One of the old Odawa guys I grew up with used to tell me when I was younger, “Eric, it’s best to be a jack of all trades to get things done”. He was a mason that ran a successful small business, so I paid attention. I apply this mentality all the time with my current job. Part of the day was spent coordinating between tribes for an upcoming disposition, getting support letters to the right person, what museum/agency is involved, etc. Sometimes a large chunk of my day will be getting people the right information. Instead of having somebody else try to look things up, I try to provide it for them to make things go quicker. Then the day switched gears to writing for our repatriation manual. I fly to Wisconsin next week to interview a tribe there. This will be the first tribe I interview for our manual and I am excited to hear from them. So things can change very quickly in the world of repatriation, from reading and writing to spending time on the phone trying to move things along. Having decent social skills is good to have, you deal with a whole wide range of people, from museum staff to federal agencies to state workers to police to tribes from all over the country.  NAGPRA has the potential to reach out into a lot of different communities outside the tribal ones. Since I am hitting the road yet again, it reminds me that being flexible in your schedule also helps tremendously. The more successful claims, the greater likelihood somebody is going to have to pick the items up. This is where repatriation grants come in handy. We have utilized repatriation grants in the past and I am sure we will apply for ones in the future.

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