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Kevin Gover, Pawnee
WASHINGTON - Kevin Gover (Pawnee) director of the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of the American Indian, testified today before the US Senate Committee on Indian Affairs.
Today's hearing is called, "Finding Our Way Home: Achieving the Policy Goals of NAGPRA."
Gover testified that the process of repatriation is not simply about disposing of human remains, but working with culturally and sound care. He testified that it is important to determine the origin of human remains and work closely with American Indians tribes to properly return and repatriate human remains.
The US Government Accountability Office last week issued a report that indicates museums are slow in disposing of their inventory of American Indian human remains.
Gover discussed unique situations that museums have with human remains and other funerary objects.
"The issue is: can any particular bone be connected to a particular community or their origins?" stated Gover. "Sometimes there are unique items within museums which are difficult what tribe it may belong. We may never know what community item came from and we will never know."
Funding is an issue, according to Mittal. Grant program $33 million to American Indian tribes and museums. Last year, $52 million was requested by tribes.
posted June 16, 2011 4:41 pm et
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