Tag Archive: Havasupai

The latest issue of Current Anthropology features a suggestive article by Jenny Reardon and Kim TallBear that calls for a change in scientific education in order to enable different interactions between indigenous people and scientists. Abstract: During the nineteenth century, the American School of Anthropology enfolded Native peoples into their histories, claiming knowledge about and artifacts of these cultures as their rightful inheritance and property. Drawing both on the Genographic Project and the recent struggles between Arizona State University and the Havasupai Tribe over the use of Havasupai DNA, in this essay we describe how similar enfoldments continue today—despite most contemporary human scientists’ explicit rejection of hierarchical ideas of race. We seek to bring greater clarity and visibility to these constitutive links between whiteness, property, and the human sciences in order that the fields of biological anthropology and population genetics might work to move toward their stated commitments to antiracism (a goal, we argue, that the fields’ antiracialism impedes). Specifically, we reflect on how these links can inform extralegal strategies to address tensions between U.S. and other indigenous peoples and genome scientists and their facilitators (ethicists, lawyers, and policy makers). We conclude by suggesting changes to scientific education and professional standards that might improve relations between indigenous peoples and those who study them, and we introduce mechanisms for networking between indigenous peoples, scholars, and policy makers concerned with expanding indigenous governance of science and technology.

Download below to read the full article:

REARDON, Jenny and Kim TALLBEAR
(2012). “ ‘Your DNA is our history’ Genomics, Anthropology, and the Construction of Whiteness as Property”. Current Anthropology 53(Supplement 5): S233-S245.

Amy Harmon, from the New York Times, reports on the settlement reached between the Havasupai community (Arizona, United States) and the University of Arizona.

“SUPAI, Ariz. — Seven years ago, the Havasupai Indians, who live amid the turquoise waterfalls and red cliffs miles deep in the Grand Canyon, issued a “banishment order” to keep Arizona State University employees from setting foot on their reservation — an ancient punishment for what they regarded as a genetic-era betrayal. […]”

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Please also watch the video: “Blood Journey: An Indian Tribe at the Center of a Bioethical Debate”

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