Environmental Professionals Radio (EPR)

Preservation, Tribal Relationships and Having Fun with Desiree Martinez

July 23, 2021 Desiree Martinez
Environmental Professionals Radio (EPR)
Preservation, Tribal Relationships and Having Fun with Desiree Martinez
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Welcome back to Environmental Professionals Radio, Connecting the Environmental Professionals Community Through Conversation, with your hosts Laura Thorne and Nic Frederick! 

On today’s episode, we talk with Desireé Martinez, a Tongva Tribal Archaeologist and the President of Cogstone Resource Management, about Preservation, Tribal Relationships and Having Fun.   Read her full bio below.

Help us continue to create great content! If you’d like to sponsor a future episode hit the support podcast button or visit www.environmentalprofessionalsradio.com/sponsor-form 

 

Showtimes: 

2:25 Shout outs

4:13 Nic and Laura discuss leadership and employee retention

11:55 Interview with Desiree Martinez starts

13:22 Desiree discusses preservation of Native American sacred and cultural sites

17:00 Desiree talks about the importance of tribal relationships

30:48 The relation of Desiree's work to NAGPRA

38:10 Desiree's idea of having fun

41:11 Outro

 

Please be sure to ✔️subscribe, ⭐rate and ✍review. 

 
This podcast is produced by the National Association of Environmental Professions (NAEP). Check out all the NAEP has to offer at NAEP.org.

 

Connect with Desireé Martinez at https://www.linkedin.com/in/tongva/

 

Guest Bio:

Desireé Reneé Martinez is a Tongva Tribal Archaeologist and the President of Cogstone Resource Management. She has dedicated her life to obtaining skills and knowledge to combat the wanton destruction of Native American sacred and cultural sites, especially those of her community. Ms. Martinez received her BA in Anthropology from the University of Pennsylvania and her MA in Anthropology from Harvard University. She is a co-Director of the Pimu Catalina Island Archaeology Project, and her field of work is to remind the Southern California community of the Tongva’s vibrant heritage and continuing contribution to the Southern California region.

 

Music Credits

Intro: Givin Me Eyes by Grace Mesa

Outro: Never Ending Soul Groove by Mattijs Muller

Support the show (https://www.environmentalprofessionalsradio.com/sponsor-form)

[Transcript is auto transcribed]

[Intro]
Laura 
Hello, and welcome to EPR with your favorite environmental nerds, Nick and Laura. On today's episode, we gave our shout outs. Nick and I discussed leadership and employee retention, we talked to you Desiree Martinez, the president at Cogstone Resource Management, about the preservation of Native American sacred and cultural sites, developing and maintaining good tribal relationships, and having fun in the field. And finally, bear with me now. On this day in science 1902 A patent is obtained for barbituric, barbituric. In 1864 by Adolph von Baeyer, a 29 year old assistant of Frederick August Kekule', discoverer of the molecular structure of benzene synthesized barbituric acid, the first barbiturates in 1903, the German chemist, Emil Fischer and his collaborator Joseph von Mering modified a class of drugs originally synthesized in 1864 in a way that made them effective as sedatives and hypnotics. Fischer and Mering realized that their new drug, diethylbarbituric, barbituric acid or Barbital was a sedative. It improved vastly upon the congeries. Is this written in old English  of previous study in spite not tasting unpleasant. By having few side effects, and by acting at therapeutic levels far beneath the toxic dose.

Nic 
Isn't that something.

Laura 
Do we have the copyrights for this this is like directly taken from somewhere. Oh yeah, which tasted awful it had therapeutic level, close to the toxic dose,

Nic 
which is crazy. That's crazy to me. They were like yeah this is almost kills you, but not quite.

So it's good.

Laura 
That's a fun word, barbituric acid is a colorless crystalline organic compound used in medicine as a soporific. What is that?

Nic 
No idea.

This day in science. This is the website, by the way.

Laura  
 I should preface this with get your dictionary out. Yeah. Yeah. But anyway, please be sure to ignore what I just said, please be sure to subscribe, rate and review, hit that music.

