I had blogged previously about the event that we at LTBB Odawa were collaborating on with Fort Necessity National Battlefield. The event, which is a year long exhibit highlighting LTBB, is now up and running, for one year. We gathered items from LTBB Odawa and also have items on loan from Mackinac State Historic Parks. Some of the items are from the mid-18th century, about the time of the battle at Fort Necessity. Fort Necessity, the only National Park designated to the French/Indian war, was a pleasure to work with the entire time. The Odawa are having their story told at the park, why we fought in the battle and how that war changed not only our history, but the history of North America. But this work may not have been possible, if it wasn’t for NAGPRA.
I was put in contact with Fort Necessity via a NAGPRA Review Committee in May 2008. After presenting before the Review Committee, requesting a recommendation for disposition of culturally unidentifiable remains (Mackinac State Historic Parks was one of the museums we were presenting with at the meeting), a National Park Service ethnographer talked to me about getting in touch with Fort Necessity, that I may be interested in talking to them about my tribe. From first contact with the fort, they were very interested in improving their interpretive display and including more of the French allied Indians’ story. The idea for a temporary display was born and 2yrs later, the display is a reality. So, while fighting to get our ancestors back through NAGPRA, a once in a lifetime educational opportunity presented itself and we seized it.