This morning was spent in my monthly Emmet County Historical Commission meeting. I sit on this board, to represent the tribe’s history in Emmet County and to make sure accurate, historical information is presented to the public. I am glad this commission contacted the tribe about having an Odawa on board. It’s silly to talk about Emmt County’s history and NOT mention the tribe. European occupation started here in the mid 1700s. Odawa occupation goes back thousands upon thousands of years. We are working on some possible interpretive displays and signs at significant locations throughout our county. A lot of out of state people visit our area, and we feel they should know they are on Odawa territory and the role Odawa people have played in American history.
Working in the Cultural Preservation Dept. here at LTBB has many perks, one of them being if we are doing any cultural activities after work hours, sometimes we can count that as work hours. Last night we were doing ceremonies until 11 pm. so I am taking part of the afternoon off today. I always give credit to the people and spirits who help us out in our work. Ceremonies, I feel, are a crucial element to our work. Such a large part of NAGRPA is focused on tribes getting their sacred objects back. They really are that important, because we really do use them and they serve a higher purpose in the native community. We recently had a repatriation claim denied for a sacred item. Our claim did not meet the museum’s definition of a Sacred Item. We will try to work more this museum, but a dispute may be in order. We have yet to delve into this realm of NAGPRA, but we feel confident our claim is solid, because we have these beliefs and customs that tie us to such items. It’s hard conveying this to museums. Some get it, some don’t. We have been very fortunate to work with museums who get it.