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Advice | The day I honored the remains of my ancestors –– in a Smithsonian warehouse

Advice |  The day I honored the remains of my ancestors –– in a Smithsonian warehouse

Eden Fineday is a nehiyaw iskwew (Cree woman) from the Sweetgrass First Nation in Canada and the publisher of IndigiNews.

Before the Smithsonian employee leaves me alone with my relative’s skull, she flips a switch on the wall and the ventilation system begins to hum. She lit a charcoal for me and pulled down the curtains in the small ceremony room. She closes the door behind her and I am alone with my ancestor. I am nervous. I’ve never done this before.