The Routledge Companion to Indigenous Repatriation : Return, Reconcile, Renew book cover
1st Edition

The Routledge Companion to Indigenous Repatriation
Return, Reconcile, Renew

ISBN 9781032336787
Published June 13, 2022 by Routledge
1018 Pages 122 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

This volume brings together Indigenous and non-Indigenous repatriation practitioners and researchers to provide the reader with an international overview of the removal and return of Ancestral Remains.

The Ancestral Remains of Indigenous peoples are today housed in museums and other collecting institutions globally. They were taken from anywhere the deceased can be found, and their removal occurred within a context of deep power imbalance within a colonial project that had a lasting effect on Indigenous peoples worldwide. Through the efforts of First Nations campaigners, many have returned home. However, a large number are still retained. In many countries, the repatriation issue has driven a profound change in the relationship between Indigenous peoples and collecting institutions. It has enabled significant steps towards resetting this relationship from one constrained by colonisation to one that seeks a more just, dignified and truthful basis for interaction. The history of repatriation is one of Indigenous perseverance and success. The authors of this book contribute major new work and explore new facets of this global movement. They reflect on nearly 40 years of repatriation, its meaning and value, impact and effect.

This book is an invaluable contribution to repatriation practice and research, providing a wealth of new knowledge to readers with interests in Indigenous histories, self-determination and the relationship between collecting institutions and Indigenous peoples.

Table of Contents

Contributor Biographies

List of Figures

List of Tables



Part 1. Global Reflections

1 Indigenous Repatriation: The Rise of the Global Legal Movement

C. Timothy McKeown

2 Saahlinda Naay – Saving Things House: The Haida Gwaii Museum Past, Present and Future

Jisgang Nika Collison and Cara Krmpotich

3 I Mana I Ka ‘Oiwi: Dignity Empowered by Repatriation

Edward Halealoha Ayau

4 Germany’s Engagement with the Repatriation Issue

Hilary Howes

5 The Face of Genocide: Returning Human Remains from German Institutions to Namibia

Larissa Förster

6 Repatriation in the Torres Strait

Ned David, Cressida Fforde, Michael Pickering and Neil Carter

7 Ngarrindjeri Repatriation: Kungun Ngarrindjeri Yunnan (Listen to Ngarrindjeri Speaking)

Steve Hemming, Daryle Rigney, Major Sumner, Luke Trevorrow, Laurie Rankine Jr, Shaun Berg and Christopher Wilson

8 Repatriation in the Kimberley: Practice, Approach, and Contextual History

Lyndon Ormond-Parker, Neil Carter, Cressida Fforde, Gareth Knapman and Wes Morris

9 Restitution Policies in Argentina: The Role of the State, Indigenous Peoples, Museums, and Researchers

Maria-Luz Endere

10 The Control of Ancestors in the Era of Neoliberal Multiculturalism in Chile

Patricia Ayala

11 Repatriation in Rapa Nui, Ka Haka Hoki Mai Te Mana Tupuna

Jacinta Arthur

12 Paradoxes and Prospects of Repatriation to the Ainu: Historical Background, Contemporary Struggles, and Visions for the Future

Tsuyoshi Hirata, Ryukichi Ogawa, Yuji Shimizu, Tsugio Kuzuno and Jeff Gayman

13 When the Living Forget the Dead: The Cross-Cultural Complexity of Implementing the Return of Museum Held Ancestral Remains

Paul Tapsell

14 The Majimaji War Mass Graves and the Challenges of Repatriation, Identity, and Remedy

Nancy Alexander Rushohora

Part 2. Histories and worldwide networks

15 Russia and the Pacific: Expeditions, Networks, and the Acquisition of Human Remains

Elena Govor and Hilary Howes

16 Missionaries and the Removal, Illegal Export, and Return of Ancestral Remains: The Case of Father Ernst Worms

Cressida Fforde, Paul Turnbull, Neil Carter and Amber Aranui

17 ‘Under The Hammer’: The Role of Auction Houses and Dealers in the Distribution of Indigenous Ancestral Remains

