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we're on the rise gene germany
and that was the reason they did it was a chance to speak out sixteen years is a very difficult position colombia's rivers and it would be very stable in this period the first arrivals
have exchanges remains they want we're not going to keep anything from anybody all we want as you mature tribe has a voice in how he's remains are treated so when the scientists even the general public say this is for the benefit of everybody where everybody's well and we want a voice over the objections of a group of prominent archaeologists the discovery site has been severely to discourage further escalation that the archaeologists sued to keep the bones available for study robson bob dixson is one of the plaintiffs dna study the tabloid skeleton would be a very logical way to understand whether there's any affinity your relationship between that skeleton of a modern day people regardless of
weather also seeing an art technology is getting so so fast things were able to discover and learn just blown away now what we know in ten years what can we learn in ten years but if the resource is gone you are there are two hundred thousand sets of native american remains in american museums most of them have made employers and touched since they were first of all responding to decades of native american protests congress passed the
native american graves protection and repatriation act in nineteen ninety or museums colleges and federal agencies in maine's roads we have many native americans believe that the spirit does not wholly abandon the body after death the lingering spirit can harm or being harmed by permitting and his presence in the ground tyson in that place a story in the
news singing it's been november sixteen twenty the pilgrims dropped and carry inside cape cod and when to short to look for a town site mr hardesty as bart who was senators who when they soon ran into recently jailed after them and in taking on the beaches
they soon found corn stubble and the number of curious small amounts they get into one we found to borrow and as we thought there are others that they were wrong we suppose there were many other things because we deemed them cries we putting the bow gang and might it up as it were is because we thought it would be an odious and then to ransack their separate careers what they didn't know is that a decade or so before they came there was an extremely virulent pandemic up and down that porsche the new england coast from promise or in the planetarium prince are combing the area of what darwin is massachusetts speakers more than ninety percent mortality they came upon two abandoned villages where they found stores and buried food we did go further and founder fine great new basket full of very fair call we took all the years i put a good deal of the loose
corner in the kettle for two men to bring awareness staff here were all these areas of clear but fallow fields pathways their websites no people here is this land made ready for you what's the obvious conclusion you're going to draw thank you lord you have provided you're faithful servants with what you promised a great amount of unusual size a period when you used to audition they and resolve to dig it out we found balls tries dishes and such like trinkets we brought sundry of the prettiest things away with its uncovered the corpse up or down the mayflower of your own paper five weeks and of all of the i's is eager to read too much into oh no moment like that button in some ways an awful lot of the next two three hundred years of history with being acted out here in the us for five weeks
they're still making more severe than and often wondered if even sure where there's been that that was years later thomas jefferson not pick for president of the united states became the founding father of american archaeology they systematically excavated an indian burial mountain near his childhood home in virginia meeting screw it to observe what works inside of congress remain scattered in what he thought was a haphazard fashion which was the customer money considered very own solomon and he this if it's really sticky and locals were discovered with bullets arrows weapons a conjecture
<unk> thousand skeletons thomas jefferson gets really scary and really painful to understand that they hear people are just sort of curiosities it's not unlike native americans are going to go to rome let's say or to ireland or to germany and excavating variously interest of science there for jefferson knew that local indians built the mound here but for other ways to fund mississippi up to minnesota where mounds so imposing scanners at the time sort of another explanation they usually gave credit to past decisions the well the lost tribes of israel
or the phoenicians samuel a team or the philadelphia doctors set out to solve the puzzle and he compared scholars dug out of the mountains with those of modern indians they're dimensions syrian nation we created by morton who's blessed with the father fish going to party and if you measure scalia can figure out cranial capacity our brain cavity capacity and the larger the brain the marshall was a creature his great project becomes to collect the skulls of peoples around the world in particular of native americans and by measuring skulls one can prove that or so morton thought that indians and other non white people's are inferior and intelligence and capacity and morton as somebody who commissions what were then called resurrection us that is people who would go out and dig up indian graveyards
he would then use the skulls to develop a scientific racism that involved the idea that humanity could be ranked from hire to lower from white to brown to black the benevolent mind may regret the inaptitude of the indian for civilization the structure of his mind appears to be different from that of the white man samuel ge morgan literally percent are there for a couple of centuries all native grapes than in north america have been dealt with other source of information on who the european invaders and settlers are all going to the beginning first they're looking for evidence of a high civilization year that would lend america to go to the classical world paul then they start looking at the laws as evidence for evolution all the culmination of course the europeans the idea came that and that day you can
