One of the most critical elements for a succesful NAGPRA program is community buy in. I have had the good fortune of working for a tribe that prioritizes repatriation. My department recently merged with several other departments, resulting in some changes, one of them a new director. But after talking over my job with my new boss, I feel relieved there is support for repatriation, and excited to be able to continue on with our work, and hopefully take it to the next level, topping the number of remains previously repatriated in a year’s time and branching out with more educational opportunities. With our prior success, I feel obligated to help other tribes and museums, because others helped us get to this point.
NAGPRA at 20 is less than a month away, and I’m ready for it to be here! I have been part of the planning committee for this event for over a year now. It has been a great experience working with our diverse little committee. And there has been community buy in of a different sort supporting this event. The NAGRPA community, the many different people who implement NAGPRA on a daily basis, both tribal, fed agency and museums, are speaking on the various different panels over the course of two days. The response from the practitioners has been overwhelmingly positive. People want their stories told.