From the Co-Editors
As this journal began its third decade of publication, we strived to continue its proud tradition of attracting high-quality contributions from the various sub-disciplines of archaeological, linguistic, socio-cultural and bioarchaeological anthropology. Indeed, we feel that individually, each of the papers in this volume contribute to many important topics and debates within the discipline, such as agency and identity, the study of non-humans in anthropology, the importance of reflexivity and ethical behavior in fieldwork, the importance of discussing children of the past, and ethnographic representations of Indigenous Peoples. Just as important, though, is what the papers of this year’s issue represent collectively: in their own way, each strives to draw attention to communities or perspectives that have been marginalized. Each paper in this volume can be seen as contributing to an anthropology that helps us move away from privileging Eurocentric, English, patriarchal, adult, and human perspectives, while ignoring other ways of seeing the world..
As we proceeded through the steps that were set out for us as the new editors, it was brought to our attention that we had not been holding the very medium of this important discussion to the same standard. Inspired by our cohort as well as the pieces in this issue, the editors reflected on the name of the journal, TOTEM, chosen more than twenty years ago, and what it truly represented. We found that the word “totem” began as a misappropriation of the Anishinaabeg word nindoodem (Cutler 1992). According to Bohaker (2010: 13), the word nindoodem refers to one’s “clan identity” and that “people obtained their nindoodem through their fathers and their fathers’ fathers. In this way they were linked with others sharing the same nindoodem through bonds of kinship.” This word had been taken and used by academics of a European and settler background to describe a generalized concept of their own construction, “totemism,” (see Chamberlain 1902: 263). In truth, however, this word had a very specific meaning and belonged to a specific historical context which was not fully appreciated by those academics who made use of it. In short, we realized that the very system within which the journal was working was one that perpetuated a colonial academic framework, and how little that framework represented the interests and views of those editors, authors, reviewers, and readers who participate in it. We also realized that the name may be alienating certain members of our academic community from participating in the journal, essentially continuing to quiet those voices that we most need to hear. As academics continue to criticize colonial attitudes and events, past and present, we must ensure that the very system within which we have that conversation is decolonized. LaDuke illustrates the difference between appreciating other languages, and appropriating them, “Through relationships can we perceive how language determines thought and reality, illuminating the gift of the Creator to humans—a gift that one might think of as our minds. That’s not, however, the history of the continent… It is the story of imperialism and it calls into question the ethics of “collecting” things that belong to other cultures” (LaDuke 2005: 67). 5 For these reasons, we endeavored to embark on a new trajectory for our graduate journal. This was the first year that we have actively sought submissions in a language other than English. Although we did not receive any submissions this year, we hope that in the future our journal will be able to provide a platform for submissions and publications of articles in languages other than English. It is also our pleasure to announce that this will be the final issue of our journal released under the name TOTEM. Next year’s volume, under the guidance of our new editors, Jordon Munizzi and Paulina Johnson, will unveil a new name that is more reflective of the ideals held by the Anthropology Department of Western University. Change is inevitably accompanied by difficulties and inconveniences, and we would very much appreciate patience from our future readers and contributors in this time of transition..
We are very excited to announce the winner of this year’s Editor’s Choice Award, Katelyn E. Mather for her paper entitled “Keeping CRM Archaeology Relevant: Presenting an Archaeology of Children and Childhood in the Past” which highlights the importance of including children in anthropological research and argues for a commitment to making our research both relevant and accessible to the greater community. This paper was chosen for its relevance across the subdisciplines and for its focus on children who are so often excluded in anthropological fieldwork..
Furthermore, we would like to express our gratitude to Dr. Andrew Walsh for continuing to serve as our unofficial TOTEM advisor and we would like to thank him for taking an interest in the well-being of the student body at Western University by supporting one of its leading publications..
We received many interesting submissions this year and would like to thank everyone who chose to submit to TOTEM. Our authors did excellent work throughout the sometimes too lengthy review process and the peer-reviewers helped maintain the integrity of the journal through engaged and encouraging feedback. We thank everyone who contributed to this issue, all of the past editors, our colleagues and peers in the department of Anthropology at the University of Western Ontario. We hope you enjoy this issue and we look forward to your submissions in the coming years!.
Kelly Abrams & Kaitlyn Malleau
Department of Anthropology
The University of Western Ontario
June 30, 2015
Bohaker, Heidi. 2010. Reading Anishinaabe Identities: Meaning and Metaphor in Nindoodem Pictographs. Ethnohistory. 57(1): 11-33.
Cutler, Charles. 1994. O Brave New Words!: Native American Loanwords in Current English. Norman: Oklahoma University Press.
Chamberlain, Alexander. 1902. Algonkian Words in American English: A Study in the Contact of the White Man and the Indian. The Journal of American Folklore. 15 (59): 240-267.
LaDuke, Winona. 2005. Recovering the Sacred: The Power of Naming and Claiming. Cambridge: South End Press..