For its 6th Annual Repatriation Conference, the ASSOCIATION ON AMERICAN INDIAN AFFAIRS has partnered with the UNIVERSITY OF DENVER MUSEUM OF ANTHROPOLOGY to commemorate the 30th anniversary of NAGPRA and build a strong community. November 16, 2020 marks the 30th anniversary of NAGPRA, which requires the repatriation of cultural heritage that has been held by museums and government agencies. The Conference will look backwards to recognize and commemorate the importance of this landmark legislation and provide forward-looking strategies to grow and strengthen the repatriation community.
This 6th Annual Conference is intended for American Indian, Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian Nations, museums, institutions, government agencies, academics, attorneys, collectors, artists, and others engaged or interested in the repatriation of culture and human rights. Repatriation is the return of Native American Ancestors and their burial items, as well as the return of tangible and intangible cultural heritage. Together, participants will critically analyze the future of NAGPRA and learn how to advance its implementation across disciplines, while gaining a better understanding of repatriation strategies in the U.S. and abroad.
The Conference will be held October 26-28 as a fully live and virtual event due to health and safety concerns from the coronavirus pandemic. The virtual platform will provide opportunities for small concurrent sessions that allow interaction among speakers and audience, plenary and keynote presentations, and small networking events for outreach and connection. The virtual platform will also allow attendees access to all of the Conference programming even after the Conference has concluded.
“If we implement NAGPRA like the legal process it is, we find that repatriation is a powerful tool to build community and educate institutions and the public about diverse Indigenous peoples,” says Shannon O’Loughlin, Executive Director and attorney for the Association on American Indian Affairs, the oldest non-profit serving Indian Country protecting sovereignty, preserving culture, educating youth and building capacity since 1922. Anne Amati, NAGPRA Coordinator for the University of Denver Museum of Anthropology says that the “6th Annual Repatriation Conference is designed to equip attendees with active opportunities to learn from one another, build community and move forward, together.”