The Indigenous Paleolithic of the Western Hemisphere


The Indigenous Paleolithic of the Western Hemisphere

Paulette F. C. Steeves

326 pages
10 illustrations, 5 maps, 7 tables, 1 appendix, index

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July 2021


$65.00 Add to Cart
eBook (EPUB)

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July 2021


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eBook (PDF)

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July 2021


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About the Book

The Indigenous Paleolithic of the Western Hemisphere is a reclaimed history of the deep past of Indigenous people in North and South America during the Paleolithic. Paulette F. C. Steeves mines evidence from archaeology sites and Paleolithic environments, landscapes, and mammalian and human migrations to make the case that people have been in the Western Hemisphere not only just prior to Clovis sites (10,200 years ago) but for more than 60,000 years, and likely more than 100,000 years.

Steeves discusses the political history of American anthropology to focus on why pre-Clovis sites have been dismissed by the field for nearly a century. She explores supporting evidence from genetics and linguistic anthropology regarding First Peoples and time frames of early migrations. Additionally, she highlights the work and struggles faced by a small yet vibrant group of American and European archaeologists who have excavated and reported on numerous pre-Clovis archaeology sites.

In this first book on Paleolithic archaeology of the Americas written from an Indigenous perspective, The Indigenous Paleolithic of the Western Hemisphere includes Indigenous oral traditions, archaeological evidence, and a critical and decolonizing discussion of the development of archaeology in the Americas.

Author Bio

Paulette F. C. Steeves (Cree-Métis) is an associate professor of sociology and Canada Research Chair Tier II Indigenous History Healing and Reconciliation at Algoma University. She is also an adjunct faculty at Mount Allison University.


“Writing in the vein of scholars such as Vine Deloria Jr., Paulette Steeves’s critique of the ‘Clovis-first’ model of peopling of the Americas both engages with and moves beyond current ideas about how and when people first came to these lands. The research presented in this book questions the ways archaeologists have traditionally constructed narratives of movement and arrival without considering Indigenous ways of knowing. This is an important and timely contribution to the field.”—Kisha Supernant (Métis), associate professor of anthropology at the University of Alberta

“Paulette Steeves decenters Western power and authority over Indigenous thought, voice, inclusion, and history. The result is an act of healing that benefits both Indigenous people and academic scholarship.”—Randall H. McGuire, Distinguished Professor of Anthropology at SUNY Binghamton University

“A timely analysis of the ethnocentric influences on past and present scientific inquiry and archaeological practice from the perspective of an Indigenous archaeologist. Steeves brings together a host of voices espousing the importance of contextual relationships in hypothesis development and archaeological analysis.”—Kathleen Holen, director of the Center for American Paleolithic Research

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations    
List of Tables    

1. Decolonizing Indigenous Histories    
Finding Home    
2. Unpacking Colonial Baggage    
Rise Up    
3. Relations Who Opened the Way    
Riddle Me This    
4. Minds Wide Open    
5. Pleistocene Sites in North America    
Old World: -60,    
6. Pleistocene Sites in South America    
7. Genetics, Linguistics, Oral Traditions, and Other Supporting Lines of Evidence    
8. Reawakening, Resisting, Rewriting    
All My Relations    

Appendix: Pleistocene Sites and References    

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