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ERIC Number: EJ912985
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 15
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-0161-6463
Shades of Gray: Skeletal Analysis and the Repatriation Process
Mayes, Arion T.
American Indian Culture and Research Journal, v34 n1 p25-39 2010
Negotiations over archaeological human remains have been complicated interactions spanning centuries of attempts to resolve differences of opinion with regard to the investigation, ownership, and disposition of early American Indian burials. Guilt, fear, power, politics, legitimacy, science, religion, and denial--all of these elements commonly have played a role and are integral to the ongoing debate regarding the repatriation of Native American burials and associated funerary objects. The Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA) became law on 16 November 1990 in response to national concern regarding the handling of Native American archaeological remains. Today, a generation of anthropologists has never operated without NAGPRA and related policies. Yet a generation later, it often seems that neither the tribal nor the scientific communities have taken true advantage of the extensive opportunities available to them through this twenty-year-old piece of legislation. Scientists and Native American communities have had to learn not only how to negotiate the repatriation process but also how to develop a gradual understanding of each other, all the while merely skimming the surface of the supportive relationship that could be developed by means of the NAGPRA constructs. In order to tackle current issues such as the environmental impact on population health and the alarmingly rising rates of type 2 diabetes and coronary heart disease (CHD) among Native American populations, as well as other disease processes, a greater understanding of what the biological data can provide--and possibly a different perspective--is needed. (Contains 58 notes.)
American Indian Studies Center at UCLA. 3220 Campbell Hall, Box 951548, Los Angeles, CA 90095-1548. Tel: 310-825-7315; Fax: 310-206-7060; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A