Digest of Federal Resource Laws of Interest to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act

This Act, Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act -- Public Law 101-601, signed on November 16, 1990 (25 U.S.C. 3001-13; 104 Stat. 3042) establishes requirements for the treatment of Native American human remains and sacred or cultural objects found on Federal land.

By November 16, 1995, Federal agencies in possession of any such remains or objects are required to issue an inventory of any human remains or funerary objects.

By November 16, 1993, agencies must issue a written summary of all funerary objects not associated with human remains, or sacred or cultural objects under their control, along with all available information on geographical or cultural affiliation of such items.

In any case where such items can be associated with specific Tribes or groups of Tribes, the agency is required to provide notice of the item in question to the Tribe or Tribes. Upon request, each agency is required to return any such item to any lineal descendant or specific Tribe with whom such item is associated. There are various additional requirements imposed upon the Secretary.

Documents establishing the legislative history of this act include: House Report 101-877 and pages S17173-77 from the October 26, 1990, Congressional Record. (There was no Senate report, and no debate once the bill was sent back to the House after an extensive Senate floor amendment.)

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