Native American Issues: Federal Agency Efforts and Challenges Repatriating Cultural Items, Statement of Anna Maria Ortiz, Director, Natural Resources and Environment, Testimony Before the Committee on Indian Affairs, U.S. Senate   [open pdf - 362KB]

From the Highlights: "When NAGPRA [Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act] was enacted in 1990, it was estimated that federal agencies and museums had tens of thousands of Native American human remains, funerary objects, and sacred objects in their possession. Such cultural items were added to collections through archeological excavations intended to advance scientific knowledge and preserve cultural items or through discoveries during federal construction projects. The items also have a long history of being stolen from federal and tribal lands and being added to private or institutional collections. Among other things, NAGPRA requires federal agencies and museums to return certain Native American unassociated funerary objects, sacred objects, or objects of cultural patrimony unless the museum or federal agency can provide that it has a right of possession to the objects. The National NAGPRA Program, within the Department of the Interior's National Park Service, facilitates government-wide implementation of NAGPRA. This testimony provides information on (1) federal agencies' efforts to implement NAGPRA; and (2) challenges related to NAGPRA's implementation. It is based on reports GAO issued related to implementation and enforcement of NAGPRA from July 2010 through March 2021. It also includes information about consultation requirements under NAGPRA."

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Government Accountability Office: https://www.gao.gov/
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