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Works Progress Administration workers excavate a Native American burial mound in Kentucky at an unknown date. Credit: (University of Kentucky Special Collections Research Center)

How to Report on the Repatriation of Native American Remains

Join our reporters to learn how you can research repatriation efforts in your community using ProPublica’s first-of-its-kind repatriation map and data.

As the United States pushed Native Americans from their lands to make way for westward expansion throughout the 1800s, museums and the federal government encouraged the looting of Indigenous remains, funerary objects and cultural items. Many institutions continue to hold them today — and in some cases resist their return despite the passage more than three decades ago of the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act. As part of The Repatriation Project, in partnership with NBC News, ProPublica is investigating how loopholes in the law have been exploited, and we’d like to help enable other journalists to do the same.

In this hourlong webinar, ProPublica reporters will show journalists how they can use our map and search tool as a starting point to see which institutions still have Native American remains, and they’ll offer tips on requesting records and sensitively reporting on this issue. If you would like us to consider using your region or tribe in our demonstration of the tool, please include that information with your registration below, along with questions you would like the reporters to answer.

Our speakers include:

  • Ash Ngu, ProPublica news app developer
  • Graham Brewer, NBC News national investigative reporter, Cherokee Nation citizen and Native American Journalists Association vice president
  • Logan Jaffe, ProPublica reporter
  • Mary Hudetz, ProPublica reporter, Crow Tribe member and former Native American Journalists Association president

This event has ended.