Going Home:
25 Years of Repatriation Under the NMAI Act

Wednesday, November 19, 2014, 9:00 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.
Rasmuson Theater
National Museum of the American Indian
4th Street and Independence Avenue, SW
Washington, D.C.

The 1989 National Museum of the American Indian Act (NMAIA) opened a new era in Native
American–museum relations by giving legal weight to the spiritual and ethical concerns of
tribes. To commemorate 25 years of repatriation, the National Museum of the American Indian
will convene an all-day symposium to discuss the history of the NMAIA, current repatriation
practices at the Smithsonian Institution, and the future of repatriation beyond political and
geographical boundaries. Join us as distinguished tribal representatives, scholars, and
government officials discuss repatriation as a human rights issue and explore the growing
trends in relationship- and coalition-building among tribes, museums, and agencies on domestic
and international levels. A reception will follow in the museum’s Potomac Atrium.

Live webcast at:




Ka Hoʻina: Coming Home documents the legacy of repatriating iwi kūpuna (ancestral remains) by Native Hawaiians who have been trained under the direction of respected cultural practitioners Edward and Pualani Kanahele. What started off in December 1988 from the archaeological disinterment of over 1,100 ancestral Native Hawaiians from Honokahua, Maui led to the establishment of Hui Mālama I Nā Kūpuna O Hawaiʻi Nei, an organization dedicated to the proper treatment of ancestral Native Hawaiian remains. Over the past 30 years, Hui Mālama and its members have overcome the struggles of advocating for the cultural protection and right to care for iwi kūpuna. With more than 6,000 sets of iwi kūpuna from more than 60 different museums, institutions, and agencies around the world, the team set off again on a journey 7,000 miles
from home for one of Hui Mālama’s final repatriations as an organization to return over 140 sets of iwi kūpuna.

Ka Hoʻina: Coming Home highlights how a strong foundation in supporting one another was critical to the success of the entire Hui Mālama organization as they worked to reintroduce this traditional practice of caring for iwi kūpuna despite pushback even from their own community. Ka Hoʻina: Coming Home takes you through the timeline of cultural reawakening, and a shift in perspective from something “eerie” to simply a natural part of caring for your ancestors. – See more at:

For Screenings, Go To:



Hosted at the U.S. Missions in New York City
Side Event of the U.N. Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues

Thursday, May 23, 2013
1:15 – 2:45 p.m.
U.S. Missions (799 United Nations Plaza | Enter through 45th St. entrance)
RSVP at the following site for tickets:

Please join us for a panel discussion during the U.N. Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues about indigenous international repatriation. Indigenous peoples from Australia, Chickasaw Nation, and the AAIA Working Group on International Repatriation, as well as the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian (NMAI) will be present to discuss their experiences in international repatriation. Light refreshments will be served.

Hosted by the NPS National NAGPRA Training
OCTOBER 28, 2010
2 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. (EDT)

In recent years, Indian tribes and Native Hawaiian organizations have been actively pursuing the repatriation of ancestors and cultural items situated in foreign repositories. In some cases, NAGPRA has been used to effect their return, but most often, consultation and negotiation were conducted outside the scope of NAGPRA. This webinar has three parts. In the first segment, participants will develop an understanding of the extent to which NAGPRA applies to human remains and cultural items in the physical custody of a foreign repository. Next, they will hear first-hand from Indian tribe and Native Hawaiian organization practitioners about their repatriation work with foreign institutions. These presenters will provide insights into best practices in international repatriation learned during the course of their work. Topics to be covered during this segment will include: locating human remains and cultural items in foreign repositories; cultivating working relationships with foreign institutions; and negotiating the terms and logistics of repatriation across international borders. The last segment will be devoted to the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. The Declaration and its relevance for international repatriation will be discussed, and participants will learn about the current review by the United States of its position on the Declaration, and the role that they can play in that review.


Protecting Indigenous Cultural Property in the Biotech Age
Online Course through Tribal Communities Program at UCLA
Instructor: Dr. Debra Harry
         This course will address ways in which Indigenous Peoples can protect their cultural property, Indigenous knowledge, or human and non-human genetic material. A particular focus will be on exercise of tribal sovereignty over research. The course provides an overview of the problems posed by biocolonialism.
International Repatriation Note: This course is particularly relevant because it discusses the human genome project, which, along with other types of scientific studies, has been posed by international entities as a reason to preclude international repatriation or delay repatriations in order to perform these invasive studies before the human remains or human tissues are repatriated. Also, this course discusses consent–both individual and community consent of indigenous peoples within the context of intellectual property issues.
Course link:

Museums and Restitution Conference
England, University of Manchester
July 8-9, 2010
Museums and Restitution is a two-day international conference organised by the Centre for Museology and The Manchester Museum at the University of Manchester. The conference examines the issue of restitution in relation to the changing role and authority of the museum, focussing on new ways in which these institutions are addressing the subject.

The conference will bring together museum professionals and academics from a wide range of fields (including museology, archaeology, anthropology, art history and cultural policy) to share ideas on contemporary approaches to restitution from the viewpoint of museums.


Free Tribal Collections Workshop
May 28, 2010
Los Angeles, California area
Sponsored by UCLA/Getty Museum



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Conveying the latest on Indigenous International Repatriation efforts from Indigenous perspectives.

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