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McClung Museum’s Dedication to Repatriation

Earlier this month, the Assistant Director and Curator of Arts & Culture Collections at McClung MuseumCatherine Shteynberg, spoke with DAE about the vital role of Repatriation in the McClung’s work with Native Nations. As a federally funded institution, UT honors the legal and ethical principles of the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA), which mandates that all institutions receiving federal funding provide federally recognized Tribes with a list of Native American Ancestral Remains, burial, sacred, and other culturally significant items for possible Repatriation. McClung Museum, in partnership with UT’s Office of Repatriation, has undertaken the repatriation process, returning Ancestral Remains and items. This work has fostered relationships between McClung Museum and several Native Nations whose ancestral homelands encompass present-day Tennessee.

One of McClung’s partnerships is with the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, who are federally recognized and located the closest to UT campus. With them, McClung has been building a relationship with the Museum of the Cherokee People (MCP). The MCP has partnered with McClung in reviewing McCLung’s internal practices to make sure they are equitable and that they are best serving Native audiences through their work.

Read about Repatriation of Archaeology & Native Peoples of Tennessee, an
exhibition that reimagines the 22 year old Native Peoples of Tennessee gallery to
highlight the vital role of Repatriation. This exhibition is open until December 21,