Native Americans and the Practice of Archaeology

T. J. Ferguson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

74 Scopus citations


Archaeologists are in the midst of restructuring their relationship with Native Americans. The legal, political, social, and intellectual ramifications of this process are reviewed to examine the fundamental changes occurring in the way archaeology is conducted in the Americas. Much of the impetus for this change resulted from the criticism of archaeology by Native Americans, which led to passage of the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act of 1990 (NAGPRA). NAGPRA has indelibly changed how archaeologists will work in the United States. The issues raised by Native Americans about why and how archaeological research is conducted, however, go beyond NAGPRA to the paradigmatic basis of archaeology. Archaeologists will have new opportunities available to them if they work in partnership with Native Americans in studying the rich archaeological record in the Americas.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)63-79
Number of pages17
JournalAnnual Review of Anthropology
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1996


  • American Indians
  • Cultural resources management
  • Ethics
  • Repatriation
  • Theory

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • Anthropology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)


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