NAGPRA: Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act

There are two different federal laws that mandate repatriation programs. This section is for programs administered by the U.S. Department of the Interior for activities carried out by museums and Federal agencies, excluding the Smithsonian Institution.
Click here for more information on the Smithsonian repatriation programs.


Repatriation activities of museums and Federal agencies, excluding the Smithsonian Institution, are governed by Public Law 101-301, the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act. National implementation of the program — including promulgation of regulations, administration of the grants and civil penalties program, and provision of staff support to the Secretarial advisory review committee — have been delegated to the National Park Service’s National NAGPRA Program. Each museum and Federal agency, including individual park units, are responsible for complying with the statutory and regulatory requirements.


  • 2017 NAGPRA Training at NATHPO Conference

    NATHPO is offering the pre-conference workshop, “NAGPRA and Repatriation — History, Current Practices, and Anticipated Developments,” on Monday, August 7, 2017, at the Pala Casino Spa Resort in Pala, California, as part of the 19th National Tribal Preservation Conference. Here are the training handouts, numbered from one to eight:
    1. Click here for the Training Agenda
    2. Click here for Overview of Repatriation Laws
    3. Repatriation Disputes and Litigation
    4. 20 USC 80q
    5. 25 USC 3001 et seq
    6. 43 CFR 10
    7. 18 USC 1170
    8. In the Smaller Scope of Conscience

    2013 NATHPO NAGPRA Training

    The United Auburn Indian Community (UAIC) Tribal Historic Preservation Committee and NATHPO convened a two-day NAGPRA training October 28-29, 2013, at UAIC’s Thunder Valley Casino Resort in Lincoln, California. THPOs, tribal government officials, state and museum agency representatives attended. The first day focused on basic NAGPRA training. The second day focused on current NAGPRA litigation and hands-on practice.

    Click here for the Training Agenda

  • 2010 NAGPRA Training in Conjunction with 12th National Tribal Preservation Conference

    On August 9, 2010, NATHPO offered a pre-conference, NAGPRA-related training session, “Using 43 CFR 10.11 to Return ‘Culturally Unidentifiable’ Native American Human Remains and Associated Funerary Objects.” This one-day training focused on at the time new regulatory section finalized on May 14, 2010, that requires the return of “culturally unidentifiable” Native American remains to Indian tribes and Native Hawaiian organizations. This training session was a follow-up to the 2009 workshop, “Using the Culturally Unidentifiable Native American Inventories Database.” This important database includes listings and information on over 124,000 individual Native Americans and almost one million associated funerary objects.

    Click here for the Training Session Agenda





  • 2005 NATHPO Celebrates 15th Anniversary of NAGPRA

    In November 2005 NATHPO commemorated the 15th Anniversary of the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA) in Albuquerque, New Mexico. NAGPRA directed federal agencies and museums in receipt of federal funds to work with tribal governments in returning Native American human remains and certain cultural items. Prior to this Act, collection of human remains and sacred items and objects of cultural patrimony were collected by various means and Native people were disenfranchised from asserting their rights to reclaim ancestors and cultural items. NATHPO convened a National Meeting of tribal representatives to discuss how NAGPRA has served their communities, as well as highlight some remaining challenges. NATHPO also coordinated an evening reception at the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center on November 16, 2005, which was the 15th anniversary of when the Act was signed into law (November 16, 1990). The National Park Service national NAGPRA Committee Meeting met in Albuquerque on November 16-17, 2005.
    Click here for Invite Letter
    Click here for Success Stories Form
    Click here for Week-at-a-Glance


NATHPO Special Project: State Repatriation, Reburial & Grave Protection Laws
NAGPRA News Archives