The first half of my day was responding to Sec. 106. It can be mundane but it’s necessary. If we don’t reply, that the builders will assume the tribes don’t have an interest in the project. Even if a construction project is hundreds of miles away from us, in our replies we offer assistance if any burial grounds are unearthed. This happened with a large construction site in southern Michigan, the housing project hit a large burial ground and tribes were notified right away. The issue isn’t totally resolved, but at least the tribes know about it.
Coordinated with the museum we (the tribes in Michigan) are going through with a disposition on at the Sarasota Review Committee this October. Tying up a few loose ends, like official titles of people presenting at the meeting, pointers for presenting and how long to present. I have worked with this museum for almost 2yrs. It’s so gratifying to be able to say we are going to present at this meeting. This is a larger collection, over 100 individuals. I have seen these individuals and had a hard time in their presence. The sadness felt in that room isn’t something that can be explained easily.
Once again, I will have to recuse myself from making any deliberations on this disposition at the RC meeting. It’s still an odd feeling of NOT presenting for dispositions I have worked on.
In my department, one never knows what can happen on a day to day basis. While working out the final financial arrangements for my travel next week with my director, she hands me a name and a number of an elderly couple in Emmet County. This couple has some artifacts that would like donated to the tribe here. I meet the couple and they live in one of many private associations in Emmet County (most of our reservation is “owned” by non natives). They found two really cool pre contact tools, both made of stone. One is a hammer and the other, larger tools was probably a multi purpose tool, mainly used to break ground and stretch hides. These items were found next to a creek, and many times hides were processed next to running water. They were very generous and gave the items to our department. It makes me wonder what other items are floating around in all these homes on our reservation.