In the last week I have received confirmation from 3 museums that they will not be ready for a disposition for the spring meeting. It’s a little disappointing but not all is lost. Two of the three want to make the fall meeting, one is not going forward at all. It’s a relief to not stress if the museums are going to get their paperwork into National NAGPRA on time. I spoke with one museum today and he said the lawyers got involved and when this happens, everything usually comes to a halt. I was expecting this sooner or later, I just wished it would have been sooner. But the lawyers will find out everything we are doing as a disposition is legal and once that happens, it’s forward progress again.
On a more positive note, the repatriation for remains we feel affiliated to our tribe was officially sent out today. I spent the morning going over the claim with a fine tooth comb, and I did catch a few errors. We know this claim will be looked over very carefully at the museum, so we tried extra hard to eliminate any little errors. Now gears are shifting to the repatriation manual. The next claim I will start working on will be for some sacred items. Two museums have similar items, so I can actually work on different claims at the same time. Most of the museums have similar items but occasionally we find a museum that has an even rarer object. Many times the collector’s records for these items will state “really rare item” or “choice piece”. These collectors knew what they were looking for, it was by no accident that they amassed so many items in a short period and the museums were so eager to buy the items.