The Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act of 1990 became law on November 16, 1990 (Pub.L. 101-601; 25 U.S.C. 3001-3013;104 Stat. 3048-3058).
What did Congress intend by passing NAGPRA?
Congress issued two reports before passing NAGPRA that give an in-depth view of the legislative intent behind the law. In addition, the daily Congressional Record includes individual statements from members of Congress on passing the law.
Congressional Record House [Oct. 22, 1990]
Congressional Record Senate [Oct. 26, 1990]
Congressional Record House [Oct. 27, 1990]
Has Congress amended NAGPRA?
No. Congress has not amended the law since 1990. Congress has held hearings on the implementation of the law.
Dec. 6, 1995 Indian Affairs Committee Oversight Hearing, S. Hrg 104-356
Aug. 27, 1996 Senate Report, S. Rpt 104-356
Jun. 10, 1998 House Resources Committee H.R. 2893
June 10, 1998 House Report on NAGPRA
Jul. 25, 2000 Indian Affairs Committee Oversight Hearing, S. Hrg 106-708
Sep. 9, 2002 Committee on Energy and Natural Resources regarding S. 2598, S. Hrg 107-258
Nov. 10, 2004 Indian Affairs Committee regarding S. 2843, S. Hrg 108-406
Dec. 8, 2004 Indian Affairs Committee Oversight Hearing, S. Hrg 108-768
May 12, 2005 Indian Affairs Committee regarding S. 536, S. Hrg 109-67
Jul. 28, 2005 Indian Affairs Committee Oversight Hearing, S. 536, S. Hrg 109-297
October 7, 2009 Resources Committee Oversight Hearing, Serial No. 111-38
June 16, 2011 Indian Affairs Committee Oversight Hearing, S. Hrg 112-157
February 2, 2022 Indian Affairs Committee Oversight Hearing "The Long Journey Home: Advancing the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act’s Promise After 30 Years of Practice”
Has Congress taken any other action on NAGPRA?
Yes. Congress requested that the Government Accountability Office (GAO) examine the law and related issues. Congress has also made direct inquiries to museums about their compliance efforts.
Senate Committee on Indian Affairs Letter April 21, 2023 Schatz, Murkowski Lead Bipartisan Group of Senators Urging Institutions to Comply with Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act
University of California Berkeley Response to SCIA
Harvard University Response to SCIA
Illinois State Museum Response to SCIA
Indiana University Response to SCIA
Ohio History Connection Response to SCIA
GAO-24-106870: Published October 10, 2023
NATIVE AMERICAN PRIORITIES: Protection and Repatriation of Human Remains and Other Cultural Items
GAO-22-105686: Published February 2, 2022
NATIVE AMERICAN ISSUES: Federal Agency Efforts and Challenges Repatriating Cultural Items
GAO-18-537: Published August 6, 2018
NATIVE AMERICAN CULTURAL PROPERTY: Additional Agency Actions Needed to Assist Tribes with Repatriating Items from Overseas Auctions
GAO-10-768: Published Jul 28, 2010
NATIVE AMERICAN GRAVES PROTECTION AND REPATRIATION ACT: After Almost 20 Years, Key Federal Agencies Still Have Not Fully Complied with the Act
Last updated: November 1, 2023