By James A.R. Nafziger, Ann M. Nicgorski
The worldwide group, established as consistently at the cooperation of kingdom states, is steadily studying to handle the intense threats to the cultural history of our disparate yet shared civilizations. The legacy of conquest, colonialization, and trade looms huge in defining and explaining those threats.
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Extra info for Cultural Heritage Issues: The Legacy of Conquest, Colonization, and Commerce
Hotch described the creation, role, and purpose of the objects for the entire tribe. Certain objects are commissioned and then confirmed as clan trust property through ceremonies that bring both clans of the tribe together. The purpose of the objects is also consistent with their use by both clans. For example, when a member of the opposite clan died and a potlatch was held as part of the funeral proceedings, members of the grieving clan would be brought before the rain screen and told that it constituted medicine that would relieve the loss of their clan member.
When you’re selling an artifact . . you’re not only getting rid of a piece of wood . . 77 The objects in the Chilkat case, much like the Blackfeet medicine bundles, are considered “alive” and embody the spirit entities that assist modern human beings in their daily lives. ” They encompass stories, songs, and rituals necessary for the continued survival of the Native peoples. The removal of these objects from the people jeopardizes the cultural and physical survival of Native communities. In the Chilkat case, it is significant that all of the Tlingit defendants ultimately abandoned their claims of “ownership,” expressed regret for their actions, and sought the return of the artifacts to the Village.
However, much of the statute is built on a property-rights-based approach, which assigns to culturally affiliated groups the rights to such resources, either when housed in museum collections (thus justifying claims for “repatriation”) or when excavated on federal or tribal land (thus justifying claims to “ownership”). As this chapter demonstrates in the next section, Indian nations have successfully used NAGPRA to recover important cultural resources, and thus, the statute has played a significant role in remediating past injustices and securing Native human rights.