Ann Arbor, Michigan: The Ann Arbor Powwow has been held at the University of Michigan's Crisler Arena since 1990. But this year's powwow, set for April 4 - 5, won't be at U-M or even in Ann Arbor. Instead, U-M's Native American Student Association is moving it from Crisler arena to Saline Middle School in Saline, MI.
The move is to protest the University of Michigan's storage of 1,400 Native American remains and other native objects.
The move also means the Native American Student Association organizers will lose $50,000 of U-M funding set aside for the event.
The 1990 Native American Graves Protection Act, known as NAGPRA, requires museums like U-M's Museum of Anthropology to inventory and identify holdings of human remains and objects. Native groups can obtain remains and objects deemed to be "culturally affiliated" with them.
In 2007, Native groups wrote U-M President Mary Sue Coleman seeking a partial return of the remains of 405 people. Those remains were excavated in the 1930s and 1960s from sites in Lapeer, Macomb and Saginaw counties.
The University of Michigan says the claimants, including the Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe of Michigan, haven't shown a cultural affiliation. Because of that, U-M says it is required to hold onto the remains, which are between 800 - 3,000 years old.
Saline, Michigan is ten minutes south of Ann Arbor and an hour from Detroit.