We put in a claim for remains this January from a museum in Michigan. We are always confident when we submit any repatriation claim and this affiliation claim was no different. The remains being requested were originally CUI, but as many of us know, just because remains were originally listed as CUI, doesn’t mean they can’t be affiliated. On the contrary, thousands of remains have been returned after re-examination of CUI inventories. We actually had remains affiliated to us from the same museum last year, so things were moving in the right direction until we got official word the museum was denying our claim.
I had to read the letter over and over, analyzing the museum’s reasoning for not honoring our claim. What makes this so frustrating is that the new CUI regulations will mandate the museum return them anyway. The main issue may not be the remains themselves, but the funerary objects that go with them. So now we have to decide to the next step to take, but the immediate thing to do is call the museum and talk with them. It was crushing in a sense, knowing the efforts to get your ancestors free was held up by a few peoples’ decisions, if that. But I say held up because we will keep pressing this until this is resolved. I had all week end to “cool off” so I am in a much better frame of mind to discuss this issue this week with the museum.