SunWatch works in partnership with many organizations in and around the Dayton area that help us in our preservation and interpretive efforts. Many of these organizations are also involved in the preservation of natural resources, cultural resources and education.
The American Indian Advisory Committee to the Dayton Society of Natural History (DSNH) came into being through the interest of several dedicated individuals of Native American heritage. In 1972, Solomon Brokeshoulder and other Native Americans of the Four Points Intertribal Association requested a meeting with the Dayton Museum of Natural History to communicate their concerns regarding the archaeological excavations at what is now SunWatch Indian Village/Archaeological Park. Members of the Four Points Intertribal Association were originally opposed to the excavation at that site, but subsequent communication between the two groups revealed a common desire to preserve and share Native American culture.
By 1989, the Indian Advisory Committee to the DSNH was formalized. The original members of the Indian Advisory Committee were Solomon Brokeshoulder, John Temple, Irene Temple, Tsali Ticonderoga, and Cynthia Kassee. This self-regulating and self-perpetuating body of dedicated individuals envisioned creating better communication and understanding between the Anthropology Department of the DSNH and the Native American community of southwestern Ohio. The majority of their early work involved questions relating to SunWatch, but over time their input has expanded to include many other topics. Today, the American Indian Advisory Committee advises the DSNH in matters as diverse as selection of ethnographic specimens for exhibition at the Boonshoft Museum of Discovery, excavation plans at the DSNH’s current archaeological site, and preservation of sensitive cultural material as well as reconstruction of the village at SunWatch.
Today, the American Indian Advisory Committee continues to assist the DSNH in formulating strategy for increasing community awareness of the cultural heritage represented by SunWatch, raising funds for educational programs about Native American culture, and planning archaeological investigation at the current site excavated by the Anthropology Department of the DSNH. The American Indian Advisory Committee continues to be an integral part of the relationship between the DSNH and the Native American community of southwestern Ohio.
SunWatch is partnering with the Miami Valley Council for Native Americans on events such as the Keeping the Tradition Pow Wow and the Council’s clothing and school supply drive to benefit the Rosebud, Crow Creek, Cheyenne River, and Standing Rock Reservations in South Dakota.
For more information about the Council click here.
Members of the Miami Valley Flute circle have monthly meetings at SunWatch on the second Sunday of every month. They invite anyone interested in the Native American flute to come to their meetings.
The Miami Conservancy District monitors, protects and promotes the use of recreational amenities throughout the Great Miami River watershed. The Miami Conservancy District also offers SunWatch access to their land for harvesting timbers and other materials we use in our reconstruction efforts.
For more information about the Miami Conservancy District and their facilities click here.
Five Rivers MetroParks manages several parks in the Greater Dayton region preserving open spaces and offering outdoor recreation experiences to the Miami Valley. In addition, Five Rivers MetroParks offers SunWatch the opportunity to harvest timbers from their properties as well as prairie grasses from their restored native prairies. These resources are used at SunWatch in our reconstruction efforts, helping us allow our visitors to get an accurate portrayal of what village life was like at SunWatch almost 800 years ago.
For more information on Five River MetroParks click here.