ADVANCE Weekly Roundup: Horrific Discovery and Warning: academic pursuits should be ethical and informed by federal laws concerning Indigenous peoples

There are many reasons to be sensitive to and acknowledge diverse experiences, values, beliefs, and ways of being. Our team works to highlight some reasons in the ADVANCE Weekly Roundup.  However, occasionally situations come to our attention that we had not thought about previously.  The 1990 Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA) requires institutions with federal funding not only to catalog their Indigenous collections, but to take steps to return them to the appropriate tribal nation communities. This NBC News article {} about a discovery at University of North Dakota serves as a warning that academic pursuits should be informed by federal laws concerning Indigenous peoples.

Further, past and present research activity should demonstrate respect and consideration for the people who are affected by those activities.  In situations like these, transparency and sensitivity should extend to the community the university is part of and to communities that academics are engaged with in research activities.  When we investigate or discover this hasn’t happened in the past, we should take immediate steps to rectify the situation to the best of our abilities.  For example, Michigan Tech scholars are increasingly educating themselves how to be more inclusive and equitable in research, and partnering to be more collaborative with Indigenous communities and the Ojibwa homelands of the Keweenaw and beyond.  

Today’s feature was shared with us by the ADVANCE Team. If you have an article you think we should feature, please email it to and we will consider adding it to the ADVANCE Weekly Roundup.

The ADVANCE Weekly Roundup is brought to you by ADVANCE at Michigan Tech, which is an NSF-funded initiative dedicated to improving faculty career success, retention, diversity, equity, and inclusion. To learn more about this week’s topic, our mission, programming efforts, and to check out our growing collection of resources, contact us at ( or visit our website:

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