAH in northern Baja has inspired me to serve a greater role in reaching out and forming more collective partnerships with our southern neighbors. In order to better understand the archaeology and ethnohistory of the borderlands we need more data sharing and conversation with our colleagues in Mexico. As Southern Vice President I would propose a Southern Data Sharing Meeting that features topics of shared interests with INAH, and, if logistically possible, hosted in either Ensenada, Tecaté, or Mexicali.
As a small business operator, I have grave concerns for the future of small businesses in our industry. To be clear, the pandemic and resulting economic downturn has been devastating to small businesses and independent
contractors. I fear many small firms, owner-operators, and independent technical specialists will not survive in this economic climate. I firmly believe that small businesses can provide the best opportunity for young people to gain first-hand as an employer, I have seen the value of developing employees from within and providing equal opportunities for growth and promotion. I believe that SCA needs to provide more support for small firms and consultants. As a Board member I will endorse holding annual round table or panel discussions for small business operators and consultants. Perhaps this effort will lead to the formation of an SCA Small Business Committee that serves to provide an open network for information on resources and programs that benefit small business. Small businesses are vital to not only the overall economy, but also serves a valuable role in the CRM industry.
SCA must have a greater role in providing a forum for content and outreach directed towards small firms, especially those that seek to not only employ young people from all backgrounds but offer them training and room for advancement into managerial positions. This mission could work in tandem with the newly formed Coalition for Diversity in California Archaeology (CDCA). Small firms offer more than just employment opportunities for young people entering the field, they may provide the training and mentorship necessary for a lasting and successful career in archaeology.
I appreciate the opportunity to serve SCA as Southern Vice President. I look forward to representing my friends and colleagues in Southern California. Thank you for your consideration.
Pacific Gas & Electric
- BA in Anthropology from California State University, Chico – 1999.
- MS in Management and Leadership, Western Governors University – 2017
Professional Background/Research Interests:
I have 20 plus years of experience working in the California archaeological and environmental field. The majority of my experience has been in private sector first as a contract archaeologist, then as a cultural resources specialist at Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) and then moving into leadership in the environmental department at PG&E.. I started my career in 1998 as an intern for the Department of Water Resources, working on CalFed projects on the west side of the Sacramento Valley. From there, I worked at the California State University (CSU), Chico Archaeology lab, working on Field Schools and other contract firms throughout the north state. In 2005 I started at PG&E as a cultural resource specialist, working initially on Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Hydroelectric Projects and then eventually supporting new energy development, and transmission projects. I have held various management positions at PG&E and have worked closely with the Cultural Resources team in different capacities. My interests in archaeology include California prehistory, geoarchaeology, and regulatory/compliance management. As for volunteer experience I have serve as Commissioner on the City of Benicia’s Historical Preservation Review Commission, a board member of Chooda, the SCA Secretary from 2012-2013 and as the SCA Treasurer 2015-2019. Until March 2020 I acted as the Treasurer advisor as we transition duties to the current Treasurer.
It was nice to take a break, but I am excited to be running again for the position of SCA Treasurer. In my two term we made a lot of progress towards a more automated simple accounting system. First, we have moved our QuickBooks from a computer-based system to QuickBooks Online, giving more visibility to the Executive Director and creating a platform for linking accounts to Quick including direct and simple reconciliation of books between bank accounts and QuickBooks. Additionally, we simplified and enhanced reporting to the Board to increase financial understanding. Melina, the current Treasurer, and I completed an update to the Treasurer Manual and implemented a new bill pay program. The next term will be critical as we move the bookkeeping responsibilities away from the treasurer to the new business office management firm – this will help to move the Treasurer positions from an administrative position to a management and oversite position. Additionally, I am uniquely qualified to help manage the SCA finances through the challenges faced with Covid-19, having a in-depth understanding of operational costs and potential impact to income.
I believe the key skills for being successful in this position include being organized, providing accurate and timely information, and communications. I possess these skills and practice them on a daily basis in my current role at PG&E. I regularly work on a number of teams both leading and contributing to various projects and initiatives. I work constructively in teams and always bring my enthusiasm to these endeavors.
I am passionate about community involvement in archaeology, as well as training the next generation of archaeologists. I am thrilled about the continued opportunity to work with the executive board in finding innovative and exciting new ways to involve the community & students in California archaeology. I have been a member of the SCA since 1999 and in this time prepared papers and volunteered for local arrangement committees and served as the SCA Secretary & Treasurer.
