Sedonna Goeman-Shulsky

Working with tribal communities towards environmental justice

Sedonna Goeman-Shulsky is a Ph.D. Candidate at UCLA’s Institute of the Environment and Sustainability, conducting research in Western New York regarding Haudenosaunee land access. Her current research is a continuation of work toward understanding Indigenous epistemologies and practitioners’ work regarding land and water access in the forms of co-management, stewardship, and Land Back. She utilizes archival research, ethnographic interviews, and oral histories to ground her theory. This research builds upon her experience with the theory and practice of Indigenous archaeology, particularly archaeological research that results in repatriation. Her interest in questions of Indigenous conceptions of land access began as she worked in repatriation as a NAGPRA project manager at UCLA, as she noticed the ill effects of a lack of land access on cultural and environmental wellbeing for Los Angeles and Indigenous people from L.A. During her work convening meetings as a predoctoral fellow for an American Indian Studies grant at UCLA, she heard firsthand from Southern California Tribal leaders that access to their land is difficult to navigate due to misunderstanding the meaning of access on the part of local governments and NGOs. In addition to her scholarship, she regularly participates in community-engaged research projects, including Carrying Our Ancestors Home, Centering Tribal Stories (project manager), and the Haudenosaunee Archive Resource and Knowledge Portal (project manager). She has also worked for the Native American Land Conservancy as a Tribal Outreach Specialist and Cogstone as an archaeological monitor. All of these combined conversations, experiences, and observations led her to her research investigating the circumstances and complexities of land access in the form of return or co-management agreements. Goeman-Shulsky is a Eugene V. Cota Robles fellow, has received the Barbara Y. Maida Award, the Graduate Research Mentorship fellowship, the Graduate Deans Scholars award, and the NSF Scholarship for Archaeological Training for Native Americans and Native Hawaiians in 2021 from the Society for American Archaeologists.