On November 16, 1990, Congress passed the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA). This important human rights legislation aimed to restore dignity and respect to the ancestral human remains and cultural objects being held in museum collections, and provided a process for their repatriation to culturally affiliated tribes, lineal descendants, and Native Hawaiian Organizations.
Wesleyan University’s Olin Library, with co-sponsorship from the Archaeology & Anthropology Collection, Indigenous Studies Research Network, and the American Studies, Religion, Archaeology, and Anthropology departments, presents a virtual panel discussion about what repatriation means for indigenous communities, museums, and our understanding of the human past and our collective present:
Repatriation, Indigenous Rights, and Museum Collections: A Conversation for NAGPRA’s 30th Anniversary
Thursday, November 12th at 4:30-6:00PM (EST)
Meeting ID: 966 5472 3894
About the panelists:
Shannon Martin (Enrolled citizen of the Match-E-Be-Nash-She-Wish Band of Pottawatomi Indians – Gun Lake Tribe & descendant of the Lac Courte Oreilles Band of Lake Superior Chippewa)
Shannon Martin (Lynx Clan) is the Director of the Ziibiwing Center of Anishinabe Culture & Lifeways – The Midwest’s Premier Award-Winning American Indian Museum. Shannon leads a team that addresses cultural and historic preservation, repatriation and reburial of ancestral remains, artistic expression and promotion, Tribal collections and archival conservation, cultural resource management, exhibition development, protection of intellectual property, and stewardship of Saginaw Chippewa Tribal cemeteries, burial grounds, historic properties, and sacred sites. She also serves as one of three NAGPRA Officers for the Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe of Michigan.
She began her tenure with Ziibiwing in November 2001 as the Community Education Research Specialist and Cultural Resource Development Manager. Shannon was integral to the design of the 9,000 sq. ft. permanent exhibition about the Anishinabe people entitled, Diba Jimooyung (Telling Our Story). She also assisted in the development of the educational, marketing, and visitor programming plans for the ten-million dollar 34,349 sq. ft. cultural center and museum. Opening to the public on May 21, 2004, the facility is owned and operated by the Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe of Michigan and is located near Mt. Pleasant, Michigan. The Ziibiwing Center also houses a research center, Ojibwe language immersion room, changing exhibition gallery, Tribal collections and archives storage, gift shop, and meeting rooms. Shannon became the Director in November 2007.
Shannon serves on the Advisory Council for the D’Arcy McNickle Center for American Indian and Indigenous Studies at the Newberry Library and the Research Advisory Council for the National Native American Boarding School Healing Coalition.
Lucy Bell, Sdahl K’aawas
Lucy Bell is a proud member of the Haida Nation. She is passionate about Indigenous museology, repatriation and language revitalization. Lucy is a founding member of the Haida Repatriation Committee. With her at the helm, the Haida have repatriated over 500 ancestral remains from global museums. Lucy received a BC Community Achievement Award for her work in repatriation. Lucy was the inaugural Head of the Indigenous Collections and Repatriation Department at the Royal BC Museum where she worked to improve policy, repatriate tangible and intangible heritage, refresh the First Peoples’ gallery and respond to the calls to the TRC and UNDRIP. Lucy is passionate about learning. She is a distinguished Alumni from the University of Victoria. She is currently working on her PhD with a focus on repatriation and Indigenizing museum practice.
Wendi Field Murray
Wendi Field Murray is an archaeologist and ethnohistorian specializing in the Northern Plains of North America. Her research interests include museum collections management, the archaeology of community, NAGPRA, and archaeological and museum ethics. Her career trajectory and methodological interests have been heavily influenced by her attendance at the Silver Creek Archaeological Research Project field school through the University of Arizona, which centered on ethical archaeological practice and the inclusion of indigenous voices and descendant communities in archaeological research. Her current research explores the materiality of indigenous confrontations with assimilative pressures of the American reservation system during the 19th and 20th centuries. Wendi earned her MA and PhD in Anthropology from the University of Arizona, and has been working with collections since 2011. She currently manages both the Archaeology & Anthropology Collection and the East Asian Art & Archival Collection at Wesleyan University, and coordinates Wesleyan’s NAGPRA compliance.