1st Edition

Working with and for Ancestors Collaboration in the Care and Study of Ancestral Remains

    350 Pages 21 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    350 Pages 21 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Working with and for Ancestors examines collaborative partnerships that have developed around the study and care of Indigenous ancestral human remains.

    In the interest of reconciliation, museums and research institutions around the world have begun to actively seek input and direction from Indigenous descendants in establishing collections care and research policies. However, true collaboration is difficult, time-consuming, and sometimes awkward. By presenting examples of projects involving ancestral remains that are successfully engaged in collaboration, the book provides encouragement for scientists and descendant communities alike to have open and respectful discussions around the research and care of ancestral human remains. Key themes for discussion include new approaches to the care for ancestors; the development of culturally sensitive museum policies; the emergence of mutually beneficial research partnerships; and emerging issues such as those of intellectual property, digital data, and alternatives to destructive analyses. Critical discussions by leading scholars also identify the remaining challenges in the repatriation process and offer a means to continue moving forward.

    This volume will appeal to a broad, interdisciplinary audience interested in collaborative research and management strategies that are aimed at developing mutually beneficial relationships between researchers and descendant communities. This includes students and researchers in archaeology, anthropology, museums studies, and Indigenous communities.

    Part 1 Building Relationships: Proceed with Respect and Patience

    1 Bearing Witness: What Can Archaeology Contribute in an Indian Residential School Context?

    Eric Simons, Andrew Martindale, and Alison Wylie

    2 Pathway to Decolonizing Collections of Ainu Ancestral Remains: Recent Developments in Repatriation Within Japan

    Mayumi Okada

    3 The Brandon Indian Residential School Cemetery Project: Working Towards Reconciliation Using Forensic Anthropology and Archaeology

    Katherine L. Nichols

    4 Washington’s Non-Forensic Human Skeletal Remains Law and the State Physical Anthropologist: A Collaborative Process and Model for Other States

    Guy L. Tasa, Juliette Vogel, and Lance K. Wollwage

    5 Bii-Azhe Ḡiiwé Iná Daanig (Let’s Bring Them Home): Lessons in Humility, Relationships, and Changing Perspectives

    Kayleigh Speirs and Tasha Hodgson

    Part 2 Caring for the Ancestors: Developments in Museum Collaborations

    6 Why We Repatriate: On the Long Arc Toward Justice at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science

    Chip Colwell and Stephen E. Nash

    7 the Importance of Kaitiakitanga (Guardianship and Care) and Rangahau (Research) for the Karanga Aotearoa Repatriation Programme

    Amber Aranui and Te Arikirangi Mamaku

    8 Toward a Twenty-First-Century Model for the Collaborative Care and Curation of Human Remains

    Emily Hayflick and Helen a. Robbins

    9 The Southern African Human Remains Management Project: Making (P)Reparations in Year One

    Wendy Black and Keely Mccavitt

    10 Caring for the Ancestors at the Royal BC Museum

    Lucy Bell, Sdaahl K’awaas and Genevieve Hill

    Part 3 Learning From the Ancestors: Collaborative Research Projects

    11 The Journey Home: Sto:Lō Values and Collaboration in Repatriation

    David M. Schaepe and Susan Rowley

    12 the Joy of the Souls: the Return of the Huron-Wendat Ancestors

    Crystal L. Forrest, Ronald F. Williamson, Susan Pfeiffer, and Louis Lesage

    13 Building Relationships to Shift Accountability: Doing Paleogenomic Research with Indigenous Nations and Ancestors

    Alyssa C. Bader, Aimee E. Carbaugh, Jessica Bardill, Ripan S. Malhi, Barbara Petzelt, and Joycelynn Mitchell

    14 Learning from Ancestors Caring for Ancestors: The Antiquity of Reburial On Bkejwanong

    Dean Jacobs, David White, Neal Ferris, and Michael W. Spence

    15 New Insights from Old Dog Bones: Dogs as Proxies for Understanding Ancient Human Diets

    Bonnie Glencross, Louis Lesage, Tracy Prowse, Taylor Smith, and Gary Warrick

    Part 4 Developing Conversations: Doing Better Together

    16 The Digital Lives of Ancestors: Ethical and Intellectual Property Considerations Surrounding the 3-D Recording of Human Remains

    Laure Spake, George Nicholas, and Hugo F.V. Cardoso

    17 What Next? Changing Ethical Protocols for Human Remains in Museums

    Lia Tarle, George Nicholas, and Hugo F.V. Cardoso

    18 Provenancing Australian Aboriginal Ancestors: The Importance of Incorporating Traditional Knowledge

    Anna Weisse

    19 Ancient Human DNA: Surveying the Evolving Ethical, Social, and Political Landscape

    Alexa R. Walker

    Part 5 Moving Forward: There’s Still Work To Do

    20 Identity in Applied Repatriation Research and Practice

    Cressida Fforde, C. T Imothy Mckeown, Honor Keeler, Lyndon Ormond-Parker, Paul Tapsell, Paul Turnbull, Steve Hemming, Daryle Rigney, Michael Pickering, Amber Aranui, Wes Morris, and Gareth Knapman

    21 Decolonizing Bioarchaeology? Moving Beyond Collaborative Practice

    Kisha Supernant


    Chelsea H. Meloche is a PhD candidate in the Department of Archaeology, Simon Fraser University, where she is investigating the effects of repatriation. Her research interests also include critical cultural heritage studies and collaborative and decolonizing research strategies in archaeology and biological anthropology.

    Laure Spake is a Post-doctoral Research Fellow at the University of Otago, where she researches child growth and development, demography, and human variation in past and present populations. She has also written on ethical issues relating to collections and technology in biological anthropology.

    Katherine L. Nichols is a PhD student working between the Departments of Indigenous Studies and Archaeology at Simon Fraser University, and is affiliated with the Centre for Forensic Research. Her research focusses on applying forensic and archaeological methods to Indian residential schools in Canada.