Bringing Home Chief Black Coal: Restitution and Repatriation in Theory and Practice

Curated Conversations

In early 2020, Chief Black Coal’s headdress came home to the Northern Arapaho Nation after spending a century stored in a New England attic. How it got there, and how it came home, is part of a larger story about the meanings of cultural heritage versus private property. Who owns the cultural material of Native Nations across the United States? Who should care for it, and how? What role do museums and historic sites play in Native or Indigenous heritage? What should be their role? More than three decades after the passage of the Native American Graves Protection Repatriation Act (NAGPRA), these questions still provoke passionate engagement.

Jordan Dresser (Arapaho), filmmaker and former collections manager of the Northern Arapaho Tribal Historic Preservation Office and Johns Hopkins faculty member Shannon O’Loughlin (Choctaw), Chief Executive and attorney for the Association on American Indian Affairs, have worked with Native American cultural heritage as Native Nation citizens and heritage professionals. Join us as they share their experiences and insights in a wide-ranging conversation on policy and practice.

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