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MT PLEASANT, MICHIGAN - United States repatriations are rare - International repatriations are even rarer.
In cooperation with the Museum of Vancouver, located in Vancouver, British Columbia, the Michigan Anishinaabek Cultural Preservation and Repatriation Alliance and the Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe of Michigan are conducting an International Repatriation Reburial Ceremony on Monday, December 19 at 2:00 pm est, at the Tribe's Nibokaan Ancestral Cemetery.
Since the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act of 1990, American Indian tribes in the United States had no recourse to protect and repatriate their ancestors. Twenty-one years after the passage of the Act, many tribes are still working diligently to bring home their ancestors from various institutions and repositories across the country. Estimates place ancestors who are still in these places still number over 150,000.
Ancestral repatriations are oftentimes a very long and arduous process that includes consultation, site visits, research and documentation between the institution, the tribe(s), and the federal government. A repatriation starting from a Tribe's initial request for consultation to the finality of a reburial can take anywhere between two to ten years or more.
Unfortunately, the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act of 1990 is only applicable to the United States .There are no laws or agreements in place that support United States based American Indian tribes who seek to repatriate ancestors from Canada or vice versa.
The Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe will welcome home the return of one adult female and her associated funerary objects from Canada . She was excavated in 1905 near Bridgeport, Michigan and has been at the Museum of Vancouver since 1906.
posted December 17, 2011 6:00 am est
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