IU NAGPRA Procedural Document

Types of research: Work to gather information regarding materials potentially eligible for coverage under NAGPRA fall into two categories.

1. Information collection to determine NAGPRA Eligibility and Classification of Objects/Materials

The law mandates documentation and information collection to establish eligibility for NAGPRA and cultural affiliation with Native American tribes, Alaskan Natives, and Native Hawaiian organizations.

A. Since NAGPRA-related work (e.g., consultation, documentation) involves some investigation and analysis, the possibility exists that a determination of kin or cultural affiliation could be reached regarding human remains and/or cultural items presently classified as culturally unidentifiable.

B. During the process of collections management, documentation, inventorying, and curation, repository staff and researchers might encounter materials currently regarded as not subject to NAGPRA, but might uncover information that would warrant changing the materials’ classification.

C. Communication among professionals (e.g. archaeologists, state and tribal historic preservation officers, museum personnel, agency officials), regarding the age, origin, provenience, or cultural associations for specific human remains and associated funerary objects, which would be used in evaluating cultural affiliation, is not considered research and is not limited.

2. Scholarly Research

A. Access and Use of Culturally Affiliated Native American Skeletal Remains and Associated Funerary Objects for Research or Teaching prior to transfer of legal control:

1. Access to or the use of any culturally affiliated Native American skeletal remains or associated funerary objects for classroom, teaching, or research purposes without consultation and the expressed written consent of culturally affiliated Native American communities is prohibited.

B. Access and Use of Culturally Affiliated Native American Skeletal Remains and Associated Funerary Objects for Research or Teaching after the Transfer of Legal Control:

1. After the Transfer of Legal Control to a federally recognized tribe(s) but prior to the Transfer of Possession, specific research requests (non-destructive or destructive) by tribal parties must be completed in collaboration with IU personnel. Written confirmation of that request and specific details of the project must be acquired by the NAGPRA Director, who will then assist in facilitating access to the collection(s) for tribally approved researchers.

2. Specific requests by non-tribal parties must be made in writing to the NAGPRA Director who will then contact the relevant tribal parties on their behalf, who then need to approve the work proposed by the researcher. Final approval then proceeds as above.

C. Access and Use of Culturally Unidentifiable Native American Skeletal Remains and Associated Funerary Objects for Research or Teaching Purposes:

1. Access to or the use of any culturally unidentifiable Native American skeletal remains and associated funerary objects for classroom, teaching, or new research purposes by IU faculty, external researchers, or current students is prohibited.

Exceptions are:

1. Continuing research and current student research at Indiana University, Bloomington.

a. Continuing research is defined as research that is currently and actively being conducted at one of the campus laboratories and will be accommodated for a period of no longer than three years from the approval date of this document or September 18, 2018. Any IU faculty, external researchers, or former students wanting access to or the use of human remains and/or associated funerary objects for research pursued prior to 2014 must submit a research request/proposal and seek written re-authorization through the NAGPRA Director. The NAGPRA Director will seek advice or input from the repository director and NAGPRA Working Group regarding the intellectual merits and broader impacts of the project and give a recommendation to the Vice Provost for Research who decides on final re-authorization for project continuation.

b. Current student research is defined as work in progress as of 2014 by a current IU student in preparation of a thesis done under a supervising faculty committee to satisfy IU degree requirements. Current student research cannot be carried out beyond seven years of the graduate student passing their Ph.D. qualifying examination. No new thesis research can be performed using Native American skeletal remains and associated funerary objects unless meeting the criteria above. A list of current student and faculty research projects with anticipated deliverables and due dates will be the responsibility of the Department of Anthropology and reviewed each fall semester by the NAGPRA Working Group. This list is for internal use only and will be utilized to monitor future access/research on collections.

c. If tribal parties request information on work done/being completed on a specific collection, only the collection utilized and project topic will be shared. No student names will be released. This does not include Masters theses, Doctoral dissertations, or published manuscripts.

Contact information:

Dr. Jayne-Leigh Thomas

NAGPRA Director
318 Student Building
701 E. Kirkwood Ave.
Bloomington, IN 47405
Email: thomajay@indiana.edu
Phone: 812-856-5315