Home » General Interest » Building Accord Between Museums and Tribes: NAGPRA in Practice by James Breckenridge

Building Accord Between Museums and Tribes: NAGPRA in Practice by James Breckenridge

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The 1990 approval of the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA), brought sweeping changes to the legal framework that governs the control, acquisition, and study of Native American remains and artifacts.  The rights and obligations concerning these changed significantly for Native American peoples, federally funded museums, and art dealers, among others.  Principally, NAGPRA facilitates the repatriation of human remains and other objects of cultural heritage to Native American tribes that appropriately claim them, and it protects Native American and Native Hawaiian grave sites, including objects taken from them.  NAGPRA also provided an amendment to the United States Criminal Code that lays out punitive measures for those participating in profit driven transactions involving Native American cultural items protected by NAGPRA.  Correctly hailed by academicians and legislators as a cornerstone of human rights legislation in support of aboriginal peoples, NAGPRA is fulfilling the policy considerations enunciated by the legislators who backed the bill. … Read the full text …


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