Who gets to lay claim to Native American artifacts and bodies? : Code Switch More than 10,000 Native human remains are currently sitting in a storage facility in a Maryland suburb. This week, how one small tribe is fighting to get them back to Florida. This episode originally aired October 13, 2021.

Skeletons in the closet, revisited

Skeletons in the closet, revisited

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/1129123705/1129522433" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

A young Native American woman sits in a museum display case alongside artifacts and human remains. Gabriella Trujillo for NPR hide caption

toggle caption
Gabriella Trujillo for NPR

A young Native American woman sits in a museum display case alongside artifacts and human remains.

Gabriella Trujillo for NPR

In a small suburb of Washington, D.C., a non-descript beige building houses thousands of Native human remains. The remains are currently in the possession of the Smithsonian Institution. But for the past decade, the Seminole Tribe of Florida has been fighting to get some of them back to Florida to be buried. The controversy over who should decide the fate of these remains has raised questions about identity, history, and the nature of archaeology.

This episode was produced by Kumari Devarajan, edited by Leah Donnella and Steve Drummond.