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Lauren

Lauren Booker

Year of Award: 2016 Award State: New South Wales Science > Forensic
Social Welfare > Indigenous
To identify two un-repatriated human remains and index overseas archived Indigenous cultural material - UK, USA
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Keywords: Aboriginal, archives, repatriation, cultural material

Recommendations

  • Based on my Fellowship findings, I offer the following recommendations:
  • Collect baseline data on the status of repatriation in Australia (both domestic and international cases) and most importantly inventory of Ancestral remains still held in collections.
  • The creation of simple MOUs between stakeholders in repatriation claims and process, i.e. state/institution, communities/representative bodies and any brokers involved. These MOUs are simply to come to the table when requested.
  • Relationship building between international and domestic collecting institutions - the recent MOU between AIATSIS and The Smithsonian is a good example that could be useful at a smaller institution level. E.g. utilizing existing university partnerships to connect university museums to share collection information and open up avenues for collaboration.
  • As a follow on from above, through relationships with overseas institutions, encourage engagement by community and researchers with overseas collections.
  • When organizing repatriation or collection consultations, institutions need to facilitate space for multiple communities or families to come together and consult with each other – rather than the more common model of institutions consulting with community.
  • A concerted focus on the international collections of archival documentation from large suppliers of human remains for scientific and academic research and display such as Ward's Catalogue and other large commercial collectors. Working the archives and institutions that hold such documentation collections to create better collection/item level metadata and where possible begin talks of digitisation if there are no digital copies available.
  • Discussion of the National Resting Place as reimagined on a state-by-state level.
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