By Joe Edward Watkins, Paul Rosier, Walter Echo-Hawk
A subject matter of paramount problem to the local American group, repatriation because it pertains to sacred websites is explored intimately from each side of the continued debate.
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Additional resources for Sacred Sites and Repatriation (Contemporary Native American Issues)
Culturally affiliated human remains are defined as human remains that share with a present-day Indian tribe a relationship that can be demonstrated based on a preponderance of available evidence. Associated and unassociated funerary objects are items that, as part of the death rites of a culture, are believed to have been intentionally placed with an individual of known affiliation at the time of death or later. Whether a funerary object is considered unassociated or associated depends only on whether or not the museum has the human remains with which it was originally interred: If the museum has the remains, funerary objects are associated, since there is a specific deceased person with whom to “associate” them.
The Reburial Commission proposed that more Indian people should be consulted and involved in the decision-making process, and suggested more networking between the Indian and anthropological communities. The commission’s report also called for anthropologists to better educate tribal members about the historical usefulness of archaeology and biological anthropology; encouraged social science training for Native Americans; suggested the continued development of tribal and intertribal museums and cultural centers; and called for the production of timely reports and films on archaeological work that would be interesting to nonspecialists.
Requests from state-recognized Native American tribes are reviewed by the museum on a case-by-case basis. The NMAIA also required the Smithsonian to establish a special committee to monitor and review the process of inventory, identification, and repatriation. This external review committee consists of seven individuals, four of whom must be 23 24 Sacred Sites and Repatriation Native Americans. The review committee may, upon the request of any affected party, examine any findings relating to the origin or the return of human remains and cultural objects.
Sacred Sites and Repatriation (Contemporary Native American Issues) by Joe Edward Watkins, Paul Rosier, Walter Echo-Hawk