Researching Repatriation and Reburial

National Park Service NAGPRA Site - Background Information, Enforcement, Databases, Laws and Policy, Grants.

Briefing Paper: Native American Omnibus Technical Corrections Act of 2007 (S. 2087) - (Native American Rights Fund). Briefing paper on Senate Bill 2087, Native American Graves and Repatriation Act 2007 amendment documents.

NAGPRA and the U.S. Department of Interior, Bureau of Reclamation - Information about the Bureau's activities with regard to this act, and includes links to inventory notices.

Mending the Circle - (American Indian Ritual Object Repatriation Foundation). Outlines the 1990 Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act and information about the repatriation process, 1997.

Native American Repatriation & Reburial: a Bibliography - (Stanford University). Compiled by Barb Bocek, Stanford archaeologist, 1992.

State Burial Laws Project - (American University) The State Burial Laws Project seeks to assist the public by providing a centralized source for researching various state laws dealing with burials.


Resources in print:

Photo of cover of Battlefields and Burial Grounds bookBattlefields and Burial Grounds: The Indian Struggle to Protect Ancestral Graves in the United States
Roger C. Echo-Hawk and Walter R. Echo-Hawk.
Lerner Publications Company, Minneapolis, 1994.

Battlefield and Burial Grounds examines the double standard of the treatment of grave sites, and the struggle of Native Americans to reclaim and rebury their dead often against the competing interests of archaeologists and anthropologists.

Photo of cover of Blessing for a Long Time bookBlessing for a Long Time: The Sacred Pole of the Omaha Tribe
Robin Ridington & Dennis Hastings.
Lincoln & London: University of Nebraska Press, 1997.

Omaha oral narratives tell the story of the Sacred Pole (Umon’hon’ti, the Venerable Man). The Omaha relinquished the sacred Pole to Harvard’s Peabody Museum in 1888 under pressure from the U.S. Government. The Sacred Pole was returned by the museum to the Omaha in 1989.

Photo of cover of International Journal of Cultural PropertyInternational Journal of Cultural Property. Vol. 7, No. 1, 1998. “Special Issue: Ethical Considerations and Cultural Property.”
Cary, NC: Oxford University Press.

A bi-annual journal edited by Patty Gerstenblith, Esq., includes sections on General and Participants’ Perspectives, Case Histories and Case Notes, Documents on a Selection of Ethical Codes, Conference Reports, and Book Reviews. Professor of law, Patty Gerstenblith edited this special issue, calling it, “a significant milestoneā€¦of the Cultural Property Society.”

(Introduction by Daniel Shapiro.)

Photo of cover of The Ethics of Collecting Cultural Property bookThe Ethics of Collecting Cultural Property: Whose Culture? Whose Property?
Phyllis Mauch Messenger (Editor), University of New Mexico Press, 1999.

This book explores ethical, legal, and intellectual issues related to excavating, selling, collecting, and owning cultural artifacts. Twenty-two contributors, representing archaeology, law, museum administration, art history, and philosophy, suggest how the numerous interested groups, often at odds, can cooperate to resolve cultural heritage, ownership, and repatriation issues, and improve the protection of cultural property worldwide.

Photo of cover of Implementing NAGPRA bookImplementing the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA)
Series edited by Roxana Adams.
Washington, D.C.: American Association of Museums, 2001.

This book reports on a decade of museum experiences with NAGPRA, including such topics as museum policy and procedures and discussions of the meeting of two world views around museum implementation of NAGPRA. There is also a chapter on the control of cultural property as human rights legislation.

Ecocide of Native America: Environmental Destruction of Indian Lands and Peoples
Donald Grinde and Bruce Johansen. Santa Fe: Clear Light Publishers, 1995.

Provides factual accounts of the ongoing expropriation of land and traditional subsistence rights of Native Americans.

Repatriation Reader: Who Owns America Indian Remains?
Edited by Devon A. Mihesuah.
Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 2000.

This anthology focuses on issues surrounding the repatriation of American Indian remains and artifacts, providing a wide range of viewpoints on ethical, legal, and cultural issues.