Amber Aranui, Cressida Fforde, Michael Pickering, Paul Turnbull, Gareth Knapman and Honor Keeler

18 Profit and Loss: Scientific Networks and the Commodification of Indigenous Ancestral Remains

Gareth Knapman and Cressida Fforde

19 ‘Inhuman and Very Mischievous Traffic’: Early Measures to Cease the Export of Ancestral Remains from Aotearoa New Zealand and Australia

Cressida Fforde, Amber Aranui, Gareth Knapman and Paul Turnbull

20 Uses and Abuses: Indigenous Human Remains and the Development of European Science: An Aotearoa/New Zealand Case Study

Amber Aranui

21 Australian Ancestral Remains in French Museums: Pathways to Repatriation

Apolline Kohen

22 The French Acquisition of Toi moko from Aotearoa/New Zealand in the Nineteenth Century

Simon Jean

23 The Andreas Reischek Collection in Vienna and New Zealand’s Attempts at Repatriation

Coralie O’Hara

24 Collecting and Colonial Violence

Paul Turnbull

25 Wilhelm Krause’s Collections – Journeys between Australia and Germany

Andreas Winkelmann

26 Theorising Race and Evolution – German Anthropologie and Australian Aboriginal Ancestral Remains in the Late Nineteenth Century

Antje Kühnast

27 Navigating the Nineteenth Century Collecting Network: The Case of Joseph Barnard Davis

Johanna Parker

28 Physical Anthropology in the Field: Nikolai Miklouho-Maclay

Elena Govor and Hilary Howes

Part 3. Repatriation methods

29 Research for Repatriation Practice

Cressida Fforde, Honor Keeler, Amber Aranui, Michael Pickering and Alan Goodman

30 Provenance Research and Historical Sources for Understanding 19th Century Scientific Interest in Indigenous Human Remains: The Scholarly Journals and Popular Science Media

Gareth Knapman, Paul Turnbull and Cressida Fforde

31 Cultural Protocols in Repatriation: Processes at the Kimberley Aboriginal Law and Culture Centre

Neil Carter, Joe Brown and Michael Pickering

32 ‘Australian Aborigine Skulls in a Loft in Birmingham, It Seems a Weird Thing’: Repatriation Work and the Search for Jandamarra

Cressida Fforde and June Oscar

33 Recovered: A Law Enforcement Approach to Meaningful Collaboration and Respectful Repatriation

Holly Cusack-McVeigh and Timothy S. Carpenter

34 Genomic Testing of Ancient DNA: The Case of the Ancient One (also known as Kennewick Man)

Audie Huber

35 Repatriation Knowledge in the Networked Archive of the Twenty-First Century

Gavan McCarthy, Ailie Smith and Annelie De Villiers

36 Managing Indigenous Cultural Materials: The Australian Experience

Grace Koch

37 A Partnership Approach to Repatriation of Maori Ancestors

June Jones and Te Herekiekie Herewini

38 Being Proactive: Ethical Reflections on Navigating the Repatriation Process

June Jones

39 Sharing Reflections on Repatriation: Manchester Museum and Brighton Negotiations, A Decade On

Major Sumner, Tristram Besterman and Cressida Fforde

40 The Return of Ancestral Remains from the Natural History Museum, London to Torres Strait Islander Traditional Owners: Repatriation Practice at the Museum and Community Level

Margaret Clegg and Ned David

41 The Repatriation of Ancestral Human Remains from The Natural History Museum, London to Torres Strait Islander Traditional Owners: The Institutional and Governmental View

Stacey Campton and Richard Lane

42 Two Eagles and Jim Crow: Reburial and History-making in the Hunter Valley, New South Wales

Alexandra Roginski

Part 4. Restoring Dignity

43 Dignified Relationships: Repatriation, Healing and Reconciliation

Cressida Fforde, Gareth Knapman and Corinne Walsh

44 Striving for Gozhoìoì: Apache Harmony and Healing Through Repatriation

The Western Apache NAGPRA Working Group

45 Repatriation and the Trauma of Native American History

Russell Thornton

46 Returning to Yarluwar-Ruwe: Repatriation as a Sovereign Act of Healing

Steve Hemming, Daryle Rigney, Major Sumner, Luke Trevorrow, Laurie Rankine Jr and Christopher Wilson

