A museum I have been working with for 3yrs has finally agreed to meet with me this September. The department I am working with has had 3 different directors in 3yrs. The newest director is receptive to what the tribes in Michigan have proposed, which is a disposition of their CUI collection from Michigan. It’s always a good sign when people want to meet face to face. My experiences have been for the most part positive after meeting with museum personnel personally. I think the museum staff gets more of a sense that the issue is deeper then accession numbers, archaeological reports, funerary objects, theories of origin, etc. These are people and the modern day descendants of these people are here to take care of them. I am optimistic things will go well with this museum. I always had this museum in the back of my mind, periodically checking in with them, seeing what is going on. I understand there is turn over, sometimes you just have to ride out the changes until you can get in a position to do some work.
Spoke with Jaime Lavalle at National NAGPRA today. I am always asking her questions! She has been a great help since I started. Not only does she help me with my inquiries about the Federal Register process, but also about NAGPRA in general. LTBB has 4 affiliated claims in the Federal Register process now, with 2 NIC for dispositions coming down the pipe in the next month. I like to know where we are with the notices, so I can plan travel. Sometimes if we have multiple notices out, we can arrange to pick up remains/items from two different museums in one trip. I had one museum from N.Y. bring some funerary objects affiliated to LTBB to a Review Committee in San Diego. That saved me a trip out east and alot of time and money. You never know when you will have to make a pick up.
While the weather is good, I will shift to some out door duties. I have 60 plus new crosses that need primer and paint. Have to check to see if the cemeteries need the grass mowed with all the rain we have been getting. Replace some broken crosses.
Part of our documentation grant requires some supplies, so I had to price these out. I am excited to interview all the various people who work with NAGPRA. Plus, part of our project is to interview elders, get their input on why having remains/objects returned is important for the community. Meeting and listening to elders from all over the country will be a wonderful experience.