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NAGPRA

The Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act of 1990 (NAGPRA) is federal legislation that applies to institutions receiving federal funding.  It creates a process for the repatriation and disposition of Native American ancestral human remains, funerary objects, sacred objects, and objects of cultural patrimony, as defined by the law, to lineal descendants, Native American tribes, and Native Hawaiian organizations.  In its report, the U.S. Congress noted that all human remains “must at all times be treated with dignity and respect.”

The University of Tennessee, Knoxville, is committed to fulfilling its obligations under NAGPRA through consultations with tribal communities and through the return of human remains and cultural objects to the appropriate individuals, tribes, and organizations who have requested these remains and objects through NAGPRA.

For more information about NAGPRA, please visit the NAGPRA web site maintained by the National Park Service.

NAGPRA claims should be directed to the university’s NAGPRA committee through the Office of the Vice Provost for Academic Affairs:

 

Robert Hinde
Vice Provost for Academic Affairs
Chair, UTK NAGPRA Committee
521 Andy Holt Tower
University of Tennessee
Knoxville, TN 37996
vpaa@utk.edu
865-974-0684

 

Please note that UTK also houses Native American ancestral human remains and cultural items that are under the legal control of federal or state agencies, including the Tennessee Valley Authority and the Tennessee Division of Archaeology, for the purposes of NAGPRA. If an inquiry relates to one of these collections, UTK will provide the appropriate contact information.

  • Brooke Bauer
  • Tim Baumann
  • Sandy Cridlin
  • Zach Garrett
  • Robert Hinde (chair)
  • Kandace Hollenbach
  • Ellen Lofaro
  • Donna McCarthy
  • Sarah Pruett
  • Brian Ranger
  • Giovanna Vidoli
  • Catherine Lane (non-voting liaison to Office of the General Counsel)

UTK policy #RE00001-K prohibits the creation, publication, or reproduction of images of NAGPRA-eligible ancestral human remains and cultural objects without the written permission of the appropriate Native American tribes or Native Hawaiian organizations.  “Images” includes photographs, scans, 3D printing, CT and PET scans, MRIs, drawings, and any other depictions of ancestral human remains and cultural objects.

The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, Cherokee Nation, and United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians in Oklahoma have requested the disposition of ancestral human remains and cultural items from Polk county, Tennessee.

The Crow Tribe of Montana has requested the repatriation of ancestral human remains and cultural items from Grand Valley, Treasure, and Yellowstone counties in Montana as well as near Buffalo, Wyoming.

The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, Cherokee Nation, and United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians in Oklahoma have requested the disposition of ancestral human remains and cultural items from Anderson, Blount, Bradley, Claiborne, Cocke, Grainger, Greene, Hamblin, Hamilton, Jefferson, Knox, Loudon, Marion, McMinn, Monroe, Rhea and Sullivan counties, Tennessee.

The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, Cherokee Nation, and United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians in Oklahoma have requested the repatriation of ancestral human remains and cultural items from Monroe county, Tennessee.

The Kaw Nation of Oklahoma has requested the repatriation of ancestral human remains and cultural items from Doniphan and Leavenworth counties, Kansas.

The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, Cherokee Nation, and United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians in Oklahoma have requested the disposition of ancestral human remains and cultural items from Bartow county, Georgia; Davidson county, Tennessee; and Smyth county, Virginia.

The Osage Nation has requested the repatriation of ancestral human remains and cultural items from Benton, Buchanan, Phelps and Platte counties, Missouri.

The Chickasaw Nation, Cherokee Nation, Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians and United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians in Oklahoma requested the disposition of ancestral human remains and cultural items from Bedford, Lincoln, Marshall, Stewart, and Williamson counties in Tennessee.  A Notice of Inventory Completion was published in the Federal Register on December 21, 2018. Legal control of 154 MNI of ancestral human remains, and 12,711 AFOs transferred to the Chickasaw Nation, Cherokee Nation, Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians and United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians in Oklahoma on January 23, 2019. A correction Notice of Inventory Completion was published in the Federal Register on July 20, 2020. Legal control of an additional 40 AFOs transferred to the Chickasaw Nation, Cherokee Nation, Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians and United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians in Oklahoma on August 20, 2020.

The Three Affiliated Tribes, also known as the Mandan, Hidatsa, and Arikara Nation, requested the repatriation of ancestral human remains and cultural items from Morton county, North Dakota as well as Campbell, Charles Mix, Corson, Lyman, and Walworth counties in South Dakota. These ancestral human remains and cultural items are under the joint control of the University of Tennessee and the US Army Corps of Engineers. A Notice of Inventory Completion and a Notice of Intent to Repatriate were published in the Federal Register on November 9, 2019.  Legal control of 1971 MNI of ancestral human remains, 2263 lots of AFOs, and 77 UFOs transferred to the Three Affiliated Tribes on December 10, 2019. An additional Notice of Inventory Completion was published in the Federal Register on January 28, 2020, and an additional 52 MNI of ancestral human remains and 71 AFOs transferred to the Three Affiliated Tribes on February 28, 2020.  A correction Notice of Inventory Completion was published in the Federal Register on June 25, 2020. Legal control of an additional 3 MNI of ancestral human remains transferred to the Three Affiliated Tribes on July 28, 2020.