determine racial simply by the morphology in which is the stretch bone structure of a creature so there were harm renders things and went out on the battlefield to take kind of dispels of bed indians and shouldn't at the smithsonian and rob graves at night a silly thing to speak pawnee find themselves being devastated by this is at the same time they're being devastated by terrible epidemic diseases like smallpox and so they had to find some way to survive
in eighteen sixty nine whites who had settled in the mornings kansas hunting grounds appeal to the army for protection against sue and shy and rains troops were sent from fourth hunger to teach the indians a lesson the pony more a friendly tried ignoring the army's warnings pony foraging parties headed south toward kansas connie's were fighting as soon as cheyenne the rebels and often combinations of those groups at one time oh she's decided to ally themselves with the united states government and i'm doing so many pawnee men certain specialty units cop on the scouts they service trackers the service fighters they served as guards four year old so we have a long history of the island within a state and our
men off to fight in those states on january twenty nine th and sixty nine a dozen or so poorly men stop the charles marcus house asking for food his neighbor's ranch and horny diamond recreate sometimes a stranger this is this was there was this was in his troops into listen to my days singing sit on the story
and i hate tina sixty eight the us surgeon general that literally issued an order directing army medical personnel to prick your cranium of native americans and for use in the army medical museum back in washington dc there will be more swims let's go nice two months later friars shipped twenty
six hits to washington including most it's a thorny did the pawnee chiefs demanded justice from the army explaining that the victims have been veterans the army to locate any record of the candidates we were they considered under united states law the archeological resources of the united states of america and it still in the hearts and minds of archaeologists and physical anthropologist that we are at their property where their collections like the butterflies and stamps these events are part of history now nothing will make him go away all we can do now is act appropriately toward each other in the present and future joe
at ninety the hopi in present day arizona were one of the few tribes living traditionally in their original homeland they resisted federal policies specific vineyard made him begin to think about the agenda to really impressed especially the hopi leader season the hope is to never been away from tourism so sponsor a trip and in the guise of meeting the great white father and they want to help and got along the santa fe railroad and along the way they stopped at fort leavenworth visits they never realized that this was another sort of appointments with life of people in jail or face again for the fifth fleet of kansas farms all of kansas city
and yesterday finally arrived in washington has been that didn't stop they were given a grand tour of the naval academy at annapolis and an award to an army base on holland's so the smart retort and carrying rifles and they were called the fraud to resist that they came back to the hopi religious impulse shopper once the hopi and other indians was subdued america's attitude changed by the end of the nineteen century naive people were literally decimated i mean by european diseases by social darwinism that you know one and a hole down that made even indigenous people were fully developed is as rational human beings that government
policy build on that promise really in a wider human beings that the federal government has stopped were sort of a parental oversight because they really are incapable of making judgments she a very kind hearted people just kind of just being and they decided well into generations your english people who initially better preserve world knowledge we have somebody else's soul syndrome called of the mission indians and on the wall all was so phenomenon during the late eighteen at step that again prompt it all for example the smithsonian the peabody museum in our work all the chicago field museum the natural history museum in new york to sponsor for more expeditions to own
tribal groups the bureau of ethnology now part of the smithsonian institution dispatched anthropologist frank cushing to the southwest to work with the zuni and hopi tribes cushing thought what better way to get what i want which is you know someone is called for mccain opened a command and all for trade goods in the leaking hundreds the hopi lance had undergone several seasons of all the dry weather and all corners of supplies work slowly dwindling cattle were slowly dying all because the rays last were in poor shape was in egypt is a choice for many families who are faced with but they traded for food in many ways we still operate under and in the united states of waste and popular consciousness that image that somehow the indians are all gone the buffaloes are gone maybe you
know we don't see that the painted pony it's a natural history museums were helping americans to visualize years in the past when preachers were large scary and exciting then you just put native american city that picture if you and i were talking about this fifty years ago the discussion would be about whether humans had been in the americas four two thousand years of three thousand years and then jesse figgins of this museum came along in the nineteen twenties excavated the folsom site in new mexico and pushed the human timeline back to the end of the ice age about ten thousand years well he demonstrated the presence of human tools amongst these bones of extinct by some that really capture part of the american imagination the idea that humans lived here at the same time as mammoth in mastodon saber tooth cats
so people found that if they went out and looked in the same kinds of arroyo's gee what a surprise sometimes they found similar bounce i had been on a dig down by local island on the congo river before they built a john daley damn skelton material have been revealed some of those sites and i have visited the summer my human toll of friends and i used to rodeo with and high school and college and they ask me they said well they're addicted to get my grandmother to bare my grandfather and i said i was unaware that we were diggin up your grandfather grandmother they say will we think maybe your and from that time for i began to wonder about what we were doing it was like we were there is if the unions weren't there native american freedom law could disappear all their population somewhere around two hundred and ten thousand in
