NAGPRA requires museums and Federal agencies to give public notice prior to repatriating or transferring human remains or cultural items to Indian Tribes or Native Hawaiian organizations. The type of notice required depends on the item being repatriated or transferred.
What notices are required?
On Federal lands after November 16, 1990, a newspaper Notice of Intended Disposition is published when a Federal agency has identified the appropriate person or group with priority for disposition of the human remains or cultural items.
For holdings or collections of human remains and associated funerary objects, a Federal Register Notice of Inventory Completion is published when a museum or Federal agency determines human remains are culturally affiliated or offers to transfer human remains that are not culturally affiliated.
For holdings or collections of unassociated funerary objects, sacred objects, or objects of cultural patrimony, a Federal Register Notice of Intent to Repatriate is published when a request for repatriation is received and accepted.
What must be done?
Federal agencies and museums must draft a notice for publication prior to repatriating or transferring any human remains or cultural items. Notice templates are available for each kind of notice and depend upon the item being repatriated or transferred.
Notices of Inventory Completion for human remains/funerary objects and Notices of Intent to Repatriate for cultural items must be sent to NAGPRA_info@nps.gov who publishes them in the Federal Register.
Notices of Intended Disposition are published by Federal agencies in newspapers of general circulation near the Federal lands from which the human remains or cultural items were removed.
What if something changes after publication?
If certain facts in a published notice change prior to the repatriation or transfer of the human remains or cultural items, the museum or Federal agency must draft a amendment notice. Amendment Notice templates are available for each kind of notice. Amendment notices are used to change:
the number of human remains,
- the number of associated funerary objects,
- the number of other cultural items, or
- the cultural affiliation or aboriginal land determination.
If repatriation or transfer of the human remains or cultural items in the original notice has already occurred, the museum or Federal agency should treat any additional human remains or cultural items as a new collection and draft a new notice.
Last updated: July 8, 2022