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Headlines Archives

Archive 2008-2014


Important Notice to Indian Tribes, Native Hawaiian Organizations, and Museums with an Active NAGPRA Grant
On January 15, 2015, at 2:00 p.m. EST, the National NAGPRA Program and the State, Tribal, and Local Plans & Grants Division of the National Park Service will present a webinar. This webinar, NAGPRA Grant Administration, is exclusively for the 2014 recipients of a Consultation/Documentation Grant or a Repatriation Grant, and for NAGPRA grantees who currently are managing a NAGPRA grant. Every 2014 grantee must attend this webinar. We strongly recommend that all grantees who are managing an active NAGPRA grant attend this webinar, too. Register now

Extension of a Currently Approved Collection of Information
NAGPRA requires museums to compile certain information (summaries, inventories, and notice) and to provide that information to the National NAGPRA Program. The National Park Service invites comments on this information collection. To comment or find more information on this issue, see the Notice published in the Federal Register on February 17, 2015. Comments must be received before April 20, 2015 .

New Acting Manager for National NAGPRA
Mariah Soriano, who has been the National NAGPRA Program's ​web and ​database coordinator since August, 2008, has assumed the role of acting manager of the National NAGPRA Program, effective March 5.  She  replaces ​Melanie O'Brien, who served as the acting ​manager since October.  Many thanks to Ms. O'Brien for her outstanding service during her 120-day detail.  Ms. O’Brien will resume her duties as the Program notice coordinator.

Solicitation of NAGPRA Review Committee Nominations Due June 2, 2015
A notice soliciting NAGPRA Review Committee nominations for three positions were published in the Federal Register on March 4, 2015. The Secretary of the Interior will appoint the members from nominations submitted by national museum organizations and national scientific organizations. The deadline for receipt of nominations is June 2, 2015. Click here to read the notice.

Dissolution of Hui Malama I Na Kupuna O Hawai'i Nei 
As of January 23, 2015, Hui Malama I Na Kupuna O Hawai'i Nei has formally dissolved under the laws of the State of Hawaii. See DCCA approved Articles of Dissolution

NAGPRA Repatriation Grants Awarded
Eight NAGPRA Repatriation Grants have been approved by the Assistant Secretary for Fish and Wildlife and Parks. Click here to read the press release

NACD NAGPRA Contacts Update
The Native American Consultation Database (NACD) is being updated with information from the 2015 Tribal Leaders Directory Spring/Summer Edition. Please review the information in the NACD for accuracy. To change your contact information as it appears in the NACD, send a letter with an updated contact information to the National NAGPRA Program . The letter must be on tribal letterhead and signed by an authorized tribal official.  It may be scanned and emailed to

Updated Reference for Consultation with Indian Tribes in California
The National NAGPRA Program has revised the listing of present-day Indian tribes associated with the Indian nations named in The Schedule of Indian Land Cessions for California, as compiled by Charles C. Royce. The tables provided by the National NAGPRA Program related to The Schedule are intended for use by museums, Federal agencies, and Indian tribes as an aid to consultation and decision making. 

Upcoming NAGPRA Review Committee Meetings

November 18-19, 2015: The NAGPRA Review Committee Meeting is scheduled for November 18-19, 2015, at the Riverwind Hotel and Casino, 1554 State Highway 9, Norman, OK, 73072. The meeting will run from 8:30 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. each day. The agenda and meeting materials will be posted on or before October 28. Click here to read the Federal Register notice.

A block of rooms at a group rate of $99 are being held at the Riverwind Hotel and Casino, 1554 State Highway 9, Norman, OK, 73072. The group rate has a cutoff date of November 11, 2015. When making reservations, please reference NAGPRA by calling 1-405-322-6250. 

December 14, 2015: The Review Committee will also meet via teleconference on December 14, 2015, from 2:00 p.m. until approximately 4:00 p.m. EST, for the sole purpose of finalizing the Review Committee Report to Congress, should the report not be finalized by November 19. Click here to read the Federal Register notice. This meeting will be open to the public.Those who desire to listen to the meeting should register at  A transcript and minutes of the meeting will also appear on the web site.

