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Help Us Investigate Museums’ Failure to Return Native American Human Remains and Cultural Items

Do you know about how museums and other institutions are handling the repatriation of Native American human remains and cultural items under NAGPRA? We want to hear from you.

The American Museum of Natural History (Ashley Gilbertson/VII/Redux)

Museums, universities and other American institutions that receive federal funds were required by a 1990 law to “expeditiously” return human remains and cultural items taken from Native American tribes and burial sites. Decades later, these institutions still hold more than 100,000 human remains and several hundred thousand items.

ProPublica, a nonprofit news organization, is investigating why some institutions have made little progress on repatriation under the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act.

We understand this is a sensitive topic, and we are committed to respectfully reporting about it. Our goal is to hold institutions accountable. We hope to connect with tribal citizens, historic preservation officers, past and present museum and university employees and others to learn about their experiences with this issue.

We take your privacy seriously, and we will contact you if we wish to publish any part of your story. You are also welcome to reach out with any questions or feedback.

You can reach us at [email protected] or 206-419-7338 (calls or Signal messages). If you would prefer to use an encrypted app, see our advice at propublica.org/tips.

Thank you for sharing your experience with us.

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