Passed in 1990, the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act requires federally funded institutions and museums to consult with lineal descendants, federally recognized Native American tribes and Native Hawaiian organizations in order to return Native American cultural items – human remains, funerary objects, sacred objects, and objects of cultural patrimony.
Indiana University currently houses large collections of human remains and cultural items at four repositories at IU Bloomington. Primarily from Indiana and Illinois, the collections are from archaeological sites across the United States. These collections were brought to IU via a combination of anthropological research during the 1940s-1980s, archaeological excavations, and donations.
The NAGPRA Project at Indiana University has the full support of the Provost and the administration. It is the University’s desire and objective that by creating new partnerships, establishing new lines of communication, and developing fruitful relationships, ancestral remains and funerary objects will be returned to the appropriate tribal communities.