Repatriation, the return of cultural property and human remains, has emerged as a nexus for change and development in the policy and practice of both Indigenous and non-Indigenous heritage institutions. It gained prominence through the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA) passed in 1990. Consequently, negotiated repatriations receive less focus. To understand the dynamics driving institutional transformations, such as Native sovereignty, and virtue ethics, I examine repatriation and long-term loans outside of NAGPRA’s purview, demonstrating exceptional circumstances. My comparisons of negotiated repatriation processes and results at Arizona State Museum and Calgary’s Glenbow Museum illustrate significant variation in approaches and consultations. Early on, neither museum consistently encouraged Indigenous participation. Currently, each follows policies characterized by hybrid values, sharing goals extending beyond their legal mandate. This reveals commitments to find middle ground using good faith negotiations and extra-NAGPRA partnerships, despite the different emphases each museum placed on legislation and collaboration.
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Thesis advisor: Welch, John R.
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