Welcome to Indigenous Cultural Heritage: Protection, Practice, Repatriation (ANTHRO 102C, ARCHLGY 101/202, CSRE 102, NATIVEAM 102). This interdisciplinary seminar explores challenges and avenues for furthering protection of the cultural heritage rights enshrined in the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

Let’s work together to develop concrete ways of creating positive change in the world and make these cultural heritage rights a reality in society. Utilizing an innovative combination of lectures by Stanford faculty and online interviews with Indigenous Elders, artists and performers, students, scholars and museum professionals, the seminar will explore and problematize issues such as:

  • historic and contemporary understandings of “Who is Indigenous?” and “What is cultural heritage?”
  • the impact of colonialism, urbanization and other political/economic/social forces on indigenous identity and cultural heritage
  • domestic, tribal, and international legal and ethical frameworks for indigenous cultural heritage protection and repatriation
  • how museums, past and present, have approached Indigenous peoples and their cultural material
  • how to understand and resolve repatriation disputes

We will primarily cover the situation of Indigenous peoples in the Americas, but will also draw comparisons with other regions of the globe. The course involves lively discussions, instructive readings, and a unique set of online interviews that feature Indigenous voices and museum experts.


Course Schedule

Once-a-week meetings are on Thursdays from 12:35 PM – 2:05 PM at Building 360, Room 361A. Online materials are at your own pace.