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Proposed NAGPRA Amendment: S.2843

by Ed Hagen last modified May 27, 2009 06:34 PM

AAPA Position Statement on S. 2843

The American Association of Physical Anthropologists (AAPA) participated in the development of the Native American Graves Protection Act (NAGPRA) and was part of the coalition of Native American and scientific groups that worked for its passage. We continue to support NAGPRA's key goal of ensuring that culturally affiliated, federally recognized Native American groups are allowed to make decisions regarding the disposition of their ancestral remains.

NAGPRA was carefully crafted to balance the legitimate interests of members of the scientific, museum, and Native American communities. The AAPA strongly opposes any amendments to NAGPRA that are not a result of a full and open discussion involving all concerned parties.

The Native American Technical Corrections Act (S. 2843), sponsored by Senator Campbell (R-CO), is the product of a process that involved no consultation with the AAPA or many of the other organizations that supported the passage of NAGPRA. We strongly oppose this amendment because of the deeply flawed process through which it was developed. No changes to this important legislation should be made without fully airing them in public hearings where all affected parties have an opportunity to present their views.

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