Sunday, May 9, 2010

Return Our Ancestors: American Indians and NAGPRA - Voices from the Haudenosaunee

 



From the Organizers:

With the recent implementation of new federal rules governing the disposition of so-called 'culturally unidentified human remains,' we find ourselves at an important juncture in the ongoing relationship between anthropology and the American Indians it studies. This has been an area of strong contention between both groups, something that most anthropology students and faculty at Binghamton University have experienced first hand. So too most in the department are well aware of some of the challenges that have arisen in the last few years when American Indian voices have made their way into academia.

Joe Heath

has been General Counsel for the Onondaga Nation since 1982 and an attorney since 1975. For the Nation, his work centers on environmental protection, particularly under the Clean Water Act, focusing on Onondaga Lake and Onondaga Creek; archeological site and unmarked burial site protection; NAGPRA repatriation and litigation; hunting and fishing rights; treaty rights; excise tax issues; and land rights. In addition to these current areas of work, Joe has extensive experience in civil rights litigation, having worked on the Attica civil rights class action case for 29 years before it settled in 2000 for $12 million, criminal defense and trials, family law, protection of abused and neglected children, and fighting domestic violence. Joe is also and active member of Veterans for Peace.

Doug George-Kanentiio

is a Bear Clan member and Akwesasne Mohawk, and a well-traveled lecturer and author. Doug George-Kanentiio is actively involved in issues affecting the Haudenosaunee confederacy in his capacity as columnist for the popular Indian Country Today and has written a number of critically acclaimed books including Iroquois on Fire and Skywoman: Legends of the Iroquois, co-written with his wife Joanne Shenandoah. So too he is a member of the Board of Trustees of the National Museum of the American Indian, and recently carried the winter Olympics torch through Haudenosaunee territory. Like Peter Jemison, he has and continues to advocate for the repatriation of all Haudenosaunee remains to their respective nations, and hopes to share this with our student body.

G. Peter Jemison

A descendant of the famous Mary Jemison, a frontierswoman captured and adopted by Seneca Indians in the 18th century, Peter Jemison wears many hats. He is a Heron Clan member of the Seneca Nation of Indians, is the representative for them on the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA), has served on the Haudenosaunee Standing Committee on Burial Rules and Repatriation, is the manager of the Ganondagan State Historic site, is Faithkeeeper to the Cattaraugus Seneca Nation, serves on the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation, is an author and has written many articles, and is an accomplished artist and filmmaker. He was awarded an honorary doctorate from the State University of New York at Buffalo, and he is willing to share his experience and perspectives with us.

Sponsor: The Indigenous Student Association at Binghamton University. ISA is a GSO-chartered organization.

Cosponsors of the event include the Graduate School, the Sociocultural and Multicultural Assembly of the GSO, the Anthropology Graduate Organization, the Binghamton Political Initiative, the Latin American and Caribbean Studies Program (LACAS), the Graduate History Society, the Computer Science Graduate Student Organization, and the Middle Eastern Cultural Association.