I can’t stress how working relationships differ from museum to museum. One large museum we have been dealing with for years seems to always throw us a curve ball. I shouldn’t get surprised when this museum throws these curve balls, but I do get very irritated, irritated beyond belief at times. Today’s scenario was a response to a request for a summary of items that may be sacred items affiliated to my tribe. In the response, the museum stated it didn’t originally contact LTBB about any of the items because the museum felt none of the items were sacred to LTBB. Without any consultation, this museum came to this conclusion. This is a perfect example on how things don’t get done in the world of NAGPRA.
On a brighter note for the day, a summary from a very large museum arrived today. Hundreds of items from the Great Lakes are housed at this museum, many from outside Michigan, but items that are none the less sacred. I will probably contact the tribes these other items are associated with, giving them heads up, if they don’t already know about them. A simple email or phone call can make a big difference.