Federal grants are for repatriation

The National Park Service announced over $285,000 in grants to Indian tribes and museums to assist in the repatriation of ancestors and cultural items back to Indian tribes and Native Hawaiian organizations.

“For over 25 years since the enactment of NAGPRA, we have made great strides working with our partners to return sacred objects and ancestral remains to native peoples,” said National Park Service Director Jon Jarvis. “These grants will continue to support the work of dedicated individuals, Indian tribes, and institutions.”

In July, the National Park Service announced a similar round of grants for the program, bringing the total grant funding awarded this fiscal year to over $1.9 million.

The new grants awarded will assist an Indian tribe and three museums with projects related to repatriation, including consultation and documentation of Native American collections. For example, the Quapaw Tribe of Oklahoma will create a database to facilitate ongoing consultation and repatriation efforts. The University of Arkansas will consult with various tribes on at least 345 identified sets of human remains, conduct osteological analysis, identify and document associated funerary objects, and re-house NAGPRA items in culturally appropriate storage.

Enacted in 1990, the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA) requires museums and federal agencies to inventory and identify Native American human remains and cultural items in their collections, and to consult with Indian tribes and Native Hawaiian organizations regarding repatriation. The National NAGPRA Program is administered by the National Park Service.