Friday, November 21, 2008


"Repatriation is unfinished business. It’s something we have amoral obligation to do. It’s not the most critical issue facing our people, but its not an either or. Since there was such a violation against our people it needs to be taken care of."

Dr. Gordon Pullar – Woody Island Tribal Council

Repatriation is in fact unfinished business in terms of returning Alaskan Native cultural objects back to their origins. Such as the Aluutiq Sugpiaq masks. They've been found and traced back to the 1800's originally taken from Kodiak, but are no longer owned by Alaska. Instead, they're home is in a small museum in France. The process of attempting to bring them back home for good is quite complicated due to the repatriation and ownership issues involved. Dr. Pullar emphasizes that repatriation is an obligation because of the violation against the Alaskan Native peoples. His beliefs are strong and is very legitimate because in a way, the masks were technically stolen. They weren't given voluntarily or taken with permission. The masks were simply taken in as objects and art out of free will. it would solve the problem if Alaskan and France commission members agreed on a solution to give them back out of a cultural respect basis, but unfortunately, it's not that simple. Hopefuly in the near future, the Alaskan Native people will get to see these sacred items brought back to the tribal communities once and for all.


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