Haida committees welcome home ancestors' remains

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PORTLAND, Ore. - Haida Skidgate Repatriation and Cultural Committee members
will travel to the University of Oregon and Simon Fraser University this
month to usher the remains of six ancestors home.

"We have two ancestors that come from Skedans that we will be bringing home
for reburial," said committee co-chair Andy Wilson. Four committee members
will fly to Eugene, Ore. for an April 22 ceremony, at the Native student
longhouse. Food will be burned at the private ceremony in which the
ancestral remains will be transferred to the Haida representatives.

The group has worked for years to locate more than 400 human remains held
in various institutions throughout the nation. Wilson said in an e-mail
that this will end eight years of traveling North America to bring home all
of the known ancestral remains.

The committee will also join another Haida repatriation committee, Old
Massett, in Vancouver, British Columbia. Old Massett will receive the
remains of four ancestors that are currently housed at Simon Fraser. The
Haida will host a celebration at the university's Native Friendship Center,
with performances by the Rainbow Creek dancers and others. Once back home,
the Skidgate committee will hold a service, followed by a reburial tea in
the Skidgate Community Hall.

Wilson noted that no pictures or recordings of any kind will be permitted
during the transfer or service.