The Council for Museum Anthropology stands against the retention of human remains in anthropology and museum collections against the wishes of descendants and communities. We support Black, Indigenous, and Peoples of Colour in their efforts to repatriate their kin and ancestors, and acknowledge the racist ideologies of the discipline of anthropology in turning people’s bodies into objects for collection and study. We further acknowledge that to hold and use human remains without the consent, or against the will of, relatives and descendants continues racist violence in the present.

We encourage our members, and our colleagues in anthropology departments and museums, to read the statement from the Association of Black Anthropologists, Society for Black Archaeologists, and the Black in Bioanthropology Collective on the holding and use of the remains of Tree and Delisha Africa, and for ways to support Philadelphia’s Black community and MOVE in their desire for justice and healing. 

—The Council for Museum Anthropology Board, April 29, 2021

Recommended Posts