October 09, 2007

Indians kept in boxes

Native Americans Rally for Return of Ancestral RemainsNative Americans and their supporters rallied on the UC Berkeley campus Friday, demanding that the university return the remains of Indian ancestors so that they can be buried according to custom.

“This is a human rights issue; this is a social justice issue,” Mark LeBeau, a Pitt River tribal member told the noontime crowd that swelled to about 300 people in front of Sproul Hall.

“Our ancestors are sitting in boxes. They’re treated like lab rats,” Douglas Mullen from the Greenville Rancheria told the rally.

At issue are the remains of some 13,000 humans currently at Phoebe Hearst Anthropology Museum on the UC Berkeley campus, the second largest collection in the country of remains believed to come from Native Americans. The largest collection is at the Smithsonian Museum.

No comments: