The next NAGPRA Review Committee will be telephonic, not person to person. I am disappointed the next meeting will be in such a way, I feel much more can be accomplished when people are in the same room. Plus, it’s an accumulation of all the hard work a museum and tribes go through on a disposition of CUI. From my past experiences, it a great feeling to be at the meeting, with the museum staff, ready present, months, sometimes years, worth of hard work. and when you get the recommendation from the Review Committee, it’s like a weight has been lifted of of you and you know it’s only a matter of time before the reburial of your ancestors will take place. As I have posted before, a special relationship develops between tribes and museums once they complete a repatriation. I feel dispositions are even more special, because the museum is not obligated under the law to do so, they do it because they fell it’s the ethical and right thing to do.
We, the tribes in Michigan, have one disposition lined up for this spring review committee meeting. It will be odd sitting my office, on the phone, participating in the meeting, but the important thing is that we are going forward, this time with a federal agency, a national forest from Michigan. I may meet the NAGPRA contact for this forest some day, maybe not. I would like to meet all the museum personal I have worked with on dispositions some day, to say thank you, in person.