For years the Alutiiq Museum in Kodiak, Alaska has struggled with the best approach to accepting donations of collections that contain probable illegally obtained culture heritage items.

While the standard is not to accept these items based on the notion of discouraging looting and amateur archaeology, the items are often unique and irreplaceable. Additionally, the Alutiiq culture believes the items are sensitive to the treatment they receive.

By properly caring for these objects, many Alutiiqs believe the museum reawakens their spirits and helps them live again.

The museum found a middle ground in which they obtained general permission from the major set of potential owners to hold the undocumented Kodiak antiquities in public trust at the Alutiiq Museum.

With much success and a great response from landowners the museum contacted, the museum has used the gifts in positive ways to educate the public about Alutiiq traditions and the value of historic preservation.