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Juneau, AK (July 18, 2018) – Central Council of Tlingit and Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska (Tlingit & Haida) has been awarded $66,000 from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) through its Native American/Native Hawaiian Museum Services (NANH) grants program.
The grant funds will be used to complete a storage assessment and improve ongoing collection care of objects of cultural patrimony, sacred objects, and funerary objects. Project activities will support the long-term stewardship of these objects by improving the storage, access, preservation, and security of the collection through the purchase of museum quality storage units.
Upon completion of the project, objects will be stored or on public display at Tlingit & Haida’s Edward K. Thomas building located at 9097 Glacier Highway in Juneau, Alaska.
“The repatriation work of Tlingit & Haida is vital to the survival of our cultures,” said President Richard (Chalyee Éesh) Peterson. “As we continue to see more and more objects come home, it is especially important that we increase our infrastructure to caretake the items for clans and owners. With this project, we want to be very clear that the items will only be on display with approvals in place from clans and owners.”
Tlingit & Haida’s Cultural Heritage & Education department will administer the grant funds that will also be used to evaluate and create repatriation policies in line with the traditional tribal values.
“This grant award will allow us to take measures to ensure that Tlingit & Haida is fulfilling its role on behalf of clans and communities to be the steward of repatriated items with our cultural values as the foundation of our work,” said Cultural Heritage & Education Manager Sarah Dybdahl.”
Since 1993, Tlingit & Haida’s Cultural Resources program has been successful in repatriating numerous artifacts on behalf of tribal communities through the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA). The Cultural Resources program’s focus is to seek the return and protection of all objects and to provide technical assistance to communities and tribes throughout Southeast Alaska in the implementation of NAGPRA and the National Museum of the American Indian Act (NMAIA).To date, Tlingit & Haida has successfully repatriated more than 150 objects with several repatriation requests still pending as reported by Cultural Resource Specialist Harold Jacobs.