Saturday, November 27, 2010
Hmm, over-reacting on our part? A double standard on the Hearst's part? Or a case of what where they thinking? Either way, it will be interesting to see how long these stay up!
Thursday, November 25, 2010
By Staff reports
Story Published: Nov 24, 2010
Story Updated: Nov 23, 2010
ANN ARBOR, Mich. – The University of Michigan will take a “consultation first” approach to all interactions with American Indian tribes as the university further develops its policies and procedures for the transfer of Native American human remains.
Vice President for Research Stephen Forrest established the approach as part of his announcement that he has accepted the recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Culturally Unidentifiable Human Remains.
The 12-member committee submitted nine recommendations that suggested a process for how the university might handle requests for the transfer of human remains and associated funerary objects now being held by the U-M Museum of Anthropology. The report was submitted Sept. 16.
Forrest accepted those recommendations, with some modifications, after weighing feedback he received during a month-long period of public comment during October.
Tuesday, October 12, 2010
Cal NAGPRA was enacted in 2001 in an attempt to force California institutions with large Native American collections to return objects to their culturally affiliated descendants. The bill (AB 978) aimed to “streamline and add an accountability step to the repatriation process” to both federally and non-federally recognized tribes. Unlike other states, California does not have a process of recognition for federally unrecognized tribes. Consequently, the state has over a hundred such tribes, the highest number in the country.
The legislation was conceived after several university museums, particularly UC Berkley’s Hearst Museum, were accused by Native American tribal leaders of sidestepping National NAGPRA regulations and ignoring local tribal demands for the return of hundreds of thousands of sacred objects and ancestral remains.
“The bill came about because tribes were not consulted by the universities to establish cultural affiliations with property and remains,” said Lalo Franco of the Yokut/Wukchumni Nations and the cultural heritage director of the Santa Rosa Rancheria Tachi Yokut Tribe.
Thursday, October 7, 2010
From AAAS. You can see the articles with a free online registration.
Here is the link: http://news.sciencemag.org/sciencenow/2010/10/returning-tribal-remains.html
Has NAGPRA (the Native American Graves and Repatriation Act) been good or bad for archaeology? We at Science have done a special news package on the law's impact, timed for its 20th anniversary. And because the law sparks passionate views on research and Native rights, we are hosting an online discussion on ScienceNOW, our online daily news site. Our reporters and editors will be monitoring comments and posting their views over the next day or so. Given your interests, we would like to particularly invite you to join the discussion. If you go to http://news.sciencemag.org/sciencenow/2010/10/returning-tribal-remains.html it's easy to participate. We look forward to hearing your comments.
Saturday, September 18, 2010
Aaron Townsend, vice chair of the Fort Bidwell tribal council, says a pipeline man camp has gone up just south of an area where the pipeline will bisect "house rings, burials, prayer sites – you name it, we've got everything – obsidian quarries, petroglyphs." He describes looting of cultural sites as people hear about archaeological resources along the pipeline corridor. The Fort Bidwell tribe recently filed a petition for review over the BLM's approved right-of-way for the pipeline.
Read the entire article at:
Friday, August 13, 2010
Yurok, what is the story with the Hearst?
The Smithsonian Institution has returned a trove of precious artifacts to the Yurok Indians in California in what is one of the largest repatriations of Native American ceremonial artifacts in U.S. history.
The Yurok, who have lived for centuries along California's Klamath River, received 217 sacred items that had been stored on museum shelves for nearly 100 years. The necklaces, headdresses, arrows, hides and other regalia from the Smithsonian's National Museum of the American Indian are believed to be hundreds, if not thousands, of years old.
"It's awesome. It's a big thing with our people," said Thomas O'Rourke, chairman of the Yurok, a tribe that lived next to the Klamath River in far Northern California for 10,000 years before Europeans arrived. "These are our prayer items. They are not only symbols, but their spirit stays with them. They are alive. Bringing them home is like bringing home prisoners of war."
To celebrate the return of the items, the Yurok will hold a Kwom-Shlen-ik, or "Object Coming Back," ceremony today in the town of Klamath.
