Keynote Session—NAGPRA Then and Now

Moderator: Dr. Bruce Bernstein
Speakers: Regis Pecos, Dr. Joe Watkins, Brian Vallo

IARC Speaker Series, School for Advanced Research, 660 Garcia Street, Santa Fe

Thursday, March 17, 2016, 6:00 pm

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. This session includes speakers who were key in developing the original guidelines and proposed legislation relating to repatriation and cultural preservation during its inception.



Videography by John Sadd



Bruce BernsteinBruce BernsteinPhoto courtesy of Bruce Bernstein.Bruce BernsteinPhoto courtesy of Bruce Bernstein.Dr. Bruce Bernstein has dedicated his three decades of work in museums to collaborative work and modeling new partnerships in research methodologies, curatorial principles and practices, contributing to today’s working models of inclusive collections and exhibition programs. Currently, he serves as the Executive Director of the Continuous Pathways Foundation and the Tribal Historic Preservation Officer, Pueblo of Pojoaque; and as Executive Director and curator for the Ralph T. Coe Foundation for the Arts.

As assistant director for collections and research at the National Museum of the American Indian, he supervised the opening and operation of the Cultural Resources Center, as well as serving on the team that opened the museum in September 2004.

Bernstein has also served as chief curator and director of the Santa Fe’s Museum of Indian Arts and Culture and Laboratory of Anthropology, developing and supervising the modernization of the museum’s exhibitions and programs. He also served as executive director of the Southwestern Association for Indian Arts.

He holds a doctorate in anthropology from the University of New Mexico. Bernstein has published broadly on Native arts and museums as well as curated numerous exhibitions.




Regis Pecos is from Cochiti Pueblo, New Mexico. He received his undergraduate degree in Political Science from the Woodrow Wilson School of Public Policy at Princeton University, where he recently finished a term as Trustee for the University. He is completing his doctorate degree at the University of California at Berkeley. He served as both Lt. Governor and Governor and is a lifetime member of the Tribal Council at Cochiti Pueblo. Pecos served for 16 years as Executive Director of the New Mexico Office of Indian Affairs under four administrations. He is now Chief of Staff to the New Mexico Speaker of the House and co-founded the Leadership Institute.




Brian ValloBrian ValloPhoto courtesy of SAR.Brian ValloPhoto courtesy of SAR.Brian Vallo, Director of the Indian Arts Research Center at the School for Advanced Research, has over 25 years of experience working with tribal groups throughout the Southwest.  A former Lt. Governor, Director of Historic Preservation, and Founding Director of the Haakú Museum at Acoma Pueblo, his recent work experience extends into the fields of architecture, planning, and the arts.  During his tenure as Director of Historic Preservation, he led an unprecedented capital campaign in partnership with the National Trust for Historic Preservation in support of a comprehensive rehabilitation of the historic San Esteban del Rey Mission and Convent at Acoma.  Brian also led the planning, design, and construction of the Sky City Cultural Center and Haakú Museum following a fire that destroyed the Tourist Center, the Pueblo’s first for-profit operation.  In addition to his work at Acoma, Brian served as the Museum Director at the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center, taught at UNM’s School of Architecture and Planning, and was employed as a Tribal Liaison for the UNM Institute for Astrophysics LodeStar Project.  Brian serves on a number of boards including Santa Fe-based Chamiza Foundation, Native American Advised Endowment Fund, Santa Fe Community Foundation, and the City of Santa Fe Arts Commission.




Joe WatkinsJoe WatkinsPhoto courtesy of Joe Watkins.Joe WatkinsPhoto courtesy of Joe Watkins.Dr. Joe Watkins is Supervisory Anthropologist and Chief of Tribal Relations and American Cultures at the National Park Service. A member of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma, he received his B.A. in Anthropology from the University of Oklahoma, and both his M.A. and Ph.D. from Southern Methodist University. His previous positions include Associate Professor of Anthropology at the University of New Mexico and Director of Native American Studies at the University of Oklahoma. He has been a Fulbright Scholar and a Ford Foundation Fellow, has received a Citation of Merit from the Oklahoma State Historic Preservation Office, and has been twice awarded a Presidential Recognition Award by the Society for American Archaeology.

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