[Shout outs]

Nic 
Yeah, that was the hardest one. It came so it came directly from that I didn't change it at all. I was like, This is too funny

Laura 
I wondered where it came from.

Nic 
This is, this day in science is.

Laura 
Okay, so just in case there's copyright things happening here, let's give her this day in science, thank you so much.

Nic 
I'm so sorry it's today in science history. Todayinsci.com. That's where it came from.

Laura  
well. Thank you. Today, in science, history for this intriguing and difficult to say,

Nic 
difficult assignment. It's so weird. I don't know if you noticed this but it seems to be the yours are harder than mine. I don't know what that's about it so strange. Shout outs for today, go to the team behind the New York City Department of Design and Construction East Side Coastal Resiliency EIS. They are the winners of the 2021 NEPA planning integration award for their streamlined documentation approach to satisfying federal state and city and NEPA regulations, which is crazy yeah New York City's got a lot of really wild environmental regulations beyond the regular and that's really cool. So congrats to them for that, really happy that they, they were able to get that award, so if you'd like to share your promotions and new jobs or professional and practice the words with us, check out the EPR website. And if you'd like to sponsor a future episode, head on over to www.environmentalprofessionalsradio.com And check out our sponsor form for details. Let's get to our segment.

[Nic and Laura Discuss Leadership and Employee Retention]

Nic
Now I did want to talk to you about something today I wanted to talk to you about leadership in regard to employee retention. So it's something that actually heard on another podcast on a sports podcast of all things, but there's, there's a psychologist on him John Amici, and he's a former NBA player but he's also like a really big advocate for just mental health in general. But on this particular episode he was actually talking about employee retention and empathy, and you know sometimes I think a lot of times people, you know, I've seen this happen in companies in organizations where they asked you know why are people leaving. Why are they leaving after 18 months. Why aren't they, you know, joining our plan to get free money from us, why aren't they doing these things. And I think, you know, I think that's a really good question to ask, but if you're asking it then you already, you've already done the work, right, if you don't know the answer. So you know I think a lot of that. What is what I've seen, I don't know, I'd love to hear your perspective on this too but what I've seen is, you know, it's, you've got to make connection points it's just like, you know when you have clients that you want to get to know when you have anything that you're trying to market or learn you have to learn who those people are, you have to get to know them you need to build a relationship with that that goes for your employees as well. If they don't know who you are. Why would they stay. If they don't have any connection to you, I would this day, you know Yeah. And it can be a pretty powerful thing, if you just talk to people on a consistent basis and just ask how they're doing, not just about work, ask how they're doing in general, you know, what's going on, what are we doing, what do we need to do for you.

Laura 
Well, the thing that you're referring to is caring. Yeah, a lot of leaders and business owners. When you get down to it, they don't care. You know, I actually teach a lot of workshops around this type of topic and there's this point where you hire people, And then you turn on them, so I did one of my workshops is extreme accountability. Right. And part of that for business owners and senior leaders is that you are accountable for the happiness and welfare of your employees, like, yeah, and, but lots of managers especially haven't been taught that, that's not what's expected of them at in their leadership positions in an organization. And you can't make people care, you have to hire people that care, so right, you as the CEO or your senior leadership team needs to be hiring people who, who do care. And then, nurturing that value and putting it into the way that you work so that it is genuine, when people are asking those questions and you can have. So, having environmental companies where you have lots of engineers, not necessarily people persons right so, but it doesn't mean they don't care. It just means they may show it in a different way, yeah exactly and that's where systems and processes can help to support when you have a lack of people who, you know, aren't really those like, like I'm not, I'm not a hand-holder, sugar-coater it takes that I got to step back and, You know, some people some slack and, but I do a lot to set up reminders for myself I have a calendar a reminder on my phone every Thursday that says communicate with your team because I will get, so head down in the work I will forget to tell them so every week, regardless what is going on in my world. I say hey hope you're having a great week. It doesn't happen by accident, people have to put those strategies into place.

