What is NAGPRA?
The Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA) of 1990 establishes a process of identification, consultation, and recommendation about American Indian ancestral remains and cultural materials currently held by museums and other collecting institutions. NAGPRA requires museums and other collecting institutions to work with indigenous cultural groups to establish cultural affiliation and repatriate American Indian human remains and culturally sensitive materials.
NAGPRA at the Fort Collins Museum of Discovery
Starting in 2001 the Fort Collins Museum facilitated consultations with numerous American Indian tribes and conducted research on its collection of cultural materials. Some of the tribal communities consulted have historical ties to this area, specifically the Ute, Arapaho, Cheyenne, Lakota, Apache, Comanche, Kiowa, Crow, and Pawnee. Other tribes have been the Death Valley Timbisha Shoshone Band of California, the Navajo Nation, and numerous Puebloan tribes. These consultations led to the repatriation or reburial of all the human remains once held in the Museum’s collections.
Though the Fort Collins Museum of Discovery does not hold any human remains in its collections, the lessons and relationships created during the NAGPRA process continue to inform the care of our Native American collections and the interpretation of our local indigenous stories. Information and insights native consultants shared are incorporated into the records of the Native American collections and is used to present these objects in our galleries. The Museum continues to benefit from the involvement of a task force made up of Native American members of our local community, who are consulted in the development of our exhibits and programming. Learn more about NAGPRA here.