The University of Alaska Museum has won a $18,765 grant from the National Park Service for repatriation consultation with elders from Mekoryuk on Nunivak Island. The museum will use the money to bring four elders and a village representative to Fairbanks, a university news release reported. The villagers are expected to examine objects from the museum's archeological and ethnological collections. The goal is to develop a repatriation plan under the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act. Under the act, the museum has returned the human remains of some 450 individuals and holds more than 3,500 funerary objects in trust with several villages, according to UA officials. The museum's Mekoryuk collection counts nearly 300 objects from 1926 to the present, and includes masks, bentwood hunting helmets and traditional gathering baskets.
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