Story at a glance

  • The grants were issued under the 1990 Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act.
  • Funding will support consultation, documentation and repatriation projects in fifteen states.
  • Tribes and museums will identify sacred objects and remains to be returned to the Native American community.

The National Park Service is awarding $1.9 million in grants to 12 Indian tribes and 18 museums in order to recover ancestral remains and cultural items from across the United States. 


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Established in 1990, the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA) provides for the repatriation and disposition of certain Native American human remains, funerary objects, sacred objects, and objects of cultural patrimony.

“NAGPRA reinforces the basic right of people to determine how to best care for, and honor, the remains and societal objects of their ancestors,” said National Park Service Deputy Director David Vela, exercising the authority of the director. “These grants will help tribes, museums and partners to respectfully transfer the items from museum collections to their traditional homes.”

The money will go towards consultation, documentation and repatriation projects in fifteen states, including one in Kodiak, Alaska. The Alutiiq Museum and Archaeological Repository is researching the collections of 32 institutions to gain more comprehensive information on NAGPRA-eligible Alutiiq remains and cultural objects. The name of the project is "Angilluki," which can be translated to "return them."


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Published on Jun 10, 2020