Anthropological Studies Center logo

Sonoma State University logo


The Anthropological Studies Center manages projects, to assist with compliance with the federally-mandated Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA). A number of these projects are for collections controlled by outside agencies, such as Caltrans and California State Parks; however, we also manage NAGPRA compliance for our own collections. Duties include:

  • assessing collections for items that would be subject to NAGPRA regulations,
  • identifying and initiating consultation with interested federally-recognized tribes,
  • drafting and arranging for publication of federal notices of inventory completion,
  • intent to repatriate, assessing competing claims for repatriation of the items,
  • and the post-publication negotiation for the physical repatriation of the NAGPRA items.

Collections Status

The David A. Fredrickson Archaeological Collections Facility (ACF) possessed a total of 97 collections subject to NAGPRA. Of these collections, 23 have been repatriated, reburied or returned to the controlling agency. The remaining 74 collections are from 47 archaeological sites from throughout the Bay Area. Inventories of all of the collections under the possession and control of ACF have been submitted for publication in the Federal Register.

ACF Policies

ACF sees the NAGPRA process as a chance to initiate and strengthen relationships with the Native American community, with the goal of paving the way for mutually beneficial research opportunities in the future. It is ACF policy to send the affiliated tribe a copy of the NAGPRA notice in the Federal Register as soon as it is published to ensure that the tribe is aware of their right to claim their materials. Until such time as the tribes are ready to claim their NAGPRA materials the ACF holds these collections in trust. This means that no research is allowed on the collections except with written permission from the tribe.