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Falcon Cultural Resources

ArcaeologicaL, Cultural & Educational Resources


Contact Us

(206) 383-7008
macrae@falconculturalresources.com
18013 Fox Hollow Lane, Bow WA 98232


Developing land on the western Washington coastline sometimes means dealing with archaeological resource management issues. Falcon Cultural Resources, LLC works with individuals, agencies, and municipalities on projects in Western Washington and British Columbia. We have the experience to provide sound guidance in navigating the Shoreline Management Act, Executive Order 05-05, SEPA, NEPA, and Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act.  Falcon Cultural Resources knows how to evaluate provide efficient, timely solutions to these issues when they arise. One of our specializations are projects in Skagit, Island, Whatcom, and Snohomish Counties.  

Homeowners, non-profits, and local municipalities sometime face archaeological challenges when their projects encounter subsurface archaeological materials, no matter if it is a known prehistoric site or an inadvertent discovery. We provide the background research, evaluation, fieldwork, and reporting to manage these types of issues in a timely and cost effective way. 

Services

  • Archaeological surveys and assessments

  • Archaeological and cultural monitoring

  • Archaeological permitting

  • Tribal correspondence

  • SB5433 curriculum development

Mission

Falcon Cultural Resources is dedicated to cultural resources management and cultural education serving local communities, individuals and institutions. The services we offer include archaeological survey, testing, monitoring, assessments, and permitting in Western Washington and British Columbia. We also offer specialized consultation services for local public school SB5433 Since Time Immemorial Curriculum development and compliance in Western Washington. Falcon Cultural Resources offers real knowledge, experience and solutions for complex cultural resources situations. In addition to the core staff we also have other associates, on-call archaeologists and contracted specialized experts in the field.

Core Values

  • Professionalism

  • Value

  • Authenticity

  • Integrity

  • Timely

  • Solutions oriented

  • Client oriented

  • Cultural relevance

  • Scientific rigor

Our Work

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James Harrison Macrae, M.A. Anthropology

Archaeologist-Principal Investigator

As a professional archaeologist with 18 years’ experience in Cultural Resource Management, James has run and participated in over a hundred archaeological projects in Washington State, Montana, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, and Tennessee. James has conducted many archaeological projects and authored numerous reports and permits. He meets the Secretary of Interior’s standards as a professional archaeologist and has worked in Washington for the last 10 years. He is well versed in local archaeological materials and sites. He is adept at navigating the cultural resource issues that can occur, resolving them in a timely, efficient, and cost-effective way. He received training through Since Time Immemorial and, as part of a select panel, helped develop SB45433 curriculum for The Spokane Tribe of Indians in 2015. James is also author of the 2018 book, “Pecos River Style Rock Art: A Prehistoric Iconography” published by Texas A&M University Press. Macrae is doing ongoing research on the age and development of this form of prehistoric painting. James is an expert on the analysis of prehistoric lithic and ground stone artifacts. He has spent the last three years working in the field exclusively managing coastal Washington shell midden sites

 
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Chester Cayou, Jr.
(Pay-a-hux-ton)

Cultural Advisor/Expert

Chester is a Swinomish Tribal elder, Tribal Senator and Vietnam Veteran.Chester is son of Chester Cayou, Sr. and his mother was Velma Stone Cayou. He received his Indian Name at East Saanich on Vancouver Island. Chester has been leading the Swinomish Smokehouse since 1995. Chester is a foremost expert in the ancient and time-honored traditions and life-ways of the Swinomish Tribe, including all the affiliated bands. He is recognized as an important spiritual figure and by his own people, and by all the other Tribes and First Nations in Western Washington and southern British Columbia. Chester has also worked on archaeological projects since 2008.

 
Clarissa James

Clarissa James

Curriculum Development Specialist

Clarissa James is a native educator. She is a Swinomish Tribal Member, and a descendent of members from the Samish, Quileute and Xaxlip First Nations. Her parents are Georginia James of the Swinomish Indian Tribal Community and Dewey Penn of the Quileute Nation. Clarissa has a degree in Early Childhood Education and six years of experience in the Education field with three years of intense curriculum development. Currently, she is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in the Native Studies Leadership program through the Northwest Indian College and Reconciliation through Indigenous Education certification through the University of British Columbia. As an educator, Clarissa is passionate about Indigenous ways of knowing and appropriating the history of Indigenous people. 

 
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Brandon Williams
(Qua-Qual-Ted, Swalt II, Eyolwethet)

Archaeological Technician II

Brandon is a Swinomish tribal member and the son of David Williams and Victoria Joe.  Brandon has had three and a half years intense training and experience in cultural resource management and archaeology, working on numerous sites throughout the region. Brandon works with his grandmother Helen M. Joe, who is an Elder and spiritual leader for the Sto:Lo Nation in Chiliwack British Columbia. Brandon also serves on the Swinomish Planning Commission and Education Subcommittee. He received training from Since Time Immemorial in 2017 and is actively participating in both archaeological field work and with local tribal curriculum development projects in Skagit County.

