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Museums to close exhibits featuring Native American artifacts, as new federal regulations take effect

by Johnson Jr.
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Originally Published: 26 JAN 24 10:46 ET

By Chandelis Duster, CNN

(CNN) — Museums across the United States will begin closing or adapting exhibits featuring cultural artifacts from Native American tribes in the coming weeks, in response to new regulations from the Biden administration.

The regulations, which went into effect on January 12, require “museums and Federal agencies to consult, collaborate, and, in the case of scientific study or research, obtain consent” from descendants of Indian Tribes or Native Hawaiian Organizations, according to the Department of the Interior.

The goal is to speed up the process of returning Native American remains, objects of cultural patrimony, funerary objects and other sacred items to tribes, according to the Department of the Interior.

In response to the regulations, the American Museum of Natural History in New York will be closing two halls that featured Native American objects this weekend, museum leaders told The New York Times on Friday.

According to the Times, Sean Decatur, president of the museum, wrote in a letter to the museum’s staff on Friday that the move to close the exhibits “may feel sudden to some may seem long overdue to others.”

“The halls we are closing are artifacts of an era when museums such as ours did not respect the values, perspectives and indeed shared humanity of Indigenous peoples,” Decatur wrote

This story is developing and will be updated.

The-CNN-Wire
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