Environment | National

Nominations open for tribal seat on repatriation review committee

The headquarters of the U.S. Department of the Interior in Washington, D.C. Photo by Indianz.Com / Available for use under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License

Nominations are being sought for an open seat on the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Review Committee.

The committee is charged with monitoring the federal government's implementation of the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act. The panel also hears disputes that arise under the 1990 law, like a recent case involving an ancestor that the Department of the Interior returned to the Fallon Paiute-Shoshone Tribe in Nevada.

Of the seven members of the committee, three are drawn from nominations submitted by tribes, Native American religious leaders or Native Hawaiian organizations. The open seat is for one of those three positions, according to a forthcoming Federal Register notice.

"Nominations should include the nominee’s resume providing an adequate description of a nominee’s qualifications, including information that would enable the Department of the Interior to make an informed decision regarding meeting the membership requirements of the committee and permit the Department of the Interior to contact a potential member," the document states.

Nominations are due within 90 days after the publication of the notice in the Federal Register on Monday. Secretary Ryan Zinke, who vowed to work with tribes and Congress on repatriation issues during his confirmation hearing, has the authority to appoint members of the committee.

The committee's next meeting takes place via telephone on July 11. An tentative in-person meeting is due to be held at the National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, D.C., in the fall.

Forthcoming Federal Register Notice:
Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Review Committee: Request for Nominations (To Be Published April 3, 2017)

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