We are working with a local museum on an exhibit to tell the struggle of the Odawa during the 20th century. This was a hard time for Indians all over the country, and my tribe was no exception. Many items were alienated from the community during the early 20th century. People were having immense pressure from the church to convert and families were dealing with the realization of starving families. During these hard times, unethical collectors took advantage of these circumstances. One such individual was named Albert Green Heath. Green operated in the entire mid west but in particular, the Great Lakes and n. Michigan. Stories pass down from my elders about this Heath, who would visit families experiencing economic hardships. After repeated visits offering to buy items, some families broke down. It was a dark time for us, but we are getting those items back, under NAGPRA.

Many tribes have their own Heath. One man responsible for acquiring thousands of  items, many times, under duress. Some willingly sold items, but than there is the question, “did that person have the right to sell that item?” Many times, no.