In the United States, the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History repatriates human remains, funerary objects, sacred objects and objects of cultural patrimony to federally-recognized tribes. Documenting the ties between existing tribes and ancient peoples can utilize biological constructions of identity, but there are limits to this type of analysis given that tribes are political entities as well as cultural ones. This presentation will use case studies to show how difficult repatriation would be if it only relied on genetic constructions of identity. Dorothy Lippert works in the Repatriation Office of the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, and is an IPinCH research team member.
This talk was presented at the DNA and Indigeneity Public Symposium, held on Oct 22, 2015, at SFU Harbour Centre in Vancouver, British Columbia.
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