Tomorrow I leave for D.C., for an entire week of NAGPRA. I am nervous and excited, this is probably one of the biggest weeks of work for me ever. Things are going to be recorded, lots of people in attendance and of course, the pressure of representing not just my tribe, but Indian country as well. But things have gotten easier since my first meeting, I was all nerves sitting before everybody. As long as the material is read, and I remember to keep to my roots as a traditional person, everything will be fine. I am not a scientist or a lawyer, I am an Odawa who practices his beliefs, and that is the main reason I am at the table.
But through all my NAGPRA work, I have met some really cool and wonderful people, from both tribes and museums. I look forward to seeing everybody and catching up. Everybody has their own battles to fight, but many are a common fight and we help each other when we can. The repatriation pool of people is small, but it’s one that takes their work seriously. But I must admit, it is very difficult being around people who don’t take your beliefs seriously and fight repatriation at every step.