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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) originally recognized that it possessed materials subject to NAGPRA in 97 collections. The NAGPRA materials in 23 of these collections have been repatriated, reburied, or returned to the controlling agency. The remaining 74 collections containing NAGPRA materials are from 47 archaeological sites from throughout the Bay Area. Inventories of the NAGPRA materials initially recognized in all of the collections in the possession or control of ACF have been submitted for publication in the Federal Register. Recently, additional collections containing materials subject to NAGPRA have been identified among ACF collections. Inventory of these collections is in progress.

ACF Policies

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