Tales from California’s Channel Islands: Cache

Collector: Ann V.

The excavation of a cache of artifacts, believed to have been buried by Juana Maria, a Nicoleno Native American who lived alone on San Nicolas Island for over 18 years, is the focus of a unit that shows how archaeologists uncover artifacts and use these finds to attempt to understand the past. Researchers want to preserve these relics by removing them from the rapidly eroding site to a lab where they are studied. Native American traditions demand that the items stay in place. Who has the right to these items? Who should decide their worth? After viewing the documentary Cache about Tongva relics found on San Nicolas Island, class members engage in activities that provide them with a personal connection to these questions.

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Reviewed by Lesson Planet