What is NAGPRA?
The Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act is federal legislation that requires institutions receiving federal funds to report Native American human remains and cultural items. Cultural items may include associated and unassociated funerary objects, sacred objects, and objects of cultural patrimony. NAGPRA provides a mechanism where ancestral remains and cultural items can be repatriated to lineal descendants, federally recognized Native American tribes, and Native Hawaiian organizations.
About NAGPRA at IUMAA
Indiana University is involved in ongoing efforts to consult with tribal nations in order to return Native American ancestral remains and cultural items. Indiana University’s Office of the Native American and Graves Protection Repatriation Act leads the campus’s work to ensure that legal and ethical guidelines are being followed.
The IUMAA has repatriated or removed known NAGPRA human remains and collections from the museum, and is actively supporting the IU NAGPRA Office in reviewing collections and consulting with tribal nations about collections we steward. IUMAA is active in, and committed to, pursuit of its responsibilities--legal, but also social, cultural, and ethical--relating to the Act and to the concerns of federally-recognized Native American nations. The museum aims to work cooperatively within the legal frameworks established under the Act, the best practices guidelines of the museum field, the changing norms of its disciplines, and in a spirit of partnership with tribal nations and source communities. Beyond NAGPRA, the museum is committed to its broader strategic goals concerned with supporting the cultural interests of source communities around the world.