BOSTON (AP) — A tomahawk the moment owned by Main Standing Bear, a revolutionary Native American civil legal rights leader, has been returned to his tribe soon after being housed for many years in a museum at Harvard University.
Users of the Ponca tribes in Nebraska and Oklahoma visited the Massachusetts college on June 3 for the ceremonial return of the artifact, the tribes explained in a modern announcement.
Standing Bear experienced at first gifted the pipe-tomahawk to 1 of his attorneys immediately after winning the 1879 court docket situation that created him a single of the to start with Indigenous People in america granted civil rights.
The tomahawk changed fingers several moments in advance of getting obtained by Harvard in 1982.
“This is a very good homecoming and a excellent step in the a lot of measures we have to do to get back to our identification, to our methods of our individuals,” Angie Starkel, a member of the Ponca Tribe of Nebraska who built the trip to Cambridge, claimed in a statement.
Stacy Laravie, a descendant of Standing Bear who is also the historic preservation officer for the Ponca Tribe of Nebraska, agreed.
“We talk about generational trauma, but we do not communicate about generational therapeutic, and that is what we’re performing now,” she stated in a statement. “This is therapeutic.”
Jane Pickering, director of Harvard’s Peabody Museum of Archaeology & Ethnology, said the tomahawk’s return demonstrates the institution’s wish to mend past harms.
“The Peabody instantly benefited from gathering tactics that we acknowledge today disregarded the wishes and values of people and communities,” she claimed in a statement.
Harvard and the museum have faced criticism over the speed of repatriating Native American stays and other considerable objects to tribes, as required beneath federal legislation.
The museum and tribes have been doing the job on the tomahawk’s return for extra than a calendar year tribal users were slated to journey to campus right before pandemic-linked constraints final 12 months delayed it.
The Ponca tribes say they will announce ideas to exhibit the tomahawk at a afterwards day.
They were being between many forcibly relocated from their homelands to other territories by the federal authorities in the 1800s.
Standing Bear was arrested 1878 for leaving the tribe’s Oklahoma reservation in buy to fulfill a assure he made to bury his eldest son back again in their tribe’s homeland in Nebraska’s Niobrara River Valley.
In his landmark federal trial, he effectively argued for the recognition of Native Americans as persons entitled to legal rights and security less than regulation.