- IU Bloomington
Emily Van Alst (Lakota) is currently a PhD Candidate in the Department of Anthropology at Indiana University and the American Indian Studies Research Institute Graduate Fellow. She received her BA in anthropology and archaeology from Yale University in 2016 and her MA in anthropology from IU in 2020. She has done community-based archaeological fieldwork in Spain, Peru, Japan, and in the United States including Alaska, South Dakota, Montana, Wyoming, and Indiana.
Her dissertation project is focused on Lakota women’s relationship to rock art, and how those images are related to the cultural and environmental landscape. Taking a diachronic approach, her research connects rock art images created in the past to contemporary landscapes and ceremonies in the present. Her work is grounded in methods of Indigenous archaeology and community-based research practices. This includes ethnographic interviews, cultural mapping, ethnobotanical methods, and photography. She also is passionate about contemporary Native American art, activism, and decolonization efforts within the field of anthropology. She is working on research understanding the intersections of Indigenous futurisms and beadwork as a form of resiliency and cultural expression among Indigenous women.
In addition to researching and teaching, she currently serves on the Diversity and Inclusion Action and Advisory Committee for the College of Arts and Sciences at Indiana University. She is working on an edited volume entitled Indigenizing Archaeology: Applying Theory into Practice highlighting early career Indigenous archaeologists and the next step for better incorporating Indigenous thought and method within the discipline of archaeology.