News Release

Secretary Zinke Appoints Three New Members to Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Review Committee

NAGPRA logo with feather within a semi-circle with text below reading "NAGPRA Native American Graves Protection & Repatriation Act"

News Release Date: May 22, 2018

Contact: NPS Office of Communications

(Press release originally distribted by the Department of the Interior Press Office)

WASHINGTON – U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke today announced the appointment of John Beaver, Honor K. Keeler, and Barnaby V. Lewis to the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Review Committee. 

The Review Committee, authorized by the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act of 1990 (NAGPRA) monitors, reviews, and assists in the implementation of certain requirements of the Act.

 “I am grateful that John, Honor and Barnaby have agreed to serve on the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Review Committee,”said Secretary Zinke. “These roles are incredibly important in advising the Department on decisions on Native American human remains and cultural items. Their experience and guidance will be incredibly beneficial to the committee.”

  • John Beaver was formerly the Curator of the Cultural Center and Archives for the Muscogee (Creek) Nation of Oklahoma. He is an enrolled member of, and was nominated by, the Muscogee (Creek) Nation of Oklahoma.

  • Honor K. Keeler was formerly the Director and Founder of the International Repatriation Project at the Association on American Indian Affairs. Ms. Keeler is an enrolled member of the Cherokee Nation. Ms. Keeler was appointed from a list developed and consented to by all members of the Review Committee.

  • Barnaby V. Lewis is Tribal Historic Preservation Officer for, and a member of, the Gila River Indian Community in Arizona. Mr. Lewis was nominated by the Gila River Indian Community, Ak-Chin Indian Community, Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community, and Tohono O’odham Nation.

Members of the seven-person committee are appointed by the Secretary to serve two- to four-year terms. The Secretary receives nominations from Indian tribes, Native Hawaiian organizations, traditional Native American religious leaders, and national museum and scientific organizations. With the additions of the three new members, there are six appointees on the committee. A seventh position will be filled this summer. The committee is chaired by Armand Minthorn.

Enacted in 1990, NAGPRA requires museums and federal agencies to inventory and identify Native American human remains and cultural items in their collections, and to consult with Indian tribes and Native Hawaiian organizations regarding repatriation. Section 10 of the Act authorizes the Secretary of the Interior to award grants to assist in implementing provisions of the Act. The National NAGPRA Program is administered by the National Park Service.

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Last updated: May 22, 2018

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