Spending a few days with the Austrian curator has proven to be a very interesting experience. His museum has many objects from out area, some of them very rare and trying to explain why these items are needed by the tribe today has proven to be a bit of a challenge. He is well aware of NAGPRA and how it works and he feels this is a great benefit to the tribes in the United States. He is right but we stress that just because an item crosses an ocean, it does not lose it’s importance and power as a sacred object. The only way we can get these items back is to convince the museum that the item is needed by the present day tribe and nobody had the right to sell such an item and alienate it from the community.
In conversations, I am finding out more and more which museums in Europe have items from the Great Lakes. This is information that would take much time to obtain, but by having a museum professional from Europe, he can rattle of the top of his head which museums I should be looking at. This alone is very valuable and hopefully will lead to future face to face meeting with other museums staff from very far away.