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Detail of Santo Domingo pot (NMNH catalog no. E418990A)
What Happens During a Consulation Visit

A typical consultation visit to the National Museum of Natural History can involve several components and we can develop an agenda specific to the needs of the visiting group. Consultations often include, but are not limited to, the following:

Face to Face Meeting
Visits often start with a meeting at the downtown museum with Repatriation Office staff to provide an orientation to the repatriation process. During this time, staff can also assist visitors in planning their repatriation claims or discuss current claims. These meetings are very helpful in developing a collaborative relationship that can continue throughout the repatriation process.

George Garvin of the Ho-Chunk Nation of Wisconsin and Eric Hollinger of the Repatriation Office

George Garvin of the Ho-Chunk Nation of Wisconsin and Eric Hollinger of the Repatriation Office examine photographs at the National Anthropological Archives. 2002, photo by Betsy Bruemmer, National Museum of Natural History

Visiting Collections
Archaeological and ethnographic objects are housed at the Museum Support Center in Suitland, MD, in a state of the art, climate controlled storage facility. There is a free shuttle bus between the downtown museum and Suitland.

Human skeletal remains are housed at the downtown museum, and arrangements can be made for visiting ancestral remains in a private ceremonial room. The National Museum of Natural History has private space available for viewing objects or holding ceremonies, both at the storage facility in Maryland and in the downtown museum.

Leona Wilkinson and Nina Hapner from the Table Bluff Reservation, Wiyot Tribe with Beth Eubanks of the Repatriation Office

Leona Wilkinson and Nina Hapner from the Table Bluff Reservation, Wiyot Tribe with Beth Eubanks of the Repatriation Office. 2000, Photo by Repatriation Office Staff, National Museum of Natural History

Visiting the National Anthropological Archives
The National Anthropological Archives, also located in Suitland, MD at the Museum Support Center, collects and preserves historical and contemporary anthropological materials that document the world's cultures and the history of anthropology, including manuscripts, fieldnotes, correspondence, photographs, maps, sound recordings, film and video created by Smithsonian anthropologists and other preeminent scholars; records of anthropological organizations, 400,000 photographs, that include some of the earliest images of indigenous people worldwide, and 20,000 works of Native art, mainly North American, Asian, and Oceanic. It is possible to search online for archival material and photographs relating to a particular culture at the National Anthropological Archives prior to a visit. Visits to the National Anthropological Archives are by appointment only, which can be set up ahead of time through the Repatriation Office.

Lutero Lucero and Celestino Gachupin of the Pueblo of Zia examine Anthropology Department ledger books

Lutero Lucero and Celestino Gachupin of the Pueblo of Zia examine Anthropology Department ledger books with curator William Merrill. 2004, photo by Cheri Botic, National Museum of Natural History

Review Collections Archival Documentation
It is also possible to review the archival documentation directly relating to the collections, including catalog cards, accession records, and original handwritten ledger books.

Visiting Other Resources in the Washington, D.C. Area
Many other Native American resources are available in the Washington, D.C. area, and it is often possible to fit in other related research. These include, but are not limited to:

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Smithsonian Institute - National Mueseum of Natural History