This photo taken in Juneau on Monday is of the Ghaanka Yéil S’áaxhw (Raven of the Roof, Hat) from the L’uknaxh.ádi clan in Sitka. The item from repatriated from the University of Pennsylvania. (Clarise Larson / Juneau Empire)

This photo taken in Juneau on Monday is of the Ghaanka Yéil S’áaxhw (Raven of the Roof, Hat) from the L’uknaxh.ádi clan in Sitka. The item from repatriated from the University of Pennsylvania. (Clarise Larson / Juneau Empire)

Tlingit and Haida to receive $143K in grants toward repatriation projects

The funding was awarded under the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act.

Significant funding toward the repatriation of Alaska Native items and artifacts is on its way to the Central Council of the Tlingit and Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska after it was announced Monday the tribe is slated to receive $143,000 in funding toward that mission.

“It’s very significant,” said Richard Chalyee Éesh Peterson, the tribe’s president. “I’ve been the president for nine years and probably one of the most meaningful aspects of the job is when these artifacts are returned.”

This photo taken in Juneau on Monday is of the Kóoshdaa Gwálaa (Land Otter, Dagger) from the Wrangell Kiks.ádi clan. The item was repatriated from the National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, D.C. (Clarise Larson / Juneau Empire)

This photo taken in Juneau on Monday is of the Kóoshdaa Gwálaa (Land Otter, Dagger) from the Wrangell Kiks.ádi clan. The item was repatriated from the National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, D.C. (Clarise Larson / Juneau Empire)

The grants are part of $3.4 million in funding announced by the National Park Service that will go to 16 Indigenous tribes and 28 museums across the nation under the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act. The act requires federal agencies and institutions like museums to return Indigenous items to its owners. This year marks the largest amount of funding being provided under the act passed by Congress in 1990.

This photo taken in Juneau on Monday shows three items repatriated by the Central Council of the Tlingit and Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska. (Clarise Larson / Juneau Empire)

This photo taken in Juneau on Monday shows three items repatriated by the Central Council of the Tlingit and Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska. (Clarise Larson / Juneau Empire)

Tlingit and Haida was the recipient of three repatriation grants totaling about $44,000, along with one consultation/documentation grant totaling about $99,100. The Qawalangin Tribe of Unalaska, Alutiiq Museum and Archaeological Repository, and the University of Alaska Fairbanks also received funding for projects in Alaska.

Once allocated the grants will be administered by Tlingit and Haida’s Native Lands and Resources Division, which plans to consult and do research with museums at the University of California Berkeley and the University of Pennsylvania to identify objects culturally affiliated with the tribe and clans, and return the objects to their appropriate homes.

According to Desiree Duncan, the Native Lands and Resources director for Tlingit and Haida, the tribe has successfully repatriated more than 130 objects since 1993 following the establishment of its Cultural Resources program, which for more than 30 years has worked to return and protect tribal objects of cultural patrimony, sacred objects, funerary objects and human remains.

Duncan said the funding will aid the tribe’s mission to identify more objects and bring them back to their home in the future. Currently, the tribe is preparing to bring a dagger and robe home to clans located in Wrangell in the coming weeks.

This photo taken in Juneau on Monday is of the Dei Kéet Deitlein X’oow (Killer Whale Stranded While Hunting, Robe) from the Naanya.aayí clan in Wrangell. The item was repatriated from the Portland Art Museum. (Clarise Larson / Juneau Empire)

This photo taken in Juneau on Monday is of the Dei Kéet Deitlein X’oow (Killer Whale Stranded While Hunting, Robe) from the Naanya.aayí clan in Wrangell. The item was repatriated from the Portland Art Museum. (Clarise Larson / Juneau Empire)

“I am appreciative of the funding and I think it’s a reflection of the hard work that our staff does, and our cultural specialists working with our elders and our clan leaders,” Peterson said.

• Contact reporter Clarise Larson at clarise.larson@juneauempire.com or (651)-528-1807.

More in News

Jasmine Chavez, a crew member aboard the Quantum of the Seas cruise ship, waves to her family during a cell phone conversation after disembarking from the ship at Marine Park on May 10. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire file photo)
Ships in port for the week of July 20

Here’s what to expect this week.

Bartlett Regional Hospital’s crisis stabilization center during its unveiling on June 14, 2023. (Clarise Larson / Juneau Empire file photo)
Bartlett Regional Hospital shuts down programs at recently opened Aurora Behavioral Health Center

Crisis stabalization program halted at center due to lack of funds and staff, officials say.

A car on Gastineau Avenue is partially buried by a mudslide that occurred during record rainfall on Sunday, July 14, 2024. (Photo by Simba Blackman)
New July rainfall record set for Juneau with a week to go; Suicide Basin nears 2023 fill level

No more heavy storms expected this month, according to forecaster.

The Alaska Permanent Fund Corp. Board of Trustees votes for a new chair and vice chair during a meeting in Fairbanks on Wednesday. (Screenshot from APFC livestream)
Ellie Rubenstein resigns from Permanent Fund board, Ethan Schutt displaced as chair in wake of email allegations

Trustees elect new chair, vice chair Wednesday morning; Rubenstein announces resignation hours later

Police and other emergency officials treat Steven Kissack after he was shot on Front Street on Monday, July 15, 2024. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire file photo)
Names of officers involved in death of Steven Kissack released, along with more details of standoff

JPD states Kissack threatened to kill officers; one officer who fired gun cleared in 2016 shooting.

U.S. Rep. Mary Peltola, D-Alaska, speaks on Jan. 4, 2024, at a town hall meeting on the possible Albertsons-Kroger grocery merger. The meeting was held at the Teamsters Local 959 headquarters in Anchorage. Peltola said on Tuesday she has not decided whether to support her party’s likely candidate, Vice President Kamala Harris. (Yereth Rosen/Alaska Beacon)
Rep. Mary Peltola withholds support for Kamala Harris, is ‘keeping an open mind’

Congresswoman says she’s considering Harris presidency’s affect on Alaska as an oil-dependent state.

People arrive for a service at Resurrection Lutheran Church on Sunday. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)
Lawsuit: Resurrection Lutheran Church leaders have been ousted, clarity in ‘ministerial work’ needed

Pastor Karen Perkins, two others targeted in long-brewing feud at church known for helping homeless.

(Michael Penn / Juneau Empire file photo)
Police calls for Sunday, July 21, 2024

This report contains public information from law enforcement and public safety agencies.

(Michael Penn / Juneau Empire file photo)
Police calls for Saturday, July 20, 2024

This report contains public information from law enforcement and public safety agencies.

Most Read