14 Nov 2012

Nyoongar support return of remains

6:38 am on 14 November 2012

Western Australia Museum says the indigenous community there fully supports repatriating ancestral remains to their tribal homelands - including to Aotearoa.

It was one of two museums to recently negotiate with Te Papa's Karanga Aotearoa Repatriation team to send home 22 skeletal remains last month - with the support of the Nyoongar people.

Irene Stainton, a Nyoongar tribal elder, is a trustee of Western Australia Museum.

She says Aboriginal people, like Maori, recognise the cultural and spiritual significance of returning taonga or treasures from where they came from.

She says it's not just about giving back them back to the traditional owners - for them it is about reinstating those koiwi tangata back to their ancestral whenua.

Ms Stainton says her people played a big part in the ceremony at which the remains were handed over.