Community Partnerships Built from NAGPRA
Harvard Yard Archaeology Project groundbreaking ceremony, 2007, with Carmen Lopez (left), director, Harvard University Native American Program; and Tiffany Smalley (right), student, Harvard College.
At the Peabody Museum, NAGPRA plays an active role in creating relationships that broaden into intercultural collaborations of scholarly and educational significance. NAGPRA is both an opportunity as well as ethical and legal responsibility. Relationships with Native American groups begun with NAGPRA consultations often grow to encompass other activities including research, teaching, and public programs. An example of this is the Harvard Yard Archaeology project.
When the Museum embarked on a project to search out the foundations of Harvard's Indian College. The Peabody's relationships with area tribes including the Wampanoag, offered an opportunity to involve area tribes in a broad discussion of how and where native Americans interacted with colonial Cambridge and Harvard College. The resulting discussions and programming have resulted in a rich dialog and a Native voice in understanding and interpretation of archaeological discoveries.
Harvard University's 1650 charter founded a multicultural educational setting when it committed the new institution "to the education of the English and Indian Youth of this Country in knowledge and godliness." The Harvard Yard Archaeology Project (HYAP) contributes to renewing Harvard's founding commitment. Please follow the HYAP link for additional information.