Harvard University still has the remains of at least 19 people who were likely enslaved and nearly 7,000 Native Americans, according to the school's newspaper.
The Harvard Crimson cited a leaked draft report from the university's committee charged with studying how Harvard should treat human remains in its museum collections. Many of the remains are being held at the Peabody Museum of Ethnology and Archaeology.
That report shows that Harvard is holding the remains despite a decades-old federal law that requires institutions that accept federal funding to return Native American remains and cultural objects to their tribes and descendants.
Professor Evelynn Hammonds, chair of the University's Steering Committee on Human Remains, has criticized the Harvard Crimson for reporting on an "initial and incomplete draft report." She said the final report is expected to be released at a later date.
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That announcement coincided with the release of a report detailing many ways the college benefited from slavery and perpetuated racial inequality.
The report, commissioned by President Lawrence Bacow, found that Harvard’s faculty, staff and leaders enslaved more than 70 Black and Native American people from the school’s founding in 1636 to 1783. It cautions that the figure is “almost certainly an undercount.” Using historical records, researchers were able to identify dozens of enslaved people by name, along with their connection to the university.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.