J. Anthony Memorial Plenary

The James Anthony “Tony” Paredes Memorial Plenary is a featured presentation at each of the annual meetings of the Society. The Plenary highlights and explores an important issue in contemporary Native American life.

The Paredes Plenary was established through a distinctive partnership between the SfAA and the Poarch Band of Creek Indians. This partnership grew from a long-term relationship between Prof. Paredes and the Tribe dating back to 1971. At that time, Prof. Paredes initiated a series of studies which focused on the history and culture of the Tribe. He continued these efforts for the next thirteen years, documenting through oral tradition, marriage records, and land transactions, the rich and vibrant culture of the Tribe. In turn, these data provided substantive evidence for the application for Federal recognition which the Tribe was awarded in 1984.

Following his death in 2013, the leadership of the Society began to explore ways to celebrate Tony’s professional life. It was at this point that Tony's widow, Alleen Deutsch, provided the vital linkage through her connections and exchange with the Tribal elders and leadership. With her assistance, the concept of the Paredes Plenary was formulated and a request for financial support was submitted to the Tribe. In 2015, the Poarch Band of the Creek Indians endowed the Plenary with a generous contribution of $100,000.

The First Plenary was convened at the 76th Annual Meeting of the Society in Vancouver, B.C., Canada on March 30, 2016, and entitled “Protection of Natural Resources: Cultural Heritage Strategies of First Nations and Native Americans.” The speakers at the Plenary included the following:

CHAIRS: HENDERSON, J. Neil (Choctaw Tribe Member, U Oklahoma SPH) and SCHENSUL, Stephen L. (UConn Med Sch)

INTRODUCTION: SCHENSUL, Stephen L. (UConn Med Sch) The Legacy of J. Anthony Paredes

KEYNOTE SPEAKER: JOHN, Grand Chief Edward (First Nations Summit Political Executive and North American Representative to the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues) Protecting Natural Resources through Principles of Reconciliation and Implementation of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. Grand Chief Edward John, LL.B is the Hereditary Chief of Tl’azt’en Nation on Stuart Lake in Northern British Columbia, member of the First Nations Summit Task Group, former Co-Chair of the North American Indigenous Peoples’ Caucus, participated in the development of the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples which was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in September 2007.

POINT, Gwen (Stó:lõ Nation Member, U Fraser Valley) Our Actions Today Impact the Next Seven Generations: Stó:Lô Approaches to Land and Water Protection

HILLAIRE, Darrell (Lummi Nation Member, Lummi Indian Business Council and founder of the Lummi Youth Academy) The Use of Film to Convey Native American Voices and Actions to Preserve the Earth

MENZIES, Charles R. (Gitxaała Nation, UBC) On the Front Lines!: Gitxaała, Oil, and Our Authority

The following year, the Second Plenary was presented at the 77th Annual Meeting of the Society in Santa Fe, New Mexico, and entitled “Decolonizing Both Anthropology and the Museum: Native American Practitioners’ Perspectives.” The speakers for that Plenary included the following:

CHAIR: FAYARD, Kelly (Poarch Band of Creek Indians/Yale U)


AGUILAR, Joseph (San Ildefonso Pueblo/UPenn)

RYKER-CRAWFORD, Jessie (White Earth Chippewa/IAIA)

CHAVEZ-LAMAR, Cynthia (Hope-Tewa/Navajo/Nat’l Museum of the American Indian)

CHAVARRIA, Antonio (Santa Clara Pueblo/Museum of American Indian Arts and Culture)

The Paredes Memorial Committee provides the organizational nexus for the Plenary each year. The Committee receives and discusses potential topics and recommends each year to the Board the theme and speakers.