Russell Attebery: Karuk Tribe worried about museum's future

"The Karuk Tribe is writing to express our concern with the recent decision of the Clarke Historical Museum's board of directors to dismiss Director Pam Service, leaving the museum without clear leadership, vision and daily responsibility for museum operations and collections.

The Clarke Museum holds a world-class collection of Native American material culture, including baskets regalia and sacred objects. Most of this collection is from Northern California tribes and many items are culturally affiliated to the Karuk people. These items are living spirits and are considered respected relatives. They deserve to be preserved using both culturally sensitive handling and best museum practices. Eliminating the museum's directorship places this collection at risk.

The Karuk Tribe has been pleased to work with Pam Service on a number of forward-looking initiatives, most recently the partnership to create the Karuk exhibition entitled “Pi'eep karu Payeem: Long Ago and Today.” These collaborations are moving the Clarke Museum in the right direction, promoting community engagement and resulting in renewed support from Native and local community members. The decision to eliminate the director position erodes the mutual trust and respect built on that emerging relationship."

Get the Story:
Russell “Buster” Attebery: Clarke Museum decision puts Native American collection at risk (The Eureka Times-Standard 2/29)

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