GAO report finds federal agencies not in compliance with NAGPRA
Federal agencies have failed to comply with the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act even after being given more than a decade to do so, the Government Accountability Office said in a report on Wednesday.

The law requires agencies to identify the ancestors and artifacts in their possession and start the process to repatriate items to tribes, individual Indians and Native Hawaiians. But as of fiscal year 2009, only 55 percent of human remains and 68 percent of associated funerary objects have been returned to their rightful places, the report said.

The law also requires agencies to permanently document the repatriations they complete. But only the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the U.S. Forest Service and the National Park Service have done so although they haven't provided reports to anyone of their progress, the GAO said.

"As a result, policymakers, Indian tribes, and Native Hawaiians organizations do not have access to readily available information about culturally affiliated NAGPRA items that have not been repatriated," the GAO said in the summary of the report.

The GAO conducted the audit at the request of the Senate Indian Affairs Committee and the House Natural Resources Committee

Get the Story:
Audit finds agencies fail to identify, repatriate Native American remains (The Deseret News 7/29)

GAO Report Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act: After Almost 20 Years, Key Federal Agencies Still Have Not Fully Complied with the Act:
Summary | Highlights | Full Report | Recommendations

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