The new CUI regulations is going to change so much, both in museums and tribal communities. People who have been fighting to the good fight to see their ancestors returned will finally see day their efforts are paid in full. This problem goes way beyond NAGPRAs 20yrs in existence, but it started when the first Indians were dug up out of their graves and shipped away. This fight has been going on since museums first started accepting human remains, which is some cases goes well past 150yrs. These regs are part of the accumulation of this struggle, and I am happy to be here, working on this issue, as these regs were made law.
The next step will be interpreting the regulations and of course, many consultations with the remaining museums who are housing CUI. All the museums who engaged with the Michigan tribes in dispositions don’t have to do anything, their CUI already went back. Some of the CUI that don’t have any provenance will probably go before the review committee, and I have no idea what number that represents out of the total CUI count. Somebody asked me what will I do, now that all these remains are going back. We still have lots of items out there that need to come back home. Also, I would like to focus more on the grave protection of NAGPRA.