 

Qualifications

Falcon Cultural Resources, LLC is a qualified firm specializing in archaeological and historical studies for compliance with local, state, and federal regulations related to the documentation and protection of heritage resources as well as educational consulting in the same field.   The principal investigator and owner of the firm, James Harrison Macrae, has 18 year’s experience in the field of cultural resource management. He has successfully conducted over 100 cultural resource investigations in Washington, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Tennessee, and Mississippi. This includes all types and scopes of projects, from surveys to data recovery—prehistoric sites, historic sites, built environment assessments, and traditional cultural properties.  James has a Master’s Degree in Anthropology from Texas A&M University and he meets the Secretary of the Interior’s standards for both prehistoric and historic archaeology. James has authored numerous reports, cultural resource assessments, and site forms as well as state permits, tribal correspondence and environmental impact statements. He is also author of the 2018 book, “Pecos River Style Rock Art: A Prehistoric Iconography” about ancient rock art on the Texas/Mexico borderlands.   James Macrae has conducted projects for diverse clients such as federal agencies, tribes, non-profits, local municipalities, utilities, and individuals. James is also expert at prehistoric lithic artifact analysis with training under Guy Weaver and David Kilby. He is known for using a variety of archaeological methods to craft innovative, effective, and parsimonious strategies for managing diverse and complex cultural resource management situations. He also helped develop SB5433 curriculum for the Spokane Tribe.

Primary staff at Falcon Cultural Resources include Chester Cayou, Jr and Brandon Williams. Chester is a preeminent tribal elder and spiritual leader for the Swinomish Tribe who has been participating in archaeological projects since 2008. Chester has been opening at the traditional Swinomish Longhouse since 1995. He is a Tribal Senator and chair of the Swinomish Culture Committee, as well as a member of the Environment & Lands Committee and Veterans Committee. Cayou is also a Vietnam veteran. Chester Cayou brings a wealth of local Tribal knowledge and experience to Falcon Cultural Resources. 

Brandon Williams has three and a half year’s experience in cultural resource management and archaeological field work, participating in various surveys, monitoring, data recovery projects all in Northwest Washington. Brandon serves on the Swinomish Planning Commission and Education Subcommittee. He received training from Since Time Immemorial in 2017 and is actively participating in both archaeological field work and with local tribal curriculum development projects for the La Conner and Concrete school districts. Brandon brings his talent and intellect to Falcon Cultural Resources.

In addition to the core staff, Falcon Cultural Resources has a network of other associates that we can refer to for larger projects or any necessary specialized tasks or expertise if the need arises. 

With a mission dedicated to cultural resources management and education development Falcon Cultural Resources assists local communities, individuals and agencies with solving their cultural resource compliance needs. Falcon Cultural Resources is a standard archaeological and cultural resource management firm that offers a branch of services related to educational development for schools creating curriculum for  Washington State SB5433 Since Time Immemorial lesson plans in the public school system.


Education

Falcon Cultural Resources, LLC, is devoted to innovative cultural resource management projects in Washington State. This includes both archaeological management and preservation efforts on the ground as well as in the classroom. Prehistoric archaeological and ethnographic heritage resources are non-renewable. They communicate a long-term history and rich cultural legacy of indigenous people in our region. The historic and deep past are often shrouded in misinformation and uncertainty. This misinformation sometimes serves colonial goals and does a disservice to current day indigenous communities as well as our shared environment. Our goal is to illuminate the past while protecting archaeological and heritage resources into the future using both scientific methods and traditional ways of knowing. As part of this mission Falcon Cultural Resources staff are working to incorporate indigenous ways of knowing into our shared pedagogy.

Course Offerings

Sacred Places Exercise

This half hour to an hour-long introductory exercise uses personal metaphors to explore some of the challenging aspects of colonial history and Native American issues with respect to land.

Taught by: Clarissa James and Brandon Williams

Blanket Exercise

This participant led one to two hour exercise explores US History from a tribal perspective and provides a basic understanding of Native history in the United States.

Taught by: Clarissa and Brandon Williams

Lithic Analysis and Identification

Prehistoric flaked and ground stone artifacts: raw materials, technology, artifact types and identification. This can be structured as a one or two-day class. The second day is a lab using stone tools from the local region intended for archaeologists and cultural resources staff

Taught by: James Macrae, M.A.

Cultural Resources Inadvertent Discovery Plan Training and Certification

This course is designed for construction workers and people working in the field, in potentially culturally sensitive areas, and who need an introduction to archaeological sites and materials. It provides a basic background to inadvertent discoveries during construction or ground disturbance, what to look for and what to do. This class includes an introduction to common historic and precontact artifacts, sites & features. It also includes the laws and regulations, tribal consultation, and industry best practices for cultural resources management.

