Healing Through Repatriation: the Debates and Diplomacy Behind the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act



The Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA) was passed in 1990 after years of demands and protests by Native American tribes for the return of their sacred cultural objects and human remains from museums. The legislation initially ignited heated debates between Native nations and United States museums and archaeologists, though it ultimately resulted in diplomacy and further collaborations between the two sides. After over thirty years since its passage, NAGPRA has resulted in many successful repatriations, but the weaknesses of the legislation have largely failed to bring healing to Native Americans who have been robbed of what is rightfully theirs. 

Department of the Interior

Meredith Gelles

Junior Individual Website

Word Count: 1,200 words

Media Time: 2:57 minutes

Process Paper Count: 500 words