Chapter 7 - Abstract and author bios

7. NAGPRA, CUI and Institutional Will

D. Rae Gould

Since the 10.11 rule passed for the US NAGPRA law (2010), establishing a process for repatriating “culturally unidentifiable” (or CUI) human remains, more museums and universities have demonstrated an “institutional will” to repatriate ancestors and funerary objects to tribes. Classifying human remains as CUI when precedence exists for cultural affiliation has created conflict between tribes and institutions, and demonstrates how retentive philosophies still prevail at certain institutions. This chapter considers case studies that demonstrate how institutional will is changing among some institutions, while others maintain retentive philosophies and resist repatriation, clearly against the human rights component intended with the spirit of NAGPRA.

D. Rae Gould is a member of the Nipmuc Nation of Massachusetts and holds a PhD in Anthropology from the University of Connecticut, with a research focus on southern New England Native American culture and history. She has worked in New England and Washington, DC over the past 20 years on issues related to federal acknowledgement, NAGPRA and historic preservation.