2016 IARC Speaker Series: Forging New Landscapes in Cultural Stewardship and Repatriation

by | Apr 4, 2016 | Coe Collaborations

A Partnership between Ralph T. Coe Center for the Arts and the School for Advanced Research

2016 marks twenty-six years since the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA) was enacted. Since its passage in 1990, it has opened the doors to discussions about cultural materials that extend beyond the law. From international controversies regarding ethical treatment of indigenous materials to the ways in which cultural institutions can engage with source communities, this series of discussions seeks to explore the ways in which NAGPRA has impacted policy and procedure for collectors, cultural institutions, and indigenous communities.

The series raises the question, what has changed? NAGPRA is well-intentioned but adversarial in its language, and by definition, only covers the smallest amount of collections in museums and universities. Moreover, the legislation is based on a product—the return of relatively few items to a select group of community members”rather than a process of opening museum collections and re-uniting them with the Native intellect and culture. In the post-NAGPRA climate, it is worth examining how this is being accomplished, and whether examples exist of successes that might serve as guideposts for the continued evolution of relationships between Native peoples and museums. Finally, the series raises the question of why NAGPRA and its issues of repatriation are not yet integrated into the daily collections management of so many institutions. Serving as stewards for Native collections requires more discussion and continued evolution for both Native communities and museums.

All discussions were held at the School for Advanced Research, 660 Garcia Street, Santa Fe, NM 87505.

Held March 17, 2016
Keynote Session NAGPRA Then and Now
Moderator: Dr. Bruce Bernstein
Speakers: Regis Pecos, Dr. Joe Watkins, Brian Vallo

Held March 31, 2016
Community Challenges in a Post-NAGPRA Landscape
Moderator: Dr. T.J. Ferguson
Speakers: Mark Mitchell, Theresa Pasqual, Dr. Rosita Worl

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