Larea Lewis

About Larea Lewis

Larea Lewis is a tribal member of the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians from Palm Springs, CA. Her interests are in protecting and preserving cultural resources and landscapes, as well as learning and revitalizing the tribe’s cultural heritage. Currently, she serves as Chairwoman of the Historic Preservation Advisory Board (HPAB) created by her tribe’s Tribal Historic Preservation Officer to address cultural issues that are brought up in land development projects and national parks. She is pursuing a PhD in AIS: Federal Indian Law & Policy, has received an MA in Anthropology: Applied Archaeology, and a BA in Flute Performance. For her Master’s Thesis, she focused on Desert Cahuilla oral stories and used ArcGIS to provide a visual tool for cultural resource and landscape study. For her dissertation, she may continue her research on Cahuilla cultural landscapes and focus on traditional plant use or do more research on her tribe's resillience in adapting to state and federal laws during the beginning of the 20th century.


Indigenizing Archaeological Field Schools

Together with colleagues and Native American archaeologists, Lisa Palacios and Ashleigh Thompson, they are designing a Native American Field School that represents the voice of native communities in archaeological research and field study. There is a great need for a place and space for Native American Archaeologists who want to train in this field for the purpose in protecting, preserving, and properly caring for cultural resources. They wish to create a cultural environment that native archaeologists can feel safe and reassured that they are handling tribal resources in the appropriate way according to cultural practices. These are the first steps to indigenizing the field of Archaeology.


  • Secure Cultural Resources/Data according to Tribal Ordinances
  • Promote Non-Destructive Techniques/Methods in Field Work
  • Incorporate Traditional Knowledge in Research
  • Reconnect/Revitalize Native Communities to Places
  • Integrate Tribal Epistemologies to Guide Research Inquiries
  • Treat People, Cultural Resources, Places, and Spaces with Respect

“The careful incorporation of traditional knowledge is critical in archaeological research. Information on material culture and sacred places are revealed in elder’s stories that belong to the last generation and extends our view beyond the limitations of archaeological survey” (Lewis 2013, Stewart et al. 2004).



Larea Lewis's picture

Contact Information

Larea Lewis
PhD Candidate


B.A. Flute Music Performance, CSU Hayward

B.A. Anthropology, University of Arizona

M.A. Anthropology: Applied Archaeology, University of Arizona


Courses Taught

Lead GTA, Many Nations of Native America

College of Social and Behavioral Sciences