The returned artifacts were sold to the museum in the 1920s by Grace Nicholson, a renowned collector of Indian art, who owned a curio shop in Pasadena in the early 20th century. Ceremonial Indian regalia was in vogue among wealthy Americans at the time.
The sacred cache is part of an ongoing effort around the country to return Native American burial artifacts, ceremonial items and remains taken by white settlers from Indian villages and indigenous sites.
Read more: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=%2Fc%2Fa%2F2010%2F08%2F13%2FMN0O1ET3EI.DTL&tsp=1#ixzz0wXSeX1yY
Monday, July 19, 2010
Once again, while they seem to be in a hurry and get a less than perfect search engine out there, they seem to have forgotten their NAGPRA obligations.
Take for example, catalog numbers of human remains from the Cardinal Site (SJo-154):
12-11273 through 12-11307
Once again, search the National NAGPRA database at the NPS. Take a guess what is missing from the culturally unidentified database...
Like we said before 43 CFR 10.11 can only work when the museums come clean on
what they are holding.
(PS--why do some people at the university also insist the Hearst has not taken in human remains since the 1970s when these were accessioned in the mid-1980s?)
Monday, June 7, 2010
For example, look up 2-13845. Here is the link to what you will find:
Interesting to note, this has still yet to be registered with the National NAGPRA
database. I guess they assume scalps were freely taken...
40 CFR 10.11 can only work if the museums are honest in the first place!
Sunday, June 6, 2010
The University of Michigan's Museum of Anthropology has a collection of around 1,400 ancient Native American remains. But they'll lose those remains under a new federal law - and the ability to conduct research with them.
The room that stores the remains of about 1,400 Native Americans is on the ground floor of a non-descript building on campus, but it looks more like a basement. Rows of industrial shelving hold 24-inch long white cardboard boxes - lengthy enough to accommodate the longest human bone - a femur. Each box has a label of a human skeleton on its side, indicated by highlighter which bones the box contains.
Carla Sinopoli is the curator of the Museum of Anthropology. She says early archaeologists had basic questions - 'how old is it?' 'how did they get their food?'. But now they ask all kinds of questions.
"How societies are formed, how beliefs are structured, how communities communicate and move," says Sinopoli, "Political questions, social questions, idealogical questions, economic questions...and the more we know the sophisticated our questions become too."
Even DNA research of human remains is relatively new. Sinopoli says there's no telling what could be learned in twenty or thirty years. But that room and all the white boxes could soon be empty.
The Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act, or NAGPRA, was created twenty years ago. The first version required all federally funded museums to take inventories of skeletal remains and try to figure out what Native American groups they belonged to. Many remains were returned to their tribes of origin, but researchers still had something to work with. The remains that couldn't be linked to tribes were left in museums.
But the law that went into effect last month requires that those remains be returned to tribes too. Sinopoli says the loss will be a permanent one.
Monday, May 31, 2010
“At least in Sweden, the living are protected by laws on genetic integrity. We have no legal obligations to King Tut or other historical persons, but there is perhaps still integrity worth protecting,” says Malin Masterton at the Centre for Research Ethics & Bioethics (CRB).
In her thesis, Malin Masterton discusses ethical guidelines for the handling of human remains and makes suggestions for revisions. The basis for these revisions is that the dead also have an identity in the form of a narrative. “I propose that the dead should be given moral status based on our respect for human life,” says Malin Masterton.
Whose integrity and interest is it when the person is dead? Malin Masterton argues that parts of a person’s identity remain after death. One way of looking at identity is as a narrative – the story of one’s life – that both stands alone and is interwoven with other people’s stories. Seen like this, the dead too have a name and a reputation worth protecting. So no more calling Helen of Troy a whore, Nero a nitwit or Belzoni a looting circus artist?
If the dead, to some degree like the living, have integrity and reputation, they also have moral status and we can wrong them. According to Malin Masterton, we have three duties to the dead:
- We have a duty of truthfulness in our description of a person’s reputation.
- We have a duty to respect the personal integrity of the dead in research contexts.
- We have a duty to admit wrongs we have committed against the dead, like illegal archaeological digs.
