Carrying Our Ancestors Home (COAH)

COAH Logo.

Launched in 2019

We, a working group of tribal practitioners, tribal members, museum professionals, and academics, have worked to create this website as an educational tool for people seeking to understand the process and diversity of returning ancestral remains and cultural items as well as the impact of repatriation on Indigenous communities around the world. Many repatriation stories take place over wide swaths of varying landscapes, from institutions to institutions, as anthropologists traded and hid remains through “loans” and use of various labs. This can result in problematic provenance of collection items as they travelled through settler structures. Whether unclear provenance is intentional or stems from misrecognition or a result of shoddy collection habits, the result has been the lack of effective Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA) implementation.  This site’s visual data, travelling stories, news articles and other publications, and our own original videos about the process and impact of repatriation work enable users to understand the systems of dispossession of body, land, and culturally meaningful materials that have occurred throughout time. Seeing and hearing tribal peoples’ stories humanizes Indigenous people alive and past who have so long been treated as objects in academic and popular narrative.

Learn more about this project




UCLA Server

Principal Investigators/Directors
Dr. Wendy Teeter, Curator of Archaeology, Fowler Museum at UCLA, UCLA Repatriation Coordinator, UCOP Native American Advisory Council Member

Dr. Mishuana Goeman (Tonawanda Band of Seneca) Professor of Gender Studies and American Indian Studies IDP, UCLA Special Advisor to the Chancellor on Native American and Indigenous Affairs; starting January 2022, Professor of Indigenous Studies, UB.

Project Manager
Sedonna Goeman-Shulsky (Tonawanda Band of Seneca), Archaeology Collections Manager, Fowler Museum at UCLA

Mukurtu Website Developer and Digital Archivist
María Montenegro, PhD Candidate Information Studies at UCLA

Grants and Funding
UCLA Vice Chancellor Roger Wakimoto, UCLA American Indian Studies Center, Fowler Museum at UCLA, Institute of American Cultures, UCLA Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost Scott L. Waugh, and the Association on American Indian Affairs.