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Inventory of the Richard O. Clemmer Papers. D-293
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Collection Details
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  • Biography
  • Scope and Content
  • Arrangement of Collection
  • Related Collections
  • Access
  • Processing Information
  • Acquisition Information
  • Preferred Citation
  • Publication Rights

  • 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 http://www.du.edu/ahss/docs/anthropology/ROCSCV2011.pdf Judith Nies,“The Black Mesa Syndrome: Indian Lands, Black Gold” Orion Magazine, Summer 1998 http://www.orionmagazine.org/index.php/articles/article/6025

    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