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The National Park Service (NPS) has announced a grant allocation of $3.4 million to benefit 16  American Indian Tribes and 28 museums. These grants are designed to provide support for activities related to consultation, documentation, and the repatriation of ancestral remains and cultural artifacts, all in accordance with the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA). This funding represents the most substantial appropriation for NAGPRA grants since the Act's enactment in 1990 and the inception of the funding program in 1994.

Chuck Sams (Umatilla), the Director of the National Park Service, emphasized the agency's unwavering commitment to facilitating Tribal consultations, documentation, and repatriation efforts. 

"By granting funds through the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act, we are ensuring that Tribes can continue to honor and care for their ancestors, a practice they have upheld since time immemorial," Sams said.

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NAGPRA outlines a structured framework for returning human remains, funerary objects, sacred items, and objects of cultural significance to Native American and Alaska Native Tribes, as well as Native Hawaiian organizations.

Among the grants, a total of 21 awards have been bestowed upon seven Indian Tribes and seven museums. These funds will support the transportation and repatriation of human remains, which include a significant number—11,354 ancestors—along with more than 10,400 funerary objects and 39 cultural items.

The University of Colorado Museum and the University of Northern Colorado have collaborated to facilitate a reburial ceremony for 123 ancestors located in southwestern Colorado. This joint effort will be aided by grant funds that cover travel expenses for both museum and Tribal representatives participating in the ceremony. Additionally, the funds will be allocated for labor and materials required for the reburial process. This collaborative project not only reduces the overall costs associated with the reburial but also reunites long-separated ancestors and restores their shared journey. For more comprehensive information about these repatriations, refer to the relevant Federal Register notices for the University of Colorado Museum and the University of Northern Colorado.

FY 2023 NAGPRA Repatriation Grant Recipients
 
AK
Central Council Tlingit and Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska (3 grants) - $44,02
 
AK
Qawalangin Tribe of Unalaska - $14,96
 
CA
Table Mountain Rancheria - $15,000
 
CO
Regents of The University of Colorado (2 grants) - $22,554
 
CO
University of Northern Colorado - $9,773
 
IL
Field Museum of Natural History -  $14,087
 
IN
Ball State University- $10,255
 
MA
University of Massachusetts Amherst - $15,000
 
MI
Bay Mills Indian Community - $4,436
 
MT
Montana State University - $6,093
 
NM
New Mexico State University - $15,000
 
OK
Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma (5 grants) - $70,098
 
OK- The Chickasaw Nation - $14,990
 
WI
Stockbridge-Munsee Community - $15,000  
 
Total - $271,277
 
A total of 34 grants to 11 Indian Tribes and 21 museums will fund consultation and documentation projects, such as staff travel, consultation meetings and research to support the repatriation process.
 
The Central Council of Tlingit and Haida Indian Tribes, Alaska, seek to preserve their culture through the repatriation of items needed for ongoing ceremonial use by Clans and Tribes of the various Tlingit and Haida communities. Clans own these items, objects of cultural patrimony, because no person has an individual claim to them.
 
These items are considered of central importance to the Clans, as they have the voice of the ancestors and have been in use from time immemorial, a point in time before any memory or record. They have a history to which no museum can relate and for which no museum can sing any related song. Through repatriation, items are being brought back to life, having lain dormant for decades or a century. The goal of this project is to consult with the Phoebe A. Hearst Museum of Anthropology at the University of California Berkeley and the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, so the objects that are culturally affiliated with the Tlingit & Haida can be welcomed back and reintegrated into ceremonial life.
 
FY 2023 NAGPRA Consultation/Documentation Grant Recipients
 
AK
Alutiiq Museum and Archaeological Repository - $99,713
 
AK
Central Council Tlingit and Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska - $99,122
 
AK
University of Alaska Fairbanks - $98,925
 
AZ
Arizona State University (2 grants) - $199,675
 
CA
Big Valley of Pomo Indians of The Big Valley Rancheria - $99,407
 
CA
Habematolel Pomo of Upper Lake - $98,684
 
CA
Shingle Springs Rancheria - $100,000
 
CA
Susanville Indian Rancheria - $99,999
 
CA
Table Mountain Rancheria - $25,211
 
CA
University of California, Santa Barbara - $99,932
 
CA
Yurok Tribe - $98,713
 
CO
Western Colorado University - $81,616
 
FL
University of Florida - $99,897
 
GA
Georgia Department of Natural Resources - $94,914
 
GA
University of West Georgia - $99,417
 
IL
Northern Illinois University (2 grants) - $121,224
 
KS
State of Kansas, Kansas Historical Society - $100,000
 
MI
Michigan State University - $99,958
 
MO
University of Missouri System Curators - $100,000
 
MS
University of Mississippi - $85,580
 
MT
Little Shell Tribe of Chippewa Indians of Montana - $99,286
 
ND
University of North Dakota- -$100,000
 
NE
Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska - $100,000
 
NM
School For Advanced Research - $88,799
 
NY
Rochester Museum & Science Center - $99,997
 
OH
The Ohio Historical Society - $98,573
 
OK
Caddo Tribe of Oklahoma - $100,000
 
OK
Gilcrease Museum Management Trust- -74,574
 
OK
Pawnee Nation of Oklahoma - $78,794
 
SC
University of South Carolina - $99,953
 
WI
University of Wisconsin System - $93,785
 
WV
West Virginia Division of Culture and History - $99,975 
 
Total - $3,135,723
 
NAGPRA requires federal agencies and institutions that receive federal funds (including museums, universities, state agencies, and local governments) to repatriate or transfer Native American human remains and other cultural items to the appropriate parties. Federal agencies and institutions must consult with lineal descendants, Indian Tribes, and Native Hawaiian organizations, evaluate repatriation or disposition requests for cultural items, and give public notice prior to repatriating or transferring.

 

 

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