Indian Self-Determination and Self-Governance Era 1968-present

1990

Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA)

Susquehannock artifacts in the Pennsylvania State Museum. Image: U.S. Census
Susquehannock artifacts in the Pennsylvania State Museum. Image: U.S. Census

NAGPRA is a federal law that “requires federal agencies and institutions that receive federal funding to return Native American ‘cultural items’ to lineal descendants and culturally affiliated Indian tribes and Native Hawaiian organizations. Cultural items include human remains, funerary objects, sacred objects, and objects of cultural patrimony. A program of federal grants assists in the repatriation process and the Secretary of the Interior may assess civil penalties on museums that fail to comply. NAGPRA also establishes procedures for the inadvertent discovery or planned excavation of Native American cultural items on federal or tribal lands” ("Congressional Research Service," 1990).

Settler Colonial Policy