The SCA Treasurer is the caretaker of funds that help establish and make the SCA goals possible. It is important for this person to have a good understanding of both accounting and finance. Thank you for your consideration.
SCA ANTI-HARASSMENT POLICY BYLAWS AMENDMENT PROPOSAL
In response to recent events at another organization’s annual meeting, the SCA Executive Board requested that the SCA Standards and Ethics Advisory Committee develop anti-harassment policy and procedures for SCA sponsored events. Policy and procedures have been developed, reviewed, and approved by the Executive Board. We present them here for your consideration.
Current SCA bylaws include the following section on expulsion:
Article IV: Membership
Members in the Society shall affirm and adhere to the Code of Ethical Guidelines established in the Bylaws of the Society. A Member or a prospective Member whose acts are contrary to the Objectives of the Society or the Code of Ethical Guidelines established in the Bylaws of the Society may be expelled or excluded from Membership by a three-quarters vote of the Executive Board, but only after the Member has been given 15 days prior notice of the pending action together with the reasons therefor, and has been given the opportunity to be heard, orally or in writing, by the Executive Board at least five days before the effective date of expulsion.
Proposed by-laws Amendment 1
Article IV of the Bylaws of the Society for California Archaeology be amended to include a new Section 4, as follows, with the current Sections 4-6 being renumbered as 5-7:
Article IV, Section 3 (see above) of the Bylaws of the Society for California Archaeology to be added to as follows:
Article IV: Membership, add to Section 3 — Termination of Membership
- Upon being presented with credible evidence that an individual has been found, by a court of competent jurisdiction or an administrative or regulatory body (the “Adjudicating Body”), to have engaged in conduct or actions contrary to the ideals, objectives, and accepted standards of the Society as set forth in these Bylaws, Board policies, or the SCA Code of Ethics, or for other reasons at its discretion, the Board may, by three-quarters vote of the Board members present and voting, remove the member from the membership rolls for a specific term or permanently. Upon being presented with evidence that the ruling of the Adjudicating Body was duly overturned on appeal, the Board may reconsider its determination and choose to reinstate the member to the membership rolls.
- Such conduct or action shall include, but is not limited to, sexual assault and harassment.
- The membership of those members who are under suspension for nonpayment of dues at the close of a membership year shall be terminated.
- An individual whose SCA membership is terminated under this Article IV, Section 3, may request reinstatement to membership for good cause shown. A showing of “good cause” for purposes of reinstatement shall be considered only in limited instances of extraordinary circumstances, or for new, material information not available to the Board at the time of termination.
- An individual whose membership has been terminated for a reason other than nonpayment of dues is ineligible for reinstatement of membership except through an action of the Board described under this Article IV, Section 3.
Article IV: Membership, new Section 4 — Ban on Attendance at the Annual Meeting
- Upon being presented with credible evidence that an individual has been found, by a court of competent jurisdiction or an administrative or regulatory body, to have engaged in conduct or actions contrary to the ideals, objectives, and accepted standards of the Society as set forth in these Bylaws, Board policies, or the SCA Code of Ethics, the Board may bar that individual from attending the Annual Meeting and other SCA-sponsored events, permanently or for a specific term.
- Such conduct or action shall include, but is not limited to, sexual assault and harassment.
Section 5. Code of Conduct at SCA Events
The following behaviors are prohibited at the SCA Annual Meeting and SCA events:
- Harassment of any kind, including sexual harassment, sexual assault, and coercion
- Physical or verbal abuse, including bullying
- Unwelcome comments and/or exclusionary behaviors related to an individual’s age, sex, gender identity and expression, perceived sexual identity, appearance or body size, military status, ethnicity, individual lifestyle, marital status, sexual orientation, physical or cognitive abilities, political affiliation, race, religion, or nationality
- Intimidation, stalking, or following
SCA strictly prohibits retaliation to ensure that SCA event participants feel comfortable coming forward with their concerns without fear of reprisal.
Retaliation is when someone penalizes another person for:
- Reporting, or expressing an intent to report, what the person believes in good faith to be assault, harassment, or any conduct prohibited by the SCA as stated herein
- Assisting another in reporting assault or harassment, or any conduct prohibited by the SCA
- Participating in any SCA inquiry, review, or investigation pertaining to misconduct
- Having previously reported assault, harassment, or misconduct, and/or having participated in an inquiry, review, or investigation, whether the potential violation occurred at SCA or elsewhere.