Via Hyperallergic, April 12, 2021
“The colonization of the United States and its formation as an independent nation is a history drowning in the blood of the land’s original occupants. Though the harms are irrevocable, new efforts are being made to undo the persisting sense of entitlement concerning appropriating Indigenous lands, traditions, and bodies — both living and dead. The Mississippi Department of Archives and History recently finalized the release of 403 sets of Native American remains, as well as 83 lots of funerary items, returning them to the Chickasaw Nation in March of this year.
“This repatriation is a huge milestone for our institution and our tribal partners,” Katie Blount, MDAH director, told the Clarion Ledger. “We are committed to the repatriation of human remains and cultural objects in the department’s archaeological collections.”
The objects, which constitute the largest return of stolen Native American antiquities in Mississippi’s history, were removed from the region of Mississippi north of the Yazoo and Yalobusha rivers. The majority of these remains were disinterred from the Mississippi Delta and range from 750 to 1,800 years old, making them the historic purview of the Chickasaw Nation, who recently welcomed their ancestors home.”