UI affirms respectful treatment of human remains on campus, audits existing records


Cameron Krasucki

Union Hall looks over the Main Quad on Oct. 29, 2020. The University shares in a mass email that they are working on identifying all human remains that were found on campus.

By Amrita Bhattacharyya, Interim Editor-in-Chief

The University announced in a Massmail Friday that they are working to confirm the histories and identities of all human remains on campus. 

“In light of recent events regarding treatment of the remains of African American or enslaved individuals at universities and museums across the country, the University reaffirms its commitment to the respectful care of all human remains,” the Massmail said. 

In 2020, the University established the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act Office, which leads efforts to care for and return the remains of Native Ancestors, funerary and cultural items in campus collections. 

According to the Massmail, the NAGPRA team “includes experts in the analysis of human skeletal remains and works closely with descendant communities.”

The University does not believe there are remains of any African American or enslaved individuals on campus but is auditing existing collections to determine the next step. 

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“We are committed to close collaboration with descendant communities as we undertake this work,” the Massmail said. 

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