Majority of the morning spent responding and sending emails. I sent a link of this blog to every museum and tribe I have worked with in the last 3yrs. I am hoping for feedback on what can be improved, what they find useful and any general inquiries. I also hope the people I contacted will pass the link along to other institutions/tribes.
Finalized travel for a large trip to southern Michigan mid-September. 3 stops in 4 days. One with a university about a repatriation claim and their CUI collection, the next interviews with a museum and historian under our documentation grant. Each fall I have been working at LTBB has been very busy travel wise. One of the requirements for my job was to have a flexible schedule for travel and I can see why. Many times museums have limited windows of opportunity to meet with me and we try to arrange for multiple stops in one trip, which covers a lot of ground but can be very time consuming. I love traveling so I don’t mind, but I can see where somebody with children would have a difficult time at some points ( I don’t have any kids or even a pet, but I want a German Shepard really bad).
A highlight of travel is meeting the museum staff I have worked with. Sometimes it’s the actual pick up of remains/items or it’s first meeting to share information and let the museum know how serious the tribe/tribes takes repatriation. Some museums I work with for years and never see, only email and phone. After completing a successful repatriation, it’s nice to meet the people on the other side, because without their efforts, nothing would have come back. Building a working relationship can be immediate or takes time. Some museums want to start right away, others are more reserved. And like other relationships, they have their ups and downs. Personnel changes, changes in policy or simply waiting for an answer are all factors. But I can’t wait too long, there is a compliance time line that museums must adhere to under NAGPRA. It’s a fine line between being pushy and not being taken seriously.