Tlatzohkamate to tata Bingo. Taha to huehue tlayekantzi ihpan Pitzer Native Summer Pipeline ihka Rose Henry. Tahame no palehuia pan in tonahlle ihka mate kuakon nemiameh in Pomona College Museum of Art.
Uncle Bingo. You inspired us all today when you walked into the room that was ever so delicately prepared. Room temperature controlled. Gloves on the hands of the Caucasian anthropologist. Sweat on her temple. She was just about to present something to a ‘buncha Indians’ she knew nothing about. However, she had purpose. Good intentions stirred. Walking in, you raised your hands and gently caressed that medicine jacket. Her eyes widened. Her heart rate swiftly swelled. Twice its normality it was, now. Your act demonstrated OUR purpose. You taught her that our people’s presence isn’t simply that of an artifact sitting in a refrigerated room. We are not their test subjects. We are not ancient pieces of stone to simply be glared at. We are living, breathing, epidermis yielding souls who know how to honor our every existential moments. We want our “artifacts” back, for we see them as more. Our people deserve to have their ancestor’s clothing, just as much as we deserve to remain buried. We do not go uncovering their graves and hanging up their army jackets as war spoils in our museums. Simply put, WE ARE PRESENT AND WE WANT OUR MATERIALS RETURNED.