Source: (2003) In John Torpey, ed., Politics and the past: on repairing historical injustices. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers. Pp. 149-167.

According to Ruth Phillips and Elizabeth Johnson, Canadian museums are renegotiating their relationships with indigenous First Nations peoples. Issues that are being discussed include the following: shared authority over representation; culturally appropriate treatment of objects; and the return or sharing of collections. Roots of these issues are embedded in the histories of European contact with and colonization of the North American continent. Phillips and Johnson view the discussions of repatriation and other forms of new relationships between Canadian museums and First Nations peoples as different from claims for restitution arising from oppressive events enacted by specific regimes over relatively short time periods. Many of the largest claims for return are intended to redress appropriations of First Nations cultural property enacted by whole societies over decades and centuries. While not trying to address fully the complexities of these negotiations and new relationships, Phillips and Johnson aim to accomplish three things. (1) They offer a more detailed account of the historical context for the claims for renegotiation and repatriation of cultural property. (2) They delineate the post-World War II ethical and legal shifts that have shaped current repatriation issues and policies. (3) They show how these shifts have produced fundamental changes in museum practices and repatriation of cultural property, with British Columbia as a case study.