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FW: Repatriation Issue

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  • Popplestone, Ann
    ... From: J.M. Prince [SMTP:jmprince@WORLDNET.ATT.NET] Sent: Friday, June 04, 1999 10:54 AM To:
    Message 1 of 1 , Jun 5 9:22 AM
      -----Original Message-----
      From: J.M. Prince [SMTP:jmprince@...]
      Sent: Friday, June 04, 1999 10:54 AM
      To: ANTHRO-L@...
      Subject: Repatriation Issue

      I have been asked to forward this by Ms. Hawkinson of Friends Of America's
      Past. I thought it would be of some interest to the list. Cheers, J.M.
      Prince, Ga.

      CleoneHawk@... <mailto:CleoneHawk@...> wrote:

      > --------------------
      > In the coming weeks, three ancient skeletons, whose cultural
      > is not established with any living people, will be given to a
      > of Minnesota Sioux tribes, along with a collection of historically
      > culturally affiliated human remains. These three skeletons, known
      > the Minnesota Woman (or Pelican Rapids Woman, 7840 BP), Browns
      Valley Man
      > (8,900 BP), and Saulk Valley Man (about 4,000 BP) are under the
      care of
      > Hamline University, Saint Paul, Minnesota. They have been
      included in a
      > repatriation agreement with Minnesota's Indian Claims Commission
      and will be
      > repatriated under NAGPRA, a federal law.
      > Representatives from Hamline University are anxious for this
      activity to
      > remain quiet, and they hope to avoid public scrutiny. They do
      not want
      > to jeopardize relationships with local tribes and evidently are
      > to ignore or possibly bend laws protecting these ancient national
      > treasures in the name of political correctness. NAGPRA only
      applies to
      > culturally affiliated human remains held in federal collections.
      > date NAGPRA does not apply under state laws or private ownership.
      > The Sioux tribes who are slated to receive these remains are
      probably no
      > more closely related to these ancient skeletons than anyone else
      > today. The Sioux's origins have been traced to Late Woodland
      > groups to the south, so they have been in the present area less
      > 1,000 years. Their oral traditions tell them they have been here
      > the beginning of time, although their description of 'here' is
      > These ancient human remains, many thousands of years old, are
      included with
      > remains that are a few hundred years old. All will be reburied.
      > A distinction must be made between culturally affiliated human
      > (those whose relationship to a living group is clear) and remains
      > are so old that their cultural relationship to anyone cannot be
      > established. Why should one group's religious beliefs be honored
      at the
      > expense of all other world views? This evidence of the past
      belongs to
      > the world. The story of human migration into the continents of
      > and South America is of interest to people far beyond the
      > boundaries of a tribe, state, or even our nation. All people have
      > right to understand and explore many world views of the past.
      > Across our nation, the ancient past is threatened by the simple,
      > unfounded assumption that all people living here before white
      contact are
      > related to modern day American Indians. This assumption also
      includes the
      > notion that modern day tribes have not moved from their current
      location in
      > thousands of years. Although they truly believe they are burying
      > ancestors, it is highly unlikely that this is possible. Simple
      > of the past do not adequately address the complexities that are
      suggested by
      > the evidence at hand.
      > This censorship (in the form of political correctness) will
      > anyone from asking new questions about the past. One culturally
      > unaffiliated ancient skeleton after another is targeted for
      reburial and
      > the treasure of knowledge each holds about the past will be lost
      > forever. The fate of the most publicized ancient skeleton,
      > Man, has not yet been determined by a federal court. The Buhl
      > (10,700) from Idaho was reburied in 1992. Wizards Beach (9,200)
      > Spirit Cave (9,400), both from Nevada, are in jeopardy. These and
      > other, less well publicized skeletons, especially those from
      > deserve our attention before they are lost forever.
      > If you are concerned about one view limiting expression of all
      > please voice your concerns to Hamline University (651) 523-2800,
      > state of Minnesota, your congressional representatives, your local
      > newspapers, and anyone online that can pass the word along.
      > Cleone Hawkinson, President
      > Friends of America's Past
      > www.friendsofpast.org <http://www.friendsofpast.org>

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