Cherokee Chiefs -  Sacred Meteorite  (106 views) Notify me whenever anyone posts in this discussion.Subscribe
From: C_ANGEL7/28/00 8:00 PM 
To: All  (1 of 12) 
Return of the Sacred Meteorite (OREGON) Ten millennia ago
in the Great Pacific Northwest a giant meteorite came crashing from the sky onto Earth. An Ice Age glacier then pushed this mass of iron to a hillside along the upper coast of present-day Oregon.

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From: NiteFalcon7/30/00 2:40 PM 
To: C_ANGEL unread  (2 of 12) 
 256.2 in reply to 256.1 
This will probably be a unpopular question but its something I've been thinking about ever since I read about the opening of the new museum and the controversy surrounding the metorite.

What I don't understand is that this new museum built around the meteorite didn't just pop up over night. From what I have read in other articles, the metorite has been on display almost constantly since 1906. Its not like it was some big secret that the museum had the metorite. NAGPRA was passed in 1990, thereby giving them the right to sue to get it back. Why didn't they do it then, why now, 10 years later? To me this doesn't make any sense.

It would be different if the meteor had just disappeared and suddenly rediscovered or such. To me it just seems a little odd thats all.



From: Judy (tokala1)7/30/00 4:10 PM 
To: NiteFalcon unread  (3 of 12) 
 256.3 in reply to 256.2 
Does NAGPRA cover non-human artifacts? Or those not associated with burial custom? That rock has been at that Museum since forever, maybe the reason for the lawsuit is that NOW there was a chance of winning? After all, the general public is at least an iota more sympathetic than a decade ago...and the public PAID to build the structure...

From: C_ANGEL7/30/00 6:48 PM 
To: NiteFalcon unread  (4 of 12) 
 256.4 in reply to 256.2 
First.... A woman from New York bought the meteorite and donated it to the American Museum of Natural History in New York City.
Native People back in the early 1900's Had what resources to fight an orginization of this magnitude? They had no power in congress, no millions of dollars to hire massive corporate lawyers, in the early 1900' what resources did they have? What was the public's opinion of them as a people, a race? Pretty similar to how they felt about anyone else that wasn't white right? Think back to how it was back then.

In 1954, the Confederated Tribes of the Grand Ronde were officially terminated by the U.S. government, leaving very little hope that they would ever be able to reclaim and recover their holy relic.
They werent idle, they had been working at this since it was taken, but with so few recourses.

In the 50's even after WWII, people of a different race were still not looked highly upon. Even After the code talkers and other feats performed by the men and women in arms. They were still segregated, ignored, looked down upon. How many linchings happened at that time? How many perpetrators were actually brought to court in the beginning? Who support these people in court? And what happened to the lawyers that supported them?

In 1983, the tribe was restored its federal recognition. In 1990 the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act was passed.

This meant that for the first time Native American GRAVES were considered something othar than exploitable land. Before this they were pillaged, robbed, desecrated all for the almighty dollar.
I wonder if it would have taken almost a CENTURY if cemetaries in the back of churches and, why not even Arlington cemetary were treated the same as American Indian burial sites were until this point? Can you immagine the outrage from the public if a soldier of the civil war era were dug up to get his medals and sell them on E-BAY? This was done a thousand times over to the Native people of America with never a second thought except to make money.

These attorneys contend that NAGPRA doesn't apply in this case. They claim the meteorite does not fit the definition of a sacred object. They say the confederation never owned it. They say the confederation failed to prove that the museum does not have "right of possession."
The two sides are currently negotiating this matter and have set a June 21 deadline, but neither has a desire to compromise.

So it is not considered a Sacred Object in the eyes of "The System". Still the battle continues. Something stolen over 100 years ago, is making money, profits for the "system" why would they want to do the right thing? Why would they want to admit that for over a century, they condoned the theft of the object? Admit that they looked the other way when people fought to regain what was stolen? Why would they
want to admit that they were wrong?


From: NiteFalcon7/30/00 7:01 PM 
To: C_ANGEL unread  (5 of 12) 
 256.5 in reply to 256.4 
My point was not "Why did they not sue 100 years ago" or even 50 but 10 years ago, when the law went into effect. The article said they got their recognition back pre-1990 and then 1990 the NAP...(can't remember all the letters but you know what I mean) when into effect. Why wait till now? Now sue the first moment possible. That was my point.



From: C_ANGEL7/30/00 8:52 PM 
To: NiteFalcon unread  (6 of 12) 
 256.6 in reply to 256.5 
If I am understanding you correctly, you believe that this is a new request? You are asking "Why do they NOW ask for their items back?"

This isnt new at all!

Tribes all over have been searching for their things, and asking for their return. You are just now hearing about it!

It is the individual institutions who are still denying and fighting the people on it. The museums are still fighting the people, they do not wish to give anything back. The schools still deny they even have artifacts. Archeologists fight because they are loosing their "history" to research.

American Indians are having little success reclaiming ancestral remains and sacred objects from colleges and museums under a 1990 federal law. Ten years after the law's passage, most of the bones and artifacts mandated to be returned to tribes remain in institutions that have held them for decades. They are being displayed, studied or in many cases stored on basement shelves.
We'd like to see the law work as it was intended, But it isnt.

