Northwestern Events Calendar


Anthropology Talk: Alexandra Peck, University of Minnesota-Twin Cities

When: Monday, January 10, 2022
3:00 PM - 5:00 PM CT

Where: Online - Register for more information,

Audience: Faculty/Staff - Graduate Students

Contact: Nancy Hickey   (847) 467-1507

Group: Anthropology Department

Co-Sponsor: Anthropology Colloquia and Events

Category: Academic, Lectures & Meetings


Indigenous Influence & Patterns of Multivocality: Documenting Unexpected Cultural Changes in the S’Klallam World at Discovery Bay, Washington

This presentation employs place-based research and contemporary perspectives to examine culture and population shifts at a multivocal site on western Washington’s Olympic Peninsula. Using archives, ethnography, and oral history, I demonstrate how the physical borderlands that define Discovery Bay have been continually claimed as homelands by the disenfranchised and subaltern. Known in S’Klallam as Sq’waʔq’wéʔyəɬ, this site was once home to a unique intertribal village that prospered prior to European arrival. Claimed by Indigenous Chemakum and S’Klallam individuals whose communities were traditional adversaries, the Discovery Bay village represented a safe-haven for those occupying the edges of territorial boundaries. As a literal and metaphorical borderland, this village was claimed by those wished to coexist, even though doing so rendered them dissidents by their own tribal nations. Beginning in the 1800s, the site was transformed into a thriving, multicultural mill town that defied settler colonial binaries of “Native and non-Native” frontier tropes. Today, the settlement’s history of marginalization and refuge is echoed by Discovery Bay’s lesbian separatist community, whose troubled past both conflicts with and complements the site’s original use. By tracking past and present patterns of inhabitation at Discovery Bay informed by modern interlocutors, I examine how Native influence laid the framework for subsequent communities at this distinctive place. 

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