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223 Chapter 9 Moving Forward from the Last Twenty Years: Finding a New Balance SHANNON KELLER O’LOUGHLIN ThetwentiethanniversaryoftheNativeAmericanGravesProtectionandRepatriation Act (NAGPRA) presented us with a moment to evaluate the past two decades of its implementation and an opportunity to reconsider how we move forward. I would like to take this moment (and this chapter) to describe the planning for, and underlying dilemmas encountered at, the NAGPRA at 20 Symposium held at the George Washington University campus in Washington, DC, November 15 and 16, 2010, and how that symposium reinvigorated my understanding of how important education and activism are for the future implementation of NAGPRA into the powerful legislation it was meant to be. The NAGPRA at 20 Symposium NAGPRA celebrated its twentieth anniversary on November 16, 2010. A group of unusual suspects were invited by the National NAGPRA Program to plan the act’s twenty-year anniversary conference, the NAGPRA at 20 Symposium. The planning committee was assigned the daunting task of creating an agenda of panels and presenters to mark this important moment in NAGPRA history, as well as an important moment in federal Indian law and policy. The NAGPRA at 20 planning committee could have been nicknamed (depending on the particular moment we were consumed with our planning activities during the one and a half years prior to the actual event) the “lack of planning” committee, the “what the hell are we getting into” committee, the “can you please tell her to stop it” committee, the “we must plan the impossible and revolutionize the world” committee, and other things that I shall not repeat here (but I will if you ask me in person). We were all excited by the opportunity we had before us, but not always sure how to get there. The individuals who made up the planning committee are not famous (except maybe for Professor Joe Watkins1). I don’t believe there were any particular reasons 224 CHAPTER 9 we were chosen by the National NAGPRA Program, but it likely had something to do with the fact that we had extra time to spare . . . because we are not famous. And surely, the National NAGPRA Program knew us to be a group of hard-working individuals from diverse backgrounds involved in various aspects of the “practice” of NAGPRA. The members of the planning committee included: • Patricia Capone, associate curator at the Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology at Harvard University • Sangita Chari, grants and outreach coordinator at the National NAGPRA Program • Chip Colwell-Chanthaphonh, PhD, curator and NAGPRA officer at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science • Clay Dumont, Klamath, and a professor of sociology at San Francisco State University. Clay resigned from the planning committee during the course of our planning • Eric Hemenway, an Anishinaabe from Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians, the NAGPRA specialist for the Little Traverse Bay Bands, and a member of the NAGPRA Review Committee • Jaime Lavallee, Muskeg Lake Cree and the notice coordinator at the National NAGPRA Program • Kelly Jackson, member of the Lac du Flambeau Band of Lake Superior, and NAGPRA coordinator and tribal historic preservation officer for her tribe. Kelly resigned in the course of our planning • J. Kehaulani Kauanui, associate professor of American studies at Wesleyan University, who joined the planning committee a few months after we had our first meetings and resigned at the same time as Clay • Emily Palus, national curator and NAGPRA coordinator for the Bureau of Land Management, who resigned in the course of our planning • Joe Watkins, a citizen of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma, and director of the Native American Studies Program at the University of Oklahoma • Fred York, regional anthropologist from the National Park Service, Pacific West Region • Me. I was the attorney in the bunch, and the other citizen of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma Our diverse experiences “practicing” NAGPRA and the reasons we were chosen for this task were not as important as what we were collectively trying to do with this wonderfulopportunityandmomentinhistory.Wealltrulywantedtofacilitatesomething great, exciting, and poignant. In one of our first meetings, we were provided a MOVING FORWARD FROM THE LAST TWENTY YEARS 225 draft purpose to engage our thinking and planning. It was basic and retrospective: Consider the impact of NAGPRA on Indian Nations, federal agencies, and museums and how NAGPRA has altered the relationships between these parties, and describe what issues NAGPRA has raised over the last twenty years. Of course, the question that always arises when you talk about NAGPRA was also present...

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Additional Information

ISBN
9780870717215
Related ISBN
9780870717208
MARC Record
OCLC
870969959
Pages
296
Launched on MUSE
2014-02-24
Language
English
Open Access
No
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