SB5433 Curriculum Review and Certification

Proposed Course Offerings

Cultural Literacy Module for Teachers

13 Moons Calendar

Local Indigenous History

Federal Indian Policy

Point Elliot Treaty

Local Tribes and Their Governments

Tribal Fishing Wars Field Trip

Oral History


Pecos River Style Rock Art

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Pecos River Style Rock Art:
A Prehistoric Iconography

by James Harrison Macrae

James Harrison Macrae is a native Texan who first visited the Lower Pecos in 1991. This led to a now 30-year interest and obsession with appreciating and understanding the ancient Pecos River Style paintings found there. In 2018 Texas A&M University press published his first book "Pecos River Style Rock Art: A Prehistoric Iconography."

In this first of a kind study, Macrae recorded and analyzed a significant sample of the corpus of Pecos River Style rock art, imagery produced by native people of the Lower Pecos circa two to four thousand years ago. This book is the best current synthesis explaining these ancient pictographs in a social context. It is a must for anyone interested in the Lower Pecos region or Indian pictographs.

The book describes the 2003 recording and comparison of forty-three Pecos River Style sites throughout the rugged canyons and cliffs of the Lower Pecos. The rock art sites were analyzed using iconographic methods developed to interpret Maya hieroglyphic writing. This study and years of additional research resulted in this book. The idea of Pecos River Style "core motifs" is introduced. The purpose of the book is to illuminate and contextualize a highly arcane, ancient, and significant form of ancestral Native American art and symbolism using a scientific, repeatable, and non-destructive methodology.

(College Station: Texas A&M University Press, 2018. Pp. 112. Illustrations, bibliography, index.)

Available at fine retailers in stores and online.  

https://www.tamupress.com/book/9781623496401/pecos-river-style-rock-art/

https://www.amazon.com/Pecos-River-Style-Rock-Art/dp/1623496403

Book Review

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Timothy K. Perttula Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 122, Number 4, April 2019, pp. 459-460 (Review). Published by Texas State Historical Association.

Pecos River Style Rock Art: A Prehistoric Iconography by James Burr Harrison Macrae (review)

James Burr Harrison Macrae’s Pecos River Style Rock Art primarily concerns the structure and character of Pecos River Style painted rock art, which dates from ca. 4,000–1,500 years ago and is found in rock shelters in the lower Pecos River area in the West Texas and Mexican Chihuahuan Desert. This rock art was produced by painters in Middle and Late Archaic period-hunter-fisher-gatherer societies who seasonally ranged across the land. The book also represents the author’s efforts to explain and understand both the rock art and the aboriginal peoples who created it.

The polychrome painted rock art, in red, black, yellow, and white pigment-based paint, features elongated linear and abstract anthromorphs as well as a wide variety of other core and non-core motifs. Macrae makes a strong case that the rock art has both “metaphorical and spiritual connection to the landscape” (73), and was meant to convey ritual and supernatural events, religious precepts as well as cosmology, and depict the hierarchy of important men and leaders in their society.

Chapter 1 introduces the reader to the Lower Pecos region, its geology (especially its limestone overhangs, which were used as rock art panels) and climate, and the archaeological context of     the rock art. Most interestingly, it also includes autobiographical information about the author and his decision to focus academically on the Pecos River Style art. In chapter 2, Macrae provides the methods and theoretical approach he employs in the study of the rock art. Here, Macrae characterizes the approach as structural-iconographic analysis. This analysis relies on the identification of repetitive patterns and symbols in the art, along with determining the contextual relationships between the symbols and patterns in each rock art panel at rock shelter sites. Macrae follows this by defining nineteen core motifs in the rock art imagery in chapter 3. The imagery is divided into anthropomorphs, material culture, and zoomorphs (mainly mountain lions, deer, and birds, as well as centipedes), enigmatic characters, and geometric symbols combined into an abstract and symbolic narrative on “paintings layered one on top of another” (30).

The heart of the book arrives in chapter 4 with the presentation of Macrae’s well-illustrated typology of those nineteen core motifs along with fifty-five non-core motifs and symbols identified in the Pecos River Style rock art. This typology includes a description of the unique character of these motifs as well as interpretations of their symbolic meaning offered by Macrae and a variety of rock art researchers. These interpretations represent the best current view of their meaning, “subject to the best available evidence and theory” (36).

Macrae ties together these disparate pieces of information and symbolic content on Pecos River style rock art in Chapter 5. He argues that this rock art was created by hunter-fisher-gatherer groups as part of a long term ritual cycle tied to periods of social pressure and stress among Lower Pecos bands. During periods of increasing populations or aridity, the rock art functioned “as a stabilizing and unifying cultural process” that was manifest as cyclical nucleation of bands and the creation of sacred space “at natural shrines on the landscape” (77). I highly recommend Macrae’s book to readers interested in the aboriginal rock art of the Lower Pecos region, as well as in the author’s research approach. I hope Macrae will continue his studies of Pecos River Style rock art and delve further into the complex rock art created by Lower Pecos peoples. Austin, Texas.

By: Timothy K. Perttula Ph.D.