Preservation office updates spqq elders council on cskt artifacts issue news ice cream flavor neapolitan

Preservation office director mike durglo, jr. Said he was concerned about federal authorities claiming ownership of the artifacts currently being stored at salish kootenai college and potentially taking the artifacts out of state. The approximately 40,000 artifacts currently being stored at SKC were unearthed with the excavation related to the construction of libby dam and lake koocanusa. Ninety-five percent of the artifacts uncovered were identified as belonging to the kootenai people. However, durglo said, despite being linked to the kootenai people federal authorities — army corps of engineers and bonneville power administration — say they maintain ownership and that it would take an act of the U.S. Congress to change that. Funerary objects and burial sites have different federal protections than other artifacts, a la arrowheads, pottery and tipi rings, that required them to be repatriated to the rightful tribe.Them back

That’s why a repository on the flathead indian reservation is important. It would be much more than a building; it would have a spiritual component driving it. Durglo envisions three repositories on the reservation — elmo, pablo and st. Ignatius — as a long-term goal. The tribal council is on record saying they could financially support one centrally located facility; repositories and/or museums require special construction materials and heating, cooling and ventilation systems that drive up the cost.

“A lot of the artifacts had lifespans, they weren’t meant to last forever and certainly not meant for public display. Some of them should be put back into the ground or in lake koocanusa,” durglo said. “I am trying to get them back. They (ACOE and BPA) have plans to ship the artifacts back to st. Louis for cleaning and preservation. That could take two years — we may never get them back. They say all this is costing them a lot of money.Artifacts back I say return them to the rightful owners and then they’ll have no costs.”

“the last time we talked about this, I recall the elders thought it was a good idea to put the remains back in the lake,” said elder shirley trahan.

“or bury them on site,” said kyle felsman of the preservation office. “but that’s all up in the air now. It’s awkward because we don’t know who the remains belong to.”

Durglo announced the first of its kind archeological cultural survey course would be offered this summer on the reservation. “the course will contain the cultural component related to indians, to us,” durglo said, adding that it is scheduled to begin june 18.

Council on some ongoing off-reservation projects preservation is keeping an eye on. They include, the BPA power-line project from kalispell to polson; work in the thompson falls and plains areas, in the missoula and east missoula areas; and the cabinet gorge and noxon reservoir areas.Durglo said

McDonald said preservation was also taking steps to further educate people with staff cultural awareness training about the rules and regulations related to american indian cultural sites.

“preservation is forever. There is no ultimate end to what we’re doing now. Today we have educated people who can look down the road and preserve what we have, including our beliefs, our spirituality,” said pend d’oreille elder pat pierre. “preserving artifacts is more spiritual than anything else. Every artifact out there is screaming out, ‘we want to come home.’ we all want to come home, we belong here; the artifacts belong here. Let’s quit talking about getting the artifacts back. Let’s get them back and we can do whatever we want to do with the artifacts.”

There are only two more SPQQ EC meetings — first wednesday of april and may — left before the summer break. The meetings will resume in september.