Photo of cover of Sacred Objects and Sacred PlacesSacred Objects and Sacred Places: Preserving Tribal Traditions
Andrew Gulliford. University Press of Colorado, May 2000.

This book combines native oral histories, photographs, drawings, and case studies vital to the cultural preservation of America Indians,
Alaska Natives, and Native Hawaiians. Commentaries by curators, Native Peoples, and archaeologists, discuss the repatriation of human remains, the curation and exhibition of sacred masks and medicine bundles, and cultural compromises the in protection of sacred places on private, state and federal lands.

Photo of cover of In the Light of Justice bookIn the Light of Justice: The Rise of Human Rights in Native America and the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples
Walter R. Echo-Hawk, Fulcrum Publishin (July 30, 2013).

In 2007 the United Nations approved the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. United States endorsement in 2010 ushered in a new era of Indian law and policy. This book highlights steps that the United States, as well as other nations, must take to provide a more just society and heal past injustices committed against indigenous peoples.

Photo of cover of Sweet Medicine bookSweet Medicine: Sites of Indian Massacres, Battlefields, and Treaties
Photos by Drex Brooks, Essay by Patricia Nelson Limerick.
Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 1995.

Presents recent photographs of important historic sites, many of which have been transformed into recreational areas or urban spaces.

Photo of cover of The Rights of Indians and Tribes bookThe Rights of Indians and Tribes: The Basic ACLU Guide to Indian and Tribal Rights
Stephen Pevar, Carbondale and Edwardsville: Southern Illinois University Press. American Civil Liberties Union, 1992.

This ACLU handbook discusses the powers of Indian tribes; civil and criminal jurisdiction on Indian reservations; Indian hunting, fishing and water rights; taxation; the Indian Civil Rights Act; the Indian Child Welfare Act; and tribal jurisdiction over non-Indians.

Collection of Articles from Dr. Elizabeth Sackler:

screenshot of article cover“Preserving Navajo Traditional Life / Repatriation of Sacred Life.”Preserving Navajo Traditional Life, The 6th Annual Navajo Studies Conference, Navajo Nation Historic Preservation Department, Window Rock, AZ, March 11-14 1992 screenshot of article cover“Dialogue.”Smitshonian Runner, No. 93-5, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C., September/October 1993, p. 2
screenshot of article cover“Three Voices for Repatriation”
Museum News
September/October 1992
screenshot of article cover“The Relationship Between Money and Spirit.”More than Money, No. 7, Eugene OR, Spring 1995, p. 3
screenshot of article cover“Reculturalization of Sacred Objects.” Akwe:kon, A Journal of Indigenous Issues, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, Fall 1993, pp. 14-15 screenshot of article cover“Art and the Sacred.”The Temple of Understanding Newsletter, The Temple of Understanding, New York, NY, Fall 1995, p. 6
screenshot of article cover“Spoils of War: A Call for a Code of Ethics in the Indian Art Market.”Native Peoples, Smithsonian Institution. Washington, D.C., Spring 1996, pp. 18-19 screenshot of article cover“Calling for a Code of Ethics in the Indian Art Market.”Ethics in the Art World, Prof. G. Levin, Moderator, 90th Annual Conference of the College Art Association, Philadelphia, PA, February 22, 2002
screenshot of article cover“The Ethic of Collecting.” International Journal of Cultural Property Volume 7 No. 1, Oxford University Press for International Cultural Property Society, NC, pp. 132-140, 1998 screenshot of article cover“Spoils of War.”Rayonot, A Journal of Ideas, Park Avenue Synagogue, New York, NY, May 23, 2005
screenshot of article cover“Repatriation: An Intercultural Strategy for the Private Sector.” Ikce Wicasta, The Common People Journal, SD, Winter, p. 5, 1999



Special thanks to the American Indian Ritual Object Repatriation Foundation and The Elizabeth A. Sackler Foundation for their support of this resource and repatriation efforts. Upon the Repatriation Foundation's closure, the Repatriation Foundation generously shared its online resources with NILL, and they are included above.

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