Story 08: Working Together To Get It Right

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Written by Joan Lester

Once NAGPRA became the law of the land in 1990, the museum received three U.S. Park Service grants, all focused on supporting dialogue between Native nations and non-Native museums. With the first grant, we hired Brad Larson to video all the Native collections, creating one video for each culture area. It was our intent that people who could not travel to Boston would, in the comfort of their own homes, view all the relevant holdings. So far, one of these videos led to a significant return. After the Hopi priests requested a video and reviewed its contents, they submitted a repatriation request for four Kwatsi (the purchase of two of these was described earlier). They went home in 2006. The two other grants allowed us to create partnerships between tribal and mainstream museums in New England, with the Native and non-Native partners working for a week in each other's museums. The connections and trust created during those grants are still in place today.

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