Honor Keeler Leads Repatriation Effort at Wesleyan

UNM School of LawHonor Keeler (`10) has been appointed by Wesleyan University to oversee the university’s repatriation effort. She also will teach an anthropology course during the 2013 spring semester as a visiting professor of anthropology.

The university houses 15 human remains and thousands of artifacts in the archives at the Exley Science Center that require repatriation under the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act of 1990 (NAGPRA). Ten of the 15 human remains are currently being repatriated.

“What we’re hoping for is to implement a repatriation policy here within the university that’s progressive and may actually go beyond the requirements of the NAGPRA law,” Keeler said. “I think that the university is taking positive steps to comply with NAGPRA, so I’m hoping for the best.”

Keeler, a citizen of the Cherokee Nation in Oklahoma, earned an Indian Law Certificate from the UNM School of Law. The title of the course she will teach is, “Tradition and Testimony: Protecting Native American Cultural Resources, Ancestral Remains, and Cultural Objects.”

“We’re going to be talking about NAGPRA, we’re going to be talking about sacred places and hopefully applying present day issues to the classroom,” she said. “And I would like to have a few field trips. We’re also going to go over Native history so that there’s a basis and background not only of historic U.S.-Native relations, but origin stories and tribal histories around the country.”

January 14, 2013