Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Challenges to 43 CFR 10.11?

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.

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Tuesday, April 6, 2010

UM news

WASHINGTON – A new rule involving the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act has one of the nation’s largest research institutions preparing to return a collection of more than 1,300 Native American human remains.

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.

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