Overview

The National NAGPRA (Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act) program is the agency’s omnibus NAGPRA program: the constituent groups of which are all Federal agencies, museums that receive Federal funds, tribes and Native Hawaiian organizations and the public. NAGPRA provides a process for museums and Federal agencies to return certain Native American cultural items — human remains, funerary objects, sacred objects, or objects of cultural patrimony — to lineal descendants, and culturally affiliated Indian tribes and Native Hawaiian organizations. NAGPRA includes provisions for unclaimed and culturally unidentifiable Native American cultural items, intentional and inadvertent discovery of Native American cultural items on Federal and tribal lands, and penalties for noncompliance and illegal trafficking. In addition, NAGPRA authorizes Federal grants to Indian tribes, Native Hawaiian organizations, and museums to assist with the documentation and repatriation of Native American cultural items, and establishes the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Review Committee to monitor the NAGPRA process and facilitate the resolution of disputes that may arise concerning repatriation under NAGPRA.

All Federal agencies are subject to NAGPRA. All public and private museums that have received Federal funds, other than the Smithsonian Institution, are subject to NAGPRA.

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