Most of today was spent coordinating and consulting with museums on dispositions. One is ready to publish their federal register notice, the other is preparing their submission to get on the agenda before the Review Committee this October. Both museum are from Michigan and I am excited to see things move along for both. It all started with a phone call, asking if the museum was open to discussions about their collection of Indian remains. Man I was nervous on those early phone calls! But after going through the disposition process a few times, things got easier. I had some experience to draw on, but in the beginning, I was going on the examples set by other tribes and museums. It was inspiring to see the process take place at my first Review Committee. I hope the work we have done in Michigan will inspire other tribes to go out and retrieve their ancestors.
Besides consulting, I continued on the report for the disposition we have for Oct. The report goes to my boss, who edits all the typos, spelling, etc. We have a good system that is pretty effective. I provide the bulk and she refines the text. I better get this thing in the mail, it’s due to D.C. by July 29th.
We have had a lot of success in the last couple of years in repatriating remains and sacred objects, and I attribute a large portion of this success to the Manidok or spirits. Countless amounts of tobacco have been offered for help and help has been awarded, in the form of a cooperative museum, grants awarded, support from tribes, help from National NAGPRA, my tribe giving me a job! For all the negative surrounding my work, it is vital to focus on the positive, which there is more and more of, thanks to help from all sources.