47 Repatriation, Song and Ceremony: The Ngarrindjeri Experience

Major Sumner, A.M. and Grace Koch

48 Transforming the Archive: Returning and Connecting

Kirsten Thorpe, Shannon Faulkhead and Lauren Booker

49 The Artist as Detective in the Museum Archive: A Creative Response to Repatriation and its Historic Context

Julie Gough

50 Repatriating Love to Our Ancestors

Ali Gumillya Baker, Simone Ulalka Tur, Faye Rosas Blanch and Natalie Harkin

51 ‘Let Them Rest in Peace’: Exploring Interconnections Between Repatriation from Museum and Battlefield Contexts

Gareth Knapman

52 Repatriation and the Negotiation of Identity: On the 20th Anniversary of the Pawnee Tribe–Smithsonian Institution Steed-Kisker Dispute

Russell Thornton

53 Inside the Human Remains Store: The Impact of Repatriation on Museum Practice in the United Kingdom

Sarah Morton

54 ‘And the Walls came Tumbling Down’

Michael Pickering

55 The Ethics of Repatriation: Reflections on the Australian Experience

Paul Turnbull

56 Contested Human Remains in Museums: Can ‘Hope and History Rhyme’?

Tristram P. Besterman


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Cressida Fforde is a Senior Research Fellow at the Centre for Heritage and Museum Studies, The Australian National University. From 2011–2019 she was Deputy Director of the National Centre for Indigenous Studies, ANU. Since 1991, she has undertaken research within the repatriation field for Indigenous communities and institutions internationally, particularly in the location and identification of Ancestral Remains through archival research. Dr Fforde’s work and publications have contributed significantly to scholarship in this area. She is recognised internationally for the knowledge she brings to repatriation practice and the analysis of the history of the removal and return of Indigenous Ancestral Remains. She was the lead Chief Investigator for the Return, Reconcile, Renew (2013–2016) and Restoring Dignity (2018–2020) projects, both funded by the Australian Research Council.

C. Timothy McKeown is a legal anthropologist whose career has focused exclusively on the development and use of explicit ethnographic methodologies to document the cultural knowledge of communities and use that knowledge to enhance policy development and implementation. He has been intimately involved in the documentation and application of Indigenous knowledge to the development of U.S. repatriation policy since 1991. For 18 years, he served as a Federal official responsible for drafting regulations implementing the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA), developing databases to document compliance, establishing a grants program, investigating allegations of failure to comply for possible civil penalties, coordinating the activities of a Secretarial advisory committee, and providing training and technical assistance to nearly 1,000 museums and Federal agencies and 700 indigenous communities across the U.S. He has served as Partner Investigator on multiple grants from the Australian Research Council. He is an Honorary Senior Research Fellow at the National Centre for Indigenous Studies, Australian National University, and a visiting instructor in cultural heritage studies, Central European University. He was a partner investigator on the Return, Reconcile, Renew (2013–2016) and Restoring Dignity (2018–2020) projects, both funded by the Australian Research Council.

Honor Keeler (Cherokee) is Assistant Director of Utah Diné Bikéyah and holds an honorary position at the National Centre for Indigenous Studies at The Australian National University. She is currently a member of the NAGPRA Review Committee and was previously Director of the International Repatriation Project at the Association on American Indian Affairs. She is well regarded for her expertise in repatriation matters and has worked extensively to support Indigenous repatriation efforts, including bringing the legal, policy and legislative concerns of Native Americans in international repatriation to national and international forums. Honor was in charge of coordinating repatriation of Wesleyan University collections to Native nations, and the development related protocols, as well as teaching university courses on repatriation within a cultural resources and cultural property context. She is author of A Guide to International Repatriation: Starting an Initiative in Your Community, She graduated in 2010 with a JD and Indian Law Certificate (clinical honours) from the University of New Mexico School of Law. She was a partner investigator on the Return, Reconcile, Renew (2013–2016) and Restoring Dignity (2018–2020) projects, both funded by the Australian Research Council.