As I’m preparing for next week, it’s all about reading! The required reading for the Review Committee is quite demanding leading up to the meeting. So my evenings the last month or so have been pre-occupied with a large binder. This year, there is only one face to face meeting. The spring meeting was a teleconference. I have to say, I don’t care much for teleconferences. The issues brought up at Review Committee meetings are many times very personal and have required years of preparation. It’s only fair for everybody involved that the meeting be in person.
To make up for one face to face meeting this year, next week’s meeting is three days, in Washington D.C. To celebrate the 20th year of NAGPRA’s passage, I guess it’s appropriate the meeting is in D.C. My two years on the committee has been a terrific learning experience. Seeing so many people work together to resolve issues regarding NAGPRA helps keep me going forward with my own work. But along with the people working together, there are the disputes, and those are much more difficult. I think many more tribes would bring disputes if they could, because at the end of the day, a museum makes the determination if it will honor a tribe’s repatriation claim or not. And when it doesn’t, a dispute could be in order.