Submitted by Kristin Swan on Sat, 03/01/2003 - 12:00 am
Hood Quarterly, spring 2003
The Hood Museum of Art sent Kellen G. Haak, Collections Manager/Registrar and Repatriation Coordinator, to Southeast Alaska last November to deliver a Chilkat tunic from the collection to the Deisheetaan clan of the Kootznoowoo tribe of Tlingit Indians.
Although the formal process of repatriation under the Native American Grave Protection and Repatriation Act had just been completed, the Deisheetaan leaders were eager to have the tunic returned in time for a particular koo.éex, or memorial potlatch. In addition to the tunic’s inherent ceremonial importance, one of the two men being mourned by the event had initiated the consultation process that ultimately led to the repatriation.“After four years of working through the formal, bureaucratic process of the repatriation, my ultimate reward was seeing the tunic live again,” writes Haak about the potlatch.