nineteen ten up to two million to de gaulle and we are also today a tremendous resurgence in all all ways of finding out and systems about who they are very very richly rooted in the past in the early seventies inspired by the civil rights and anti war movements as native americans but this proposal the government provides for a pardon but were some supervision by hand and indians a red power movement american indian man that much of those one of those political moments was about really a re connecting to who we were as naive people spiritual by
sol it sort of makes sense that we would end up having to take care of this and a desecration that had occurred it became apparent to me that even boy scout troops are going out and they end up in the group's they was fending off long time by enjoying themselves on sunday afternoons desecrating indian ancestors than in total innocence not realizing what they were doing but there were others who would begin a lot for the money for the collection i became aware of the indian burial at probably in the late seventies and that was just from driving down high seventeen saying this on many people asked why did many people make an issue of this i earlier for many of us the whole notion somehow that one would visit a
desecrated burial site is is something that is his reports even to many others we would use very harmful to our own spiritual and physical wellbeing the indian burial picked was insane line of kansas a few miles from the scene of the mulberry creek massacre it belonged to the price family who ran it as a roadside attraction in the early nineteen eighties the state of kansas developed a plan to turn the exhibit into an up to date museum with us today is a gentleman who was a great deal of knowledge about the pitch for a burial permit are representing the state of kansas mr tom woody was a state archaeologist house indian nations university convened interested parties to discuss the state's plan i've been involved with endless archaeology for about twenty five
years almost all of that time directly related to recognizing in interpreting the indian cultures have cancer so i have a strong identity and involvement with your culture and with your people try it i wonder what they would do to us our first priority should be and hopefully it will be to close this place down immediately if you understand that the roots of many of those organizations the activist involved hand to do in sort of a re connecting to our own spiritual and religious traditions then i think they get it's makes perfect sense that this was going to be an issue that was going to be placed
really prominently on the agenda but here where beaches all across this land and indeed in the study what the artesian your world of flunked that test because this area congregation of they and their lifestyles that's very good let's we don't want them on display more i think they've been on display for fifty years and i think that is an archaeologist cannot buy something with them than fifty years and that when they never will these people lived in those smoky smoky hills are hundreds thousands of years before you arrived what right do you have to dig at those burials to make commercial profit to exploit those those peoples there's legislation pending right now in the
state of wisconsin on the subject as well so it's not only campuses that is coming to grips with this issue the haskell symposium changed tom what these plans the state of kansas in order to close it down this property was acquired by a worse a contractor agreement brokered a water walk on smoking treaty there was to be thirteen days set aside for steady st louis the europeans to be filled and say it and then once it was up to the top of the war eighty six aged concrete slabs i realized later and not too shortly after that that this had to be because if they give it a nice life except in other words it's like the old joke it get you to be imprisoned for a year
and really startles people when we east step out of this sort of invisible status we have to say we're here the pawnee tribe now living in oklahoma knew that their old villages in nebraska had been excavated by archeologists they sent attorney walter echo hawk of the native american rights fund to investigate her own tribal cemeteries were in fact our dugout and plundered by early settlers in nebraska almost as soon as the tribe was removed from nebraska by the government in the eighteen seventies and then in the nineteen twenties that archaeologists are people like lisa hill a win in in that
entire cemetery itself people building came with the woodman woods regardless of the father of our theology nebraska and he found a of farm that he thought was rich indeed remains we brought the farm so that he be able to excavate the pontiac graves it suggests a kind of a value system that transcends indian interest you're talking about an archeology did it it did it really in many ways is responsible to our indians which responds to itself into the science we're having lots of luck in finding skeletons have lots of visitors at help he became such close friends with the pa mase and discuss with them what he was doing they were completely in agreement with what he was doing and this is back in the nineteen twenties and thirties and he was adopted by them and the letters from the one he used a
deal which are still in the nebraska state historical society are always addressed to dear brother hill i don't play golf my only recreation is this indian investigation i come out here sundays and dig up indians this hill was my golf course at yale you know prehistoric here people are left is no record other than their bombs and the artifacts that they abandoned or were lost and so if we want to know anything about these people this is this is the book there was no legal authority to do this that was in fact us some deception involved about this very very very troubling to see the scientists act in a fashion of that nature at the end of his career hill sold his collection to the
nebraska state historical society for the token sum of one dollar the entire on the tri was very very upset and deeply concerned to discover that the historical society had hundreds and hundreds of archaic the historical society i had the position at that time that these were property that belong to the historical society that if they were to be returned to the pawnee tribe that this would result in the loss of scientific information the philosophical problem confirmed me as a as an administrator of an organization that operate museums what do you bowed to public pressure or or or group rigor brought on you to change your museum collections to do alter them to destroy basically a scientific collection that had taken
