Sheila is the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA) Liaison and Curator of Archaeology and Ethnography. She has worked extensively with tribes who have ancestral ties to Colorado on repatriation and exhibit development over the past 11 years. She has a Museum and Field Studies degree from the University of Colorado-Boulder.
The exhibit Written on the Land: Ute Voices, Ute History will enable us to share Ute history and contemporary life through text, images, videos, interactives, and artifacts—the latter from History Colorado’s comprehensive Ute artifact collection and generous loans of contemporary items from the tribes. One of the most interesting Ute artifact types is the cradleboard; Ute people used cradleboards historically, and many still use them today. And, while many native people have used cradleboards, Ute cradleboards are distinctive for their basketry, tanned hides, and beadwork.
This beautiful miniature Ute cradleboard (E.1894.178) was undoubtedly made for use as a toy, but most likely it had a second purpose -- so that a young girl could learn about child care. It is one of many in the History Colorado collection. This one was made by Chipeta around 1915. She gave it to a friend, who ultimately donated it to History Colorado. Chipeta was the wife of Chief Ouray, one important Ute leader in the 1800s, and a leader herself.
History Colorado was honored to host the 62nd National Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA) Review Committee meetings on March 15 and 16. The meetings were preceded by a public roundtable and open forum that I organized around the topics of consultation challenges and successes.