Saturday, July 14, 2007

Talking points to spread to others

Here are some brief “talking points” you can use to explain the issues to other people:

1. We want to alert you to the university’s decision to disband the autonomous NAGPRA unit, and with it, the only highly trained, cohesive team that impartially administers federal and state laws affecting the second largest collection of Native American ancestral remains and artifacts in the nation.

a. NAGPRA stands for Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act.

2. All tribal representatives were intentionally and entirely excluded from the decision-making process.

3. The two-man “review committee” consisted of research scientists who have vested professional interests in keeping the Native American collections intact and who have had many disagreements with the tribes in the past.

4. The Vice Chancellor did not solicit any independent input from UCB’s expert NAGPRA unit, which includes three Native Americans.

5. Under the reorganization, Museum research scientists who have deliberately frustrated NAGPRA compliance in the past will have complete control over NAGPRA operations.

6. Genuine NAGPRA services to tribes will be drastically cut.

7. The goals of NAGPRA and the goals of the museum are not always the same, and should not be confused. The Museum reorganization will completely subordinate NAGPRA goals to Museum goals, and the museum is controlled by scientists who want to keep the Native American collection entirely intact. This is not compatible with NAGPRA, especially at this museum.

8. NAGPRA Autonomy is essential to NAGPRA Integrity!

9. Our Demands:

a. Immediately stop the NAGPRA reorganization

b. Reopen the NAGPRA review process

c. Include the Native American NAGPRA Council and the UCB NAGPRA team in all deliberations affecting the future of NAGPRA at Berkeley

If you have any questions, especially about the University’s deceptive spin on this issue, please call 510-652-1567 or 510-457-8569.

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