Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Berkeley: Prayers and fast for return of Native remains



BERKELEY, Calif. -- Jun San, a Nipponzan Myohoji Buddhist nun, fasting and praying in front of the Hearst Museum located at the University of California Berkeley; as she will spend the first 4 days in December in prayer and fasting for the return of the 13,000 ancestrial remains that sit in lockers and boxes at the museum.

Her vigil calls attention to the sketetal remains and funerary objects of some 10,00 ancient burials removed from San Francisco and San Pablo Bay shore shellmounds and other sites over the Bay Area. They are held by the Hearst Museum of Anthropology. This vigil calls for the Federal recognition of the Ohlone Nation and the return of the remains for prpoer burial.

The 5-day Prayer and Fast Vigil continues from 8am to 5pm. Please make your views on Ancestral Native remains known to UC Berkeley Chancellor Birgeneau : chancellor@berkeley.edu or phone his office at 510/ 642-7464.

UPDATE ALERT!!! Vallejo Intertribal Council is asking Indian Country to please call the California Indian Legal Aid Services in Sacramento, CA to please give legal help to stop the physical desecration and destruction to the the 4000 year Shellmound at the Glen Cove Water Front Park located in Vallejo, CA. Please call the CILAS at 916/ 978-0960 http://www.teachingthevaluesofpeace.blogspot.com/

Drumbeat sounds outside UC museum for return of human remains

By Doug Oakley
Berkeley Voice
Posted: 12/01/2009 04:40:26 PM PST
Updated: 12/01/2009 04:40:27 PM PST

Every time her heart beats, 61-year-old Jun Yasuda thumps her drum in front of the Phoebe A. Hearst Museum of Anthropology at UC Berkeley.
Yasuda, a Buddhist nun from Albany, N.Y., started a four-day hunger strike Tuesday as she prays for the return of some 11,000 human remains from all over the world that are housed at the museum.
Joining her this week are people like Wounded Knee, a Miwok Indian from Vallejo and Mike Raccoon Eyes Kinney, a Cherokee who lives in Richmond.
They all want the museum to give its remains back to the earth.
The museum, according to University spokesman Dan Mogulof, houses some 11,000 remains in storage lockers that were unearthed at one time or another and donated from places around the globe.
There are 8,000 remains from California; 1,200 from Peru; 600 from Egypt; 550 from other parts of the U.S. and 300 other "non U.S." remains, Mogulof said.
"The Native American spirituality and prayer are the center of this land," said Yasuda during a pause in her drumming.
"What has happened in this country to Native Americans from the beginning has not been peaceful. So this is a reminder that there is a limit to all the taking we are doing on this planet."
Knee put it slightly differently.
"We want to call attention to the remains housed here and the artifacts and objects that Indians use during their ceremonies," he said.
Knee said he believed that many of the remains from California from shell mounds in Emeryville and from Glen Cove in Vallejo that were unearthed during modern development.
Mogulof said those remains cannot be returned to their Ohlone decedents because UC Berkeley follows federal law, which allows for repatriation only when a tribe is recognized by the federal government. But the Ohlone people are not recognized.
"We're completely committed to the federal law that governs repatriation of cultural remains," Mogulof said.

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