Title: It’s Not Just Art That Indigenous People Are Fighting to Reclaim From Museums. They Want Their Ancestors’ Remains Back, Too
Author: Javier Pes
Media Outlet: Artnet News
Publish Date: November 29, 2018
“(…) Western institutions have thousands of skulls, skeletons, bone fragments, and even preserved heads of Indigenous people that will never be displayed. While some have been or are on their way to being returned to their descendants, others lie hidden deep in storage, living in “museum limbo.”
Typically donated by collectors, missionaries, and colonial officials in the 19th century, these objects are a dark legacy of European’s voracious appetite for “curios” of so-called primitive people. Others were collected as evidence of long-discredited, pseudo-scientific theories of white racial supremacy."
Lou-ann Ika’wega Neel—a descendant of the Mamalillikulla, Da’nax’daxw, Ma’amtagila, ‘Namgis and Kwagiulth tribes of the Kwakwaka’wakw and vice chair of the the First Peoples’ Cultural Council in British Columbia—has been working with the Royal British Columbia Museum to help it return hundreds of human remains and sacred cultural objects. “It’s about closure and reconciliation,” she tells artnet News.”