University celebrates Anthropology Day

Kaitlyn Jorgensen
Staff Writer

The Department of Anthropology at Minnesota State University, Mankato hosted their annual Anthropology Day Thursday, Feb. 20.

Students and community members were invited to visit with the faculty and enter a lucky draw for the chance to win prizes.

They then had an open house in Trafton North, followed by a special presentation by guest speaker, Jim Cummings, in the Heritage Room of the Centennial Student Union. The speech was entitled “Life in the Center: Archaeology of the Mille Lacs region.” All events were free and open to the public.

The presentation discussed the early archaeology investigations and history of the Mille Lacs area and the challenges archaeologists have faced in investigating the significance of human interaction with the landscape and their importance in U.S. heritage. 

The Mille Lacs area has unique geographic settings which has led to continuing research in the area. Cummings also discussed present day relations with the Native American tribe as well as protocols for archaeological inquiry and traditional Native American heritage preservation research and practice.

Cummings is an alumnus of MNSU where he obtained his undergrad, followed by his master’s degree in Archaeology and Cultural Resource Management from St. Cloud State University. He is currently the consulting archaeologist for the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe Tribal Historic Preservation office and has also served as the principal investigator for the Tribal Cultural Survey of the proposed replacement of the Enbridge Line 3 oil pipeline.

One student who is minoring in anthropology talked about the significance of celebrating anthropology. 

“I think it’s important to celebrate World Anthropology Day because not a lot of people know what anthropology is,” the student said. “There are so many things you can do within the realm of anthropology, and this celebration helps introduce students to the major and minor programs at MNSU.”

The American Anthropological Association is the world’s largest organization of professional anthropologists. 

The AAA hosts World Anthropology Day on the third Thursday in February every year, and it has been celebrated annually at MNSU since 2015.

Header photo: Keynote speaker Jim Cummings speaks during the Anthropology Day celebration held in the Centennial Student Union Thursday, Feb. 20, 2020 in Mankato, Minn. (Prasad Pol/MSU Reporter)

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