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Our unit on Indigenous Life and Modernization looks at the pressures and opportunities that come from living in two worlds. On the one hand, honoring traditions and heritage, while on the other, living in a continually greater globalized context.


This unit highlights the ancestral foodways and the plight of the Indigenous peoples of the Southwest as they face the modern world by showcasing the Old Town Artisans Mural Project in downtown Tucson, AZ. A selection of fourteen ancestral foods of the Southwest can be experienced through interactive A/R and V/R features which includes the voices of elders and ancestral knowledge keepers of various tribes and communities of the region.


The expressed purpose of this project is to create bridges as a way for students and the general public to hear and experience the legacy and voices of minority and historically underrepresented communities, specifically indigenous, African American, and female perspectives.


It is also our intention to explore how ancestral ways can be merged, maintained, and supported within contemporary contexts, for example through restaurant menu inclusions, markets (providing continued economic support), and cooking demonstrations conducted by Native chefs.

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