1.) Lack of funds. Many colleges and museums don't have staff, time or
resources to conduct accurate inventories, locate and notify appropriate tribal groups and shepherd the return of remains and treasured items. Tribes lack money to send representatives all over the state, nation and even abroad to conduct research or even check the inventory lists they're getting.

2.) Bureaucratic bottlenecks. More than 80 percent of the major museums and universities have not completed inventories that were supposed to have been done by 1995!!! At the federal level, their lists must be approved by the National Park Service, which was said to have a 2 1/2-year backlog.

3.) Conflicting interests. Tribes want bones and cultural artifacts back. Archaeologists, anthropologists and academicians tend to want to keep them.

You see, there is a whole process to go through and these are just a few. Native people must comply with each and evry one. Institutions thrive on the red tape that ties Indian belongings to their ownership and prevent its return.

If you find it strange that they should just NOW want their things, and remains back, This has been an ongoing battle that has just reached the public's ear.
Perhaps you should wonder why you have just now heard of it?
Why is it finally possible to reach the media's attention?
Perhaps you think about helping instead...

Legislature can use funding and other means to prod or assist compliance from state universities. And Museums could use letters and petitions to be sent to them.


From: C_ANGEL7/31/00 7:43 AM 
To: NiteFalcon unread  (7 of 12) 
 256.7 in reply to 256.5 
Tribal leaders, scientists, and government officials met this week to discuss, and in some, cases, criticize the government over how it handles the Native American Graves and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA) of 1990.

Seen as a historic law which allows Native Americans to reclaim what rightfully belongs to them-- cultural property and tribal ancestors--NAGPRA has come under scrutiny recently. Armand Minthorn, Chair of the NAGPRA Review Committee, criticized the Department of Interior for making repatriation more difficult. He said the Interior has not consulted with tribes, ***one if its own written requirements***, in certain decisions.

"Rather than engage in collaborative decision-making or meaningful consultation as required by NAGPRA and Executive Order 13084, Interior has chosen instead to inform claimants of the decisions after-the-fact, and tried to convince us that the are doing this 'for-our-own-good,'" said Minthorn.

He cited the recent DNA tests ordered by the Interior as an example. He said the tribes claiming Kennewick Man--the Umatilla, Yakama, Nez Perce, Colville, and Wanampus--have opposed DNA testing and were willing to have the agency make a final determination on to whom, if anyone, the remains should be repatriated, without the tests.

Martin Sullivan, the former Chair of the NAGPRA committee, criticized the National Park Service (NPS) a bureau of the Interior. He said the Park Service has been slow to complete NAGPRA business.

Sullivan cited a backlog of 236 NAGPRA cases as of June. He said these cases represent the failure of the Park Service to publish the items in the Federal Register and to repatriate items in a timely manner.

Suzan Harjo, president of The Morning Star Institute, helped negotiate the repatriation provision of NAGPRA. She appeared more harsh on the Park Service, whom she and other leaders recommended to be the lead NAGPRA agency.

"We ignored the lengthy history of NPS's institutionalized racism against Native peoples and its conflict of interest with repatriation, naively believing that it was a new day in Interior and NPS," said Harjo. "The past ten years have provided numerous examples of NPS's repatriation conflicts and its inherent conflict of interest in implementing a law that specifically benefits Native Peoples.

She also said the Park Service recognizes the backlog and Federal register problem.

She said the Department of Interior has requested an additional $400,000 next year to carry out NAGPRA.

This is from yet ANOTHER artifact which has not been returned.

Edited 7/31/00 7:43:44 AM ET by C_ANGEL

From: Cherokee21 DelphiPlus Member Icon7/31/00 11:02 AM 
To: NiteFalcon unread  (8 of 12) 
 256.8 in reply to 256.2 
Are you asking why all of a sudden are they interested and not prior to now? That's my question too. If the tradition was sacred, fight for it from the begining and not just when it becomes popular. I know ndn people have been trying to retireive "stolen" artifacts and bone for years, but has this tribe been trying to get this stone for years too? Or is it just beacuse they see the monetary value. If they haven't been fighting for this and only want it now, because of money, I say forget about it. Loosers weepers.
Course what do I know?


Edited 7/31/00 11:14:21 AM ET by CHEROKEE21

From: NiteFalcon7/31/00 6:47 PM 
To: Cherokee21 DelphiPlus Member Icon unread  (9 of 12) 
 256.9 in reply to 256.8 
>>Are you asking why all of a sudden are they interested and not prior to now?"

Basically that is the essence of what I am asking. From the articles that I have read (and I know the press don't have all the facts usually) it was like, they showed up when the musuem was near completion. Its not like it was secret where the meteor was and its not like a musuem is going to be built over night. If they were really paying attention I would think that they would have stepped in before the musuem would even start being constructed and asked for a injuction. One they would have an easier time getting it back (and what a mueum would have been 1 year in the construction 2 if it were large enough, just guessing). Instead they wait till its almost done before they take any legal action. To me that seems a bit odd.

what I have read says they showed up one day wanting to take pictures and then it makes a big deal about how they weren't even allowed to take pictures at first. I'm sorry if I were a construction forman I don't care who you are, if you show up unnanounced wanting to poke around I would be skeptic too.

Granted I don't have the whole story but the thins I have read just don't add up.



From: Cherokee21 DelphiPlus Member Icon7/31/00 8:25 PM 
To: NiteFalcon unread  (10 of 12) 
 256.10 in reply to 256.9 
<nodding in agreement, 100%>

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