Native Americans: The Fight for Race, Class and Equality in the Field of Anthropology
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Begun in Spring 2013, the Anthropology Symposium is an annual event hosted by the Department of Anthropology to highlight the research of the program's undergraduate and graduate students in the department's three areas of anthropology: biological, archaeological, and cultural. The 2016 Symposium was the 4th event in the history of this series, and the first to be uploaded to the DR@ISU.
Native Americans have endured racial typology, robbery for pseudo-science, declared a dying race as they became the trophy items for emerging museums all over the country. Because of such actions the Native American Grave Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA) was created to safeguard any remains and protect any burials of Native American descent. My research is set out to reveal that the field of physical anthropology is always changing and how this history affects forensic anthropology in practice. This project will focus on the history of eugenics and Social Darwinism, as these outdated concepts led to the establishment of NAGPRA. Furthermore, I will discuss how NAGPRA impacted the forensic anthropology field, including identification and analysis of Native American remains. This project will highlight the limitations of NAGPRA, as well as human decency, through the integration of alternative claims, such as kinship and religion in the physical anthropology field.