Let Us Rebury Our Dead: Native America’s Imperfect and Necessary Law

  • 22 Jan 2018
  • 11:50 AM - 12:50 PM (CST)
  • DePaul University College of Law, 25 E. Jackson Blvd., Room 341 (Lewis), Chicago, IL

A special Arts Law Colloquium, Let Us Rebury Our Dead: Native America’s Imperfect and Necessary Law, with Dr. Chip Colwell, Senior Curator of Anthropology at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science. 

Please RSVP to Brett Davinger at bdavinge@depaul.edu

Five decades ago, Native American leaders launched a crusade against museums to reclaim their sacred objects and to rebury their kin. This controversy has exploded in recent years as hundreds of U.S. tribes have used a 1990 landmark federal law – the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act – to recover their looted heritage from more than one thousand museums across America. Many still question how to balance the religious freedoms of Native Americans with the academic freedoms of American scientists, and the arguments continue on about whether the emptying of museum shelves elevates human rights or destroys humanity’s common heritage.

This lecture will focus on NAGPRA’s most contentious question: What to do with human remains that cannot be culturally affiliated with living descendants or tribes? Dr. Colwell will examine the historical, legal, and ethical boundaries these skeletal remains present, and share how one museum has navigated one of NAGPRA’s most imperfect but necessary sections.

Lunch will be served!

Sponsored by CAMCHL, the Archaeological Institute of America, and the Museum Studies Minor, Departments of Anthropology, History, and History of Art & Architecture



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