Acknowledging how important vocabulary is in the framing of our thoughts and the recognition of assumptions in any discussion, the following presents some key words used when talking about the respectful treatment of ancestral ‘human remains’. By providing clarity with regard to the definitions used by HAD, the purpose of this document is to move beyond the oppositional debate based on the misunderstanding of terms, and towards the recognition of solutions attainable through an approach involving a more inclusive cultural contribution.
HAD asserts that:
- As human beings we have a duty of care towards every other human person.
- The ancestral dead retain their personhood as integral and influencing members of the community.
- Personhood entails the need for respectful interaction.
Download the HAD Definitions document (pdf) which contains HAD’s core definitions of some key terms often used in this field that we sincerely hope will help in understanding our perspective and ideals.