The ethical dilemma of the Indian barial contoversy



Grave desecration has been experiences in the United States for nearly two hundred tears without respect to Native Indians first amendment rights to freedom of religion. Indian spirituality is not free from ecology, they are part of the same system of the beliefs for Indians, and their spiritual beliefs are a significant part of their culture. Their beliefs operate in the present applying through space, to all people. Their views are global and everyone is perceived to live within these beliefs. Part of the spiritual/ecological process is confirmed within the role of their ancestors and traditions are held within these beliefs.
American archeologists fell obligated to tell the story of pre-historic American peoples. Using scientific methods they trace through time within the study of ancient burials. They can accumulate data as to disease patterns, diet, environment, cultural, demographics and population changes. The continued uses of skeletal remains are detrimental to them, as research methods are updated and fields of interest evolve. Without hard resources, their work may come into question because they will have no original data source to state their claims of science and their research may come into question. Looking at science (archeology) as a belief system, they too are entitled to their first amendment right.
Since prehistoric times, Native Americans have kept their stories alive without the written record but rather through oral tradition. Stories are handed down to generation after generation, and their ancestors buried are mistaken, by archeologists, as prehistoric peoples that have hidden secrets. Come of the natives do not see the benefit that archeology provides, because they are already aware of the cultural details that are unveiled through desecration. Since Indian values conflict with archeology, very few Indian students pursue it as a potential profession; while the archeologist view their research as beneficial to both traditions.
Archeologists value what is a basic human right to the Indians established religious beliefs and practices regarding the dead. The gap between them needs to be bridged in order to resolve this on going dispute. One example between them is the Navajo Nation Archeological Department (NNAD). The NNAD’s long-term objective is to train Navajos as archeologists and eliminate any non-Indians from the program, But does this lead to conflict of interest set by the traditional belief system of the Navajo? With any sort of compromise, both traditions may find a deeper understanding of American prehistory. Our understanding may become richer when archeological method works with traditional Native perspective to tell us this ongoing story that we are all a part of.
Euro-Americans have been the dominant society for a long time. The Indian dead has been looted and put to the test, while their oral traditions have been discredited through archeology. This ethical dilemma is viewed as non-renewable archeological resources, while denying equal protection under the law. Archeologists may benefit from the reburial actions of cultural presentation by bring the motion to their static view, while Indians may also find traditions that were left untold. Can there be a successful bridge to fill the gaps of both traditions order to preserve history and respect ancestors?




Bibliography: