Online Resources

American University's Washington College of Law has worked since 2008 to compile a directory of State Burial Laws.  For more information about the laws and policies relating to NAGPRA and human burials in different states, visit their website here.

The Intellectual Property Issues in Cultural Heritage (IPinCH) research project has two working groups that deal with issues relating to NAGPRA: "Bioarchaeology, Genetics, and Intellectual Property" and "Intellectual Property and Research Ethics".  Visit their pages for publications, news stories, fact sheets, and more.  Videos of their lectures are available on their youtube channel.

Project Archaeology has developed a teaching guide called "Investigating the First Peoples, The Clovis Child Burial".  According to their website: "The guide is a perfect first unit for United States History (Grades 8-12) with two lessons and a final performance of understanding. Students will read current news reports, write an Archaeology Discovery Report, debate ethics of studying ancient human remains, write a persuasive essay, and join students from across the nation in creating memorials to the Clovis Child. Included in the resource section is a collection of relevant news articles on this amazing discovery in an easy to print and distribute newspaper, Clovis Chronicle (pdf)."  The free pdf can be downloaded from their website.

Suggested Viewing

National NAGPRA's youtube channel has webinars and videos about NAGPRA's history and development, policies, and procedures

“Going Home: 25 Years of Repatriation Under the NMAI Act” 2014 Symposium, panel discussions uploaded by the NMAI on youtube and hosted on C-SPAN

Ka Ho'ina: Going Home Documentary explores the over 30 years of work the Hawaiian organization Hui Mālama has done repatriating iwi kūpuna (ancestral remains) (produced in 2014, 21 minutes long)

Bones of Contention BBC Documentary (produced in 1998, 48 minutes long)

"Who Owns the Past?" Documentary on the Kennewick Man/Ancient One controversy (produced in 2001, 56 minutes long)

The School for Advanced Research (SAR)'s 2016 speaker series included many talks relating to NAGPRA.  They are archived on SAR's youtube channel and include topics such as "NAGPRA Then and Now", "Community Challenges in a Post-NAGPRA Landscape", and "After the Inventories: Museums".  (produced in 2016, around 50 minutes long)

Suggested Reading: Books and Edited Volumes

Atalay, S., Clauss, L. R., McGuire, R. H., & Welch, J. R. (ed.) (2014). Transforming archaeology: Activist practices and prospects. Left Coast Press.

Burke, H. D., Lippert, D., Watkins, J. E., Zimmerman, L., & Smith, C. E. (2008). Kennewick man: perspectives on the ancient one. Left Coast Press.

Chari, S. and J. Lavallee (ed.) (2013). Accomplishing NAGPRA: perspectives on the intent, impact, and future of the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act.  Corvallis (OR): Oregon State University Press.

Fine-Dare, K. S. (2002). Grave injustice: the American Indian repatriation movement and NAGPRA. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press.

Killion, T.W. (ed.) (2008). Opening archaeology: repatriation’s impact on contemporary research & practice. Santa Fe (NM): School for Advanced Research.

McKeown, C.T. (2012). In the Smaller Scope of Conscience: the struggle for national repatriation legislation 1986-1990. Tucson: University of Arizona Press.

Mihesuah, D.A. (ed.) (2000). Repatriation reader: who owns American Indian remains? Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press.

Swidler, N., Dongoske, K., Anyon, R., & Downer, A. (ed.) (1997). Native Americans and archaeologists: stepping stones to common ground. Rowman Altamira.

TallBear K. (2013). Native American DNA: Tribal Belonging and the False Promise of Genetic Science. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press

Thomas, D. H. (2001). Skull Wars: Kennewick Man, Archaeology, And The Battle For Native American Identity. Basic Books.

Suggested Reading: Articles and Chapters

Atalay, S. (2006). Indigenous archaeology as decolonizing practice. The American Indian Quarterly30(3), 280-310.

--. (2008). Multivocality and Indigenous archaeologies. In Evaluating Multiple Narratives (pp. 29-44). Springer New York.

Blakey, M. L. (1998). Beyond European enlightenment: Toward a critical and humanistic human biology. Building a new biocultural synthesis: Political-economic perspectives on human biology, 379-405.

--. (2008). An Ethical Epistemology of Publicly Engaged Biocultural Research. In Evaluating Multiple Narratives (pp. 17-28). Springer New York.

