Michael Louis Blakey

Grant Type

Engaged Research Grant

Institutional Affiliation

William and Mary, College of

Grant number

Gr. ERG-28

Approve Date

February 2, 2023

Project Title

Blakey, Michael (William and Mary, College of) "The Commission for the Ethical Treatment of Human Remains, AAA, Descendant Community Summit, Smithsonian Institution"

The Commission for the Ethical Treatment of Human Remains (TCETHR) of the American Anthropological Association will bring African American and indigenous descendant community leaders together with anthropologists at the Smithsonian Institution to discuss the ethical treatment of their ancestral remains. These will be engaged in separate and joint discussions of 1) what constitutes ethical treatment, 2) when is research warranted and 3) how is the research or memorial disposition of human remains to be ethically determined with an eye to the ethical principle of informed consent. The answers to these research questions will lead to tangible results. The findings of the Commission’s rapporteurs will become a major consideration for its recommendations of best ethical practices to the AAA for which the Commission was convened. Furthermore, the ‘process is product.’ Domestic and global descendants and scientists will come to know each other, express, and address their concerns. African American descendant communities will have been brought together for the first time with opportunities to organize as a collective should they choose to do so.