A, Chahta sia: Reevaluating the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act
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Passed in 1990, the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA) is a federal law that requires museum and federal agencies to comply with a complex set of regulations stipulating the return of Native American sacred objects, objects of cultural patrimony, funerary objects, and human remains. Using two different courses, Art Law and Anthropology Museum, this capstone examines the events leading up to NAGPRA’s passage, the issues that continue to persist in completing repatriations two decades after its passage, and presents possible solutions to assist future repatriations. In hopes of also shedding light on the relationships built between museums and Native American communities while completing repatriations, this capstone will briefly examine whether said relationships can contribute to future collaborations and interactions. The goal of this capstone is to offer a condensed historical examination of NAGPRA as well as its most prevalent issues in order to provide a resource for both museums and Native American communities attempting to complete repatriations with which they could prevent extensive delays or confusion.