Scope and Content
Arrangement of Collection
Title: Clemmer, Richard O. Papers.
Identifier/Call Number: D-293
University of California, Davis General Library, Dept. of Special Collections
Language of Material:
1.0 linear foot.
Date (bulk): Bulk, 1971-1979
Date (inclusive): 1957-1988.
This collection includes pamphlets, correspondence, newspapers, and
organizational material relating to Anthropology Professor Richard O. Clemmer's activities with the
Friends of the Hopi and the Committee of Concern for Traditional Indian Land and Life. The primary focus
of the collection is the Black Mesa power grid and the efforts by the Hopi and other interested parties
to decommission it. Newspaper and magazine articles relating to Indian Country are included in the
collection. The collection mainly focuses on Clemmer's work with the Hopi between the years 1971-1979
but also includes information on the California North Coast tribes of the Hupa, Yurok, and Pit River and
their land claim issues. Topics include the Black Mesa power grid, the Bureau of Indian Affairs, and
Native American traditional land claims.
Researchers should contact Special Collections to request
collections, as many are stored offsite.
Clemmer, Richard O.
Dr. Richard O. Clemmer is a Professor of Anthropology and a Graduate faculty member of Religious Studies
at the University of Denver in Denver, Colorado. He has taught Anthropology at both the undergraduate
and graduate levels since 1967. Dr. Clemmer received his PH.D in Anthropology from the University of
Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 1972. He has previously taught at: the University of Illinois at
Urbana-Champaign, California State University, Northridge, State University of New York, Binghamton,
University of California, Santa Barbara, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, and the College of
New Rochelle, New York.
He is a member of a variety of different anthropological associations including: Great Basin
Anthropological Association; American Anthropological Association; and the American Society for
Ethnohistory. Dr. Clemmer is also the recipient several different grants and awards. These include: the
University of Denver Outstanding Professor in the Core Curriculum Award (1994-1995); the University of
Denver Faculty Research Fund Grant: “Traders, the Elites, and the Marketing of Hopi Ceramics” (1998);
and the Faculty Research Grant, Dean of Arts, Humanities and Social Science’s Faculty Research Fund
Dr. Clemmer’s research focus is on the Native American Tribes of the Great Basin with a primary focus on
the Shoshone people. He also has a special research interest in the Hopi Tribe of Arizona. The
collection contains materials primarily associated with his research and personal interest with the
Hopi. The collection also includes relevant land claim information on California Indian Tribes of
Northern California including the Yurok, Karuk, Hupa, and Pit River tribes. Dr. Clemmer’s research on
the Hopi focuses primarily on land claim issues and traditional land uses of Native Americans in the
American Southwest. The research collected focuses on the Black Mesa dispute between the Hopi and Navajo
people and the Western Energy Supply and Transmission (WEST) Associates. Black Mesa is a 4,000 square
mile plateau that held religious and ceremonial importance for the Hopi and Navajo Nations. The WEST
Associates obtained signatures from the Hopi and Navajo Tribal Councils, against the wishes of the wider
tribal population, to release the lands to mine for coal at Black Mesa in 1966. The Black Mesa area is
entirely encompassed within the Navajo and Hopi Reservations and had an estimated value of 100 billion
in mineral resources. The coal was meant to provide energy for Los Angeles, Phoenix, and Las Vegas and
work began on the Black Mesa power grid in 1969. Clemmer’s work focuses on regional, non-profit, and
private associations and citizens, primarily based around the Hopi tribe, and their efforts to stop or
decommission the Black Mesa power grid.
File Folder 1:2-Black Mesa, Richard Clemmer Collection, D-293, Department of Special Collections, General
Library, University of California, Davis. Richard Clemmer, “Curriculum Vitae,” University of Denver,
Denver, Colorado. 2011 http://www.du.edu/ahss/docs/anthropology/ROCSCV2011.pdf Judith Nies,“The Black
Mesa Syndrome: Indian Lands, Black Gold” Orion Magazine, Summer 1998
Scope and Content
The Richard Clemmer Collection spans the years 1957-1988, with the bulk of the materials in the
collection spanning from 1971-1979. The collection is separated into two series: 1.) Subject and
Correspondence Files and 2.) Media Files. Subject and Correspondence Files primarily focuses on
correspondence between Dr. Clemmer and various different Native American non-profit groups, individual
Native American activists such as Thomas Banyaya and Rolling Thunder, and academic institutions;
pamphlets and ephemera from different Native American non-profit organizations such as the Sacred
Mountain Defense Fund; and newsletters from publications such as Renegade, Lomatiawi, and Warpath, all
of which pertain to Native American issues. The bulk of the series focuses on tribes of the Southwestern
part of the United States with a special emphasis on the Hopi tribe. The second series, Media Files,
includes audio files of three different types: cassette tapes; sound tapes; and magnetic tapes that
relate to Native American issues. The Media Files series includes audio files from the Big Mountain
Symposium; “Hopi message for all people;” and an audio file from a press conference with David Monogye
on October 29th, 1975.
Arrangement of Collection
The Richard Clemmer Collection is arranged into two series: 1.) Subject and Correspondence Files and 2.)
Media Files. The File Folders series is arranged alphabetically by subject.
The following collections at Special Collections may also be of interest:
D-046, Jack D. Forbes (1934-2011) Collection, 1800-1980. Articles, reports, monographs, serials,
microfilm and photographs relating to Native American History, civil rights, ethnic studies and Native
D-091, Frank Quinn Collection, 1955-1960. Taped interviews with northwestern Californian Native Americans
concerning government programs and the treatment of Native Americans, as well as stories and songs
reflecting various Native American cultures.
D-334, David Risling Papers, 1969-1991. Files, audiotapes, newspaper clippings, newsletters, reports,
memos, legal papers on subject of Native Americans. Includes information about Indian education, Indian
law, and Native American Rights Fund (NARF).
D-437, Al Logan Slagle (1950-2002) Collection, 1960-2002. Lawyer for the Association of American Indian
Affairs (AAIA) in Washington D.C. The collection includes his research files and petitions on behalf of
a number of tribes.
Collection is open for research.
Published materials, such as general books and government documents, have been separated from the
collection. These have been reviewed and, where appropriate, added to the Shields Library general
collection. A complete list of publications is kept on file at Special Collections.
Brittani Orona processed this collection under the guidance of Elizabeth Phillips, Manuscript
Gift of Richard O. Clemmer, 2000
[Identification of item], Richard Clemmer Collection, D-293, Department of Special Collections, General
Library, University of California, Davis.
Copyright is protected by the copyright law, chapter 17, of the U.S. Code. All requests for permission to
publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Head of Special Collections.
Permission for publication is given on behalf of the Department of Special Collections, General Library,
University of California, Davis as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or
imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained by the researcher.
Subjects and Indexing Terms
Clemmer, Richard O.
Indians of North America--California.
Indians of North America--Government relations.--California
Indians of North America--Legal status, laws, etc.--California.
Indians of North America--Sources.--History--California