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A shell necklace returned to the Bardi Jawi peoples back on Country in Cape Leveque.

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The Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies (AIATSIS) has created the Guidelines for Ethical Research in Australian Indigenous Studies (GERAIS) to ensure that research with and about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples follows a process of meaningful engagement and reciprocity between the researcher and the individuals and/or communities involved in the research.

The United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) was adopted by the General Assembly on Thursday, 13 September 2007. The Declaration is the most comprehensive international instrument on the rights of Indigenous peoples. It establishes a universal framework of minimum standards for the survival, dignity and well-being of the Indigenous peoples of the world and it elaborates on existing human rights standards and fundamental freedoms as they apply to Indigenous peoples.

The Australian Government Policy on Indigenous Repatriation was established in 2011. In 2016, the policy was updated to reflect the change in department name (Note: in February 2020 following the Administrative Arrangements Order made on 5 Decemeber 2019, the Department of Communications and the Arts functions were transferred to the renamed Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications).

The Australian Government has been facilitating the return of Indigenous ancestral remains and secret sacred objects to their communities of origin for over two decades. The Government acknowledges that repatriation requires a holistic approach and recognises the process helps promote healing and reconciliation for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

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Last reviewed: 2 Mar 2020