Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Anthony Garcia speaks

From the recent NAGPRA meeting in Seattle
(see )

When questioned by Dr. Sonya Atalay on the
large number of culturally unidentifiable remains--

ANTHONY GARCIA: I promise the next time I come
before the meeting I hope to have even new
information as to how we go into this direction
because I know this is the most sensitive area we
have. We have a very large number and it’s – we
have learned – we are learning that we may have
hastily made those determinations and we’re trying
to correct that.

And later when questioned by Dan Monroe on the changes to the culturally
unidentifiable inventories--

ANTHONY GARCIA: Actually two-fold, yes. Tribes
are especially the ones who are coming forth asking
that to be changed. They’re making special
requests. Some don’t understand it enough and want
to sit down and they explain it out and we determine
this is what they’re trying to do, and we work with
them quite often that way. We are ourselves going
after areas, very large areas that we believed were
identified as culturally unidentifiable and realized
that, oh no, this is quite wrong and it was in haste
in the inventories and we’re right now working – we
have archaeologists and other scientists working
right now on this to change one very large area
which we hope to report in some future months that
this has been completely turned around. It won’t be
all – it won’t be all changed to culturally
affiliated. There still will be some that will be
unidentifiable but it won’t be anything like it was
reported originally.

Hmm...interesting after his earlier testimony to the NAGPRA Review board, that most tribes weren't concerned about having their human remains repatriated. We also wonder how large the effort is on re-doing all those hastily done inventories. Is it a team of 5, 10 or 20 people? What are their
credentials and how is the Hearst approaching these hastily done inventories? (And really cynical minds want to know why UCB did any of their inventories in haste given all the extensions they were granted in the 1990s?)

And really cycnical minds want to know how it will all play with the UCOP Committee, particularly with Prof. Bob Bettinger and Prof. Phil Wilkie.