I had to get my travel in today to start the next trip for our repatriation manual. I haven’t made any trips for this project in a few months, so it’s time to get back on the road. At the end of the month I will be working with a tribe in Oregon, interviewing them on their experiences with NAGPRA. Every tribe has different items they deem sacred and treat their dead in a little different fashion, but across the board, from what I have seen, every tribe wants their sacred items back and their dead reinterred.
After Oregon, it’s Alaska then D.C. and onto Washington State, all before November. I see myself as a gatherer of information and putting all this info into a useful, easy to use manual for tribes and museums. Maybe some museum staff have never heard, from the tribes themselves, the reasoning behind returning remains. It seems like an obvious decision to most, but it takes on a much more serious and urgent tone when the descendants of those remains are making the case for them to be returned.