seventy five years ago the native american rights fund hired historian orleans thing in to find out what the society hat i talk with with the director hansen and ensure after it just there it was it became very evident but i wasn't going to have access to the kinds of records i would need not answer the questions that that the native american rights fund had put to me the human remains an associate artifacts that we have work wired with the knowledge and consent of the nebraska attorney general and we're wired where the legal and ethical standards of the time the historical society have engaged in a very very hostile and insensitive opposition to any return of any of these remains along the way it entails for five attorney general opinions lawsuit
for instance a big ocean oceans of hearings before the historical society now passage of a state statute now they get to dictate to the scientists what the scientists will study how long they can look at the material if at all in doubt whether or not it is of any future value because they get to decide whether another trigger i mean in nineteen eighty seven pot hunters would create a local farmer for permission opened more than six hundred and fifty ancient grains with tobacco at slack farms in kentucky the story became national news and strength and the growing pressure for laws to protect indian parents' homes are the people who got attracted to the hardening and iranian collecting grave robbing they
cannot even fathom that there were living descendants of those people that they were these graves they were desecrated in nineteen twenty seven dr jonathan dixon in illinois a chiropractor turned a burial mound on the family farm first mention yes every sin and he talked about the culture and as a child you wonder well what was it like there for the indians games when
he brought out the sensitivity has toward the american indian this is our view the american strong person and a person that they live with their family died and most of the state to the property and then it was developed by the state into a modern museum facility the new building perches atop the burial site archaeologist alan higham again john dickson successor so well but while there isn't right here we are so isolated here in central illinois or that they average illinois isis and has never seen a
real and it's all a compact with indian people or with indian culture comes through a visit to a museum like like nixon people to some extent feel that they're acting report how they look upon these remains an innate they're hushed tones in and they think that there's some type of sanctity a navy must view this but they have to view it very quietly with a lot of respect and then they leave they walk over the snack shop by hot dog we go outside of circus day and give blue native american activists decided to take a stand dixon mounts it became a very acrimonious debate at that time wasn't even debate it was a number of
indian representatives album making clear their point of view and local people very diametrically opposed to use he's really disagree with this i mean
we i've been a great admirer of the american indian from the time i was a big enough to read through my professional years i was a champion and a supporter of the indians and of indian people in general and i was really taken aback when all of a sudden i learned that i was a part of something that was very bad he is touring is is people coming in announcing this was wrong later in eighty nine the illinois state museum of which were apart decided to recommend closure of the dickson peril exhibit to public knew there was a tremendous amount of consternation on the part of local people
local politician that said they had not been forewarned of this they had never realized it was a problem begins a great shock to them the sad thing is that this is a place where many young children first confront their own mortality and realize that someday you're going to die but more importantly they realize that these indians and they say before they were actually people chow chow chow a lot of the problems that exist today in an urban indian communities are direct result of of not having an identity of not
having anything to cling to on by restoring a little bit of this is dignity respect our ancestors forgive that supplies in and therefore gives us a bass to combat these problems what we're dealing with is is a small group of people local cuomo the better over here trying to advance their cause at our expense but something wasn't supposed to work and this is something that's our heritage your prestige that happened here despite the local assistants there you wanted nixon announced finally closed its doors remember that
very difficult and our culture our heritage has been taken over by the side of the people of pistorius who feel that they're in a better position to two related our history right the point is the people in the prison in nineteen ninety eight what was happening in the states became national policy congress passed the native american graves protection and repatriation act created the electronic database to load the records individually natural requires any federally funded institution government agency college or a museum to get the indian tribes and inventory of the human remains
grave goods and ritual objects in its collections each tribe that has the right to reclaim its own ten records that are about what is in this one is about the human remains as indian people we entered into numerous treaties with united states but at no time did we ever see their debt we've ceded some of our land where we got things in return from the federal government but we maintained our right to our dead we have to find some way to change the course of history we did that in the late nineteen eighties and early nineteen nineties threw the repatriation laws and did that make up for anything in the past you know that it stopped it from happening again it really is the culmination of the indian activism that began in the late sixties challenging young american indian men get involved in and play
