The next 2yrs will see huge numbers of remains going back to tribes across the country, ours included. I am going back and requesting updated inventories of CUI from all museums we have been in contact with the last 3yrs. I am hoping, through consultation, that some of the remains can actually be affiliated to a specific tribe. Affiliations are always quicker and I think quicker is better, remains have been sitting for decades. So it’s getting the most up to date information now, but the majority of museums state their original CUI inventories haven’t been amended. While looking over these inventories, I have to keep a map of Michigan handy, to see exactly where all these counties are and cross-reference that to Royce maps as well as traditional territories of the tribes.
But in the midst of all this new activity regarding 10.11, we have to keep focused on prior repatriations we have in the works. It would be very easy to completely focus on what is next for CUI but we can’t do that. Items still need to get back home. It’s easy to forget about the items when remains are talked about so much, but items serve a purpose for their respective communities and that purpose is not being utilized by the items by them sitting in museums. So it’s one thing at a time; one claim, one request, spreading information and making contacts. And lots of writing projects. I was speaking with a certain museum staff yesterday and we were talking about how busy thing are going to get for both of us. I told her work doesn’t end for me at 5pm. It’s really all the time now, writing on the week ends, travel and most importantly the ceremonies that accompany this work. From the reburial ceremony to asking for guidance in what we are doing.