Museums Shutting Down Indian Exhibits After New Law Passed Banning Indian Exhibits

How is this not a free speech issue?

How can the Indians decide that you’re not allowed to display Indians?

What does this imply?

Native News:

The American Museum of Natural History in New York City will close two of its exhibition halls that showcase “severely outdated” representations of Native Americans, the museum’s president, Sean Decatur, wrote today in an internal email to staff.

The announcement of the exhibit closures on Saturday, Jan. 27 was in direct response to updates in a federal repatriation law that became effective earlier this month. The law, the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA), now requires museums and institutions holding Native American human remains and sacred objects to consult with— and receive consent from— affected tribal nations, in order to exhibit their artifacts.

After the new NAGPRA updates went live last week, museums and institutions across the country scrambled to understand and implement new changes. Chicago’s Field Museum covered several display cases containing Native cultural items. The Cleveland Museum of Art installed opaque covers on three display cases containing Native American artifacts.

At the American Museum of Natural History, the new law impacts two halls: the Eastern Woodland and Great Plains halls. Each displays artifacts that now require tribal consent for the museum exhibit. One immediate effect of the hall closures will be the suspension of school field trips.

“The number of cultural objects on display in these Halls is significant, and because these exhibits are also severely outdated, we have decided that rather than just covering or removing specific items, we will close the Halls,” Decatur wrote in the Jan. 26 memo to museum staff. He added that cases throughout the museum displaying Native Hawaiian items will also be covered while the museum initiates consultation.

The announcement comes just after an October 2023 change by the American Museum of Natural History, that updated policies for removing human remains from display cases prioritized repatriation efforts for the remains of more than 12,000 individuals AMNH holds in its facility. Of those, 2,200 are Native American, and thus fall under NAGPRA requirements.

“Cultural objects” are not the same thing as “human remains.”

Frankly, I’ve always found it concerning that people could dig up corpses and display them. I think what they do with the Egyptian mummies, for example, is obviously wrong. But banning museums from owning “cultural artifacts” is ludicrous.

Does this mean that no one is allowed to own anything that was previously owned by an Indian?

You know, they said the term “Indian giver” was racist. It means someone gives you something and then says they want it back. However, that term is apparently referencing a totally real thing. Indians will give you their artifacts to display at your museum, then demand you give them back, and create laws to force you.

This is Joe Biden’s doing, of course. I suspect the Indians are planning to attach hokey “cultural museums” onto their casinos. They don’t have any more of these “cultural artifacts” because as much as they whine about how sacred their stupid culture is, they all just live in trailers and drink cheap liquor. They’re not out there in the shadow of the casino doing ancient shamanic rituals, as they would apparently have you believe.

Indians do not care about museums or their heritage or anything else. The only thing Indians care about is alcohol, and getting free money from the local reservation casino to buy more alcohol.