Brown, M. and M. Bruchac. (2006). NAGPRA from the Middle Distance: Legal Puzzles and Unintended Consequences. In Imperialism, Art, and Restitution (pp. 193-217). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Available at 

Bruchac, M. (2010). Lost and Found: NAGPRA, Scattered Relics and Restorative Methodologies.  Museum Anthropology, 33(2), 137-156.  Available at

Kakaliouras, A. M. (2008). Toward a “new and different” osteology: a reflexive critique of physical anthropology in the United States since the passage of NAGPRA. Opening archaeology: repatriation’s impact on contemporary research and practice, 109-129.

--. (2012). An Anthropology of Repatriation. Current Anthropology53(S5), S210-S221.

Lippert, D. (2005). Remembering humanity: how to include human values in a scientific endeavor. International Journal of Cultural Property12(02), 275-280.

--. (2008) Not the End, Not the Middle, But the Beginning: Repatriation as a Transformative Mechanism for Archaeologists and Indigenous Peoples. In Collaboration in Archaeological Practice: Engaging Descendant Communities. Chip Colwell-Chanthaphonh and T. J. Ferguson, eds. Pp. 119-130. Lanham, Md.: AltaMira Press.

Riding In, J. (2012). Human Rights and the American Indian Repatriation Movement: A Manifesto. Ariz. St. LJ44, 613.

TallBear, K. (2013). Genomic articulations of indigeneity. Social Studies of Science, 43(4):509–33.

Tsosie, R. (1997a). Indigenous peoples' claims to cultural property: a legal perspective. Museum Anthropology21, 5.

--. (1997b). Indigenous rights and archaeology. Native Americans and archaeologists: stepping stones to common ground68

--. (2012). NAGPRA and the Problem of Culturally Unidentifiable Remains: The Argument for a Human Rights Framework. Ariz. St. LJ44, 809.

Watkins, J. (2003). Archaeological Ethics and American Indians. Ethical issues in archaeology, 129-141.

--. (2004) Becoming American or Becoming Indian?: NAGPRA, Kennewick and Cultural Affiliation. Journal of Social Archaeology 4(1):60-80.

Recent Publications

The January 2015 issue of the SAA Archaeological Record is themed "NAGPRA and the Next Generation of Collaboration".  Read the free pdf online here

Arnold, B., & Jeske, R. J. (2014). The Archaeology of Death: Mortuary Archaeology in the United States and Europe 1990-2013. Annual Review of Anthropology, 43: 325-346.

Bardill, J. (2014). Native American DNA: Ethical, Legal, and Social Implications of an Evolving Concept. Annual Review of Anthropology, 43: 155-166.

Baugher, S. & Veit, R. (2014). The Archaeology of American Cemeteries and Gravemarkers.  University Press of Florida.

Bienkowski, P. (2015). A Critique of Museum Restitution and Repatriation Practices.  The International Handbooks of Museum Studies 3(19):431-453.

Bissett, T.G. & Classen, C.P. (2016). Portable x-ray fluorescence in sourcing prehistoric whelk shell artifacts: a pilot study from Eastern North America.  North American Archaeologist. doi: 10.1177/0197693116631675

Booth, L. (2015).  Spirits up for Sale: Advocating for the Adoption of Ethical Guidelines to Govern the Treatment of Sacred Objects by Auction Houses.  Georgetown Journal of Legal Ethics 28: 393-415. 

Burelle, J. (2015). Theatre in Contested Lands: Repatriating Indigenous Remains. TDR/The Drama Review, 59(1): 97-118.

Callaway, E. (2014). Ancient genome stirs ethics debate. Nature, 506(7487): 142-143.

Champney, T. (2016).  The business of bodies: Ethical perspectives on for-profit body donation companies.  Clinical Anatomy 29(1):25-29.

Chavarria, A. & McBrinn, M. (2015). Museum Anthropology: Continued Conversations in the Field. Museum Anthropology 38: 3-14.

Colwell, C. (2014). The Sacred and the Museum: Repatriation and the Trajectories of Inalienable Possessions. Museum Worlds: Advances in Research, 2(1): 10-24.

Colwell, C. (2015). Curating Secrets: repatriation, knowledge flows, and museum power structures.  Current Anthropology 56(S12): S263-S275. 

