Last night marked the first repatriation from Canada under the Indigenous Repatriation Program.
27 October 2017
The remains of a female ancestor returned from a private collector based in Vancouver, were handed to Tahn Donovan, a Wardandi woman from Western Australia, in a repatriation ceremony held at 3.00 pm Thursday 26 October 2017 (Ottawa time).
The ceremony was hosted by the Australian High Commissioner to Canada, H.E. Tony Negus AO APM in Ottawa.
At the request of the Wardandi people, the ancestor will be entrusted to the Western Australian Museum until the community is able to lay her to rest in her Traditional Homeland.
Representatives from the Department of Communications and the Arts, which administers the Australian Government's Indigenous Repatriation Program, have worked closely with the South West Boojarah Working Party, the South West Aboriginal Land and Sea Council, the private collector, the Australian High Commission in Ottawa and the Western Australian Museum to facilitate the return of the ancestor to her Community of origin.
The Australian Government is committed to assisting Indigenous communities to pursue the unconditional return of ancestral remains held in overseas collections.
Since the Indigenous Repatriation Program began, more than 1400 ancestral remains have been returned to Australia. More information about the repatriation from Germany on 24 October can be found here.