The trip to interview the Umatilla tribe in Oregon was a complete success. The tribe has had an extensive background in NAGPRA work and it’s such a relief to see another tribe pursue repatriation with the same passion, drive and dedication. My tribe is completely different from the Umatilla tribe, but our shared experiences under NAGPRA create a bond, and most tribes feel this bond with other tribes who go through the same trials and success. As previously stated from other tribes I have interviewed, the answer of “if we don’t do this work, nobody else will” was voiced. It’s sad but true, but at least people are stepping to do the work.
Now it’s time to go back home, process the interview and get back to life in the office. I love traveling and working with others, but too much time away from the office adds up to a pile of work. And like our office, this tribe has to multi task to get things done.