Thursday, May 27, 2010
Archaeologists and anthropologists are concerned that a new rule implementing the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act, covering human remains and cultural objects that can't be culturally affiliated with a particular tribe. They have written the Department of Interior asking that the rule be changed. Sherry Hutt, program manager for the National NAGPRA Program with the National Park Service, responded to some of the scientific concerns in an e-mail to ScienceInsider, suggesting that the remains covered by the rule aren't likely to have much scientific value:Note that this rule applies only to human remains already determined to be Native American, but for whom the body of knowledge is insufficient to determine, even to the level of a reasonable basis, the cultural affiliation of the individuals.
Tuesday, May 25, 2010
The University of Michigan is hiring two new staff members to help return Native American remains and objects from its museum collection to tribes that can show a geographical link to them under a federal law that took effect earlier this month.
Stephen Forrest, U-M’s vice president for research, said he anticipates Native American tribes will file claims for the return of the bones of virtually all of the 1,600 individuals in the collection of the U-M Museum of Anthropology. That collection is not open to the public.
“The university right now is doing everything right,” said Veronica Pasfield, a U-M graduate student who is the external co-chair of the Native Caucus, a group of indigenous graduate students, and the repatriation officer of the Bay Mills Indian Community. "I think that they are working with transparency, they're working very hard to attain full disclosure, and I believe they are sincerely focused on creating empowered tribal collaboration."
Monday, May 24, 2010
Leading lights of anthropology have submitted a plea to the Department of the Interior to change a rule concerning how museums and universities are to dispose of "culturally unaffiliated remains"—ancient bones and objects that cannot be linked to a particular tribe or group. Under the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA) passed in 1990, remains culturally affiliated with certain tribes must be returned to those tribes, who may then rebury them. But the new rule goes further in requiring unaffiliated remains to be given to organizations whose tribal lands are nearby if they request it, or even to be given to other groups.
In a 17 May letter of protest to Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar, researchers say that the rule as written will cause "an incalculable loss to science" by permanently making such remains unavailable, and that the rule is "contrary to both the letter and the spirit of the law." The letter is signed by a who's who of 41 prominent archeaologists and anthropologists, all members of the National Academy of Sciences.
(We hope the tribes are also making their appeal for Secretary Salazar to ignore the scientists!)
Sunday, May 9, 2010
Opening America's skeleton closets
By Chip Colwell-Chanthaphonh
More than 116,000 skeletons of Native American ancestry sit idle on museum shelves today. Their fate — long unknown — has finally been settled.
On Friday, a new regulation will establish a process to return Native American human remains that have not been affiliated with a federally recognized tribe. This legal rule fulfills the promise of the 1990 Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA), which already has laid the groundwork for the return of 32,000 Native American skeletons. The new rule affects hundreds of museums and tribes across the United States.
The panic has already set in. As the journal Nature recently reported, "researchers fear that this could empty museum collections." An Indian Country Today article suggests that scientists may sue to challenge the rule.
Resistance to repatriation is based on the false assumption that human bones are merely scientific "specimens." But the tangible vestiges of a human life have a distinctive power. From Buddhist cremations to Christian burials, cultures around the globe acknowledge the body's spiritual vitality, even in death. For centuries, Western common law has affirmed that human skeletons are not "property" that can be taken without consent.
Yet, these views have not been fairly extended to Native Americans over the last 500 years. American Indian graves have been systematically pillaged since the first colonial encounters. In addition to scientific expeditions, many Native American skeletons come from massacre sites and outright plunder.
Tuesday, May 4, 2010
On an ocean bluff above a resting seal and relentless waves, Kashia Pomo leaders Friday voiced opposition to new state rules that prohibit harvesting fish and other sea life at Stewarts Point.
The rules, which take effect today, establish a series of state preserves intended to help restore California's marine ecosystems.
But to the Indians with ties to Stewarts Point, the fishing ban there harms their culture, their ceremonies and the transmission of traditions to future generations.
“Today I'm going to tell you they are interfering with our religion,” Violet Parrish Chappell, a Kashia Pomo elder, told Indians and supporters who came together just up the road from the Stewarts Point Store. “And I don't think they would do that to the Catholic Church.”
About 130 people stood Friday in bright sun and constant wind on a ranch owned by the Richardson family, which settled the area 130 years ago and controls about 15,000 acres.
