Much of today went trying to find freezer space for the person in the parka. We were able to get X-rays done by the North Slope Borough vet clinic (they needed a bit of practice with a new machine anyway), and there are skeletal elements in the parka. I talked to a conservator and it seems possible that the garments might be able to be preserved if the community chooses. We need to have a discussion with the Elders about that.
At least we need to document them really well, as they are being removed so the person can be examined and reburied. To do that we need not only a good videographer, but also a group of experience skin sewers, since the sinew has decayed, and it may only be possible to figure out what stitch was use by skilled sewers looking at the ghosts they left. We need to get the funds for that work, which probably won’t be available until October or so. That means that we need a freezer to keep the person in a stable environment until the examination can happen.
CPS/UMIAQ couldn’t really offer anything right now, except to note that it hadn’t been requested in the program plan last year (sadly, I’m not clairvoyant–if I were, we could skip all the pesky shovel testing). Fortunately, North Slope Borough Wildlife Management also has a freezer, and they were kind enough to step up and help out in this urgent situation. Many thanks to DWM! One UMIAQ fellow later thought of a freezer that might be a possible fallback, although it’s got stuff in it at the moment.
Next step, grant applications for that work and for the Ipiutak structure that remains at the bluff in the DWF, waiting for the next big storm to take it out.