The Gooch Kuyéik Náxw, or Halibut Hook with Wolf Spirit, is a sacred Tlingit object. Photo: Sealaska Heritage Institute

Museum acquires tribal collection from religious college with troubled record

The Peabody Essex Museum in Massachusetts is promising to comply with the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act after acquiring a large collection of tribal items.

The items are coming from the Andover Newton Theological School, a religious college in Connecticut. The institution has been warned more than once about its failure to comply with NAGPRA.

“We are pleased PEM will serve as an invaluable steward for this remarkable collection and carry forward the important work of repatriating the sacred Native American artifacts," Andover Newton President Reverend Martin Copenhaver said in a press release on Thursday.

“We’ll pick up that process and move it along expeditiously,” Dan Monroe, the director of Peabody, told The New York Times.

Sealaska Heritage Institute of Alaska is among those seeking action because the collection includes Gooch Kuyéik Náxw, a sacred fishhook that belongs to the Tlingit people. Rosita Worl, the president of the institute, told The Times that the process is finally moving forward.

NAGPRA, which became law in 1990, requires museums and other institutions that receive federal funds to identify whether their collections include tribal property. The items may then be returned to tribes or lineal descendants of the original owners.

Read More on the Story:
Peabody Essex Museum Gets Set of Native American Artifacts (The New York Times September 21, 2017)
Ownership Of Controversial Native American Artifacts Transferred To Peabody Essex Museum (WBUR September 21, 2017)
Peabody Essex Museum gains ownership of controversial collection (The New York Times September 21, 2017)

Related Stories:
Religious college warned again about handing of tribal collection (May 10, 2017)
Religious college with Native artifacts in violation of NAGPRA (October 21, 2015)
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