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Ancestral remains

Bardi Jawi families on the beach at One Arm Point community, with boxes containing ancestral remains, returned from interstate and overseas institutions. (ABC News: Damon Pyke)

Erin Parke, Stolen ancestral remains repatriated to Western Australia after years of negotiations, ABC News, 23 November 2015

Emotional ceremonies have been held on remote beaches in Northern WA, to mark the return of human remains taken illegally during the 19th and 20th centuries.

Bones belonging to three Bardi Jawi people were taken from their coastal resting places.

After years of negotiations, they were handed back by the Natural History Museum in Vienna, Austria, and South Australian Museum.

Bardi Jawi elder Irene Davey said families from across the Dampier Peninsula gathered to see the boxes of bones restored to their coastal resting place.

The processing of retrieving Indigenous remains from overseas institutions has been underway for around two decades.

Thousands of partial or full skeletons were seized by anthropologists, explorers and missionaries, and many still languish in museum collections in Europe and America.

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