Nic 
Yeah 100%

Laura 
I get worked up over this stuff.

Nic 
No, I know I knew you would buy it, I knew you would. That's why I brought it up it's yeah,

Laura 
it's great you know you've mentioned this before, like people don't quit, businesses they quit bosses.

Nic 
Right, Yeah, that's exactly right and it's not a, you know, it's not like a you know one size fits all everybody's a little different and you have to, you know, and I guess there's some incentive for, you know, there's some people that you have that are just great, great employees, right, you want to keep them you know there's an incentive there right if you don't have great employees you don't want to keep them you don't want to retain them. That's another problem that you have. Right, I need to look at your hiring process you know.

Laura 
Exactly so that brings you to a different scenario. So one you need to have caring leaders and managers and that has to be an expectation that whoever is the very tippy top is setting, right. and then you also have to have strategies around your hiring practices that are not just setting the stage to hire people but also to retain them because honestly what's the point of hiring people if they're just going to leave, or you're gonna push them away, or you're going to turn on them because that's what I, what frustrates me the most. It's like you hired this person, you believed in them that they could do the job or you wouldn't have hired them, right. So, at what point did something change that they either couldn't do the job. They, you know, did you lie to them in the hiring practice and tell them how great your culture is and that you do right and then you didn't show that to them. So now they're ready to leave.

Nic 
Yeah, culture is big. It's a huge thing for people and like, I think because it is that's been a shift, you know, more recently, like you know people are looking for empathetic leaders, which I know is not the standard model. At least it wasn't like you know, 10-15 years ago. So it's really important culture is a very big deal. And I think it's only more so important and more important for younger staff as we keep moving forward. It's a really good point.

Laura 
And I think a key thing that you're also mentioning is, is getting to the why. So if you have a leaving you can't just keep saying what I'll hear from, from business manager says we can't keep people, but people keep leaving, well, okay, sit down, strategize around like figure out what the problem is, is that your culture is it that your managers aren't caring, what are they writing about you on Glassdoor there are clues out there, you know, survey your existing employees and find that you know like dig into it. I think I think honestly a lot of senior leadership teams are, they have their rose colored glasses on and they think they're doing everything right and they're really avoiding the hard conversations with themselves to say then against extreme accountability, this is on us, what do I do about every day, what do we do about it.

Nic 
Yeah, because if it's a pattern was the phrase if you go throughout your day, and you meet a jerk, right you meet one jerk, that's the jerk right, if you go throughout the day and everyone's a jerk. You're the jerk. Right, right. And so that, that's, that's the phrase here it's like that's the problem. If you have a pattern, and you're the only connection point to the pattern, then it's you. Right and it's hard it's I think it's harder for people to see that because they don't want to feel they don't want to think they're doing things wrong. Yes,

Laura 
it's really difficult. There are so many things to look at, like, is it one division is it one, you know, that's gonna be a pointer to the whoever's managing those people. Is it a type of role and or is it just across the board, you know, and then again once you've identified what those problems are, you've got to strategize long term, what those fixes are because they're probably not easy fixes.

Nic  
Right. And it's not overnight, but yeah, it's like you said, it's gonna take some time and some energy, and maybe some money to which people don't like to hear. But you know, if you want to keep people, you got it you got to spend some money sometimes.

Laura  
Yeah, you could be losing people because you're the cheapskates in getting their foot in the door with you and they're taking, you know, their experience somewhere else you don't be that person or as a company,

Nic 
you know, you're wasting time you're wasting your time training people, because it's so much nicer to have someone who is trained and can then train someone else that's much easier that means you can do your, your job better. So, yeah, you want to keep people. Yeah, that's a good one. That's a good place to end let's go ahead and add to our interview.

Laura 
Sounds great. Tobie is ready.

