Harvard Will Return Native American Hair Samples
Harvard University announced Thursday that it will return hair samples collected in the 1930s from “700 Native American children attending U.S. Indian boarding schools. Many of these samples have the names of the children whose hair was taken, as well as their tribal affiliation. We estimate there are approximately 300 tribal nations represented in the total of 700 youth.”
The announcement came from Harvard’s Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology.
“We recognize that for many Native American communities, hair holds cultural and spiritual significance and the museum is fully committed to the return of hair back to families and tribal communities,” said the Peabody.
It added, “The Peabody Museum apologizes to Indigenous families and tribal nations for our complicity in the objectification of Native peoples and for our more than 80-year possession of hair taken from their relatives.”