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The federal Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA) provides institutions receiving federal funding with a process for transferring Native American cultural items to lineal descendants and federally recognized Native American tribes and Native Hawaiian organizations.  These cultural items may include human remains, funerary objects, sacred objects, and objects of cultural patrimony.

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

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

Questions about UTK’s NAGPRA-governed collections 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


Please note that UTK houses several collections that are under the control of the Tennessee Valley Authority or other federal agencies for the purposes of NAGPRA. If an inquiry relates to one of these collections, UTK will provide the appropriate contact information.

The Chickasaw Nation, Cherokee Nation, Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians and United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians in Oklahoma have requested the disposition of nine archaeological sites in Bedford, Lincoln, Marshall, Stewart, and Williamson counties in Tennessee.

The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, Cherokee Nation, and United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians in Oklahoma have requested the disposition of two archaeological sites in Polk county, Tennessee.

The Crow Tribe of Montana has requested the repatriation of four archaeological sites in Grand Valley, Treasure, and Yellowstone counties in Montana as well as near Buffalo, Wyoming.

The Three Affiliated Tribes, also known as the Mandan, Hidatsa, and Arikara Nation, has requested the repatriation of twelve archaeological sites in Morton county, North Dakota as well as Campbell, Charles Mix, Corson, Lyman, and Walworth counties in South Dakota.