Nu­natsi­avut and Amer­i­can mu­seum hon­oured by ITK

The Aurora (Labrador City) - - EDITORIAL -

The Nu­natsi­avut govern­ment and The Field Mu­seum in Chicago were re­cently awarded the in­au­gu­ral Inuit Cul­tural Repa­tri­a­tion Award from Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami (ITK.)

The award is pre­sented to “or­ga­ni­za­tions that demon­strate lead­er­ship in rec­og­niz­ing and re­spect­ing Inuit cul­tural rights and work­ing to over­come the mis­ap­pro­pri­a­tion of Inuit cul­tural her­itage,” ac­cord­ing to a press re­lease is­sued by ITK, the or­ga­ni­za­tion rep­re­sent­ing Inuit on a na­tional level.

They are re­ceiv­ing the re­ward for their work be­tween 2008-2011 to re­turn the re­mains of 22 Inuit to Nu­natsi­avut. The re­mains were stolen in 1927-28 by an as­sis­tant cu­ra­tor work­ing on be­half of The Field Mu­seum named William Dun­can Strong, who got them from marked graves in the now aban­doned com­mu­nity of Zoar, lo­cated be­tween Hope­dale and Nain. The mu­seum had them as part of their col­lec­tion un­til they were re­turned to Nu­natsi­avut in 2011.

“The work to right this his­tor­i­cal wrong was driven by the re­lent­less ef­forts of the Nu­natsi­avut govern­ment, and this prize rec­og­nizes the part­ner­ship and co-op­er­a­tion that are re­quired to bring about rec­on­cil­i­a­tion,” said Natan Obed, pres­i­dent of ITK.

Obed said cul­tural repa­tri­a­tion is fun­da­men­tally about re­spect and moral stan­dards and he would like to thank The Field Mu­seum for ac­knowl­edg­ing the wrong­do­ing and do­ing what needed to be done to make things right.

“The Nu­natsi­avut govern­ment worked dili­gently in get­ting the re­mains re­turned to their fi­nal rest­ing place un­der re­spect­ful and ap­pro­pri­ate cir­cum­stances,” said Nu­natsi­avut pres­i­dent Jo­hannes Lampe. “I want to ac­knowl­edge The Field Mu­seum for its pos­i­tive re­sponse, ac­cep­tance of re­spon­si­bil­ity and work in right­ing this wrong.”

Field Mu­seum pres­i­dent Dr. Richard Lariv­iere said they are hon­oured to be rec­og­nized by ITK.

“We value our re­la­tion­ship with Inuit and re­main com­mit­ted to work­ing in the most re­spect­ful man­ner with In­dige­nous com­mu­ni­ties around the world re­gard­ing cul­tural repa­tri­a­tion,” he said.

Dozens of ded­i­cated Nu­natsi­avut com­mu­nity mem­bers must be rec­og­nized for in­form­ing and di­rect­ing the work done on this project. ITK also ac­knowl­edges govern­ment of Canada of­fi­cials at the Cana­dian Con­sulate Gen­eral in Chicago, the Royal Cana­dian Mounted Po­lice and the Cana­dian Rangers whose con­tri­bu­tions were in­stru­men­tal in the suc­cess of this repa­tri­a­tion and act of rec­on­cil­i­a­tion.

The Inuit Cul­tural Repa­tri­a­tion Award was pre­sented in Nain as a part of the ITK An­nual Gen­eral Meet­ing.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.