Return, reconcile, renew: An evidence base for the future

Wednesday, 6 June 2018
Ailie Smith
Neil Carter
Dr Lyndon Ormond-Parker
Mr Lui Ned David
Prof Daryle Rigney

The ARC funded project ‘Return, Reconcile, Renew: the history, effects and opportunities of repatriation and building an evidence base for the future’ (2014-2018) considered various aspects of the repatriation of Ancestral Remains from museums in Australia and overseas. The project involved the Ngarrindjeri Regional Authority, Kimberley Aboriginal Law and Culture Centre; and Gur a Baradharaw Kod Torres Strait Sea and Land Council. Members discuss key project findings including the role of repatriation in nation building and cultural governance and the relationship between repatriation, reconciliation and healing. Presentations draw upon extensive interviews that provide rich biographies of repatriation in the Torres Strait, Kimberley and Ngarrindjeri country, and illustrate a similarity of concerns, views and conceptual approaches to the return of Ancestors. The project has built a digital archive of information to assist repatriation practitioners. The panel will launch the website and public pages of the archive and discuss the importance of information for successful repatriation processes, as well as issues such as Indigenous data sovereignty and the digital curation of culturally sensitive information. Finally, the panel will discuss ongoing repatriation work including the proposed National Resting Place, and introduce a second project starting in 2018 that will further develop the archive.