Native American tribes clash with University of California over bones of their ancestors

VC Star, July 22, 2018

"As tribal archaeologist for the Pechanga Band of Luiseño Indians, Myra Masiel uses her UC Berkeley anthropology training daily. Her mission: track down skeletons of Native Californians extracted from gravesites over the last two centuries and shipped off to museums around the world, and return them to the tribe’s ancestral land near Temecula so they can be reburied with dignity.

But lately that quest has put Masiel at odds with her alma mater.

The remains of thousands of Native Americans, along with possessions such as beads and fishhooks buried with them, now sit in drawers and boxes at University of California museums. Federal and state laws require their return to tribes able to prove a connection to them. Some tribes accuse university officials of delaying so professors can continue to study the bones, and are pushing state legislation to force UC to speed its efforts."

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