Arch Richardson, an elder among the family's 85 descendants, invited leaders from the Stewarts Point Rancheria to bless the bluff and to mark the last day when fishing was permitted there. About a half-dozen tribal members harvested abalone in the nearby surf earlier in the day.
Wednesday, April 28, 2010
Aaron Townsend, of the Fort Bidwell Indian Community Council in California, said the lands in northern Washoe between Vya and the Sheldon National Wildlife Refuge are aboriginal territory.
“This where our people have come since the beginning of time,” he said, adding hundreds of art rock features, tribal sites and plants used in rituals would be ruined.
“This will destroy this pristine area,” said Charles Reed, also of Fort Bidwell.
He said the land supports mule deer, bobcats, golden eagles and three subspecies of pygmy rabbits.
Reed proposed the pipeline be re-routed to Highway 140 from Denio to Lakeview or along a railroad line north of Gerlach where there is sparse vegetation.
Wednesday, April 14, 2010
The rule, published March 15 and open for comment for 60 days, is a clarification from the Interior Department to the 1990 Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act. It states that after appropriate tribal consultation, transfer of culturally unidentifiable remains is to be made to a tribe from whose tribal or aboriginal lands the remains were excavated or removed. Civil penalties are proposed for museums and learning institutions that do not follow the law.
The development has been largely celebrated by Native American communities, although tribal advocates say it has shortcomings, like not including sacred culturally unidentifiable funerary objects in its scope. Some tribes are using the open comment period to make that concern known, noting that common law and some state laws require repatriation of such objects.
Some scientists, however, are outraged by the new rule, believing that important human knowledge could be lost if the remains go back to tribes.
Once again, we urge tribal members to let the Federal government know how they feel about the law!
Wednesday, April 7, 2010
Some museums — including the American Museum of Natural History in New York, the Field Museum in Chicago, Illinois, and the Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts — are discussing whether they will challenge the rule. The issue could have the same import as the long legal fight to study the 9,000-year-old Kennewick man skeleton against Native American wishes (see Nature 436, 10; 2005). In 2004, scientists won that court battle, affirming the principle that bones would be returned only to culturally related tribes.
Anthropologists and archaeologists are also gearing up to debate the rule. Discussions have already been scheduled for the annual meeting of the American Association of Physical Anthropology, which starts on 14 April in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and the Society for American Archaeology meeting, which begins on the same day in St Louis, Missouri.
read it all at http://www.nature.com/news/2010/100331/full/464662a.html
Tuesday, April 6, 2010
The University of Michigan in Ann Arbor announced March 26 that officials there have begun outlining a process for the transfer of Native American human remains to tribes.
The activity comes as a result of the U.S. Department of the Interior’s March 15 publication of a final rule clarifying how museums and institutions should handle Native American human remains that are under their control, but for which no culturally affiliated Indian tribe has been identified.
rest at http://www.indiancountrytoday.com/archive/89775852.html
Saturday, March 20, 2010
New rule to prompt University of Michigan to re-examine holdings of Native American human remains
Posted: 4:05 p.m. March 15, 2010
17 Comments. Comment Now
The University of Michigan will have to re-examine its holdings of Native American human remains under a change to federal guidelines announced today.
The U-M Museum of Anthropology has about 1,400 human remains in a storage facility that are 800 to 3,000 years old.
The 1990 Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act, known as NAGPRA, requires museums, federal agencies and institutions to inventory holdings of human remains and identify their cultural affiliations with tribes. Native groups can then claim the return of remains deemed to be culturally affiliated with them.
Ann Arbor News file photo
What to do with the vast number of human remains where cultural identity hasn't been determined hadn't been fully addressed in the law and has been a sticking point between the University of Michigan and some Native American groups. U-M has designated the 1,380 human remains it stores "culturally unidentifiable."
Under the rule change, U-M museum officials would need to alert modern-day federal tribes of any "culturally unidentifiable" human remains it has that were discovered near areas the tribes historically occupied. Those tribes could ask for the remains to be returned based on the geographic link. A national review committee would settle disputes between tribes. The change will take effect in May.
Tuesday, March 16, 2010
Like we said yesterday, by all means send your comments in!