[Interview with Desiree Martinez starts]

Nic  
Hello and welcome back to EPR today we're excited to be joined by Desiree Martinez, who is a Tongva tribal archaeologist and a president at Cogstone Resources Management, Incorporated, which specializes in paleontology, archaeology and history serving both public and private sector clients. Desiree, thank you for being here.

Desiree Martinez
Thank you for the invitation.

Nic
So what do you do at Cogstone.

Desiree Martinez 
So, basically, as President, I am the leader of the helm of the ship. Ensure so Cogstone is actually celebrating our 20th anniversary this month, and I have been in the position of president for the last year, because our, the previous owner of the company, passed away unexpectedly in 2019, and the company was sold to employees that had been chosen by her previously, and we are now at the end of the transition from her helm to what we currently have been run by a board of directors, and so I helped not only to run the company to make sure you were, we have financial health but also to help train our employees in the ways that we want to run the company in terms of being ethically responsible, and making sure that we do good research.

Laura 
Awesome. So you pretty much dedicated your life to the preservation of Native American sacred and cultural sites has this always been your passion.

Desiree Martinez  
Yes, actually, I decided to become an archaeologist in sixth grade, and a lot of that stemmed from me going to the southwest museum which is one of the museums here in Los Angeles County where I grew up and is within my traditional homelands of the Gabrielino-Tongva and when we went to that museum we were told that the Gabrielino- Tongva were extinct, which of course was a surprise to me and my relatives. And it was one of those awkward moments where I had a lot of my friends who knew that I was Gabrielino- Tongva would then look at me and say, We're extinct. So obviously you're not native. And then a lot of the representations of the native communities that were in the museum were stuck in the past you had dioramas of half naked women filming wandering around, you know, doing conducting in these dioramas and again, the language in the past and so I knew that I needed to do something in order to correct that misinformation that was going out there to the public, and in sixth grade when I learned about archaeology and anthropology and found out that it museum docents get their information from the documents that are created by archaeologists and anthropologists and ethnographers, that, that's why you needed to do in order to get the degree in those disciplines and rewrite the history, the perspective of my community.

Nic 
That really is, and this may be a tough question to answer in a short amount of time but, you know, speaking to it what do our listeners need to know about the history and heritage of the Tongva.

Desiree Martinez  
So the Gabrielino- Tongva, are the original people, Los Angeles Basin which includes the four Southern Channel Islands of Santa Catalina, San Clemente, San Nicolas and Santa Barbara, as well as portions of Riverside, San Diego, and half of Orange County. And we have been in this area for over 10,000 years and, you know, one of the issues about looking at how my community's history has been studied through the practice of archaeology, is that a lot of the information that's out there states that the Gabrielino- Tongva didn't come into the area until about 4000 BP, meaning that we replaced in push out some other unknown tribe. Prior to that time, but that's not the case based on our oral traditions we actually emerged from Pavungna which is a sacred site that's partially located on the campus of Cal State Long Beach, as well as a portion of it on the Veterans Administration Hospital campus. People don't realize that this misinformation really impacts the way that the Gabrielino- Tongva can practice or not practice but continue to be recognized as a sovereign nation when thinking about trying to protect our ancestral sites burial sites, etc, and trying to get those ancestors in their burial islands rebury through various laws, when you have scientific study stating that ancestors that are dated 9000 years ago, aren't yours, and that some other community is related to them, really hurts. And so, you know, I, myself, as well as other Tongva community leaders and other friendly local archaeologists have really worked to create publications and put out there information that contradicts all of that archaeological interpretation that's incorrect,

Nic  
And Laura  if I can hop in here is I think it's fair to say that the lack of basic knowledge drives has hindered and in some instances really hurt the development of good working relationships with those tribes. So what can archaeologists agencies and individuals do to learn more about tribes and develop positive relationships with them and kind of stop these kinds of issues from happening.

