Rethinking Repatriation of Human Remains: Is It Possible to Move Beyond Conflict?

Sunday, 16 February 2014: 8:30 AM-11:30 AM
Acapulco (Hyatt Regency Chicago)
The repatriation of human remains is often presented as a fundamental dichotomy between scientists and the claimant communities across which no common ground can possibly exist. With education, understanding, and goodwill on both sides, however, it is possible to bridge this perceived gap and develop a respectful approach to human remains access management that satisfies the needs of both communities. This session focuses on how the remains of past peoples are understood, managed, and used by contemporary indigenous and scientific communities. Its purpose is to explore how, by adopting a more holistic approach, we can achieve more successful outcomes and encourage collaborations rather than conflicts. Presentations will emphasize the importance of the connections between past and present societies, and provide examples of how, by building bridges between archaeologists/anthropologists and indigenous claimant communities, collaborations can be initiated. These types of collaborations can help both communities move away from debates that emphasize differences and toward discussion on the valuable contribution both approaches make to the preservation, curation, study, and veneration of human remains.
Norman MacLeod, Natural History Museum
Margaret Clegg, Natural History Museum
T. J. Ferguson, University of Arizona
Transcending Repatriation Issues: The Importance of Dialogue
Daryle Rigney, Flinders University; Steve Hemming, Flinders University; Robin Boast, Flinders University
Return, Reconcile, Renew: Ngarrindjeri Rethinking Repatriation
See more of: Anthropology, Culture, and Language
See more of: Symposia