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The Repatriation Database Data from Nov. 29, 2023

Harvard University

2 subunits · Located in Massachusetts

Harvard Univ. has the 3rd largest collection of unrepatriated Native American remains in the U.S. The institution reported still having the remains of at least 5,600 Native Americans that it has not made available for return to tribes.

The institution has made available for return 44% of the more than 10,200 Native American remains that it reported to the federal government.

remains of 4,537 Native Americans made available for return to tribes
remains of at least 5,680 Native Americans not made available for return

Where Native American remains reported by Harvard Univ. were taken from

Each county is a peak
Height is the minimum amount of remains taken from county, as reported by institution
Color is reported rate of remains made available for return to tribes
Institution reported no remains taken from these counties
Location of institution
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Note: Harvard Univ. reported remains of at least 216 Native Americans with no location information. 3% of these remains were made available for return to tribes.
Under the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act, when an institution establishes a connection between tribes and remains, it must publish a list of the tribes eligible to make a repatriation claim. The remains are then made available for return to the tribe(s). Once a tribal claim is made, physical transfer may occur. Many remains have been physically returned to tribes, but data on this is spotty because the law does not require institutions to report when these transfers occur.

Timeline of Native American remains made available for return to tribes by Harvard Univ.

Tribal and institutional capacity, funding, staffing, regulatory changes, audits, Review Committee decisions and litigation may influence timelines. Under NAGPRA, institutions determine whether Native American remains may be returned through cultural affiliation using evidence such as tribal traditional knowledge and biological and archaeological links, or through disposition based on geographic affiliation.

How Harvard Univ. compares to other institutions

The amount of Native American remains still held by institutions ranges widely.

Harvard Univ. made Native American remains available for return to 218 tribes.