Desiree Martinez 
Yeah, it's interesting that you bring that up just last week myself, Dr. Dorothy Lippert who works in the repatriation department at the Smithsonian Natural History Museum and Dr. Michael Wilcox who is a professor at Stanford, put together a poster for the Society for American archaeology conference, where we tackle just that, in our experience in working with archaeologists and tribal members, we found that a lot of good positive relationships are hindered by the lack of basic information that archaeologists have. And so we created a poster which we had hoped to present in person, so that we can have like a Jeopardy like type of interaction with people that would come visit us to see the poster and pose questions to them to see what their responses would be, and it really came up in thinking about one of the questions of how would you address a letter to a tribal leader, and one of our colleagues when they sent a letter to, for instance, the chairman of one of the tribes, the title that he used or the introduction that he used was dear and then the last name of the chairman. And, you know you wouldn't do that to the President of the United States. He wouldn't do that to any leader of any other type of nation. It's really disrespectful, just to, you know not to acknowledge the leadership position that person has within the community. And so right there before you even talk to the person just the letter, and the written communication you're providing already has a disrespect and unfortunately because of the history of the ill treatment of Native communities through time by the United States government and other colonial settlers, there's already that wall that's there and just that simple mislabeling and not using the correct title adds to that wall, and as an environmental protection professional, you want to work with that community member, we want to work in a collaborative relationship in order to make sure that you're identifying those important aspects of the area, so that it does not get impacted by whatever project that you happen to be dealing with.

Laura  
Right, for our listeners and so we understand that the context of what you're telling us, can you give us a little bit more description of the term sovereign nation and what it means.

Desiree Martinez  
So, basically what sovereignty means, and it when a Native American tribe has sovereignty is that they have the power in order to dictate how, who's a member of their nation, how they relate to those nations that make decisions on their own without outside force. Unfortunately, although Native American communities, practice sovereignty, because we happen to be under living within the United States, Native American tribes are actually considered domestic dependent nations, which means that they practice sovereignty in a limited capacity. So for instance Native American communities cannot go and make treaties with other nations, outside of the United States, because that is a solely within the power of the United States, but again it's the nation being able to decide how it wants to run itself, who its members are in what it wants to do in order to make sure that its community continues on into the future.

Laura 
Sure. Thank you for that additional description. Let's change subjects just a little bit, You're also the co director of the Pimu Catalina Island  archaeological project can you tell us a little bit about what's going on with that.

Desiree Martinez 
Yeah, so like I stated, you know, most of my life's work has been trying to eliminate the misinformation about the Gabrielino- Tongva, history and our community within the area. And one of the big things that we found and actually within my own life my, a lot of people in my family, as well as other Native American community members hate archaeologists because archaeologists are considered to be grave diggers and my family actually called me like why would you want to be a grave digger. And for me it wasn't about me going and digging graves, it was about protection. Yeah. Going out and learning the language of archaeology of the cultural resources management profession in order to then use that knowledge to do as much protection as possible. And unfortunately a lot of that is not taught to current archaeology students and making sure that students understand the Native American perspectives to the items that may think are interesting. So for instance, even the term cultural resources which can include artifacts and archaeological sites but also for Native American community members also contains natural resources so berry picking patches or areas where we're collecting basketry plants or for me I happen to be a flint knapper going to quarries where I go, go and get some good tool stone that's also part of cultural resources, and it is really a larger explanation is really a larger idea that is based within our indigenous perspective. So we created the Pimu Catalina Island archaeology project to teach students from an indigenous archaeology perspective and indigenous archaeology is the practice of archaeology by for and with indigenous peoples. So making sure that any research that's being done, the indigenous community is right there at the table from the very beginning, that they're shaping the goals, they're participating in the research and most importantly, they're there to help in the interpretation of the things that are being found very different from the way that traditional archaeology is being told, and with our field school. Yeah, we don't we haven't run it recently, but we always brought Tongva community members as well as other native community members, so that they can listen and be enveloped in deep cultural history and song and perspectives of the Gabrielino- Tongva community. One of the things that we used to do is have a native foods workshop where the students would go and actually go into Catalina harvest to we and coreopsis and cattails, elderberries anything that was on the land and then we would all get together and cook those foods as well as other foods that were made of foods that were brought by our cooks and I made them process it traditionally so I made them go and make flakes, so that they could cut the deer meat, and then made them grind acorns and leech acorn so that they can make the wiiwish or acorn mush. And so it gives them a different perspective of the artifacts and items that are going to be seen on the landscape, seeing that it's not just a single thing to be, you know, admired by but that there's a deep connection between the ancestors that use them, and our community today. And it's just a different way of thinking about it and understanding what your goal is, and how, what you are doing, can affect the Native community.

