Inventory of the Richard O. Clemmer Papers. D-293

Finding aid prepared by Brittani Orona
University of California, Davis General Library, Dept. of Special Collections
1st Floor, Shields Library, University of California
100 North West Quad
Davis, CA, 95616-5292
(530) 752-1621
© 2012

Title: Clemmer, Richard O. Papers.
Identifier/Call Number: D-293
Contributing Institution: University of California, Davis General Library, Dept. of Special Collections
Language of Material: English
Physical Description: 1.0 linear foot.
Date (bulk): Bulk, 1971-1979
Date (inclusive): 1957-1988.
Abstract: 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.
Physical location: Researchers should contact Special Collections to request collections, as many are stored offsite.
Creator: 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 (2009-2010).
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 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.

Related Collections

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 American education.
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.

Processing Information

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 Archivist.

Acquisition Information

Gift of Richard O. Clemmer, 2000

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], Richard Clemmer Collection, D-293, Department of Special Collections, General Library, University of California, Davis.

Publication Rights

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


Subject and Correspondence Files Bulk, 1971-1979 1957-1988

Scope and Contents note

The first series in the Richard Clemmer Collection, Subject and Correspondence Files, includes correspondence; ephemera; newsletters; and related documents pertaining to the Hopi and related Southwestern tribes. The bulk of the series features correspondence to and from Richard Clemmer to Native American activists such as David Monongye, Craig Carpenter, and Rolling Thunder; pamphlets from various different Native American organizations such as the Navajo-Hopi Unity Committee, the Sacred Mountain Defense Fund, Friends of the Hopi, and Americans for Indian Opportunity; and newsletters from a variety of different Native American organizations geared toward political and community activism including Warpath, Renegade, Hopi Action News, and Lomatiawi. Notable documents in this series include a letter dated November 23rd, 1986 from David Monongye to President Ronald Reagan concerning Hopi sovereignty and the protection of Black Mesa; an article entitled "Indians and the Constitution" by Craig Carpenter that focuses on Native Americans and Hawaiians and their government to government relationship with the United States; and documents/petitions to stop the Gasquet-Orleans or "Go" road on the traditional lands of the Karuk, Yurok, Hupa, and Tolowa people of Northwestern California.
box-file 1:1

Americans for Indian Opportunity 1957-1971

box-file 1:2, 3:1

Black Mesa 1971

box-file 3:2

CCTI-Committee of Concern for the Traditional Indian 1970-1975

box-file 3:3

Craig Carpenter 1961-1970

box-file 3:4

David Monongye 1949-1988

box-file 3:5

Friends of the Hopi 1972-1978

box-file 3:6

Hopi Action News 1968-1970

box-file 1:3

Hopi-Navajo Land Issue Symposium 1986

box-file 1:4

Indian Rights, Powers, and Land Prophecy 1977

box-file 3:7

Land Claims 1969-1970

box-file 1:5

League of Nations-Pan-Am Indians

box-file 1:6

Lomatiawi 1982-1988

box-file 2:1

Native American Solidarity Committee 1975

box-file 3:8

Navajo-Hopi Unity Committee 1976

box-file 3:9

Pit Rivers, Hoopa, Karok, Yurok, "Go" Road 1970-1975

box-file 3:10

Renegade, Native ABC, American Indian Crusade 1968-1974

box-file 2:2

Rolling Thunder 1968-1971

box-file 3:11

Sacred Mountain Defense Fund 1979

box-file 2:3

Sacred Mountains Way of Knowledge 1983

box-file 3:12

Techua Ikauchi 1976-1986

box-file 2:4

Thomas Banyaya 1958-1970

box-file 2:5

Tom Tarbet 1981

box-file 2:6

Traditional Indian Land Life Committee 1968-1971

box-file 2:7

V.V. Roe-Sanity Now! 1968-1973

box-file 2:8

Warpath 1969-1971

Box 4

Media Files 1971-1986

Scope and Contents note

The second series, Media Files, includes audio files from different Native American storytellers, symposiums, and individual Native American activists. The media files are comprised of cassette tapes, sound tapes, and magnetic tapes. There are:
-Four Scotch Magnetic Tapes with notes on back ¼ x 150 Ft. The notes are as follows: 1.) Angichkachinum, very good 2.) Stretched tape ½ way through second side-distorted whole tape not good; 3.) Side #1-repeats Tape #1 side # 2 repeats tape #2, side #2 distorted portion 4.) Distorted respects tape #1, catches last portion Charles’s tape-Side #2 only not good rumble
-Seventeen cassette tapes with various notes written on them.
-Three Scotch Magnetic Tapes ¼ x 1800 feet-7inch reel with notes on back cover. These notes are as follows: 1.) Floyd Westerman, N. Plains, Iroquois round Dance-2 (Crack in Record); 2.) Speed 3 ¾: Track I-Badmen, Track II-“Last 5 min, Hopi, Rolling Thunder; 3.) Mitchell Harding reading Clemmer’s Pacifico Script re. Shoshone, pine nuts, etc.
-One Capitol Sound tape with notes on the side panel. The back and front cover has illustrations of the twelve zodiac signs. It is not known what is on the tape.
Notable audio files include information on the Big Mountain Symposium, a press conference with David Mononyge on October 29th, 1985, and a Hopi Tribal council meeting dated August 9th, 1989.