We submitted a claim for some sacred items recently and like some claims, it is not going to be a straight forward affair. The curator at the museum recently left the museum, which means we have to work with new staff. It feels like starting from scratch, but thankfully staff at this museum has worked on previous repatriation, ones in which items were returned to the requesting tribes. This is a positive sign, especially with the tribes being from out of Michigan. This museum is in Michigan, and we hope the museum would want to foster good relationships with its local indigenous populations.
Lawyers will read the claim, committee at the museum will read it and other staff. Sometimes it is not this involved, and only a few individuals at the museum will determine if the item or remains will go back. But, in many cases, we have to wait for a whole plethora of people to weigh in on our claim. This is exactly why we put multiple claims out, to stagger the work and hopefully keep busy!