ARH309 Reading Notes Wk 5

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University of Toronto St. George
Justin Jennings

Ethics Reading NotesWeek 51 HillMaking a Final Resting Place FinalThe bodies of several Native American warriors found buried alongside American soldiers were not handled with as much care as lavished on the Americansthe latter were repatriated by the US at great expense but the former were never sent back to their people carted off to a museum o This is why we have a federal law that requires museums historical agencies archaeologists and collectors to respect the Native right to a final resting placeHaudenosaunee and other Native nations have been forced to use federal law to get archaeologists and curators to discuss resolutions to this dilemma o Convoluted legal definitions questionable archaeological practices convenient museum myopia and governmental white tape often hindered fruitful discussions of the proper handling of Native remainsNative American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act NAGPRA changed all that o Provided access to Native remains and cultural items objects of cultural patrimonyHaudenosaunee Standing Committee on Burial Rules and Regulations HSCBRR o For dealing with New York not havingan effective law to protect final resting places of ancient Native AmericansThe HSCBRR work with the Six Nations of the Haudenosaunee to develop protocols and procedures for a coordinated approach related to protection of burial remains and to deal with related matters of repatriationNo border between Canada and USPriorities o What collections to pursue o Where repatriated objects will be assignedLack of a successful burial site protection law has caused tremendous conflict between the Natives the archaeologists local government and land developersField Museum in Chicago refuses to return human remains and to negotiate with the Haudenosaunee refusing to acknowledge them as a government entity and insists on dealing with individual governmentsproblem compounded by the US Dept ofInterior since they have not listed on their Web site the oldest surviving government of North AmericaHSCBRR had intensive discussions and fostered community dialogues on the issues they faced o How should the burial sites be protectedo What do we do when human remains are uncovered o Will we rebury our ancestors o Where will we rebury them
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