2016 SAR Speaker Series

Forging New Landscapes in Cultural Stewardship and Repatriation

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

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 will be held at the School for Advanced Research, 660 Garcia Street, Santa Fe, NM 87505. These events are free and open to the public.

Download a flier of the 2016 Indian Arts Research Center Speaker Series. (PDF, 3 MB)



Spring 2016 IARC Speaker Series

March 2016
Bruce Bernstein Speaker Series
Thursday, March 17, 2016, 6:00 pm
School for Advanced Research, 660 Garcia Street, Santa Fe
Keynote Session—NAGPRA Then and Now Moderator: Dr. Bruce Bernstein
Speakers: Regis Pecos, Dr. Joe Watkins, Brian Vallo
This keynote session explores the state of repatriation prior to the 1990 NAGPRA policy, and asks the questions of what has happened since then and what must happen now.
T.J. Ferguson Speaker Series
Thursday, March 31, 2016, 6:00 pm
School for Advanced Research, 660 Garcia Street, Santa Fe
Community Challenges in a Post-NAGPRA Landscape Moderator: Dr. T.J. Ferguson
Speakers: Mark Mitchell, Theresa Pasqual, Dr. Rosita Worl
Cultural restrictions, museum collection care policies, and many other issues play into the decisions communities are forced to make about whether or not to repatriate. What are the challenges communities face today as a result of repatriation and how are they being negotiated?
April 2016
Bruce Bernstein Speaker Series
Thursday, April 7, 2016, 6:00 pm
School for Advanced Research, 660 Garcia Street, Santa Fe
Consumption and the Market: The Paris Auctions Moderator: Brian Vallo
Speakers: Richard Begay, Jim Enote, Anthony Moquino, Leigh Kuwanwisiwma
Through discussion of the auctions and the Native art market, this panel seeks to explore the broader market for sacred materials, the production of fakes and replicas for the market, and the need for strengthening national laws and creating international repatriation guidelines.
Tony Chavarria Speaker Series
Thursday, April 21, 2016, 6:00 pm
School for Advanced Research, 660 Garcia Street, Santa Fe
After the Inventories: Museums Becoming Stewards Moderator: Tony Chavarria
Speakers: Dr. Chip Colwell, Dr. Jennifer Kramer, Dr. Joseph Suina
Since NAGPRA was enacted, much has changed and museums are being asked to consider new ways of understanding their collections and role in interpretation, preservation, and general stewardship of cultural heritage.


Past IARC Speaker Series
Brian Vallo2015 Indian Arts Research Center Speaker SeriesThe 2015 theme, Exploring Narrative, examined the multiple narratives present but not always revealed through research, writing, and exhibits.
Roy Kady2014 Indian Arts Research Center Speaker SeriesThe 2014 theme, Art in Flux, was dedicated to discussing key issues and programs affecting artists and art institutions today. Speakers delved into subjects surrounding art, interpretation, and the business of art.
Lara Evans2013 Indian Arts Research Center Speaker SeriesThe 2013 IARC Speaker Series theme, “Ethics, Aesthetics, and Preservation of the Arts”, was geared toward individuals and institutions interested in collecting and working with cultural materials.
Rose Díaz2012 Indian Arts Research Center Speaker SeriesThe 2012 theme “Thinking Ahead: The Preservation, Protection, and Support of Artists’ Legacies” was geared towards artists and museum professionals who needed to know more about estate planning, artist rights, funding opportunities, and documentation of artists’ work.
Diane Bird2010–2011 Indian Arts Research Center Speaker SeriesThe 2010–2011 theme “Getting Back to Basics: Practice and Process in Native Collections Care” emphasized the need for practical application training in working with tribal collections.
Nancy Mithlo2009–2010 Indian Arts Research Center Speaker SeriesThe 2009–2010 theme “Intersections: Native Collections, Curation, and Museums” highlighted important topics relevant to current issues and discussions in contemporary Native arts, anthropology of museums, research, and Native collections.

Sponsored by School for Advanced Research and Ralph T. Coe Foundation for the Arts

Follow us: