The entire morning was spent in my monthly Emmet County Historical Commission meeting. We have a lot of projects in the works and the tribe’s views, history and feelings on what is appropriate are always taken into consideration. So many times I see inappropriate signs, pictures, maps, etc. at different locations and I think to myself “was there any Indians consulted about this”. Probably not. Generations of racist and derogatory ideas are hard to change, but at least some change is being brought about. Now I work with the county here on appropriate names, what can be told to non-Indians, what is offensive, how to protect areas, etc.
I just received my binder of information for the upcoming review committee meeting at the end of the month. This will be consuming a big part of my free time up until the meeting. There are a few repatriation claims I need to get out soon, so when I am in the office I need to concentrate on that. I was speaking with someone who works with NAGRPA this week and the topic of how complicated it is came up. We both came to the same conclusion that NAGPRA doesn’t have to be terribly complicated and in many instances, it can be pretty simple. I always tell museums through out the disposition process how simple it is. Sure, there’s a few steps, but overall it’s pretty straight forward. Sometimes the most complicated thing is getting confirmation from the museum to go forward. The NAGPRA contact at a museum, like a collections manager, curator, anthro chair, may be in favor of returning CUI remains, but getting the final okay from a department director or consensus from a collections committee can be very complicated. Many times getting the final green light is half the battle. Throughout this time of getting approval, I always stress it’s a simple procedure, done many times before. So far it’s been working out well.