Lucas da Costa Maciel, Ph.D

Museum and Repatriation Consultant

At the intersection between museum anthropology, Indigenous ethnology, and critical heritage studies, my work concerns the ontological dimension of Indigenous politics relating to museums, collections, and cultural property. My research queries the consequences of collecting — a form of colonialism — over Indigenous lives, territories, and other-than-humans, highlighting Indigenous activism dealing with these consequences. Using community-engaged methodologies, I focus on co-curation, repatriation, material culture, and cultural property to find where Indigenous politics exceeds different forms of governmentality and release the excesses concerning the real by making the unforeseen possible. Therefore, I work on ontological conflicts seeking ways to overcome how they encapsulate world self-determination. In exploring cultural property-related topics and prioritizing other-then-human politics, my work concerns world rebuilding, land reclaims, and spiritual reemergence in Indigenous worlds.

I am a Postdoctoral Fellow at Memorial University of Newfoundland’s Department of Archaeology, working with Professor Mario Blaser. My postdoc receives funding from Banting, a highly prestigious and competitive fellowship awarded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, part of the Government of Canada.

For ten years, I have mediated, assisted, and participated in Indigenous communities’ educational, cultural, and heritage initiatives. Since 2018, I have collaborated closely with Koyawe territory, an assembly of nineteen Mapuche communities in Southern Chile. In 2022, the Koyawe communities founded the Mapuche Repatriation Program and appointed me as one of its representatives.

Also, I am always willing to support museums and communities in institutional decolonization, repatriation, curatorial collaboration, and similar subjects. Let me know how I can assist you or your work by writing me an e-mail.

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