Repatriation as a Human Right, with Walter Eco-Hawk, Angela Riley, and Edward Halealoha Ayau

Event Date: 

Monday, January 25, 2021 - 4:00pm to 5:30pm
  • Ethics in Place Symposium Series

Join us for the fourth event of Ethics in Place: A Symposium on Indigenous Peoples and the Future of Principled Democracy.

Control over the disposition of one's ancestors and their sacred objects is a human right. This is no less the case when human remains and religious materials have been collected and curated by scientific, educational, and civic institutions. Join the Capps Center on January 25th as we host three Indigenous leaders who will make a case for understanding the moral urgency of repatriation with reference to international frameworks, U.S. federal law, and University of California policies.

Walter Echo-Hawk (Pawnee) is a Native American attorney, tribal judge, author, activist, and law professor. He represents Indian tribes on important legal issues, such as treaty rights, water rights, religious freedom, prisoner rights, and repatriation rights. His career spans the pivotal years when Indian tribes reclaimed their land, sovereignty, and pride in a stride toward freedom. A Native American rights attorney since 1973, Walter has worked at the epicenter of a great social movement alongside visionary tribal leaders and has been instrumental in the passage of landmark laws such as the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (1990) and the American Indian Religious Freedom Act Amendments (1994).

Angela R. Riley (Citizen Potawatomi Nation) is Professor of Law and American Indian Studies at UCLA. She is a Special Advisor to the Chancellor on Native American and Indigenous Affairs and directs UCLA School of Law’s UCLA's Native Nations Law and Policy Center as well as the J.D./M.A. joint degree program in Law and American Indian Studies. She has chaired the UCLA campus Repatriation Committee since 2010. Professor Riley's research focuses on Indigenous peoples’ rights, with a particular emphasis on cultural property and Native governance.

Edward Halealoha Ayau is the former Executive Director of Hui Mālama I Nā Kūpuna O Hawai‘i Nei, a group that has repatriated and reinterred thousands of ancestral Native Hawaiian remains and funerary objects from the collections of museums and institutions worldwide. He trained under the direction of Edward and Pualani Kanahele in traditional protocols relating to care of nā iwi kūpuna (ancestral remains) and moepū (funerary possessions).