A tribe reclaims its ancestors in New York





A hushed group of people, nearly four dozen strong, slipped into the American Museum of Natural History, ahead of the crowds. Their cheeks were smeared with rust-colored dye, red and white woven bands encircled their heads.

They were at the end of a journey that had, in its way, taken years. Unlike the thousands of schoolchildren that filled the museum's halls Monday, these 46 visitors were there for an altogether different purpose: to take their ancestors home.

"Our people are humans; we aren't tokens," said Chief Vern Jacks, who heads the Tseycum First Nation, a tiny native tribe from northern Vancouver Island, in British Columbia.

With the museum's full consent, the Tseycum tribe will be repatriating the remains of 55 of their ancestors to Canada this week.


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