This chapter summarizes archaeological inquiry of the recent past in western North American by examining literature published between ~2000 and the present. Out of the sample of over 200 references included here, the two most predominant areas of inquiry appear to be archaeologies of colonialism and of extractive industries. Archaeological studies of Asian American history, particularly of the Overseas Chinese, but with a growing number of investigations focusing on Japanese heritage, have also been prevalent, as have Indigenous archaeologies, collaborative archaeologies, and landscape archaeologies, among others. Synopses of these and other projects throughout the West are presented here, with the intent of providing archaeological and historical snapshots from the region and introducing readers to the tumultuous repercussions of the rapid colonization of the American West over the past several centuries. I argue that cultural heritage investigations, like those of the recent past, should provide useful information for other fields, and address broad issues important to understanding the history and future of the human condition. Such investigations should be called upon to benefit people today as we adapt to the modern cultural successors of historical events that span environmental degradation and sustainability to racism and inequality.