Cultural heritage webinar series

The Global Conversations on the Return of Cultural Heritage Series is aimed at bringing Indigenous experts, museum professionals, and human rights specialists from across the globe for conversations on repatriation and the return of cultural heritage.

One year ago, UBC hosted an expert seminar to support the work of the United Nations Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples’ (EMRIP) in drafting a report on the repatriation of ceremonial objects, human remains, and the intangible heritage of Indigenous peoples. EMRIP’s report was adopted by the United Nations Human Rights Council in October 2020. Based on the report’s recommendations, this webinar series will encourage dialogues amongst participants and foster communities of professional practice across the globe.

Dr. Tricia Logan, the Centre’s head of research and engagement will be moderating a session on Indigenous-led initiatives.

Each of the upcoming sessions is free, but registration is required.

Setting the Foundation

Thursday, April 29 at 12:00 p.m.


This conversation will consider how things have changed since the expert seminar, the progress that has been made, and what remains to be done.

Panelists: Sheryl Lightfoot, University of British Columbia (Canada), Sue Rowley, Museum of Anthropology at the University of British Columbia (Canada), Te Herekiekie Herewini, The Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa (New Zealand)

Moderator: Armando Perla (Canada/El Salvador)

Indigenous Led Initiatives

Thursday May 13 at 10 a.m.


Indigenous experts will discuss repatriation initiatives led by Indigenous peoples on three continents, which include the development of repatriation guides, ethical guidelines, and community advocacy.

Panelists: Lucy Bell, Haida Nation (Canada), Amy Lonetree, Ho-Chunk Nation and UC Santa Cruz (U.S.), Lis-Mari Hjortfors, Sami Parliament (Sweden) Árran Lulesami Museum (Norway)

Moderator: Tricia Logan (Canada)

Museum Dialogues

Thursday May 27 at 9 a.m.


This conversation will focus on the transcontinental dialogues within museums and between museums and communities to ensure the return of tangible and intangible heritage to the places and communities where they belong.

Panelists: Adriana Munoz, Museum of World Culture (Sweden), Anabela Carlon Flores, Yaqui People (Mexico); Purity Kiura, National Museum of Kenya (Kenya); Steve Nash, Denver Museum of Nature and Science (U.S.)

Moderator: Brooke Morgan (U.S.)

Moving Forward Together

Thursday June 10 at 12 p.m.


This conversation will summarize previous panels and explore actions that can strengthen the work that has been done until now.

Panelists: Brandie Macdonald, Museum of Us (U.S.); Te Arikirangi Mamaku, The Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa (New Zealand); George Abungu, International Standing Committee on the Traffic of Illicit Antiquities and Okello Abungu Heritage Consultants (Kenya); Deirdre Prins-Solani, Independent expert on Intangible Heritage (South Africa)

Moderator: Cinnamon Catlin-Legutko (U.S.)

This series is presented by Illinois State Museum; The Museum of Us; the Canada Research Chair on Civic Museology at the University of Montreal; On Possible Futures, funded by the Maryland Institute College of Arts; the Faculty of Information at the University of Toronto; ICOM’s International Committee on Collecting (COMCOL); and Armando Perla.

Content will also be made available through open-source publications and other forms of dissemination after the series is completed.