Laura 
And then the students are also working on a project where they came up with a unique dance move is that.

Desiree Martinez  
Yeah, so you know, as with all you know archaeological field schools, you always have to you can't work all the time. And so one year, I'm well known for being no nonsense, and you know we have a full week of readings and teachings and hands on training. And so then we go, we go out into the world and survey students would come and bring artifacts artifacts to me to review and say, Is this an artifact and then you know, They're like, Okay, what do you think, and you go through the characteristics and stuff like that, but toward the end of the project, I bring, they bring something to me I look at I say it's crap. And I immediately over my shoulder. So one night, while they were in town at a bar dancing, They started to do this move, where it's, you know they're taking something in front of them and then they're throwing it behind. It's crap. And I didn't know anything about this, and then on our part, or into the season party. One of the students did a whole dance of the whole field school. And what happens, was the "Desiree move of its crap". And it was just, it's just hilarious, you know, and, but it's true I mean like, you know, what can I do, actually the way that I, what I did when they brought me artifacts that are more artifacts into my office.

Nic 
That's a great story. Thank you, thank you for sharing that. And honestly like archaeology like that ability for you to take a look at something and decide, okay, this is great or this is crap and like, like that's such a hard thing for me to wrap my brain around. How do you teach that, how do you get good at knowing what's great and what's not.

Desiree Martinez  
Well, and that's where like, for instance, I also teach the students flintknapping so if you understand the material you're working with you understand the characteristics of how that material is used and the instance of stone breaks, you can see how a stone breaks naturally versus when it's man modified. And it's just one of those things where you start to see enough of it and you start to run through your brain and this is what I tell the students, when you look at a flake, something that's made out of chert when you hit a hammer stone on to your core which is the raw material of the stone which is you're using they'll be telltale signs of what's called a bulb of percussion for instance like can can understand the physics of the force that goes through that stone. There's waves of that four step, Scar, the stone and so a lot of times you won't get that in nature. But what's interesting is that sometimes when you're looking for flakes and you happen to be on a road, you'll get 'car-facts', which are basically when the car runs over because of the weight of a car, it will some instances fracture as if it looks like flakes. And so that's when you have to use the context like okay I have a flake that has all the characteristics like it looks like it's man made, but I now I'm on a road. Now I'm looking around to see are there other flakes that match it. Does it look more recent. And as opposed to something that's older, you know, you start to go through this checklist in your brain and that's how I talk to students think about this, think about that what characteristics make it an artifact. And that's how you make your decision. That's how you make your decision. And as you do it more, the better you get at it, but of course there's always questionable artifacts where it could be in or could it be, yeah I happen to err on the side of caution. Just in case, because there are some times you'll get things that were only used for a little bit until there's only a little bit of wear, but it looks like it could have been natural, but it does take a lot of hands on in the field looking at things over and over again in order to be good at it.

Laura  
That's really cool. I grew up in Florida and I think everyone I know has found an arrowhead at one point or another and I, I never have. So, what's the coolest thing you've ever found.

