News for Thursday, March 31, 2016
Indian Country Today: The Excruciating Legacy of NAGPRA
The topic sounded dry as bones, but the discussion was anything but.
Seventy people gathered at the Indian Arts Research Center at the School for Advanced Research in Santa Fe to hear experts tell of their personal experiences with the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act, or as it is more commonly known—NAGPRA.
Moderator Bruce Bernstein, of the Coe Foundation, framed the discussion in terms of the tangible and intangible consequences of NAGPRA. The tangible being the return of the “product” (in the bureaucratic mindset) and the intangible being the emotional and intellectual journey precipitated by its return. As Bernstein put it: “The return begins a deeper sense of what it is to be reunited, to be stewards not owners.”