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Home > Tribal Law > Laws > NAGPRA
The Native American Graves and Repatriation Act, 25 USC 3001 et seq. (1990), or NAGPRA, provides for the protection of Native American graves, archaeological sites, and other living sites. It also defines ownership of human remains, cultural items, and cultural property to Native American tribes, groups, or individuals.

Since its inception, the law has been instrumental in preventing the theft of Native property as well as providing for the return of sacred items long lost to museums and other institutions throughout the United States.

Due to its wide reach and legal significance, the law also has been subject to controversy. The findings of Kennewick Man in Washington state have drawn attention to the limitations of the law defining what is and what is not "Native." As the scientific community comes to terms with these limitations, the protection of our Native history remains an important goal for the millenium.

Primary Materials
The text of the law, in parts. From ArchNet at the University of Connecticut.

The American Indian Ritual Object Repatriation Foundation
We are a non-federally funded intercultural partnership committed to assisting in the return of sacred ceremonial material to the appropriate American Indian Nation, clan, or family, and to educating the public about the importance of repatriation.
Kennewick Man: The Debate that Spans 9,000 Years
Read the latest news and a history of the Kennewick Man controversy. Brought to you by The Tri-City Herald, Washington.
NAGPRA Links and information
Links to the national database for tribal contacts by county for those responsible for repatriation by nation of our ancestors. Current news and links to other NAGPRA sites.
National Archeological Database: Native American Grave Protection and Repatriation Act module
Excellent resource containing documents on the law, issues surrounding the law, and reports on the discovery of Kennewick Man.
Repatriation and Reburial Issues
Case studies, links, and more about NAGPRA.
Repatriation Bibliography
Bibilography of repatriation papers and other literature. Current only to 1995.
Repatriation Bibliography
Repatriation biography. Current only to 1992.
SFSU Department of Anthropology NAGPRA Compliance Project
Be sure to check out The ABCs of NAGPRA on this site to familiarize yourself with the terms of the law.
Society for American Archaeology
Recent news and resources on NAGPRA.

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