Institutions often make remains available for return to multiple tribes, so the amount of remains listed below may be counted for more than one tribe.
TribeRemains Made Available for Return To
Pueblo of Jemez, New Mexico2,041
Cherokee Nation662
Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians626
United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians in Oklahoma626
Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head (Aquinnah)586
Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe584
Oneida Nation of Wisconsin262
Oneida Indian Nation in New York258
Assonet Band of the Wampanoag Nation255
Onondaga Nation201
Seneca Nation of Indians201
Seneca-Cayuga Nation201
Tonawanda Band of Seneca201
Cayuga Nation200
Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe200
Tuscarora Nation200
Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Mission Indians of the Santa Ynez Reservation, California186
Hui Malama I Na Kupuna O Hawai'i Nei168
Office of Hawaiian Affairs168
O'ahu Island Burial Council161
Kauai/Niihau Island Burial Council160
Maui/Lanai Island Burial Council160
Molokai Island Burial Council160
Native Hawaiian Organizations160
Penobscot Nation125
Passamaquoddy Tribe of Maine112
Houlton Band of Maliseet Indians111
Mi'kmaq Nation111
Keweenaw Bay Indian Community, Michigan100
Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe of Michigan99
Bad River Band of the Lake Superior Tribe of Chippewa Indians of the Bad River Reservation, Wisconsin98
Bay Mills Indian Community, Michigan98
Bois Forte Band (Nett Lake) of the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe, Minnesota98
Chippewa Cree Indians of the Rocky Boy's Reservation, Montana98
Fond du Lac Band of the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe, Minnesota98
Grand Portage Band of the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe, Minnesota98
Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians, Michigan98
Lac Courte Oreilles Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians of Wisconsin98
Lac Vieux Desert Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians of Michigan98
Lac du Flambeau Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians of the Lac du Flambeau Reservation of Wisconsin98
Leech Lake Band of the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe, Minnesota98
Little River Band of Ottawa Indians, Michigan98
Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians, Michigan98
Mille Lacs Band of the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe, Minnesota98
Ottawa Tribe of Oklahoma98
Red Cliff Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians of Wisconsin98
Red Lake Band of Chippewa Indians, Minnesota98
Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians, Michigan98
Sokaogon Chippewa Community, Wisconsin98
St. Croix Chippewa Indians of Wisconsin98
Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indians of North Dakota98
White Earth Band of Minnesota Chippewa Tribe, Minnesota98
La Jolla Band of Luiseno Indians, California77
Pala Band of Mission Indians76
Pauma Band of Luiseno Mission Indians of the Pauma and Yuima Reservation, California76
Pechanga Band of Indians76
Rincon Band of Luiseno Indians76
Soboba Band of Luiseno Indians, California76
Stockbridge Munsee Community, Wisconsin72
Citizen Potawatomi Nation, Oklahoma65
Forest County Potawatomi Community, Wisconsin65
Hannahville Indian Community, Michigan65
Match-e-be-nash-she-wish Band of Pottawatomi Indians of Michigan65
Nottawaseppi Huron Band of the Potawatomi, Michigan (formerly the Huron Potawatomi, Inc.)65
Pawnee Nation of Oklahoma65
Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians, Michigan and Indiana65
Prairie Band of Potawatomi Nation65
Three Affiliated Tribes of the Fort Berthold Reservation, North Dakota55
Delaware Nation, Oklahoma51
Delaware Tribe of Indians51
Wyandotte Nation48
Quapaw Nation45
Northern Arapaho Tribe of the Wind River Reservation, Wyoming32
Abenaki Nation of Missisquoi30
Abenaki Nation of New Hampshire30
White Mountain Apache Tribe of the Fort Apache Reservation, Arizona28
Chitina, Native Village of20
Chickasaw Nation16
Comanche Nation, Oklahoma16
Zuni Tribe of the Zuni Reservation, New Mexico16
Northern Cheyenne Tribe of the Northern Cheyenne Indian Reservation, Montana15
Narragansett Indian Tribe13
Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribes, Oklahoma11
Alabama-Quassarte Tribal Town, Oklahoma9
Kialegee Tribal Town9
Muscogee (Creek) Nation9
Poarch Band of Creek Indians9
Thlopthlocco Tribal Town9
Tunica-Biloxi Indian Tribe9
Nipmuc Nation8
Navajo Nation, Arizona, New Mexico and Utah7
Hawaii Island Burial Council6
Lineal Descendant6
Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma5
Mohegan Tribe of Indians of Connecticut5
Sac and Fox Nation of Missouri in Kansas and Nebraska5
Sac and Fox Nation, Oklahoma5
Sac and Fox Tribe of the Mississippi in Iowa5
Tohono O'odham Nation of Arizona5
Assiniboine and Sioux Tribes of the Fort Peck Indian Reservation, Montana4
Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe of the Cheyenne River Reservation, South Dakota4
Mashantucket Pequot Indian Tribe4
Miccosukee Tribe of Indians4
Pueblo of Santa Ana, New Mexico4
Seminole Tribe of Florida4
Spirit Lake Tribe, North Dakota4
Standing Rock Sioux Tribe of North and South Dakota4
The Seminole Nation of Oklahoma4
Ak-Chin Indian Community3