Desiree Martinez 
Well actually the coolest thing that I've ever found. I did my graduate work at Harvard. And I was there. While Dr. Elizabeth Chilton who had come in as a professor for northeastern archaeology, ran a field school on Martha's Vineyard. And so I while I was doing my dissertation research with members of a Wampanoag community which are the original people of Martha's Vineyard, I kind of helped out at that field school. And so I was overseeing an excavation unit and they were just starting to, it's, it's on a bluff, above the beach, so it was a beautiful area but it was covered in grass, and so you really couldn't see anything. And so as the students were trying to remove the top layer of that unit and remove the grass, they came upon a wooden pipe. And it was, it was in perfect condition kind of line on top had the shovel not kind of nicked it. But the bowl of the wooden pipe if you cupped your hand. It was, it was a hand that was carved on the bottom of the bowl. And so it turned out that they read radiocarbon that wooden pipe and it turned out to be from the late 1600s. So thinking that that item had been just kind of there on the top, just waiting to be found, I think that was pretty cool.

Nic 
Yeah, that's pretty incredible. Yeah, and we've talked a little bit about section 106 of the, you know, National Historic Preservation Act, but we haven't really talked about NAGPRA yet, so could you maybe take a minute and talk to us about about the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act and how it relates to the field work that you do.

Desiree Martinez 
Yeah, so as I was stating previously. The reason why I wanted to be an archaeologist was protect sites that also includes protecting our burial locations and sites and for much of the history of the settlers within the United States and actually all settlers that were on indigenous lands were very interested in the people that they were contacting or coming into contact with during those first years, and sometimes that included going through and going to burial sites and excavating those ancestors and putting them in cabinets of curiosity, so that they can show off to visitors when they would come to visit or as scholarship started to expand in knowledge, particularly during the Enlightenment period, museums, would pop up in order to capture these things and to study for the future. And for most native communities as well as the  Gabrielino- Tongva, we believe that that hinders your ancestors journey in the other worlds, and so they really shouldn't be dug up. And so in order to combat this issue, and in particular because of a lot of the Indian wars that occurred in the 1800s. You actually had skeletons on museum shelves that were from named people, you know, various chiefs and leaders, and they had names. And so, once native community members started to realize this, they started to demand from these museums and institutions that they returned the bodies of their, their ancestors and quite literally their relatives, and so a lot of Canadian American community members as well as allies started to work on creating legislation which would require museums entities that receive federal funding to repatriate ancestors as well as burial items and items of cultural patrimony and sacred items back to the tribes as soon as possible. and the act was passed in 1990, and is really looked at human look at as human rights legislation, like, every individual has a right to be buried and stay buried. And so, the Native American community was very ecstatic when this law was passed however 30 years later, you still have museums and other entities that have ancestors on the shelves and native communities are trying to work with those institutions to bring our ancestors in their, in their items home, and some of these entities are dragging their feet and just refuse. And so what I, one of the things that I do is try to help not only my community but any other Native American community that may need help, to help them go through the process, in order to make claims to those ancestors for the Gabrielino Tongva there's at least they're not only are their Tongva ancestors in many of the museums in the United States but also in museums, outside of the United States. In 2019, we have the ability to bring back ancestors home from the Bristol museum. And that was something that we accomplished only because it was a conversation that we had had with them for a number of different years, and NAGPRA doesn't apply to those collections that are outside the United States and Great Britain does not have any type of law in which they have to repatriate ancestors back to Native American tribes so it was with the continued discussion and dialogue with the Bristol museum staff as well as the city that we could finally let them know and understand how hurtful it was for our community to have our ancestors so far away, and how much it would help our community to heal, to bring those ancestors back and we bury them

Laura 
awesome I'll have to good win it's nice to know that someone is out there working towards those things and people listening can always contact you if they do need your help. And we'll be putting that information into the description. We're running out of time I got a couple last questions. We have learned on previous shows about climate change and how sea level rise is actually affecting the accessibility to sites that might have been. Once accessible to tribes, and you're helping to create a California heritage climate vulnerability assessment tool with the California State has Historic Preservation Office and the Scripps Institute of Oceanography, which is sounds really awesome. What are the goals of that project. And how does it work.

