World Heritage USA 2020 Symposium

Day Two: Social Justice and Indigenous Peoples

Interpreting Indigenous Homeland World Heritage Sites

Moderated by World Heritage USA Trustee Tom Cassidy


Acoma Governor Brian Vallo

Governor, Brian Vallo, has 30 years of experience working in the areas of historic preservation, museum planning, repatriation, cultural resources management, tourism and the arts. Governor Vallo is a former Lt. Governor, the founding director of the Acoma Historic Preservation Office and Sky City Cultural Center and Haakú Museum. Prior to his appointment as Governor, he served as director of the Indian Arts Research Center at the School for Advanced Research where he led the development and publication of protocols known as the Guidelines for Collaboration, a guide for how source communities and collecting institutions can work together to address the multitude of issues surrounding collections access, documentation, and stewardship.

Stewardship, Let’s Take it Seriously
Indigenous people understand and fulfill an inherent responsibility to care for and protect people, place, and space on vast cultural landscapes. Recent history has provided descendant communities connected to World Heritage Sites, National Parks and Monuments, and other significant places, with an opportunity to participate in stewardship as defined by non-indigenous “owners” and caretakers. While these opportunities for co-stewardship evolve, it is imperative that descendant community members who are practitioners in the historic preservation movement are provided every opportunity to help assess and redefine stewardship practices that include changing narrative of the place/space, shifting dated processes for caretaking, and engage discourse to better understand connections and stewardship from a different perspective. All this will enrich preservation, interpretation, research and education for all users and stewards.

Ilona Spruce, Director of Tourism for Taos Pueblo
Jen Aultman, Director of Historic Sites and Museums at Ohio History Connection
Chief Glenna Wallace, Eastern Shawnee Tribe of Oklahoma