Today I put the finishing touches on a repatriation claim for human remains. This museum is in Michigan and we already notified the museum the claim will be arriving shortly. We don’t like to blind side museums with claims. If we notify them in advance, then the museum can consult with us if they so choose. Half the time there are questions regarding the claim that can be addressed without having the claim being denied or re-written. The other half the museum has little or no questions and goes through with the repatriation very smoothly. We welcome questions and feel the repatriation process should be fluid, not rigid, with room and time to accomodate understanding of the claim. This claim is a bit larger than our normal claim, around 12 pages, with 15 or so sources cited. We feel it’s a pretty strong claim, we’ll have to wait and see what the museum thinks.
One of the fun parts of researching claims is finding all kinds of different information pertaining to my tribe. As I was looking for something tying the Odawa to fishing for whitefish(pretty easy) I came upon a few pages of War Customs. Of course I had to read this chapter. Taking into account historical documents, you always have to be mindful of the source. The martial ability of Odawa warriors ranges from “cowards” to “much feared”. I suppose the original authors own prejudices have a large part to play in this, as with any historical account, but it’s entertaining to read the varied recollections. I had to snap out of reading about the war path and refocus on white fish.