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– 7 – Committee's chairman. In this material the Secretary described Smithsonian collections, how they are used, and how the Institution is seeking to improve access to them, particularly by Native Americans. On March 12 the Secretary and senior staff testified before the House Interior Appropriations Subcommittee on the fiscal year 1988 budget request of the Institution; they also testified before the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on the Interior and Related Agencies on May 5. The Secretary appeared before the Subcommittee on Public Building and Grounds of the Committee on Public Works and Transportation on March 19 to address the Restoration and Renovation of Buildings account and the construction accounts in the fiscal year 1988 budget request. He also described the long-term repair and renovation needs of the Institution. The Congressional Members of the Board of Regents have been asked to introduce a measure to repeal authority for the National Armed Forces Museum Advisory Board. This action was approved by the Board at its meeting on May 5, 1986. Although legislation was introduced in the 99th Congress and approved by the Senate, no action was taken by the house. [[underlined]] Native American Issues and the Museum of the American Indian [[/underlined]] Mr. Adams reported on a high level of activity at the Smithsonian involving the interests of the Institution and various segments of the Native American community over the past several months. The elements of this activity, which inevitably touch on each other, are in three general categories: the concerns of national Indian organizations about native American representation in Smithsonian exhibits and collections of Native American skeletal remains; legislation with respect to the repatriation of such remains and of sacred objects; and the future of the Museum of the American Indian, Heye Foundation. The possibility of transferring the Museums of the American Indian, Heye Foundation to Washington and making it part of the Smithsonian -- an idea proposed to the Board of Regents by Vice President Nelson Rockefeller over a decade ago -- came to Senator Inouye's attention and prompted him to visit the Museum's collection in New York with the Secretary on April 20. Meeting with the Museum's director, Dr. Roland W. Force, The Chairman of its Board of Trustees, Mrs. Wilmot H. Kidd, III, and attorneys for the Museum, they learned that the development of a legal agreement which defines a mutually acceptable relationship with the Smithsonian Institution would be the highest priority of the Museum's trustees, who subsequently met and endorsed that perspective on May 4. From a series of conversations it has become clear that such a relationship would envision the Museum becoming a Smithsonian organization occupying the last open site on the Mall, just east of the Air and Space Museum, as well as an additional pod at the Museum Support Center. However, without any formal expression on the part of the Board of Regents, the staff has been reluctant to pursue the more detailed discussions that must follow in order to secure appropriate information and to develop the mutual understandings that ultimately can become the basis for a more specific agreement between the two Institutions.
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