A Note From our Department
As it's no secret that many of the world's most popular museums are populated by objects "procured" during centuries of colonialism, it should come as little surprise that collections of human remains frequently share these origins. Until recently, in the United States for instance, it has not been until the Civil Rights movement of the 1960s and the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act that followed in 1990 that many of these remains were removed from museums and returned to their proper resting place. Unfortunately, there are still remains and other artifacts worldwide that have yet to be turned over, and it is our duty to acknowledge their journey and the role colonialism has had on putting human remains on display as well as exhibiting “procured” artifacts abroad without the permission of the communities where the artifacts originated.
The Sqwōwich, or People of the Sturgeon, compiled their oral histories, archaeological artifacts, and Halq’eméylem language into an online digital project. Its aim is to educate the public and preserve their rich history in the Fraser River Valley. This project is available in French and English.
Created by the British Museum in London, this interactive exhibit covers the history of world civilizations through material remains. It covers topics ranging from: power and identity, living and dying, art and design, religion and belief, and trade and conflict. One of the earliest artifacts included in the Museum is Oludvai Chopping Tool from the Lower Paleolithic.
As part of Google's Art & Culture collection, Museo Nacional de Antropologia is available for a 360° tour of its exhibits. The page also presents clay, limestone, and basalt artifacts created by Indigenous communities. Visitors can also view high quality photographs of Kukulkán and Xólotl sculptures.
The Hokkaido Museum's exhibit spotlights the Ainu, an Indigenous group located on the northern most Japanese island. The website covers contemporary and traditional components of Ainu culture, including their experiences with discrimination and displacement. The site is available in Japanese, English, Korean, and Russian.