Caddo Nation of Oklahoma3
Fort Independence Indian Community of Paiute Indians of the Fort Independence Reservation, California3
Gila River Indian Community of the Gila River Indian Reservation, Arizona3
Menominee Indian Tribe of Wisconsin3
Quechan Tribe of the Fort Yuma Indian Reservation, California and Arizona3
Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community of the Salt River Reservation, Arizona3
Apache Tribe of Oklahoma2
Big Pine Paiute Tribe of the Owens Valley2
Bishop Paiute Tribe2
Duckwater Shoshone Tribe of the Duckwater Reservation, Nevada2
Ely Shoshone Tribe of Nevada2
Fort McDermitt Paiute and Shoshone Tribes of the Fort McDermitt Indian Reservation, Nevada and Oregon2
Fort McDowell Yavapai Nation, Arizona2
Fort Sill Apache Tribe of Oklahoma2
Hoopa Valley Tribe, California2
Jamestown S'Klallam Tribe2
Jicarilla Apache Nation, New Mexico2
Lone Pine Paiute-Shoshone Tribe2
Lower Elwha Tribal Community2
Mescalero Apache Tribe of the Mescalero Reservation, New Mexico2
Oglala Sioux Tribe2
Ounalashka Corporation2
Paiute-Shoshone Tribe of the Fallon Reservation and Colony, Nevada2
Ponca Tribe of Indians of Oklahoma2
Port Gamble S'Klallam Tribe2
Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe of the Pyramid Lake Reservation, Nevada2
Qawalangin Tribe of Unalaska2
Reno-Sparks Indian Colony, Nevada2
San Carlos Apache Tribe of the San Carlos Reservation, Arizona2
Shoshone-Paiute Tribes of the Duck Valley Reservation, Nevada2
Summit Lake Paiute Tribe of Nevada2
Te-Moak Tribe of Western Shoshone Indians of Nevada2
Timbisha Shoshone Tribe2
Tonto Apache Tribe of Arizona2
Wampanoag Repatriation Confederation2
Winnemucca Indian Colony of Nevada2
Yankton Sioux Tribe of South Dakota2
Yavapai-Apache Nation of the Camp Verde Indian Reservation, Arizona2
Yomba Shoshone Tribe of the Yomba Reservation, Nevada2
Absentee-Shawnee Tribe of Indians of Oklahoma1
Big Valley Band of Pomo Indians of the Big Valley Rancheria, California1
Bridgeport Indian Colony1
Burns Paiute Tribe1
Cahto Tribe of the Laytonville Rancheria1
Campo Band of Diegueno Mission Indians of the Campo Indian Reservation, California1
Capitan Grande Band of Diegueno Mission Indians of California1
Cedarville Rancheria, California1
Chaluka Corporation1
Coeur D'Alene Tribe1
Confederated Tribes and Bands of the Yakama Nation1
Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation1
Confederated Tribes of the Grand Ronde Community of Oregon1
Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation1
Confederated Tribes of the Warm Springs Reservation of Oregon1
Cow Creek Band of Umpqua Tribe of Indians1
Coyote Valley Band of Pomo Indians of California1
Crow Creek Sioux Tribe of the Crow Creek Reservation, South Dakota1
Ewiiaapaayp Band of Kumeyaay Indians, California1
Flandreau Santee Sioux Tribe of South Dakota1
Fort Bidwell Indian Community of the Fort Bidwell Reservation of California1
Guidiville Rancheria of California1
Ho-Chunk Nation of Wisconsin1
Hopland Band of Pomo Indians, California1
Iipay Nation of Santa Ysabel, California1
Inaja Band of Diegueno Mission Indians of the Inaja and Cosmit Reservation, California1
Jamul Indian Village of California1
Kaibab Band of Paiute Indians of the Kaibab Indian Reservation, Arizona1
Kaw Nation, Oklahoma1
Kickapoo Traditional Tribe of Texas1
Kickapoo Tribe of Indians of the Kickapoo Reservation in Kansas1
Kickapoo Tribe of Oklahoma1
Kiowa Indian Tribe of Oklahoma1
Klamath Tribes1
La Posta Band of Diegueno Mission Indians of the La Posta Indian Reservation, California1
Las Vegas Tribe of Paiute Indians of the Las Vegas Indian Colony, Nevada1
Lovelock Paiute Tribe of the Lovelock Indian Colony, Nevada1
Lower Brule Sioux Tribe of the Lower Brule Reservation, South Dakota1
Lower Sioux Indian Community in the State of Minnesota1
Manchester Band of Pomo Indians of the Manchester Rancheria, California1
Manzanita Band of Diegueno Mission Indians of the Manzanita Reservation, California1
Mesa Grande Band of Diegueno Mission Indians of the Mesa Grande Reservation, California1
Miami Tribe of Oklahoma1
Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians1
Moapa Band of Paiute Indians of the Moapa River Indian Reservation, Nevada1
Nez Perce Tribe1
Nikolski, Native Village of1
Osage Nation1
Paiute Indian Tribe of Utah1
Peoria Tribe of Indians of Oklahoma1
Pinoleville Pomo Nation, California1
Potter Valley Tribe, California1
Redwood Valley or Little River Band of the Redwood Valley Rancheria California1
Rosebud Sioux Tribe of the Rosebud Indian Reservation, South Dakota1
Round Valley Indian Tribes of the Round Valley Reservation, California1
San Juan Southern Paiute Tribe of Arizona1
San Pasqual Band of Diegueno Mission Indians of California1
Santee Sioux Nation, Nebraska1
Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community of Minnesota1
Shawnee Tribe1
Sherwood Valley Rancheria of Pomo Indians of California1
Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate of the Lake Traverse Reservation, South Dakota1
Susanville Indian Rancheria, California1
Sycuan Band of the Kumeyaay Nation1
Unalakleet, Native Village of1
Upper Sioux Community, Minnesota1
Utu Utu Gwaitu Paiute Tribe of the Benton Paiute Reservation, California1
Walker River Paiute Tribe of the Walker River Reservation, Nevada1
Wanapum Band1
Yerington Paiute Tribe of the Yerington Colony and Campbell Ranch, Nevada1