Sunday, March 14, 2010
The reserved section of the NAGPRA regulations, 10.11, the disposition of culturally unidentifiable Native American human remains, is set to publish on Monday, March 15, as a final rule. The rule will be effective on May 14, 2010. During the 60 days, the public may submit additional comments on the rule to Regulations.gov. The comments will thereafter be considered as to whether amendment to the rule is appropriate.
The National NAGPRA Program will offer a webinar prior to the comment deadline, which will include a training on the rule. The webinar date will be announced shortly anticipating a 200 capacity access line.
NO MATTER WHAT THESE RULES SAY, TRIBAL CHAIRS, THPOs, and CULTURAL HERITAGE OFFICERS SHOULD SEND A LETTER TO THE GOVERNMENT AND COMMENT ON THE NEW RULES!!! The archaeologists sure will!
Saturday, March 13, 2010
Plans by Vallejo to turn a scraggly stretch of waterfront on the Carquinez Strait into a park with paved parking, trails and restrooms are infuriating local Ohlone Indians who say the 15-acre site is sacred and should be left alone.
The property is Glen Cove Park, a spot that was the site of a 3,500-year-old Ohlone village and shell mound where thousands of people were buried.
The settlement is one of the oldest Ohlone sites in the Bay Area and among the few that has eluded development. But for decades, Vallejo has wanted to convert the wildland to a park with a portion of the Bay Trail, picnic tables and a pastoral array of native plants.
"What we want to do is return it to what it was 100 years ago," said Steve Pressley, maintenance and development manager for the Greater Vallejo Recreation District. "As an agency, we have a responsibility to the public as a whole, and we need to consider all the components, not just the needs of Native Americans."
Saturday, March 6, 2010
(Go to the bottom of the page for the objections)
Any surprise on who is objecting?
Monday, February 8, 2010
By Rob Capriccioso
Story Published: Feb 7, 2010
Story Updated: Feb 5, 2010
WASHINGTON – One area of the Obama administration’s proposed fiscal year 2011 budget sticks out like a sore thumb. While most Indian-focused programs are remaining steady or are set to make increases, the National Park Service has proposed to dramatically reduce the amount available for NAGPRA grants.
Despite the tribal appreciation of the program, the Park Service only requested $1,750,000 for it in 2011. That’s a decrease of $581,000 or 25 percent of the level Congress appropriated for the program in 2010.
The dramatically curtailed request comes at a time soon after the Park Service reported the actual number of grant applications has more than doubled since fiscal year 2008.
The national review committee that oversees NAGPRA-related issues has long been concerned the grants program should not be shortchanged – and it has seen a need to increase, not reduce, its funding. The committee recommended in its 2008 report to Congress that the grant amount be increased to $4.1 million.
So, it is all the more puzzling to tribal officials why the Park Service is trying to cut the program via its reduced budget proposal.
Friday, January 29, 2010
Tell UCSD to return the remains!!!
11:28 am By la Macha ·25 Jan 2010
The practice many universities and museums have of destroying and pilfering native peoples burial grounds in the name of “knowledge” is a long, disgusting and obscene practice. It is one that stems from the belief that Native bodies are extinct and “of the world.” That is, Native peoples are a rare species that never polluted, used every part of the buffalo, and cried at all the garbage the rest of us left all over their land. Not quite human. A morally superior species, yes–the Nobel Savage. But still a savage.
And when you combine the nobel savage mythology with the idea that “Indians are all dead,” you get a whole bunch of anthropologists, archeologists, and every other “ist” out there thinking that they’d better study these odd beings before they all disappear. By any means necessary.
rest at http://vivirlatino.com/2010/01/25/tell-ucsd-to-return-the-remains.php
- announcement (1)
- California Public Records Act (1)
- forget something? (1)
- Hearings (1)
- Help (1)
- in the news (34)
- Kumeyaay Repatriation (1)
- Letter to Provost Hume (1)
- Letters (3)
- Messages from LF (2)
- NANC news (1)
- News coverage (10)
- Press Release (6)
- State Senate Hearings (10)
- Talking points (1)
- tribal resolutions (6)
- UCOP Repatriation Committee (6)
- What were they thinking? (6)