Via The Art Newspaper, August 12, 2022
The National Park Service (NPS) has awarded 20 American museums and nine Indigenous tribes grants totaling $2.1m to assist in the consultation, cataloguing and repatriation of ancestral remains and cultural objects in an effort to increase enforcement of the National American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA).
The 1990 statute requires federally-funded institutions to inventory their holdings of Indigenous human remains and burial objects to facilitate their return. But adherance and enforcement have been points of contention for several US museums since it was enacted due to logistic hurdles regarding tribal affiliation and compliance.
Among the grantees, the Logan Museum of Anthropology at Beloit College in Wisconsin has received around $12,000 that will facilitate the repatriation of the remains of five individuals and 25 burial objects that were removed from Ventura County in California sometime between 1875 and 1889 by an archaeologist and later sold to the museum.
And the council of the Tlingit and Haida tribes has received nearly $100,000, which will fund consultation and documentation of sacred ceremonial objects that are currently held in the collections of the Hood Museum of Art at Dartmouth College, the Rhode Island School of Design and the Museum of Us in San Diego, California.