Tuesday, February 15, 2011

EIGHT OBJECTS TO COME HOME TO HOONAH CLAN -- Forty-two objects still held by museum

Eight old, cultural objects illegally sold to an east coast museum in the 1920s are returning home to the T’akdeintaan Clan, Snail House, of Hoonah.

The clan has been trying for 16 years to repatriate a collection of 50 objects owned by the Snail House (a sub division of the clan) but held by the Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology. The museum sent a letter to the clan notifying it of plans to send eight of the objects home.

“I can hardly believe that it’s really going to happen in mylifetime,” said Marlene Johnson, a member of the Snail House and a co-signer on the original repatraition claim filed in September 1995. Johnson also serves as chair of the Huna Heritage Foundation and vice chair of Sealaska Heritage Institute, which assisted in the effort, along with the Huna Totem Corporation, Hoonah Indian Association and Sealaska Corporation.

The repatriated objects include a wooden box drum, a robe known as the Lituya Bay Robe, a mask known as Owl of the Heavens, a mask known as Commander of the Tides, a headdress known as Little Ravine, a head cover formed from a corner piece of a Chilkat blanket, a rattle featuring a loon, human and raven’s head and a tobacco pipe.

The museum first agreed in 2009 to send the eight objects home to the clan, after receiving the clan’s repatriation claim 14 years earlier. In November of 2010, a delegation representing the clan traveled to Washington, D.C. to argue before the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA) Review Committee for the return of all 50 items. The delegation argued that the seller did not have permission from the Snail House to transfer the collection to the museum. The committee--a federal advisory panel--agreed, saying the museum did not acquire the 50 objects with the consent of the T’akdeintaan Clan, Snail House.

The clan is waiting to see if the museum will return the other forty-two objects.

“We are at a loss to explain how the museum made the distinction between these eight objects and the remaining objects in the collection since they are from the same collection, have the same cultural attributes and meet the same standards for repatriation,” said Johnson. Based on the NAGPRA Review Committee findings and the fact that the museum did repatriate the eight objects, we remain hopeful that the museum will repatriate the remaining collection.”

CONTACT: Huna Heritage Foundation Chair Marlene Johnson, 321-8335; SHI President Rosita Worl, 463-4844

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

MLIS Scholarships for American Indians and Alaska Natives - Apply Now for Circle of Learning for Fall 2011

This is an opportunity for Native American Indians and Alaska Natives who want to earn a fully online ALA-accredited Master of Library and Information Science (MLIS) degree. This qualifies individuals to work within libraries and archival repositories.

The Circle of Learning program http://slisweb.sjsu.edu/circleoflearning/ is offered through a partnership between the San Jose School of Library and Information Science (SLIS) and the American Indian Library Association (AILA), and is made possible by a generous grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services. Current SLIS students as well as prospective students who plan to apply for admission to the School’s MLIS program for the Fall 2011 semester are eligible for Circle of Learning scholarships.

Please note that Circle of Learning students need to be admitted to the School’s MLIS program before being considered for scholarship funding. Applications are being accepted now through March 31, 2011 for admission to San Jose State University’s School of Library and Information Science for Fall 2011. Fall classes begin August 24, 2011. For more information about how to apply to the School’s fully online MLIS program, please visit: http://slisweb.sjsu.edu/admissions/mlis_application.htm .

Students interested in applying for Circle of Learning scholarships should take note of upcoming scholarship application deadlines. The Fall 2011 deadline to apply for Circle of Learning scholarships is March 25, 2011.

Details regarding eligibility and application materials are available on the project website at http://slisweb.sjsu.edu/circleoflearning/. We also invite you to contact Heather Devine, the Circle of Learning Project Manager, at hhdevine@gmail.com. Heather would be happy to talk with you and answer any questions you may have regarding this scholarship opportunity.

You may also attend the Circle of Learning Open House on Elluminate on March 3rd to learn about the program from current students and project managers.

To learn more about the American Indian Library Association and its initiatives to improve library and information services for American Indians, visit http://www.ailanet.org/ .