Constructing Indigenous Associations for NAGPRA Compliance
Social and Behavioral Sciences
Imagine a world where one’s right to property (including possession of one’s own body parts) is predicated upon having politically powerful relatives. Those who lack such kin are routinely disinterred and scientifically dismembered after death. When their relatives seek to recover their bodies, they encounter bureaucratic reconstructions of their identities. Who would tolerate such injustices? Now, imagine this scenario within the context of the NAGPRA legislation. NAGPRA procedures were intended to remove Indigenous ancestral remains from museum control and facilitate their repatriation. Yet, thousands of deceased individuals remain separated from their relatives, held captive, in part, by modern notions of association.