Officially started on a new repatriation claim today. This will be for human remains. This will be a joint claim, since the area the remains are from is an area with multiple tribes historically occupying that area. All of the tribes I have worked with have been more then willing to lend support on the repatriation of human remains. This is a issue most tribes agree upon. Tribes who have been relocated out of the Great Lakes send support letters. We try to contact every single tribe, that is still in existence, about the work we are doing. We try to eliminate the possibility of a competing claim from tribe, because we include as many tribes as possible from the beginning. The tribes in Michigan meet every 3 months to discuss NAGPRA issues.
As I am preparing a repatriation claim, I always contact that museum to let them know they will be receiving a claim from LTBB. I called this particular museum today and discussed a few pieces of information in the inventory and the strategy we will be using to affiliate the remains. I can’t stress enough the importance of open dialogue.
The potential dispositions for next year are starting to take shape, but need some work still. For two of these museums, the question of possession has to be answered, since the remains have gone from one institution to another. It’s tedious but necessary. Can not give up just because things become complicated and at times, frustrating. We will just have to work through the details and find out exactly the status of these remains. It helps there is a time line of events on the National NAGPRA website, then I can show museums an exact date to have paperwork in.