National Park Service releases eight grants for NAGPRA efforts

The Saginaw Chippewa Tribe of Michigan held a reburial ceremony in December for a set of ancestral remains. Photo by Joseph V. Sowmick / Tribal Observer

The National Park Service has awarded Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act to tribes and educational institutions.

The money will be used to help tribes reclaim ancestral remains and artifacts under NAGPRA. The grants totaled $74,348.

“The work funded by these grants is a step toward addressing past violations of the treatment of human remains and sacred objects of native peoples, while restoring the ability of American Indian and Native Hawaiian peoples to be stewards of their own ancestral dead and cultural heritage.” NPS Director Jonathan B. Jarvis said in a press release.

The grants went to the Native Village of Barrow in Alaska ($29,904), the Smith River Rancheria of California ($14,944), the Bay Mills Indian Community of Michigan ($1,937), the Saginaw Chippewa Tribe of Michigan ($14,836) and the Chickasaw Nation of Oklahoma $4,103. The Village of Barrow's total includes two separate grants.

Another grant of $6,309 went to the University of California. The school has been trying to repatriate ancestral remains to the Kumeyaay Nation but has faced opposition in court.

A small grant of $2,315 went to Sweet Briar College in Virginia, an institution whose closing is being contested in court.

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Press Release: NAGPRA Grants Awarded to Eight Tribes Grants to Help Native Americans Identify and Repatriate Human Remains, Cultural Objects (National Park Service 4/15)

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