Solicitation of NAGPRA Review Committee Nominations Due August 31, 2015
The notice soliciting nominations for one member of the NAGPRA Review Committee was published in the Federal Register on July 1, 2015. The Secretary of the Interior will appoint the member from nominations submitted by Indian tribes, Native Hawaiian organizations, and traditional Native American religious leadersThe nominee need not be a traditional Indian religious leader. The deadline for receipt of nominations is August 31, 2015. Read more...

Melanie O'Brien Selected as Manager, National NAGPRA Program
Melanie O’Brien has been selected as the manager for the National NAGPRA Program. Ms. O'Brien will serve as the Designated Federal Officer to the NAGPRA Review Committee, provide technical assistance to museums and Federal agencies, and administer grants to assist in NAGPRA implementation. View the press release.

NAGPRA Consultation/Documentation and Repatriation Grants Awarded
Thirty-seven NAGPRA grants were awarded to 15 tribes and 16 museums. View the press release

Final Determination for Federal Acknowledgement of the Pamunkey Indian Tribe
On July 8, 2015, the Department of the Interior published a notice that the Assistant Secretary —Indian Affairs has determined to acknowledge the Pamunkey Indian Tribe (Petitioner #323) as an Indian tribe within the meaning of Federal law. The Pamunkey decision is final and effective on October 6, 2015, if no request for reconsideration is filed. On the effective date of the acknowledgement, the Pamunkey Indian Tribe will be entitled to be on the list of Indian Entities Recognized and Eligible to Receive Services from the United States Bureau of Indian Affairs. Museums and Federal agencies should review the requirements under the NAGPRA regulations at 43 CFR 10.13(c) related to a newly Federally recognized Indian tribe.

NAGPRA Grants Awarded to 2 Indian Tribes and 1 Museum
Three NAGPRA repatriation and consultation grants were awarded to 2 tribes and 1 museum. View the press release.

The Secretary of the Interior is responsible for promulgating regulations to carry out NAGPRA, and the National NAGPRA Program is responsible for drafting these regulations. On October 29, 2013, the Department of the Interior published a proposed rule on unclaimed cultural items removed from Federal lands after November 16, 1990, to be codified at 43 CFR § 10.7. In September 2014, the National NAGPRA Program announced that this rule would be published again as proposed, as part of a revision of the entire set of NAGPRA regulations (43 CFR Part 10). In early 2015, both the Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs and the Assistant Secretary for Fish and Wildlife and Parks asked the National NAGPRA Program to prepare the rule on unclaimed cultural items for publication as a final rule, prior to the publication of a proposed revision of 43 CFR Part 10. In response, the National NAGPRA Program drafted a final rule on unclaimed cultural items and submitted it to the Department of the Interior for review and publication. There is no estimated date for publication of the final rule at this time.

The Department of the Interior received an request to reconsider its decision to acknowledge the Pamunkey Indian Tribe (Petitioner #323) as an Indian tribe within the meaning of Federal law. The Pamunkey decision is not final and was not effective on October 6, 2015.  Consequently, the Pamunkey Tribe is not recognized and eligible to receive services from the United States Bureau of Indian Affairs.

Promulgation of Department of the Interior Regulations
43 CFR 10.7, Unclaimed Human Remains, Funerary Objects, Sacred Objects, or Objects of Cultural Patrimony

The Department of the Interior has issued a final regulation for unclaimed human remains, funerary objects, sacred objects, or objects of cultural patrimony.  These regulations only apply to NAGPRA cultural items that have been excavated or discovered on, and removed from, Federal lands after November 16, 1990, and whose disposition of ownership or control under 25 U.S.C. 3002(a) and 43 CFR 10.6 has not occurred.  Until such time as a rule is promulgated, Federal agencies must retain the unclaimed cultural items.  This final rule allows for the legal and physical repose of these unclaimed human remains and other cultural items to occur, by providing guidance on their disposition.

Secretary Jewell Has Appointed Three to the NAGPRA Review Committee
On November 9, 2015, the Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell appointed Heather Hecht Edgar, LindaLee (Cissy) Farm, and Patrick D. Lyons to the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Review Committee. More>>

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