“That’s a piece of our history that represents who we are and why we’re here in Nebraska, so for it to be back home is very appropriate,”
Why was Harvard in possession of such an artifact in the first place? Seems highly problematic.
The Associated Press reports:
Harvard returning Standing Bear’s tomahawk to Nebraska tribe
A tomahawk once owned by Chief Standing Bear, a pioneering Native American civil rights leader, is returning to his Nebraska tribe after decades in a museum at Harvard.
The university’s Peabody Museum of Archaeology & Ethnology says it’s been working with members of the Ponca Tribe in Nebraska and Oklahoma to repatriate the artifact.
Larry Wright, Jr., chairman of the Ponca Tribe of Nebraska, said Tuesday the return of the historic weapon is a powerful symbol of homecoming for the tribe, which was among many forcibly relocated from their homelands to other territories by the federal government in the 1800s.
“That’s a piece of our history that represents who we are and why we’re here in Nebraska, so for it to be back home is very appropriate,” he said. “It tells that history and lets us never forgot what our people went through.”
Standing Bear was arrested 1878 for leaving the tribe’s Oklahoma reservation in order to fulfill a promise he made to bury his eldest son back in their tribe’s homeland in Nebraska’s Niobrara River Valley. In his landmark federal trial, he successfully argued for the recognition of Native Americans as persons entitled to rights and protection under law.
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