The pre-1882 Chilkat tunic that was repatriated to the Deisheetaan Clan of the Kootznoowoo Tribe of Tinglit Indians on November 16, 2002.
On November 16, 1990, the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA) was signed into law. The act provides a legal framework within which federally recognized Indian tribes and Native Hawaiian organizations can request the return, from federal agencies, museums, and other collection-holding organizations that have received federal funds, ancestral human remains and certain cultural items - funerary objects, sacred objects, and objects of cultural patrimony. Once a tribe has initiated a request to repatriate, there is a formal process of consultation, a review of the object’s history, and a clear determination of cultural affiliation. Finally, the institution that has custody of the object or remains works with the Nation Park Service to publish a “Notice of Intent to Repatriate” in the Federal Register. If the claim is not contested for thirty days after the notice is published, the repatriation can go forward.
For more information about this federal law, see the National Park Service NAGPRA Program website at http://www.nps.gov/nagpra/.
As stipulated in the law, collection-holding institutions were required to meet two reporting deadlines. In 1993, in full compliance with NAGPRA, the Hood Museum of Art at Dartmouth College sent written summaries of culturally affiliated holdings to more than five hundred federally recognized tribes. In 1995, an inventory of human remains and associated funerary objects was completed, and in 1996 the associated “Notices of Intent to Repatriate” were published in the Federal Register. Between 1990 and 2009, Kellen G. Haak, as collections manager and registrar, also served as the NAGPRA coordinator for the museum and facilitated five repatriations. Summaries of those repatriations appear at the links listed below.
Last Updated: 8/22/11