Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act
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In 1990 Congress passed the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA) to protect Native American, Alaskan Native, and Native Hawaiian graves on federal and Indian lands from disturbance. The law also guarantees federally-recognized tribes and lineal descendants a voice in the disposition of culturally affiliated human remains and specific types of objects in the custody of museums.  These objects include: associated funerary objects, unassociated funerary objects, sacred objects, and objects of cultural patrimony.


The law does not require museums to return all Native American, Alaskan Native and Native Hawaiian collections nor does it force tribes to make claims or accept possession of human remains and objects. 


The Peabody Museum of Natural History is dedicated to and actively engaged in the NAGPRA process.  To request information regarding museum collections or to initiate consultation, please contact Jessie Cohen at or 203-432-2779.  


Please submit all repatriation claims in writing to the Director.

Prof. David Skelly


Yale Peabody Museum

P.O. Box 208118

New Haven, CT 06511


For more resources on NAGPRA please visit the National NAGPRA website at