Today was spent traveling and attending a meeting with a museum we, the tribes in Michigan, have had some difficulty in the past working on NAGPRA with. It’s promising to open consultation again, to try to resolve, once again, this 800 pound gorilla in the room, the CUI issue. It was a long drive for a 2hr meeting, but this 2hr meeting may result in some actual head way in the months to come. Every single face to face meeting has been positive, so when this museum asked me to come down, I had to take them up on the offer.
tomorrow is back on the road, heading to a meeting with all the other NAGPRA tribal reps from Michigan. We meet every 4 months to go over NAGPRA projects and keep updated with each other. These meeting really help, especially with the number of dispositions we, as a group, have done in the last year. Once remains are eligible to be returned, it’s not so simple. A destination has to be picked, which tribes are involved, etc. Reburials are a big committment. It’s nice to be able to bring up the issue of having all these remains we have to rebury this spring! And it’s going to be a very busy spring, with at least 3 museums turning over their CUI collections to the Michigan tribes. So when I am driving for hours to attend a meeting, I think back on all the past meetings and how those meetings played a part in the retrieval of remains. It makes the drive much more pleasant.