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Resources for Federal Agencies


NAGPRA requires Federal agencies to complete inventories and summaries of Native American cultural items in their collections, publish notices in the Federal Register, and repatriate Native American human remains, funerary objects, sacred objects, and objects of cultural patrimony to lineal descendants and culturally affiliated Indian tribes and Native Hawaiian organizations. Under NAGPRA, Federal agencies are required to consult government-to-government with Indian tribes in carrying out NAGPRA, and Federal agencies also have special NAGPRA responsibilities when Native American human remains and items are discovered on Federal and tribal lands.

Learn More About NAGPRA
Working with Tribes and Native Hawaiian Organizations
Working with Museums and Repositories
Working with the National NAGPRA Program
Additional Resources


Learn More About NAGPRA

The Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act and its implementing regulations contain many specialized terms and requirements, and apply to United States museums and Federal agencies.

  • Frequently Asked Questions about NAGPRA.
  • Law and Regulations includes current regulations, as well as legislative and regulatory history.
  • Regional consultations for the development of 43 CFR 10.7 (Disposition of unclaimed human remains, funerary objects, sacred objects, and objects of cultural patrimony) are in progress.
  • Training in NAGPRA implementation is offered regularly by National NAGPRA.
  • NAGPRA Glossary provides definitions for the specialized terms used in NAGPRA.
  • National NAGPRA reports are the official reports of National NAGPRA program activities.


Working with Tribes and Native Hawaiian Organizations

Federal agencies are required to consult government-to-government with Indian tribes when carrying out NAGPRA, and identifying appropriate tribal consultants is an important step in the NAGPRA process. In addition to collections related activities, Federal agencies also have special responsibilities under NAGPRA when Native American human remains and objects are discovered on Federal and tribal lands.

  • Executive Orders on Consultation between Federal agencies and Indian tribes.
  • Native American Consultation Database provides an easy way to identify a current official contact for Indian tribes, Alaska Native villages and corporations, and Native Hawaiian organizations.
  • Map of Indian Reservations in the continental United States.
  • Map of Judicially Established Indian Lands based on decisions of the Indian Claims Commission.
  • Tribal Historic Preservation Offices have responsibility for reviewing Federal agency undertakings on tribal lands pursuant to Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act.
  • Grants are available to Indian tribes for consultation with Federal agencies in the NAGPRA collections inventory and identification process, and to assist with repatriation costs. Federal agencies may not apply for NAGPRA grants.
  • Notices of Inventory Completion are published by Federal agencies and document their determinations regarding the cultural affiliation of Native American human remains and associated funerary objects.
  • Notices of Intent to Repatriate are published by Federal agencies, and document their determinations regarding the cultural affiliation and identification of unassociated funerary objects, sacred objects, and objects of cultural patrimony.
  • Notices of Intended Disposition are published by Federal agencies prior the disposition of Native American human remains, funerary objects, sacred objects, or objects of cultural patrimony discovered on Federal or tribal lands after November 16, 1990.


Working with Museums and Repositories
Many collections that originate from Federal lands are cared for by nonfederal repositories. Generally, Federal agencies retain control of collections from their lands, even if the collections are cared for in a nonfederal repository. The Federal agency also has NAGPRA responsibility for such collections. In cases where collections from Federal lands are cared for by a repository, the repository is said to have "physical custody" of the collection, while the Federal agency has "control."

  • 36 CFR 79 "Curation of Federally-Owned and Administered Archeological Collections" specifies the requirements for caring for Federal collections, and includes requirements for providing Indian tribes with access to federally-owned archeological collections.
  • Notices of Inventory Completion are published by Federal agencies and document their determinations regarding the cultural affiliation of Native American human remains and associated funerary objects. Museums and agencies often publish joint notices for museum collections that are federally controlled.
  • Notices of Intent to Repatriate are published by Federal agencies, and document their determinations regarding the cultural affiliation and identification of unassociated funerary objects, sacred objects, and objects of cultural patrimony. Museums and agencies often publish joint notices for museum collections that are federally controlled.
  • Contaminated Collections. Federal agencies and museums are required to notify the recipients of repatriations of any presently known treatments used on cultural items.


Working with the National NAGPRA Program

In addition to providing technical assistance, the National NAGPRA program publishes Federal Register notices on behalf of museums and agencies, administers the NAGPRA grants program, maintains the Native American Consultation Database, and provides staff support to the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Review Committee.

  • Regional consultations for the development of 43 CFR 10.7 (Disposition of unclaimed human remains, funerary objects, sacred objects, and objects of cultural patrimony) are in progress.
  • Notices. National NAGPRA provides templates to be used in preparing draft Federal Register Notices.
  • Review Committee. The Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Review Committee facilitates the resolution of repatriation disputes and considers requests for the disposition of culturally unidentifiable human remains. National NAGPRA provides staff support to the Review Committee.
  • Contact National NAGPRA


Additional Resources

A variety of information related to NAGPRA and cultural resource preservation is available.

 

 
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