The newest claim is going very well. I am doing something I haven’t done yet and that is cross referencing with older repatriation claims. Other museums have repatriated remains from the same area and this area has an abundant amount of information that can be used to solidify this current claim. If a museum, years prior, repatriated remains only a few miles from the area we are currently requesting, wouldn’t it make sense the remains are related? Especially given the fact both areas have similar items found with the burials. This and much more information is being pulled together now. If all goes well, the claim will be sent out before Christmas and an answer given to us shortly after. A spring reburial would be wonderful, to go along with the other two claims for remains we have out. If all goes as planned, I can pick up all these remains from the three different museums in one trip.
But that’s if everything goes accordingly. If not, we dispute the denial of our claim and take it before the Review Committee. Simple as that. We have one dispute already in the works. I don’t want to make LTBB Odawa out to be “on the muscle” when it comes to claims, but I feel tribes should not stop just because a museum denies them. It’s discouraging, believe me, to have a claim denied. But, there is a process that allows for the tribes to contest the determination by the museum. It’s only fair the dispute process is in place, without it, the museum’s decision would be the final say, and that’s not fair at all. Going the route of a dispute will add on months, sometimes a year or more, but I think it’s worth it.