Penn Museum’s NAGPRA Repatriation Program

Central to the mission of the Penn Museum, is the preservation of cultural heritage as expressed in the Pennsylvania Declaration issued at the 1970 UNESCO Convention.

During a Tlingit consultation visit in January 2008, Andrew Gamble, Jr. (Kaagwaantaan clan leader), Herman Davis (L’ooknax. ádi clan leader), and Tom Young (Kaagwaantaan Box House leader) donned Tlingit clan regalia, including three hats in the Penn Museum’s collections. Photo by Robert W. Preucel.
During a Tlingit consultation visit in January 2008, Andrew Gamble, Jr. (Kaagwaantaan clan leader), Herman Davis (L’ooknax. ádi clan leader), and Tom Young (Kaagwaantaan Box House leader) donned Tlingit clan regalia, including three hats in the Penn Museum’s collections. Photo by Robert W. Preucel.

On 17 November 1990, The Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA) was signed into law. As of 2010, 39 formal repatriation claims seeking the return of collections have been received by the Penn Museum. Twenty-four repatriations have been completed resulting in the transfer of 226 sets of human remains, 750 funerary objects, 14 unassociated funerary objects, 19 objects of cultural patrimony, 16 sacred objects and 1 object claimed as both cultural patrimony and sacred.

Warren Kamensky and his friends in the American SectionIn October 2010, former Penn Museum volunteer Warren Kamensky made a generous donation to endow the position of NAGPRA Coordinator in the American Section, the position currently held by Stacey Espenlaub. The NAGPRA Coordinator position continues to support increasingly important initiatives, not only in the care of our collection, but also in developing and maintaining relationships with the tribes and native communities of North America.

Therese Marmion, who works in our Development Department, wrote an inspiring blog post about it.

2008 Hui Mālama I Nā Kūpuna O Hawai’i Nei, the Hawai’i Island Burial Council, and the Office of Hawai’i Affairs jointly Read More
2007 Pawnee Nation of Oklahoma Read more
2006 Sisseton Wapheton Oyate Tribe, South Dakota Read more
2005 Sac & Fox Tribe of Mississippi in Iowa Read more
2003 Miami Tribe of Oklahoma Read more
2002 Native Village of Kotzebue Read more
2002 Comanche Tribe of Oklahoma Read more
2002 White Mountain Apache Tribe Read more
2002 Organized Village of Grayling Read more
2000 Klamath Indian Tribe of Oregon Read more
2000 Sac & Fox Tribe of Oklahoma Read more
2000 Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe Read more
1999 Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska Read more
1998 Oneida Nation of New York & Oneida Tribe of Indians of Wisconsin Read more
1998 & 2000 Cayuga Nation of New York Read more
1994 & 2000 Chugach Alaska Corporation Read more
1991, 1996, 1997, 1999 Hui Mālama I Nā Kūpuna O Hawai’i Nei Read more
1990 Zuni Pueblo Read more
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