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REPATRIATION AN EVOLVING VIEW

The Repatriation Laws: NMAIA and NAGPRA

The NMAI Act, 20 U.S.C. Section 80q, (PL 101-185), passed in 1989, as amended in 1996, includes repatriation provisions that apply exclusively to the collections of the Smithsonian Institution. The law mandates that the Smithsonian inventory, document and, if requested, repatriate culturally affiliated human remains, funerary objects, sacred objects and objects of cultural patrimony to Native groups. There is no specific deadline for the completion of this task, nor is any given for Native groups to make a claim.  More information can be found at the Repatriation Office website.


NAGPRA, 25 U.S.C. Section 3001 (PL 101-601), was passed in 1990 and applies to all federally funded organizations, institutions, and agencies, but specifically excludes the Smithsonian Institution.

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