Millions of people pass through the doors of one of America’s most popular museums each year.
But few come with a purpose as deeply personal as the group of Indigenous South Australians who recently arrived at the front steps.
WARNING: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander readers are advised that the following story contains images and voices of people who have died.
For decades, the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History has held the remains of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people whose bones were taken from Australia in order to be studied in the United States.
Major Sumner was one of several representatives from the Narungga and Kaurna nations who made the long journey to the US capital to take their ancestors home.
“Let the world know this is what happened to our people, to the people that passed on,” he said.
“They were taken away, they were put in boxes and kept in museums and poked.
“Once we rebury them, they [will] no longer be touched.”
The repatriation from Washington was the third time the Smithsonian Institution had returned ancestral remains to Australia.
It earlier repatriated bones taken from the Northern Territory during a major scientific expedition to Arnhem Land in 1948.
You can read more in an article written by Jade Macmillan and published in the abc.net.au web site at: https://ab.co/3BFLCq5
NOTE: abc.net.au is the Australian Broadcasting Company, not the American Broadcasting Company in the U.S.