a role in their own nations self determination with that first generation to get college educations it's given at people that expertise to know how to tackle these issues in the forms and the institutions that are the dominant society professor james riding in track down the mulberry creek massacre victims in washington dc on behalf of the pawnee tribe he asked the smithsonian institution to give them back american people by a larger very concerned about the fate of all of our debt for example how the american people have made a commitment to give back all the remains of the us servicemen there were killed in vietnam and as a vietnam veteran myself i can relate to that very well we need to get those remains back for proper burial
the smithsonian agreed to return its connection morning remains including the six who died at mulberry creek attorney walter payton is president of the tribal council when his band it was a very somber sort of a bittersweet day to go through these repatriation process in certain areas it was certainly a victory because of the long period time to the passage of laws of litigation and all sorts of appeals and that's something that maybe it's possible that it was set all right at the same time he supports these relatives never laid to rest in the proper way
and so that was something the ponies doubts along with other remains from federal agencies and the nebraska state historical society were buried in the cemetery the most important thing that happened was that point that this is a real case of democracy inaction of these people take control of some are there lies the struggle they saw what good example of what i have in our culture where this diversity but they're in so this album
mr sassoon an interesting choice the pigeons because chou is satisfaction and dissatisfaction and breaking down some of those practices and ignore our rights as human beings when we get to play instruments the students are still going on and still finding divine assessment remains that and now we will continue to struggle you know do
better with men in nineteen ninety six a year after the ponies scouts reach the repatriation of a player donna noodles and boil them down into their moms in museum for study what was sarah in effect a heinous act was an immoral act and it's not something we would consider appropriate now so is appropriate to take those remains and return to family members but to take that an extended to all time we i don't know the story of how the americans were initially people and for many years people thought there was a single human migration about eleven thousand five hundred years ago that early bowel invasion people walked across the bering land bridge pj the some of the recent genetic and archeological evidence and
western governments suggests that it's probable with him and then move along the pacific rim hollywood is in small boats maybe sometime between twenty and thirty thousand years ago can advance base resembles that of the i know people and of the memorable people in japan resembles what that may be telling us and we won't know without multiple additional people to tell us what that may be telling us is that there was an early migration around the pacific rim but preceded they know occasional mongoloid invasion of came later the issue of first of us and the desire to be able to date to a single place and to a single moment in time this element of the americas is a very appealing one and has almost the court that the flavor of a quest to discovery and adventure in which archeologists become these euro scientists we know who we are and we know where we
came from most of our sacred places are cold here right over there two hours of what he is the place where we originated the place where we were born you know the amount of material that's required for these destructive to us has been this deal and i think that some distracted tests were fairly critical without knowing the dna testing you know though how these remains might be genetically related that other human populations local your world why they always tell us act the information yield from studies would tell us our history will rain nor history in may not be written down but we know already know our history at some point in the future maybe not this generation or even the next eventual
people are gonna wanna know and dr gawande too late what are old and people have told us is that when somebody goes back to the ground that's worth to remain until the end of time it's become many things to many people who he was was a moment of great meal and a long time ago they are political activists in the indian community want to grab him and take him and put him away as a manifestation of their power to do so is a spokesman for his people come forward or let us know what his mind why do it alone leave alone and trudy is influence
others the struggle for human remains explore pbs online at pbs dot org are they are going to get ahead on our railroad <unk>
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Who Owns the Past
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Episode Description
The final decades of the twentieth century brought unprecedented changes for American Indians, especially in the areas of human rights and tribal sovereignty. In 1990, after a long struggle between Indian rights groups and the scientific establishment, the Native American Graves Repatriation and Protection Act was passed. For American Indians, this was perhaps the most important piece of civil and human rights legislation of this century. Skeletons and grave goods that had been gathering dust in museums around the country could come home again, and Indian graves would be protected from further desecration. But a case tested these claims, and Who Owns the Past? focuses on the controversy that emerged. The discovery of a 9,000-year-old skeleton on the banks of the Columbia River near Kennewick, Washington, reignited the conflict between anthropologists and Indian people over the control of human remains found on ancestral Indian lands. Anthropologists insist that these remains hold the key to America's past and
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Producer: Riffe, Jed
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Vision Maker Media
Identifier: 2013-00788 (VMM Inventory #)
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Duration: 0:56:40
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Chicago: “Who Owns the Past,” 2001-00-00, Vision Maker Media, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed June 28, 2022,
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