Return, reconcile, renew: understanding the history and effects of repatriation

Tuesday, 21 March 2017
Dr Lyndon Ormond-Parker
Annelie De Villiers

The repatriation of Old People is an extraordinary Indigenous achievement and inter-cultural development of the past 40 years. Return, Reconcile, Renew is an international project involving four Australian universities, AIATSIS, the Ministry for the Arts, the Kimberley Aboriginal Law and Culture Centre, the Ngarrindjeri Regional Authority, National Museum of Australia, University of Otago, Association on American Indian Affairs, Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, and Gur A Baradharaw Kod Torres Strait Sea and Land Council. The project is providing new knowledge of repatriation, its history and effects. Importantly it involves community-based research and practice exploring the effects of repatriation, and the current and future role of repatriation in community development. 

In this panel we report on key aspects of the project to date in respect of its collaborative methodology, resourcing of community researchers and the application of new technologies to understanding the history and effects of repatriation. We also discuss the benefits of repatriation for both Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians, and the critical importance of initiatives such as the creation of a national keeping place for the repatriated remains of unknown Old People taken from country since the early years of European invasion.