Harvard Univ. reported Native American remains from two sub-institutions.

Sub-institutionRemains Not Made Available for ReturnRemains Made Available for Return% of Remains Made Available for Return
Harvard University, Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology5,6784,51444%
Harvard University, Warren Anatomical Museum22392%

Harvard Univ. reported making 31% of more than 18,500 associated funerary objects available for return to tribes.

The funerary objects were taken along with Native American remains reported by the institution.
5,823 associated funerary objects made available for return to tribes
at least 12,764 associated funerary objects not made available for return

Harvard Univ. did not respond to multiple requests for comment.

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About the Data

This tool presents a dataset maintained by the National Park Service containing all the Native American human remains and associated funerary objects that institutions have reported to the federal government under the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act. The dataset includes information about the state and county where remains and objects were taken from, which institutions hold them and whether they have been made available for return to tribes.

The data is self-reported by institutions. The amount of unrepatriated Native American remains reported by institutions is a minimum estimate of individuals and institutions frequently adjust these numbers when they reinventory groups of remains. Some institutions that are subject to NAGPRA have also entirely failed to report the remains in their possession. As a result, the numbers provided are best taken as estimates. The actual number and geographic scope of what’s held by publicly funded institutions is larger than what is presently documented.

ProPublica supplemented this dataset with information about cultural affiliation and disposition to specific tribes by systematically parsing the text of Notices of Inventory Completion published in the Federal Register. An additional dataset from the Department of Housing and Urban Development, the Tribal Directory Assessment Tool, was used for the section on remains not made available for return from counties that each tribe has indicated interest in to the federal government.

Institution location and tribal headquarters location information was provided by National NAGPRA. The location of some groups that are not federally recognized was provided through research by ProPublica.

Institutions that are part of a larger entity are grouped. (For example, the Mesa Verde National Park is part of the U.S. Department of the Interior.)

Institutions that have not submitted information to the federal government are not listed. The Smithsonian Institution is not listed because its repatriation process falls under the National Museum of the American Indian Act and it is not required to publicly report its holdings with the same detail as institutions subject to NAGPRA.

If you work for an institution and would like to provide comment on your institution’s repatriation efforts, please email [email protected]. If you think the data is incorrect or have a data request, please get in touch. We are aware of some issues with the accuracy of location information and tribes mistakenly being identified for disposition of Native American remains in published notices.

If you want to share something else with ProPublica, we’d like to hear from you.

If you have questions about implementing or complying with the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act, get in touch with National NAGPRA or the NAGPRA Community of Practice.

We use the word “tribes” to refer to all groups that institutions made Native American remains available to under NAGPRA. This includes tribes, nations, bands, pueblos, communities, Native Alaskan villages, Native Hawaiian organizations and non-federally recognized groups.

Data sources from Department of the Interior, National Park Service, National NAGPRA Program, the Federal Register, Department of Housing and Development, Tribal Directory Assessment Tool