DeWitte S. N. (2015). Bioarchaeology and the Ethics of Research Using Human Skeletal Remains. History Compass13(1):1019. doi: 10.1111/hic3.12213.

Dickerson, A. & Ceeney, E. (2015). Repatriating Human Remains: searching for an acceptable ethics. T. Ireland and J. Schofield (ed.) The Ethics of Cultural Heritage: 89-104. Springer New York. 

Edgar, H. J.H. and Rautman, A. L.M. (2014). Contemporary Museum Policies and the Ethics of Accepting Human Remains. Curator: The Museum Journal, 57: 237–247. doi: 10.1111/cura.12064

Genovese, T. (2016). Decolonizing archival methodology: Combating hegemony and moving towards a collaborative archival environment. AlterNative: An International Journal of Indigenous Peoples 12(1): 32-42.

Goldberg, S. (2015). Kennewick Man and the Meaning of Life.  University of Chicago Legal Forum 2006(1): 275-287.

Hua, J. & Ray, K. (2016). The lives of things: Native objects, human rights, and ndn-indian relationality.  Prose Studies 38(1): 12-33.

Huang, J. (2015).  Protecting Non-indigenous Human Remains under Cultural Heritage Law.  Chinese Journal of International Law 14(4): 709-733.

Kakaliouras, A. M. (2014). When Remains are “Lost”: Thoughts on Collections, Repatriation, and Research in American Physical Anthropology. Curator: The Museum Journal, 57: 213–223. doi: 10.1111/cura.12062

Kan, S. & Henrikson, S. (2015).  Sharing Our Knowledge: The Tlingit and Their Coastal Neighbors.  Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press. Available online

Kim, J. and D. Steadman. (2014). A Review of Codes of Ethics in the United States and Ethical Dilemmas Surrounding the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA). Korean Journal of Physical Anthropology, 27(2):47-63.   Open access publication available here

Martinez, D. R., Teeter, W. G. and Kennedy-Richardson, K. (2014). Returning the tataayiyam honuuka' (Ancestors) to the Correct Home: The Importance of Background Investigations for NAGPRA Claims. Curator: The Museum Journal, 57: 199–211.

Meltzer, D. (2015).  Kennewick Man: coming to closure. Antiquity 89: 1485-1493.

Mickleburgh, H. L. (2015).  Skeletons in the closet: Future avenues for the curation of archaeological human skeletal remains in the Dutch Caribbean and the rest of the region. C. Hofman and J. Haviser (ed.) Managing Our Past Into the Future: archaeological heritage management in the Dutch Caribbean: 113-130. Leiden: Sidestone Press. 

Nichols, C. A. (2014). Lost in Museums: The Ethical Dimensions of Historical Practices of Anthropological Specimen Exchange. Curator: The Museum Journal, 57(2): 225-236.

Obermeyer, B. (2016).  “We call it put him away”: Contemporary Delaware burial practices and NAGPRA. North American Archaeologist 37(2): 112-135.

Owsley, D. W., & Jantz, R. L. (ed.) (2014). Kennewick Man: The Scientific Investigation of an Ancient American Skeleton. Texas A&M University Press.

Poremski, K. (2015).  Voicing the Bones: Heid Erdrich’s Poetry and the Discourse of NAGPRA.  Studies in American Indian Literature 27(1):1-32.

Rasmussen, M. et al. (2015). The ancestry and affiliations of Kennewick Man. Nature 523: 455–458. doi:10.1038/nature14625

Redman, S.J.  Bone Rooms: from scientific racism to human prehistory in museums. Harvard University Press.

Steeves, P. (2015).  Academia, Archaeology, CRM, and Tribal Historic Preservation.  Archaeologies 11(1): 121-141.

Stutz, L. N. (2016). Claims to the Past. A Critical View of the Arguments Driving Repatriation of Cultural Heritage and Their Role in Contemporary Identity Politics. Journal of Intervention and Statebuilding 7(2): 170-195.

Thomas, J-L. et al. (2015).  Violence and Trophy Taking: a case study of head and neck trauma in two individuals from the Gant site (3MS11).  International Journal of Osteology.  doi:10.1002/oa.2474.

Zimmerman, L. J., & Branam, K. M. (2014). Collaborating with Stakeholders. J. Balme and A. Paterson (ed.) Archaeology in Practice: A Student Guide to Archaeological Analyses, 1-25. Malden, MA: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.