The Role Of Anthropologists And Archaeologists Were Oppressive
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Artions of anthropologists and archaeologists were oppressive because they completely ignored beliefs and cultures of American Indians. It should be recognized that some who study these topics are well-intentioned, but they are a minority. These seemingly harmless fields of study are actually the culprits behind the destruction of Native American
Under the guise of historically beneficial actions, archaeologists excavated skeletons at an alarming rate. In the name of science, archaeologists dug up hundreds of thousands of bodies in the last three centuries. The exact number will never be known due to grave robbers and looters, who could have actually stolen or ruined two to three times more remains than official archaeologists (Rose…show more content… In 1988 with the publication of an article from the American Museum of Natural History in New York, the museum found that it possessed 25,000 skeletons or parts of skeletons (Bieder 236). After inquiring with other American institutions, it was discovered that the Smithsonian held 19,000, Harvard held 5,000 and the National Park Service held 20,000 (236). It was estimated by the Native American Rights Fund that including other institutional holdings, there were about 600,000 skeletons that needed to be repatriated (Bolz 71). With a number that large it is often easy to forget that these are the remains of human beings. The numbers were and will always be uncertain, but such an undoubtedly high number caused a wave of surprise in and out of First Nations communities.
Influence of public opinion should not go unacknowledged in the discussion of repatriation. While American Indian people were well aware of the injustices their community faced, repatriation grew into a movement on a larger scale during the 1970s. With the creation of the Red Power Movement came …… Colonialism in archaeology was questioned by activists who interrupted excavations, held protests and urged to have native remains back (Colwell-Chanthaphonh 95). In 1971, members of the American Indian movement vandalized an archaeological excavation site in Minnesota (98). Protests like these grew on a national level, in large