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Tribal artifacts that have been stored in the archives of the British Museum in London for nearly 120 years are being returned to a Native American tribe for an exhibition at its own museum – a facility the tribe expanded and upgraded in part to reclaim these pieces central to its complicated heritage.Together, the two collections are part of a larger plan by the Grand Ronde to reclaim and examine its history for future generations – a mission that echoes efforts by other tribes around the United States.Around the same time, tribal members still in Oregon first learned of the Summers collection and mounted a campaign to repatriate the objects.The federal law passed to help tribes reclaim artifacts from American museums didn't apply to overseas institutions, so tribal representatives traveled to London, hosted British Museum officials in Oregon and pursued talks over a period of years. Summers was passionate about collecting tribal artifacts and focused on finding items made before contact with Europeans, which means many of the objects on display were created before the tribes were forced onto the reservation, said Travis Stewart, interpretive director for the exhibition and a tribal member who selected the items on loan from the British.
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