As I mentioned in previous posts, being from the Straits of Mackinac makes my job as a researcher much easier. We are blessed to have so much documentation on our area. Finding sources for claims is easier for here then other areas in the state. The repatriation claim I sent out earlier this week is for remains from the Straits of Mackinac and, we believe, affiliated to LTBB. There are two other sets of remains from the historic period in the same museum’s collection, but not from Mackinac. They are from southern Michigan. But the evidence clearly shows the remains are from the late 1600s-early 1700s. The route we will take for these is to work with the museum to amend their inventory and affiliate the remains to the three federally recognized Odawa tribes in Michigan, since they are from an area of heavy Odawa occupancy. This will be fairly quick and hopefully done before winter hits. This museum is getting a crash course in NAGRPA. I meet with them next week to discuss a possible disposition of their CUI, I sent out a repatriation claim and now work on an amended inventory. Thankfully the department director I am working with at the museum is very open to all of the above processes and wants to work with the tribes.
One more repatriation claim to send out before the month is over, this is my goal. This claim is also for human remains. I would also like to get another couple claims out for sacred items/item of cultural patrimony this fall. But we prioritize human remains, which reminds me to “gently remind” the other museums who have showed an interest in doing a disposition. We need to know what direction they are going to take. I am already looking ahead to the spring 2010 Review Committee in D.C. It would be great to have 3 or 4 dispositions lined up for that one. We were able to do this at previous meetings, have multiple dispositions for Michigan at one meeting. I’d like to see that at D.C.