Museums and Federal agencies are required to develop a list of the Native American human remains and associated funerary objects for which no culturally affiliated present-day Indian Tribe or Native Hawaiian organization can be determined (known as culturally unidentified).
How is cultural affiliation determined?
After consulting with Indian tribes and Native Hawaiian organizations, museums and Federal agencies must evaluate the available information to determine if a relationship of shared group identity can be reasonably traced between an earlier identifiable group connected to the human remains and a present-day Indian tribe or Native Hawaiian organization.
If the available information does not reasonably demonstrate a relationship of shared group identity to a present-day Indian tribe or Native Hawaiian organization, museums and Federal agencies must identify any human remains that were removed from tribal land or aboriginal land. All Native American human remains for which no cultural affiliation can be determined must be listed in an inventory.
How are unidentified inventories reported?
The Inventories Database lists Native American human remains for which no cultural affiliation could be determined. The database summarizes the inventory information submitted by museums and Federal agencies and is not meant to be an exact copy of the inventory. Changes, updates, or new inventories of culturally unidentified human remains should be sent to the National NAGPRA Program.
Can culturally unidentified human remains be requested?
Indian Tribes and Native Hawaiian organizations may request culturally unidentified human remains that were removed from their tribal or aboriginal lands. Within 90 days of the request, museums or Federal agencies must consult with all tribal or aboriginal land Indian Tribes or Native Hawaiian organizations. After consultation, the museum or Federal agency must offer to transfer the human remains to the tribal or aboriginal land Indian Tribes or Native Hawaiian organizations by publishing a notice of inventory completion. Following publication of a notice, Indian Tribes and Native Hawaiian organizations identified in the notice may request transfer of the human remains. Transfer may occur 30 days after publication of a notice.
Last updated: July 19, 2021