Desiree Martinez 
Well one of the things is that this climate vulnerability tool was created by colleagues in Australia and when we think about trying to figure out why things are important to us. It's always thought of in a Western sense. So thinking about an archaeological site, what is its scientific value what can we learn from it. Is it a site that is unique because of that scientific knowledge that can be gained from it. And very rarely do you think about what the site means to Native American community members, in particular in the state of California, as well as nationally, an archaeological site can be considered significant under federal and state law. And so there's a number of different criteria that you have, the site has to meet in order to be considered significant. However, for Native American communities, it doesn't matter if the site or item is significant under the law or not, it has significance to us because it's a is an item in which connects us to our ancestors to our history. And so even though. For instance, the National Register of Historic Places. On the federal level and the California register of historical resources on the state level here in California, those items that are considered significant and on those lists, tend to be unique and important, and kind of the best of the best. And for us, we don't care if it's the best of the best, or you may or may not get more archaeological data from it. It's a connection to our community. And you might think that it's just another milling stone that was used in order to process food to us we don't care if there's one, two, or 20, in the immediate area, each one of those has a meaning to us, and we want to make sure that we're protecting that so that we can then continue to use those items to talk about our history to our future generations.

Nic  
Yeah, and it's a really important message and like I say when I'm thank you for telling us them and teaching us a few things along the way, and you know we do also like to, you know ask our guests about their secret hobbies and hidden talents and you also make your own beaded jewelry. Yeah,

Desiree Martinez 
if you were to see my house, you'd see all the different beads. So, yeah, I have already started, it's not even funny everywhere I go I have to go to a bead store, and you know, it's what's also the secret secret of making the jewelry I make jewelry you know using abalone and shells that I picked up from Catalina, and mix it with other beads that you know glass beads and seed beads or whatever I can find. Yeah, but one of the guilty pleasures I have is organizing into the little boxes into the bigger boxes into the bigger boxes. And then, you know, then switching them over so that they're all, you know, organize and stuff like that and that gives me joy, in and of itself, not only for myself but to give as gifts to tribal leaders or visitors in, you know, of course presence, you know for birthdays and stuff like that. But there's something in a world of chaos, there's something cool about being able to control something and feel controlling that that kind of beading stuff makes me happy.

Laura  
And archeologists is going to find your home and say this must be the home of Desiree Martinez because look how organized everything is.

Desiree Martinez 
Why would I always think when I do flintknapping, you know I'm making archaeological sites, no matter where I'm at. So, you know, someday, somebody's gonna dig my, my backyard and they're like oh my god this is a Native American archaeological site Well technically yes, technically no. All right.

Nic
Oh my gosh, I love that.

Laura  
Awesome, well we're running out of time it's been great to have you on the show, and there's a lot of things that we could continue talking to you about but before you go is there anything else that you'd like to say or that we didn't get to ask you

Desiree Martinez  
No. Just basically you know one of the most important things of people that are not Native are to realize that you are on indigenous land, no matter where you're living. And it should really be a responsibility to understand and acknowledge those tribal nation's presence on the land and know that history that occurred there and try to be of service to the tribe if you can.

Laura
Awesome. Is there a place you would like people to go to if they want to get in touch with you?

Desiree Marinez
You can go to the Cogstone website, which is www. cogstone.com. And if you click on staff in the menu, you can click on my face and get in contact me there.

Laura
Ah, awesome. Thanks so much for joining us, it was great learning about you and the tribes, and we look forward to talking to you again.

Desiree Martinez
Thank you.

Nic  
Thank you. Thanks, bye, bye. And that's our show. I want to thank Desiree Martinez so much for being here, she gave us a lot of really great and interesting information. So I hope you guys enjoyed it, please be sure to check us out next Friday and every Friday. We'd love doing this show so we'd love to have you on. I don't know why I'm saying all these extra words. Don't forget to subscribe, rate and review. Bye.

Laura
Bye

Transcribed by https://otter.ai

Shout outs
Nic and Laura discuss leadership and employee retention
Interview with Desiree Martinez starts
Desiree discusses preservation of Native American sacred and cultural sites
Desiree talks about the importance of tribal relationships
The relation of Desiree's work to NAGPRA
Desiree's idea of having fun
Outro