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Native America Calling: Ancestral remains in private hands
Wednesday, October 26, 2022

Ancestors’ remains in private hands
The Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act dictates remains from federal lands or in institutions receiving federal funds be returned to their tribal descendants. But what of remains from private lands or in museums and private collections that don’t take government funds?

It was once common practice for archaeologists — both professional and amateur — to plunder burial sites. Some unscrupulous outlets still have ancestors’ remains on public display.

We’ll get a rundown of places that enjoy NAGPRA’s loopholes.

West of the Pecos Museum
The West of the Pecos Museum in Pecos, Texas, maintains control over at least one set of ancestral Native remains. Photo: Kent Kanouse

Guests on Native America Calling
Shannon O’Loughlin (Choctaw), attorney and the executive director of the Association on American Indian Affairs

Kenny Bowekaty (Zuni), tour guide and archaeologist for the Pueblo of Zuni

Bryon Schroeder, director of the Center for Big Bend Studies at Sul Ross State University.

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Native America Calling
Listen to Native America Calling every weekday at 1pm Eastern.
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