The return of ancestors and artifacts can become a form of restorative justice (New York Times)

In the early 1920s, the director of the Bristol Museum in Britain received a package containing two human skulls. The donation came from Alfred Hutchins. He had left England seeking brighter horizons and by the late 1800s was living in Southern California. There he became an amateur archaeologist, excavating Native American graves on the Channel Islands. He offered the museum this collection, apparently in honor of his son, who perished during the First World War.

Last week in a ceremony, Bristol Museum officials returned the remains to representatives of the Ti’at Society, a maritime organization of the Tongva, whose forebears lived on the four southern Channel Islands and across the Los Angeles basin for thousands of years. In recent years, the Tongva and their allies, including the Fowler Museum at U.C.L.A., have been working to track down the fate of looted Tongva bodies so that they may be reburied. This effort led the tribe across the Atlantic and to its first international repatriation.

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